Thursday, January 31, 2013

SHOErotica: Rupert Sanderson SS13

Rupert Sanderson has taken a turn for the funky! With strong parrot and hot lips motifs, this is probably his boldest collection yet... although it still retains that ladylike vibe. Also new to the line is a hand-painted gold stripe that reaches along the inside of the stiletto heel ending in a unique brush-stroke right at the curve where heel meets shoe body. A really beautiful touch, and one that proves that each shoe is handmade. Also doesn't scuff up in that way the red sole does... anyway. Also loving the tropical campaign photos, classy yet vibrant, a great embodiment of the brand's spirit moving forward.

Get them at Rupert Sanderson Hong Kong. More images after the cut.


Take Five: CNY Inspired


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

To Market, To Market: ABC Kitchen

I'd been wanting to try ABC Kitchen for aaaages, simply because the premise was too good to be true. Hong Kong's first fine-dining restaurant that's been transported and ghettofied into a cooked-food market daipaidong set-up? A must-try for any foodie, on a budget or not. Word is that the kitchen is run by former chefs of M on the Fringe, which closed down a few years ago.

One of the other perks of this situation is that you don't need to get dressed up at all. ABC has made some effort to distinguish its tables from the rest of the riffraff by using checkered red tablecloths, which is sort of a nice touch because then you actually dare to put your elbows on the table. But you could roll up in flip flops and a wife-beater (or probably no shirt at all, really) without anyone caring in the least.

The pricing is obviously pretty good, averaging under $100 for starters and under $150 for mains. The starters should actually be for sharing, considering the mushroom risotto is pretty much a full-sized main, and the crab cake was larger than my fist. Because we are crazy people, we also got a cheese souffle main to share as a starter. A WINNING DECISION, might I add. What would I do without greedy dining partners like my greedy gremlin. Melted cheese x filo pastry x a pesto dressing = yum x 1000.

Suckling pig and beef wellington mains were both pretty well-executed. And I forgot to take pictures, but there was a pavlova that wasn't too shabby either, although I think that occurred mid food coma, so I can't really say for sure how good it was, it's disappeared into the black hole in my brain.

We ended up paying $250 a head, which is ridiculously cheap for this whole affair. I wouldn't necessarily term this haute cuisine, but it's definitely on par -- and in fact, even slightly ahead of -- favorite affordable private kitchens like Le Marron.

Throw in the fact that they do pasta and risotto set lunches for something like $50, and I think I will definitely be returning. Anyway, if you get there and you want something from the other stalls, you can also order from them too, which means you should also stop in for razor clams at the first stall next to the door, garlic naan from the Indian joint, prawns in yellow curry from the Thai place and super dumplings from the last stall across the hall. See, I told you I was greedy.

CF7, 1/F Queen Street Cooked Food Market, 38 Des Voeux Road West, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Tel: +852 9278 8227

No booking at lunch, but a MUST at dinner.


Piana Clerico 1582

What with Chinese New Year coming up, I’m getting a lot of emails on gift ideas and what to wear for your new wardrobe. The one that caught my eye is the brand Piana Clerico 1582 from THE SWANK with its ties that come with a certificate of authenticity. What does it need to certify? The fact that each item contains uses gold thread that contains pure 24 carat gold. Makes me kinda wonder how strong that thread is and if I can easily rip the thread into two. What do you think? Overkill or will it be a hit for those with money to burn?


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Giveaway Contest: Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio for iPad

It's hard to believe that the iPad was nothing more than a sanitary-napkin joke a few years ago. Now, not only does everyone and their momma have a tablet, there's a whole host of peripheral accessories that go with, including very indispensable cases to protect your gadget and sing out your style.

Logitech's Solar Keyboard Folio throws in a very practical addition to the case function: a keyboard, which really helps bridge the difference between a Macbook and tablet device. Besides the obvious utility of having a keyboard, there's also a host of extras that make this little product a joy to own. There's the standard folds that allow you to set your iPad in a standing position, but the keyboard offers two angles of elevation so you type or watch movies comfortably. There's an easy on/off function that makes your iPad turn on when you open the folio, and go to sleep when you shut it. The Bluetooth that connects your keyboard to the systems is easy to set up, and is solar-powered so it doesn't drain your device battery (don't worry, it works with indoor light too, and charges up with a battery so you don't actually need to be in the light all the time).

The Solar Keyboard Folio, for iPad 2 or 3, retails at HK$1199, but we have three of them to give out to lucky readers. All you have to do is the following:

1. "Like" the Logitech Hong Kong Facebook page here.

2. Send us an email at telling us your name, address, telephone number and your favourite gadget accessory.

We'll use a random number generator to pick a winner (sorry, Hong Kong delivery only). The contest runs until midnight on February 8, 2012. Full specifications on the Logitech Solar Keyboard Folio here.


