Thursday, June 30, 2011

Scrumptious Treat for Tea

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at
Now there's another reason to head to Tsim Sha Tsui -- and it's not for shopping.
The afternoon tea at InterContinental Hong Kong now has a Gallic touch with the pastries revamped by new executive pastry chef Cyril Dupuis. The Frenchman moved to Hong Kong this spring to take the position with the hotel and has an outstanding culinary pedigree. He previously worked for Alain Ducasse for 14 years, overseeing all the pastry operations of Ducasse's Paris restaurants. Dupuis also spent three years working with chocolatier Pierre Herme at Patisserie Fauchon in Paris. He's quite impressed people in Hong Kong are afternoon tea connoisseurs and like the Japanese prefer their desserts to be not too sweet. So you can already imagine his delectable creations are tres bon.

The afternoon tea set is a delicious spread with savouries along with the sweets and scones that you can eat while soaking in the amazing floor-to-ceiling harbour views in the Lobby Lounge. As for the teas, there's a selection of special teas, both Western and Chinese. I tried the Loong Jin or dragon well tea which was very fragrant, and there's also teas from Mariage Freres from France.

We started with the savoury items, which included tiny sandwiches that you can almost pop into your mouth in one bite. There's the French ham with tomato pesto, egg and truffle mayonnaise, smoked salmon and salmon tartare with yuzu cream, and curried turkey with mango. Each are delicate in flavour and not too heavy as they're only a prelude for what's to come.

The scones are a pretty big size, presented in a kind of bread basket and comes with the clotted cream, tea jelly and strawberry jam. I could only manage half of one otherwise I wouldn't be able to sample all the desserts -- the main event!

Each of them are a smaller version of the ones you can get throughout the day at the hotel. So if you enjoy the miniature version, you can have more later...

There's the passionfruit ginger tartlet, slightly tart from the passionfruit which I enjoy, a change from the usual lemon tart. Something slightly richer is the strawberry cheesecake with fresh berries that's a bit creamy in texture.

Quite sweet is the caramel eclair, a finger-like pastry stuffed with caramel filling, and eating half of it was definitely filling. There's also a lot of cream in the vanilla tart, a soft texture combined with a crunchy crust. However, a light, refreshing dessert is the Marco Polo tea blanc manger with raspberry and lychees. Served in a small round glass, it's panna cotta with a slight tea flavour from the Mariage Freres Marco Polo white tea mixed with the lychee sauce on top.

Chocoholics will have a field day savouring the last dessert of the afternoon, the dark chocolate orange elysee, a rich mousse cake with thin layers of orange jam add some sharp flavour. I could not finish even half of this cake as I was already so full!

Dupuis has other signature desserts such as the vanilla mille feuille, blackberry tea milk chocolate cake, strawberry fraisier and one called Mont Blanc... wonder if it looks like the Swiss peak...

So squeeze some time and have a leisurely afternoon tea at the InterContinental's Lobby Lounge. It's from 2:30pm-6pm, HK$428 for two from Monday to Friday except public holidays, and HK$488 Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.

Lobby Lounge
InterContinental Hong Kong
18 Salisbury Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
2313 2323


SHOErotica: Aoi Kotsuhiroi Exotic Regrets

What a lovely name for a one-off collection that probably won't ever be available to you or me: Exotic Regrets. It perfectly describes the shoe, or even your one-night stand with a stripper who was wearing those shoes, that made you slap yourself the next day when you found out you contracted some weird disease.

Check out more from Aoi Kotsuhiroi here.


Soho Shopwalk

Our friends at Sassy are doing a Soho Shopwalk next week if you're up for a night out shopping (and frankly who doesn't?). Details on the flyer.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hard Sel

i was at a press lunch for Pierre when a seemingly knowledgeable gentleman from a French food publication recommended Fleur de Sel as the best creperie in town. You usually can trust Frenchmen about French foods, so off I went to the building best known as "the place Cher2 is" to indulge in some savoury specimens. We had Le Super Complete and I THINK La Bressoise... everyone has Le Super Complete, if the photos on Openrice are any indication, but I was far from impressed. I think a crepe with some moisture is more up my alley, there's no fun if the crepe base isn't soaked in sauces. That said, there basically aren't too many creperies in Hong Kong (does Simplicity on Hollywood count?) so if you're in Causeway Bay and craving a crepe, it's not a bad option, if you can get a table. The space is fairly tight and was packed the day we arrived -- they tried to turn us away but we suggested we could -- gasp! -- wait for a table, and they obliged. I was kind of cranky at the end because I didn't like my crepe so I didn't bother trying the sweet options, but they did look good; I should go back for a crepe suzette before I cross this off my list. If you do go, skip Le Super Complete (don't buy the hype!) and go for one of the pricier non-basics, like anything with ratatouille. Or the galettes. Or ice cream, because you can never go wrong with ice cream.

