Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Krug Night Out: Seduction and Spam

So last week, I was invited to a great dinner at Otto e Mezzo for a wine pairing dinner with Krug Grande Cuvee champagne to learn more about the champagne house. Rather than going through each pairing dish by dish, I'm going to instead go through the highlights of the evening as we are all posting about this dinner this week and I'm sure you probably don't want to read the same things over and over again.

If you've been following me on Instagram or Twitter, you'll probably have seen these photos because I'm a lazy blogger. (I think I was the only one at this invited meal where the iPhone was the choice of gadget for photos compared to other bloggers who carried DSLRs and 'real' cameras) What can I say? The Geek in me likes to travel light.

So, onto the evening. We started with a tasting session of four bubblies, the 98 Krug Clos Du Mesnil, the Krug Vintage 98, the Kurg Grande Vucee and the Krug Rose. My favourite of the night was the Krug Vintage 98, but then again I'm slightly biased, as I just opened a bottle of the same vintage for my birthday a couple weeks ago so there's a sentimental factor there. We had a fantastic five-course dinner and seven hours later, I was still in a food coma.

Dishes will be interspersed throughout the post in the order that we had them from Warm Lobster Salad on Roast Ligurian Artichoke, Savoured with Cinta Sense Ham, Roast Duck Foie Gras with Piedmont Hazelnut Sauce, Smoked Duck in Dice and Greens, Homemade Fettuccine with Fresh Black Winter Truffle, Butter and Parmesan, Spiced Roast Challans Duck Supreme with Apple and Eggplant Compote and the Crispy Pear Tart. Think of the text as the conversation we had while we indulged in the food to get a sense of the evening. (Probably also why towards the end, spam came up as we had all indulged in a little too much Krug by then!)

So where does the header of seduction and spam come in? Let's break it down.

Seduction: Fun fact of the evening shared by the Krug team. Apparently, the founder Joseph Krug used to be an accountant at another champagne house and he fell in love with the owner's daughter and seduced her. After marrying into the family and rapidly rising in the ranks, he didn't quite agree with their methods and broke away to start his own house that took traditional champagne blending beyond what was traditionally being done in the 19th century. So what's so special about his method? This all lies in the Krug Grande Cuvee. Apparently this blend uses around 120 wines from ten different vintages and three grape varieties to blend and is a result of at least six years of aging in the cellar.

According to Arnaud Mirey , Brand Ambassador Asia Pacific at Moët-Hennessy, the Grande Cuvee has great potential for ageing and he suggests that it's a good idea to buy and store the bottle for at least another five years before consuming. However, the question comes up on how can we tell when the bottle was produced, as it's a multi vintage wine and so isn't labeled? He taught us a little trick. Each bottle has a white number printed on the label. By reading the first two numbers on the bottle, you'll be able to tell when it was issued.

Onto the Spam, how does that fit in a high end fancy dinner at the only Italian three-star Michelin restaurant outside of Italy? Well, I can only say that when you throw in a group of foodies, the conversation will undoubtedly take a turn to cooking and our love for food. We started speculating whether or not Krug would go well with Spam and also the various spams on offer in the market. The consensus around the group was that in order to do spam justice, you need to cut thin slices and pan fry it until the oil comes out and creates a crispy exterior. When I mentioned that I like air frying my luncheon meat, we started coming up with ideas of spam nuggets and how it should be able to pair well with the Grande Cuvee as this bubbly has flavours of hazelnut, barley sugar and honey. The theory is that since we are essentially caramelizing the spam, having a wine that has sweet notes should complement it well. Will this theory pan out? Stay tuned. I'm sure one of us will be sure to try it soon.

Special thanks to WOM Guide for arranging this fantastic dinner for us. We hear that our post will be placed on their Facebook page and there will be a friendly competition to see who has the most likes so loyal readers, please mobilise yourselves, click through and show us some love!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Fly Me To The Moon

Another instance where a lovely visual captures my imagination. Check out these eye shadows from MAC. Titled Heavenly Creature, the collection showcases the usual range of new products from eye shadows to lipsticks to lip glosses and what not. So I wasn't going to do anything about it when I received the press kit but then loaded up the CD and lo and behold this beautiful image comes up. What else can I do but showcase it to you my dear readers? Click on for the full collection. Available at MAC now.



Update to last Friday's announcement that Maje is opening this September in IFC. So is Sandro now, apparently in October. Yays!


Wear & Share: Dog Day Afternoon

I need a new lens. But instead I got a new dog; it was cheaper, though probably not in the long run. Speaking of long runs, we took the pups (in triplicate now, two corgis and a chihuahua guest) to Whiskers & Paws so they could run around, expend some energy, and not wake up so early on Sunday morning. Mama needs her beauty sleep.

