Saturday, March 31, 2012

Helsinki, Paris, Amsterdam

That's where I'm headed in approximately six hours!

I'm such a worrier, I get this unshakeable feeling of uneasy anticipation in the hours ahead of a trip to somewhere I've never been... the older you get, the more you replay unlikely and scary scenarios in your head. What if the left falangee on the plane isn't working? What if I get robbed and I have no money and no identification and no phone and no friends and no idea where I am? What if it's really, really cold and I can't have fun because I'm succumbing to frostbite? The scenarios get stupider and stupider -- What if I can't find free Wi-fi anywhere? What if I eat too many pastries, I can't fit into my clothes at the end of the trip?

Anyway, I'm sure my fears will be allayed once the first pastry is spotted.

Earlier, I said to Loretta, "We have to eat reindeer in Helsinki." She replied, "Will Santa get mad?"

Images: here, here and here.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bag Lady: Perrin Paris Tote Bag

I know I REALLY don't need another bag but don't you think this would be the perfect bag for office attire? The minimalist design is just calling out to me and I've always been a fan of frames. Get it for HK$12,000 from Harvey Nichols.


SHOErotica: Zara SS2012

Geez, Zara footwear is looking really freaking good this season. Really regretting not indulging more when I was in Spain -- those plexi-heeled sandals were like, 70 Euros (so practically 60 after detaxing) and they're HK$999 here. Exchange rate is so good, too! But patience will pay off, because I'm Paris-bound this weekend! EEEEEK!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

So Big... It's Huge

Apparently, Main St Deli at The Langham, Hong Kong, has become known for its big meals. Or so they say in their press release. I haven't been, so I can't confirm. But I'm a girl who likes it big. Size does matter. Big is always better. And now the New York deli is pandering to its reputation, and offering not just big dishes, but monstrous, gargantuan, ridiculously large portions: a 20-inch hot dog, a 12-inch burger, a 1kg reuben sandwich and a crazy huge lox & bagel.

Obviously, these are made for sharing... but I feel a strong urge to challenge one on my own...

They're available until the end of April, with 24 hours notice. For enquiries or reservations, please call 2132 7898.


iPhone Show & Tell: Snapseed

With the plethora of iPhone apps, I’m constantly downloading but never really using it. A few months ago, I saw Snapseed as one of those most downloaded apps and free for a limited period of time. So I downloaded but never got around to using it until Jason raved about the app as something that one must have on their phone and that it’s fully worth the US$4.99. After taking a bit of time to adjust to its user interface (not quite intuitive at first but once you know it, you kinda wonder why you found it difficult) I am hooked. If you follow me on instagram, you’ll probably notice that I’ve gotten some pretty darn nice photos lately and trust me, it’s not my mad skillz as a photographer but rather this nifty app that is helping me do post production to the photos. Behold some of my favourite photos taken on the iPhone, edited with Snapseed and posted on Instagram (some using their filters). Don’t they look almost beyond amateur photography and that you can almost believe that I know how to take photos?


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pre-Loved Fashion Pop-up Sale, April 21

We complain about the lack of good vintage stores in Hong Kong... but it's not really "vintage" we care about (well, maybe only a little bit...), it's the prospect of acquiring fabulous designer goods at dirt-cheap prices. And then showing off to our friends about it.

I have long had the bad, bad habit of buying things that don't fit. You may think I'm crazy, but it's one of the hazards of attending press sales, time-short windows of opportunity that include ridiculous limited-edition items at super discounts. Well, now you'll have that opportunity this coming April. Come April 21, the Geeks and some of our super-stylish pals (including fellow blogger Elle Lee!) will be taking part in Preloved Fashion Hong Kong, a pop-up sale of goodies culled from our closets. Vintage? This is better than vintage.

Check out the Facebook page here for images of just some of the goodies you'll find -- including a brand-new pristine white Hermes Birkin, a few new Chanel 2.55s, a Bottega Veneta knot clutch, a tri-colour Celine Luggage tote... and that's just the bags! From the shoe archives of your own ShoeGeek (yes, I'm referring to myself in the third person, how very douchey, I'm sorry): the Loubies worn here, the Sergio Rossis worn here, the Balenciaga boots worn by Sea of Shoes' Jane Aldridge here and more! Go check out the Facebook page, and "Like" it for updates because we'll be adding more stuff as we photograph it (and collect it from friends!)


Creative Canadian Cuisine

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at

Disclosure: SEVVA is a client of FashionGeek’s day job. All views are presented by guest blogger LifestyleGeek

What is Canadian cuisine? Maple syrup, smoked salmon, and that artery-clogging poutine! But thankfully Vancouver chef David Hawksworth takes a more refined route when it comes to Canadian, or more precisely, west coast cuisine. And you can sample his creative offerings at SEVVA until Friday March 30. Set lunch tasting menus start at HK$460, dinner at HK$1,500.