Monday, January 28, 2013

A Boy Named Sue: Responsible Retail

Let's just begin by agreeing that sustainability and style are not mutually exclusive anymore. So while there are still eco-martyrs out there that choose to forge their own clothes from discarded leaves and drain hair, there's also a very mainstream branch of society that would like their clothes to be both fashionable and fashionably good for the world. Nothing trendier nowadays than saving the world, whether it's by sorting out your recycled paper at work, or simply by shopping responsibly.

There are no compost heaps at A Boy Named Sue, the online multi-brand retailer founded in Hong Kong a few months ago by a couple of bloggers, Tania and Sam. But there are plenty of "designers with stories," as they term it -- just in case the prefix of "eco" does turn customers away with grimaces and images of hemp handbags. As you will note, ABNS's wares are fashion forward with a tendency towards that kind of androgyny that's signature to Scandinavian design, and gels with the aesthetic implied in the site's name (which, incidentally, derives from the title of a Johnny Cash tune).

One of the more interesting brands you'll find on the site is Thu Thu, which uses fabrics reclaimed from vintage skirts and blankets in North Vietnam. The stitching is phenomenal on the pieces and call forth both nostalgia and contemporary style, thanks to that whole Aztec-chic thing that's going on these days.

This jumpsuit is by Isabell de Hillerin, whose garments are handmade by craftswomen in Moldova and Romania who learned their skills from their mothers and grandmothers, using all natural materials. Weaving and embroidery are strong motifs and techniques employed in the line, which employs loose cuts and boyish silhouettes.

Also really love Partimi, designed by a very pedigreed woman, Eleanor Dorrien-Smith, who's spent time at Mary Katrantzou and John Galliano. So no surprise that her prints are totally on point -- check out the beautiful tees evoking nature in a dream-like manner. You can almost feel the wind rustling through them, like watching the breeze float through a Hayao Miyazaki cartoon.

There are plenty of other brands to discover on the site, which will only grow as more designers jump on the storytelling bandwagon. Certainly, the price point is not cheap -- this isn't your average run-of-the-mill ASOS love-it-and-leave-it game. But long-lasting classics with a twist are something worth investing in, and A Boy Named Sue knows exactly what those are.


Fendi Friends and Family Sale


I Heart You @ LMO

Guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives ideas on Valentine's Day

For the guy who has no clue what to do or time to organise something for his significant other Valentine's Day, Landmark Mandarin Oriental has the solution.

Amber has an eight-course menu for that special day for HK$2,688 and add an extra HK$888 for a five-glass wine pairing, or HK$1,488 for one wine with each course. But if that's a bit too decadent, there are other gift ideas. How about a bottle of bubbly with a bouquet of flowers from HK$680? That gets you a bottle of N.V. Ruinart Blanc-de-Blancs with roses.

Too common?

We thought this was cute -- for HK$388 a half pound cake shaped like a pillow with a ring on it. The Ring Pillow cake has lychee and raspberry flavours, while the Heart cake is chocolate and raspberry.

Now it would be even better if there was a real ring on the pillow...

Landmark Mandarin Oriental
15 Queen's Road
2132 0188


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Street Style: Berry Good

Despite the ridiculous Indian summer we're experiencing in Hong Kong (not complaining, just noting), it's still nice to look to some Fall colours for inspiration. If you're real trendy, you can call this tone "Oxblood" and be so very in fashion this season. The rest of us normal people will term this maroon or berry or burgundy. Particularly enjoying the clash against that orange. The one fashion people would call "Hermes orange". Style, it's a lexicon. Gotta get that terminology.


Friday, January 25, 2013

Bag Lady: MCM Funk Rock Shopper

I have absolutely no use for a shopping bag let alone a luxury shopping bag. Yet I look at the MCM Funk Rock Shopper and felt this little nugget of desire. Hmm do I listen to my rational or emotional side?


Thursday, January 24, 2013

SHOErotica: Isabel Marant Bekett

My sneakers are here my sneakers are here my sneakers are here picking them up today yay yay yay... and that is all.

Image: Marant Philes.


Holiday Desires: QT Sydney

After Christina posted her holiday porn wishes, it got me taking a closer look at the new hotel information that come into my inbox. It's way too late to book for a getaway for CNY but maybe I'll just start a column on hotel property or places that catch my eye so that instead of this blog being ONLY a massive shopping list, it can also be a holiday inspiration list. First up is QT Sydney.

Designed by Shelley Indyk, the rooms seem to be quite cute (pun intended what with their name being QT) with mininature animal coat hooks and amber glass cabinets that showcase a mix of crystal perfume bottles and decanters. Having recently opened at the end of last year, QT Sydney is located at George & Market Streets in Sydney.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yves Saint Laurent Friends & Family Sale

General Admission
26 Jan (Sat) & 27 Jan (Sun) 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Room 1601 & 1602A, One Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay

No reservation of item, first come first serve basis
Cash and credit cards only (Visa & MasterCard)
All sales are final, no exchange or refund

Up to 80% off, while stocks last!