Fleur de Sel is at 2J, Po Foo Building, 84 - 94 Percival Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.


Double Up

It’s amazing how often I hear complaints about the lack of stylish laptop bags in Hong Kong and I often wonder if it’s because people are of the perception that laptop bags are only available at the Wanchai computer mall. Or maybe it’s that people think that laptop bags shouldn’t be expensive and are looking for cheap finds. If that’s not the case for you, check out Piquadro’s latest bags, the Hi-Cone line and the Sun. An Italian brand, Piquadro, succeeds in creating laptop bags that are cool as laptop bags and as well, normal bags. The bags don’t come cheap, retailing at over HK$3000 a pop but then again, if it can double as a normal bag, then you’re technically getting two bags for the price you’re paying right?

Stores can be found in Harbour City, I Square, Peninsula Hotel, Times Square, Sogo and Elements amongst other malls.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Getting Rammed

Totally forgot that I bought this ram's head at Chatuchak Market in Bangkok. Love it, even though my brother was all "I can't believe you spent MONEY on that." I need to populate my massive shelf with more decorative animal-head busts. This is not a joke.


Pistol Whipped

Makeup, brand names and art combined into one. What’s not to love? Check out Ted Noten’s Makeup Kit which was recently on display at Design Miami/Basel. Using 3-D printed nylon, Ted came up with the concept of a gun-shaped makeup kit embedded with what he deems is every woman’s essentials (including a Viagra pill.) And yes, he’s aware of the stereotype and has spun it into the whole artistic philosophy of examining gender dynamics. Named the Chanel001 (the black version) and Dior001 (the white version), the respective ‘guns’ pack the brands’ cosmetics along with other goodies such as a 18k gold toothpick, a perfume bottle with an 18k gold mechanism, a 50-gram 24kt gold bar, a USB stick and an antique hairpin. More images after the cut


Monday, June 27, 2011

Bag Lady: Victoria Beckam Hexagonal Chain crocodile shoulder bag

Net a Porter is having it's final sale at the moment and this gorgeous Victoria Beckham Hexagonal Chain crocodile shoulder bagicon is 40% off. I am sorely tempted. What do you think?


Wrist Action

This is hardly a new thing, to buy thin and brightly coloured rope and metal bracelets by the dozen and then stack them till your wrist looks like it could join the women of the long-neck tribe. But we've just never written about it, and that's sort of a sin. But I really like how this lady, found on Jak and Jil, balances the royal-blue plaid with the textured purple clutch and then the rainbow of bracelets so effortlessly.

Below, find our picks for chic rope-thin bracelets, from skinny bangles to studly leather bindings to neon charms to whatever it is you're looking for.


MONICA VINADER Rio sterling silver bracelet

AURÉLIE BIDERMANN Camden 18-karat gold-plated studded leather bracelet.

YVES SAINT LAURENT Gold-plated charm and leather bracelet

MONICA VINADER Fiji 18-karat gold-plated bracelet

ISABEL MARANT Set of three bracelets

DAISY KNIGHTS 22-karat gold-vermeil feather charm bracelet

AURÉLIE BIDERMANN Mother-of-pearl charm bracelet

DANNIJO Tevi embellished silver-plated bangle


Friday, June 24, 2011

Geek Peek: Erica Chung of 3Lab

We’ve touted our love for 3Lab products previously and recently we got to spend some time with founder of this skincare series, Erica Chung. Read on to see why she’d like to marry a Chinese man and why when she wore her first big investment purchase, people asked her if she was in the button business.

HKFG: What beauty item can't you live without
EC: I travel so much and cross so many time zones that an easy, essential skin care regimen is extremely important. The three products that I must have with me are Super H Serum, M Cream and our new Super Eye Treatment. The Super H Serum and M Cream keep my skin hydrated, replenished and rejuvenated. And the Super Eye Treatment helps with all my eye concerns that can develop while I'm traveling like puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles.

HKFG: What’s your favourite thing about HK?
EC: My favorite thing about Hong Kong is that it makes me feel at home being in Asia. I always feel welcome and comfortable. I love the great Chinese food and it's easy to communicate because so many people there speak English. And, of course, it is such a beautiful, colorful city filled with interesting sites, shops and friendly people.

HKFG: What’s your secret ambition?
EC: My hope is to build 3LAB to be a long lasting legacy, providing people around the globe with a skin care line that delivers healthy, clear and youthful skin.

HKFG: What was your first big investment purchase?
EC: My Moschino jacket with hundreds of buttons. People kept asking me if I was in the button business when I was wearing it.