Hawksworth made a name for himself at West restaurant in Vancouver and then last year struck out on his own with a place named after him where the former Hotel Georgia is located. The hostess with the mostess Bonnie Gokson met Hawksworth when she attended a wedding in Vancouver last year. That led to her bringing him and his team here to present some dishes for Hong Kong diners to try. The results are nothing short of amazing.

The seven-course dinner started with an amuse bouche, a different kind of sushi featuring uni on deep-fried crunchy rice topped with a thin slice of jalapeno. Hawksworth likes to play on textures and tastes and this was evident throughout the meal.
Next came the tuna ceviche with chili, avocado, amaranth and lime that was also smooth and crunchy, refreshing and light, featuring chunks of dark tuna, amaranth leaves and drizzled with lime.
A well-paired combination of seared foie gras came next with maple and bourbon sauce, garnished with apple slices. The sharp taste and crunch of the apples contrasted with the smoothness of the foie gras, and came with a reduced apple sauce and light maple foam.
One of the favourites of the evening was the green pea risotto and truffle. The dish came in a brilliant apple green topped with a thin black truffle slice. And the taste was heavenly as there were fresh peas intermingled with the risotto to give intermittent bursts of flavour. Good to the last bite.
Another winner was the roasted sablefish, dungeness crab and pea tendrils. The pine mushroom consumme was poured into the bowl at the table and the sablefish was perfectly cooked, dressed with the pea tendrils and garnished with flower petals.
The last main course was a slice of pan roasted duck breast accompanied with foraged mushrooms, something very special for Hong Kong, and celeriac, with the intriguing puffed wild rice and natural jus. The fall flavours were totally in play here with the duck being very tender and juicy with the mushrooms that were small and rustic.
Finally we ended the waistline-expanding menu with a dessert called "candy bar", basically a dark chocolate fudge, layered with candied peanuts, and milk chocolate foam. It was definitely a chocolate lover's dream come true with its richness and smoothness, but also had crunchy and soft bits too.

So if you have a chance, check out Hawksworth and his culinary prowess at SEVVA -- before Friday!

Your tastebuds will thank you.

25/F, Prince's Building
10 Chater Road
2537 1388


Monday, March 26, 2012

Sky-High Dining

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at

Ozone on the 118th floor of the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is a great venue to impress guests in the evening with its jaw-dropping view, and now it also serves up gourmet brunch on Sundays from noon to 3pm. For HK$888 with free-flowing Veuve Clicquot Champagne (or HK$1,888 with free-flowing vintage 2002 Dom Perignon Champagne and 10g of Hybrid caviar) you can enjoy an extensive selection of appetisers, select a main course and then sample a variety of desserts all while enjoying the amazing view, subject to weather conditions of course.

The day we went was overcast from the ground floor, but when we got up to the highest floor in Hong Kong, all we could see were clouds below us and Hong Kong island was shrouded in the fog, kind of like a modern Chinese painting. Meanwhile we were surrounded by an amazing clear blue sky. But surely our stomachs were calling for a panoramic taste of the brunch and so we promptly checked out the goods.
One side of the room has a tempting seafood selection. There's freshly shucked oysters, poached prawns, lobsters and king crab legs and mussels that were all very delicious. We also enjoyed trying the sushi and sashimi selection that included tuna, salmon, octopus and yellowtail.

Then we went to the other side of the dining area where the desserts and other starters were. If you must be decadent -- and why not -- you're at the Ritz -- you can have pan-fried foie gras cooked right in front of you at the cooking station, as well as savoury beef cubes teppanyaki style that were melt-in-the-mouth juicy.
The tricky thing about this buffet is that everything's in small portions so you think it's good for a taste, thus encouraging you to sample more. We liked the small cups of soup, and on the day we went there was cream of asparagus and miso. There was also a heavenly-smelling chawanmushi, or steamed egg custard with pieces of lobster topped with truffle. So good!
If that wasn't enough, each diner is entitled to a mini Wagyu beef burger that was lip-smacking good as well as a kind of spring roll.

And this was all before the main course.

Oh did we mention cocktails?
A trolley will come by your table and create a bespoke bloody Mary, complete with a wide range of ingredients to suit all tastes. Then if that's not enough, another one will arrive and like a scientist's experiment, the barman will concoct some lethal mini martinis complete with liquid nitrogen and garnished with a sprig of sage or rosemary.
Now that you're just about full and well lubricated, there are still the mains and desserts to follow. Some of the options include tandoori salmon with saffron basmati rice and papadom; roasted black cod with ponzu caramel, seaweed crust and walnut; and tempura prawns udon noodles.

We chose the black cod and were not disappointed. The fish was cooked perfectly, flaking off the fork and was very tasty with the ponzu caramel sauce. It came with a grilled cherry tomato, carrots and asparagus as well as rice.

But you can't be too full yet -- there's still some desserts to go through!