Woofy Harrelson picked up a new food bowl, the infamous Kong toy, some training snacks and a waterproof bone-shaped stuffed toy, to replace the ones he mangled upon arrival. I picked up a plaid Etoile Isabel Marant shkirt (see definition here).

Foxy Brown, you may note in the photos below, has a new and rather nautical outfit going on these days. I think sailor chic is a bit last season, but she's still rockin' the look real good.

I, on the other hand, have my own uniform for Sundays: leather shorts and floral sneakers. Leather is pretty much a mainstay in my wardrobe; it's not very practical but it certainly makes you feel good. Must learn not to stroke self in public, however. These particular reworked leather running shorts are from a vintage store in Amsterdam; the sneaks are from some random stall in Albert Cuyp market and we had to rifle through quite a few pairs to find ones not inexplicably stained with coffee (or some other brown substance, I shudder to consider).

As for the rest of the outfit:

Wifebeater: Hanes
Buster: Pencey
Sunnies: Costume National
Necklace: apm Monaco, which I love but keeps shifting askew


Friday, July 27, 2012

Maje Maniac


If you've ever stepped foot in Paris you'll know the casual wear brand Maje, which is currently sold at Rue Madame boutiques in Hong Kong. The French label is now opening its first store in Hong Kong at IFC on September 6, purveying its special brand of elegant rock chic. Seems like the mid-range Parisian brands are really starting to make a mark in Hong Kong, what with American Vintage having opened not too long ago as well. The two lines I'm really hoping for, though, are Sandro and The Kooples... hint hint. But not complaining at all about Maje. Just make the price point not too scary, please...

UPDATE: Sandro is opening in October, also in IFC!


SHOErotica: Gaetano Perrone

Beautiful, intricate work by Gaetano Perrone; these tiny pix don't do them justice. Check the website for bigger, better close-ups. Wonder where we can see them in real life?


Bag Lady: Giuseppe Zanotti

I've loved Giuseppe Zanotti for ages for the gorgeous shoes and never even considered checking out bags for some reason. Then I stumbled upon this clutch and suddenly I realise I need to see what other bags are on offer. Reminiscent of liquid gold, this clutch is oh so pretty. Even if I have the money, I probably won't get it not because I don't love it but because I scratch things up so easily and any scratches on this baby will take away the whole effect. However, maybe I can consider this as a display item on my shelf? Available online at Giuseppe Zanotti for US$1,384


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Langham Food & Wine Festival

Food guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on the Langham Food & Wine Festival.

Foodies with large wallets will be excited to hear about the Langham Food & Wine Festival 2012 that will be happening September 13-23.

The hotel group is bringing in some top chefs from around the world to present some gastronomic pleasure. They include Albert Roux, the first chef to be awarded three Michelin stars in London in 1968; Igor Macchia who has a two-star Michelin restaurant called La Credenza in Piedmont, Italy; Sursur Lee, originally from Hong Kong but lives in Toronto and has three restaurants; and pastry chef Gontran Cherrier of France.

That's not all -- there are New Zealand wines from Pasquale Wines and top florist Stein Are Hansen from Norway to complement the dining experience.

Both Langham Place in Mongkok and The Langham in Tsim Sha Tsui will host these guest chefs for master classes, lunches, afternoon teas, wine tastings and dinners.

Not all of them will devastate your bank account, with A Taste of the Best at Main St Deli at HK$205, afternoon tea presented by pastry chef Cherrier in Palm Court for HK$298 and lunch at L'Eclipse for HK$258.

From there onwards more gourmet lunches and then gala dinners will be held with prices at around the HK$1,888 mark.

However, the sky's the limit with the ultimate being a charity auction where the winning bidder with a minimum bid of HK$20,000 gets Chef Macchia to personally cook a six-course dinner for you and your seven friends in The Penthouse Suite at Langham Place on September 20.

Any takers?

For more information go to langhamfoodandwine.com.

Bookings are open now and those with Standard Chartered-issued credit cards can enjoy extra benefits including a 20 percent discount on any festival bookings.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Short Cuts

Kinda miss short hair...