HKFG: what you would wish for if a genie came out of a lamp to grant u 3 wishes
EC: 1) That I could speak all the languages in the world so I can communicate with people in all the countries I visit.
2) That I could provide people in underdeveloped countries with the products for healthy skin and bring a smile and a bit of beauty to each of their lives.
3) Marry a Chinese man. I understand that they cook, do the grocery shopping, handle all the domestic duties AND take care of the finances.

HKFG: What’s your secret-weapon beauty product
EC: My Perfect Mask from 3LAB. It works miracles on your skin before going out or after the harsh days. It is especially great for traveling to revive my skin after a long flight.

HKFG: What’s your worst nightmare?
EC: Going out without wearing sun protection on my skin

HKFG: What’s the last thing you think about before going to sleep?
EC: I am one of those people who's mind is always racing. Especially when I am in a creative mode and in the process of developing new products. When my head hits the pillow I am often thinking about what could be the next great beauty innovation we can introduce.


Pastel Prism

It would appear that Easter Egg pastels are in this season, if the congruence of nail polish hue meant anything when Erica, Mandy and I got together at the Hotel Icon's Green coffee shop. Not to get off topic but Hotel Icon is officially my favourite hotel in Hong Kong. Freeman Lau (my favourite) plus the moistest cupcakes ever plus awesome REAL art by local artists plus a Patrick Blanc-designed grow house scaling a three-storey lobby wall? Count me in.

Anyway, the girls were sporting an awesome lilac that I'm regretting not getting (Erica's is China Glaze Light As Air I believe) and that's my homemade mani with Nail Tek ridge-filling base coat (works EXACTLY the same as the Essie matte if you use it as a topcoat, bizarrely), Color Club Sheer Disguise and the best quick-dry topcoat I've used from Seche Vite. Any imperfections are due to my lack of skill, rather than the polishes, although the Sheer Disguise is a bit streaky until you do a third coat.

Get them all at Cher2.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Point and Shoot

In the world of digital cameras, there is still something comforting about the excitement of waiting for film to develop and see what your pictures will turn out to be like. ShoeGeek got me a Lomo camera for my birthday one year and I had the most fun taking random images until I developed it. To my dismay, it was a malfunctioning camera (it was one of those action shot cameras with four lenses and one of the lenses didn’t work) so I ended up with these random black stripes in my photos. It made for interesting conversations when people look at those photos and ask what’s the deal with the black stripe thinking that I’m all artistic and what not. If you are not a lazy bum and actually like getting photos developed, Lomo has come out with a super-wide angle fish can camera called La Sardina with a range of colours (rumour has it that they will develop up to 1000 different styles). The first four up are El Capitán, Fischer’s Fritze, Sea Pride and Marathon. The La Sardina is a point and shoot camera, using 35mm film and equipped with a plastic wide-an¬gle lens. Priced at HKD 778 camera with flash (includes with yellow, red and blue filters ) and HKD 498 camera without flash. Technical details and where to buy after the cut.

• Film Type: Standard 135 roll film
• Exposure area: 36 x 24mm
• Lens focal length: 22 mm Aperture: 1:8 Angle of view: 88 degrees
• Focusing range: 0.6m - infinity Shutter speed: N (1/100), B (bulb) Multiple exposure: independent MX switch Flash contact: Unique Sardina flash contact
• Flash Sync: first curtain X-type synchronization
• Tripod socket thread: Standard ¼” tripod socket
• Cable release: Universal cable release socket

Lomography Gallery Store Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui
Mon-Sun 12pm to 7pm/ Tel: 2368-3230

Lomography Gallery Store Hong Kong Sheung Wan
Mon-Sun 11am to 7pm / Tel: 2915-2205


SHOErotica: Christian Louboutin Ruffled Pumps

I don't know the name of these babies, and they don't even fit me (I got them for my sister-in-law at the Pedder sample sale but they were too small for her and too big for me) but I love them so so much that they may just go on the shelf (bookshelf, not shoe rack) as part of the decorative fabric of my life. Needless to say, the other half is not amused with this idea.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Like the Spike

There's the restrained chic of a single cuff... but sometimes you just need to unleash your inner warrior with something a bit more aggressive. Like this Aurelie Bidermann Camden XL 18-karat gold-plated studded leather cuff.

Image: Jak and Jil


Versace x H&M

All hail the genius of H&M collaborations. We've waxed lyrical about the collections from Jimmy Choo and Matthew Williamson. And you know us Geeks loved the Lanvin x H&M collection, if not, see Operation Lanvin, and post after post after post after post on the collection.

Now word on the street is that the next collection will be Versace x H&M which will be available from 17 November worldwide, as well as online. Below is a video with Donatella talking about the collection. The collection will include ranges for women, men and what I'm most excited about, selected pieces for the home.

Donatella recently wore one of her Versace x H&M pieces at the Versace men’s fashion show in Milan on June 20th and by the looks of it, the collection will another heavily anticipated fashion event of the year.

See some preview images after the cut.