An intriguing one is the frozen lollipop made in front of you. Three blobs of raspberry, mango and chocolate are placed on a frozen plate with a stick and then after a few minutes you have your lollipop, but it is devoured none too soon because it makes you feel like a kid again.

For some opulence for your skin, try the vanilla creme with bird's nest, or how about the mini mango pudding, baked warm chocolate tart, pandan creme brulee, blueberry cheesecake or mini lemon and lime tartlets.

Did we mention there's also a cheese selection too?

There's many to choose from, ranging from hard to soft, including cow and goat cheeses.

And when you have brunch at Ozone you can get 15 percent off a treatment at The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA. So the next time you have brunch there, schedule a spa treatment in the afternoon and your Sunday will definitely end on a high note.

118/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong
International Commerce Centre
1 Austin Road West
2263 2263


Top That: Cute Wedding Cake Toppers

All these weddings exploding like land mines around me.... it's just that age, you know. The same hotel ballrooms, the same guestlists, the same music (hello, Bruno!) and even the same fake cake. If you're getting married soon, or have friends who are, then at least customize the five-layer sweet treat with an unusual cake topper.

Not that I'm headed altar-wards in the near future, but I've already picked mine out... either the corgi bride and groom, or Superman meets Wonder Woman (Lois Lane will be pissed, but whatevs.)

More after the jump!

Panda topper.

Other panda topper.

Kirsten Bell would die for this sloth topper. She loves sloths (see this vid).

Geeky ninja topper.

Equally geeky zombie topper.

Normal kawai onion-head bride and groom.

Customisable letter topper -- write your names or a simple Mr and Mrs.

Puzzle people cake topper.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

SHOErotica: Alberto Guardini Lipstick Heels

Katy Perry was spotted in a pair of these babies a while back, and even though they're a bit gimmicky for the average office lady, you have to admit, there's something kind of cute about that whole Minnie Mouse kind of sensibility. What's also kind of jazzy is that the shoe comes with an interchangeable lipstick colour, and the colours include purple, blue, gold and a chic understated black.

Get them at Alberto Guardiani.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Bag Lady: Dareen Hakim Beiruti Caviar

One of the hazards of writing this blog is that I come across so many things I covet and always have to try to stifle my shopping urges. This is one time where I failed. I had been meaning to feature the Dareen Hakim brand since last year and had put it in the editorial calendar but much like anything in life, it slipped my mind. So when the lovely Katie sent me the look book, I was keen to see what's new and ecstatic to find that they will be arriving in Hong Kong at Forest Bird next month. Of course, being the impatient Geek that I am, I couldn't wait and have already placed my order online and I keep being reassured by the courier that it's in transit. Now it's a mad race to the finish line, will I get the bag before Forest Bird does?

I hear you ask which bag did I get? I got the amazing Beiruti clutch featured above. I love the contrast between the soft leather and the hard metal plate. And yes, even though I frequently lament that I don't have a use for clutches, this bag is just too amazing not to get. Stay tuned for a Geek Peek with Dareen coming soon!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld

Having been fully converted to ebooks with the Kindle, there are few books that I want to buy these days. The only exception are coffee table books which given the fact that my coffee table is actually a vintage wooden trunk from the 1950s, it doesn’t really have much space for books on top of it. However, that doesn’t deter me from lusting after Chanel’s latest coffee table book offering- The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld.

Created during the 1950s by Coco, this jacket has been reinvented by Karl Lagerfeld since 1983. Check out the behind the scenes video which features numerous celebrities wearing the jacket in different ways. Images were shot in Cannes and then in New York, before finishing up in Paris in Karl Lagerfeld’s studio. Celebrities featured includes Sarah Jessica Parker, Georgia May Jagger, Alice Dellal, Maïwenn, Laetitia Casta, Virginie Ledoyen and Akuol de Mabior. Interested in how the little black jacket is made? Be sure to watch the second video.

And if you happen to be in Tokyo, there is an opening exhibition dedicated to the little black jacket from 24th March until 15th April 2012 at G-Bldg, Minami Aoyama,
Minami Aoyama 5-4-48, Minato Ku, Tokyo

The Little Black Jacket: Chanel's classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, Steidl, Göttingen, 2012, 232 pages. Available in bookstores from autumn 2012.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Christian Louboutin 20th Anniversary Capsule Collection

For the past year or so, I’ve been a tad sick of Mr Louboutin’s red soles feeling that it’s gotten a bit passé. Of course, just as I’m thinking this, along comes the capsule collection celebrating the 20th anniversary of the brand and I realize why I fell in love in the first place. From the Pensee to the La Pluminette, 20 iconic styles were revisited along with six one of a kind bags. I particularly loved that we were shown the sketches of the shoes along with the actual products. The collection launched in Hong Kong next Thursday and I can’t wait to check it out in person. Must remind myself though that I’m on a shoe embargo!