Tao Okamoto / Emily from Into the Gloss / Moi



This is one of those times where I stumble upon a photoshoot that screams Geek worthy. Legos as hair pieces? Come on. I must share it with you right? Styled by Elroy Klee from the Netherlands, this shoot just makes me smile. What do you think? Check out some behind the scene images here.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Geek Peek: Wister Tang, Winner of the 2012 EcoChic Design Award

We blogged earlier about the EcoChic Design Award which pits six semi-finalist aspiring designers against each other in a Project Runway-style challenge to create a mini-collection using sustainable fabrics and techniques. The competition came to an end on July 5 with a fantastic fashion show, as well as a kickin' after-party at Assaggio Trattoria Italiana where the winner, Wister Tang, celebrated his win along with the other participants and friends. We caught up with the talented designer, who will have the opportunity to design a sustainable collection with Esprit, on the eve of the show as supporters crowded to congratulate him. Check out the interview below, as well as photos from his six-piece collection, themed "Reflection". We love the sleek first gown pictured below, comfy and slinky all at once!

What made you decide to join a sustainable fashion design competition?
Sustainable fashion design has great impact of the future world. Since there are so many concerns about the future of the earth, many people feel confused about their own future and they are uncertain about what tomorrow will look like. Therefore, I think we should start pursuing something natural, simple and ordinary and we should always have self-reflection as we approach such uncertain and tough times.

What does sustainable design mean to you?
For me personally, sustainable design is to consider how to extend a garment's life span whilst not being restricted by the design itself, so that the product will never be outdated.

How did preparing for the competition affect your creativity and the way that you work?
Before entering this competition, I would focus on the creativity and the appearance of the garment and to a lesser extent the marketability. Sustainability was not on my radar.
Now, having gone through the competition, I think about the sustainability of the design and I try to minimize the textile waste produced.

What was the inspiration for your collection?

My inspiration was “Reflection". By this, I mean that fashion should not only be about beautiful appearance. We also need to think about the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. I think reflecting on these environmental and social aspects are beneficial since it helps us to strike a balance between environmental protection and trendiness.

How has working with sustainable fashion techniques inspired you in other areas of your life?
Through the competition, I’ve learned that what you are using and what you have used up already can affect your daily life. This is not just related to fashion – it can be related to many other aspects of your life including what we eat, how we travel and how we consume in general.
Taking this inspiration into my own life, I intend to apply the concepts of up-cycling and reconstruction into my daily life to recreate 'brand new' items for my friends and family using pre-used garments and what other people consider to be ‘waste’. In this way, I hope to inspire my immediate circle with appreciation of the beauty of creating new and beautiful products using waste.

What are your plans for the collection that you will design with Esprit?
I’m very excited about designing for Esprit and about using their innovatively recycled textiles that they have made by recycling their own factory fabric waste into their own recycled fabrics.
At the core of what I design, I want to understand their target customer of the brand so that I can really build on the marketability of this sustainable collection. I’m keen to create a simple silhouette made with their high quality recycled fabrics to ensure the long lifespan of the garment.

How did you celebrate your win?
Being crowned as The EcoChic Design Award Hong Kong 2012 Winner meant a huge amount to me. I did enter the competition last year also but didn’t make it through so this was my second cycle. Winning therefore really recognized my effort, perseverance and talent in sustainable fashion design. I was very happy to share my success with my friends and family.

Where do you see yourself, career-wise, in five years?
As a designer, I want to establish my own sustainable brand. I hope my brand can help to spread the concept of sustainability with the fashion community. As people appreciate my designs, I can promote these positive ideas even further. Long term, I would love to see my sustainable brand as a high fashion one with simple style and the use of high quality sustainable fabrics.


Fujisan: The Edible Chocolate Candle

How awesome is this? Designer Stéphane Bureaux created Fujisan, an edible chocolate candle for the chocolate tradeshow, Salon Professionnel du Chocola. The idea is that by the time the birthday song is sung, the chocolate would have melted to become a molten chocolate cake. Love this idea. Now when is it coming out in production?


Monday, July 23, 2012

Wootfy Do!

Not much to report in the land of Hong Kong Fashion Geek... except perhaps the addition of a new family member! Meet Mario Woofy Harrelson, the foofiest dog I wasn't even looking to adopt until he wormed his way into my heart with barrels full of drool and the goofiest eyes you've ever seen on a corgi. The fact that he still had poop on his ass and kept trying to drink sewer water was probably a calculated attempt to make me feel sorry for him, and sorry I was, because I just spent the last 48 hours cuddling him... This is officially the fastest I've ever fallen in love with a dude. I think I have it bad.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Neon Needs


The fascination with neon endures... although, wearing the stuff does make it difficult to make subtle entrances or exits. Especially when, like me, you are notoriously, constantly, late for work. Oopsies.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

10 New Restaurants to Watch

Spent the beginning of this year starving for new restaurants to feature at work... and now, it's like they're mushrooming! Have had this post in my Drafts folder for like three or four weeks now, so I figured I'd better put it up today, before the so-called new restaurants are no longer new. The Top 10 notables:

Blue Butcher

This dinner-only steak-house varietal features its own dry-ageing room (purportedly the only in Hong Kong), with big sharing plates and big hunks of meat. Ironically, I thought the steak was the least spectacular of the three entrees I tried. The other two, however, were like... heaven in your mouth, and included the veal cheek and pork. The venue is chic New York-ish glam.


This sister restaurant to Blue Butcher is also opened by the folks who brought you Play (that nightclub that serves a surprisingly mean waygu rice-burger, yum, probably because its menu was designed by Sushi Kuu's Satoru). The hipster vibe is strong here. Look for grungy-slash-waify-slash-dirty-cute waitstaff, mean soft tortillas, a long list of Tequila shots and a boppin' soundtrack. The vibe is reminiscent of Yardbird; the food isn't quite as spot on though, but that hardly matters thanks to a more-conveninent-yet-still-alternative location (in the alley next to old Leidou) and the fact that nobody in Hong Kong has properly nailed Mexican food anyway.


High-end Japanese joint doing a bunch of categories -- sushi/sashimi, robatayaki and more. Backed by the Prive boys and singer Mango Wong, it's got pedigree and a sweet spot on On Hing Terrace in the same building as Play. I haven't tried it yet, but the operation was pulled together by a restaurant manager poached from ICC's celebrated Inakaya, so it looks promising... as long as it's not eternally plagued by bankers and celeb-types. (Photo stolen from Erica Fong's instagram.)


From the guy who brought you The Drawing Room and Hainan Shaoye comes Ammo, an Italian and tapas joint situated in a beautiful glass box where an ammunitions depot used to sit, right on the edge of Asia Society in Admiralty. Gorgeous interiors as well as inspired pastas -- go for the fresh, and make sure the order includes the burrata ravioli. The pappardelle is also pretty awesome. Ressies are needed like a month in advance. I heard yesterday that weekend reservations for four or more aren't available till mid-September, and weekday not till end-August. Cray crayyyy.


Haven't been to this Wanchai/Admiralty-straddling Japanese, but saw a picture of TRUFFLE SOMEN in Crave Mag and I can't stop thinking about it. Go and let me know how it is. Hear it's pricey, and relatively empty, so a bit weird, but still good!

View62 by Paco Roncero

The icky revolving restaurant becomes a still-cheesy-but-at-least-the-food-is-good revolving restaurant, with food helmed by elBulli alum Paco Roncero. The venue is still missing some je ne sais quoi, but the food is beautiful, inventive and tastes good, even if it's a lot of what you can have in his other restaurant in Madrid. Go for the 14-course tasting menu at $1400 over the 16 (an extra $400) or the two boring set dinners. Bring your camera if you're Asian, the view is awesome. Beware, the reservations people are horrible. Two of two people I know that tried to book it were told they would be emailed the menu...and neither ever received them. This is important because you MUST preorder the tasting menu beforehand, or you'll be stuck with the severely mediocre set dinners.

Pizzeria Pubblico

They sent two pizzas to my office which were well-received by my co-workers. I was on a low-carb thingie and didn't try any. The reviews have been generally pretty stellar, although my hype-killing friend Chris says it's only so-so. "Pubblico is for hipsters." Truest statement I never thought of in a long time.

Tate Dining Room

I don't think it will please everyone, but I really liked the stories behind Tate. The first time I encountered chef/owner Vicky Lau was on a boat trip, when I was pigging out on lobster salad rolls that were so good, and someone told me "that girl made them!" "That girl" now has a restaurant of her own purveying French-Japanese fine cuisine, grand opening is tonight, and I find the food innovative, interesting and definitely something to watch. Photos of food from this restaurant have been clogging my Instagram feed for a couple of weeks already now, so hopefully it won't get booked out like Ammo!

Nico's Spuntino Bar and Restaurant

The Staunton's Group finally ventures out of its namesake street... up one escalator to Elgin. It fits neatly into the Soho set with perfect post-beer platters and tapas -- think deep-fried cheese, croquettes, suckling pig. Pastas are solid, filling and tasty enough, definitely aiming to crowd-please rather than set new standards. Best part of the night is dessert: order from the I-Scream gelato cart, and get the Lychee, Pistachio or Earl Grey. Only $30 a scoop!


All I know, and all you need to know, is that this is a noodle place in Wanchai that serves up their steaming bowls with accompaniments like Spanish ham, huadiao-infused eggs and other premium ingredients. Time Out says it's good, so I believe them.

As an honorary 11th, I also want to try out new Spanish private kitchen, BCN. It sounds great but my useless friend Karen who doesn't know what a blueberry is said overpriced and not so great. But what does she know, she only eats pasta and froyo with no fruits in it.