50 Shades of Chicken

I never quite understood the hype of 50 Shades of Grey (Gray?). I tried reading the book and after one or two cringe-worthy chapters, I really just had to give up. However, I may be tempted to read the book again now that I’ve discovered 50 Shades of Chicken. A parody, this book offers 50 recipes while providing a narrative that includes snippets like “I’m closest with the enormous ham, even though she’s so much cooler than I am. She hogs the shelf, but she’s my nearest, dearest friend. She’s piquant, smoky, salty, pigheaded, bodacious and always seems to know what’s cooking. She’ll make an exceptional holiday dinner.” Just reading this gave me a chuckle. A ham that hogs the shelf and is pigheaded! That sentence alone is miles better that the book that somehow has captured the imagination of millions. It provides recipes like Mustard-Spanked Chicken, Erect Chicken and Dripping Thighs . Talk about the ultimate food porn.

It even comes with a trailer! Check it out below.

Available at Eslite for about HK$150

Click on for the Mustard-Spanked Chicken recipe
• 1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chicken, patted dry with paper towels
• 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus more to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Rub the chicken all over, including the cavity, with the salt and pepper.
2. In a small bowl, stir together the mustard, basil, and garlic and slap it hard onto the bird everywhere you just rubbed the salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 1 hour so it can recover.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a rack in a roasting pan.
4. Carefully lay the bird on the rack, breast side down. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Roast for 30 minutes. Thrust a wooden spoon into the chicken cavity and flip the bird over so the breasts are up; drizzle with the remaining oil. Continue to roast until the bird is golden brown and quite done, about 30 to 40 minutes longer.

Serves 4


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tom Ford SS13 Campaign

To be honest, I haven't ever really understood fashion's love affair with Tom Ford, maybe because I haven't really substantially enjoyed any of his work post-Gucci. And also when things usually get to hurricane-like hyped-ness, it sometimes seems wiser to step aside rather than get swept up. One thing that keeps on improving though, is the brand's accessories line. Loved the Natalia bag, wish it was priced somewhere near something I could afford. And now this almost wraparound A3-sized arm accessory-bag hybrid. Very interesting.

And the shoes... let's talk about the shoes. Utterly impractical, totally fabulous, wickedly unaffordable. Check them out after the cut.


Beauty Notes: MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash

I don't use mascara that often even though last week, I talked about feeling naked without eye makeup. For some reason, while I find applying liquid eyeliner a breeze, I inadvertently jab myself in the eye every time I apply mascara. That and the fact that I can't seem to find clump free mascara that won't make my lashes so stiff that when I try to remove mascara, I feel like I need to rip off my lashes.

Hence I was pleasantly surprised by the MAC In Extreme Dimension Lash mascara. Using Shu Uemura's makeup removal oil, it was quite easy to remove and throughout the day, I didn't feel like I had a curtain on my eyelid.
Available at MAC counters now


Monday, January 21, 2013

22 Ships... At Last

Okay, so I was supposed to be the first blogger ever to write about 22 Ships. Not by law or anything, but simply because I was quite literally one of the first people to dine in the restaurant when it opened October 15 for dinner. I left work at 5.30pm on the dot to make sure I would arrive Wanchai on time for the 6pm opening. I then took these pictures.

The following day, I took an early lunch (early like, 11:55am) and became one of the first lunch-time diners. Yeah, that's how good I thought it was. Plus, they offered 50% off to diners on the first three days of business, and that never hurts the hype either.

22 Ships did not need more hype. It was full the first night, full the first lunch, and has been pretty full for every meal since then. And for some reason, even though I've now visited the restaurant four times, I am only just getting around to writing about it. Lucky for you readers, this means I've pretty much tried EVERYTHING on the menu, so this is going to be a what to order/what not to order post.

What to order:

The Spanish Breakfast is a riff on chef Jason Atherton's English Breakfast, served at his first restaurant, Pollen Street Social in London. I'm predisposed to love this because I'm an egg maniac, but it's actually the potato foam that really makes it.

Peas, broad beans, goat curd, Iberico and mint dressing. It's normally served all together, ours was separated because we had a non-meat-eater in our midst. People who love goat-dairy need to eat this.

This is much larger than it looks in the picture. Perfectly cooked suckling pig.

Iberico and foie mini-burgers. Really, 'nuff said.

Oh, also the foie gras and sweetbread empanadas are almost like sin in a pastry crust. So rich that one bite should be enough... but it never is.

What to order if you're still hungry after that:

I like the toasties, but there's really no reason you should be paying $68 for a ham and cheese sandwich. Unless you're still not full. That's a good reason.

Miso-grilled mackerel, wasabi avocado, cucumber chutney.

Scallop ceviche

Then pretty much get the desserts to fill up. If it's your first time, go for the goat-cheese sorbet, honeycomb and walnut. Such savvy use of ingredients and flavors. Then I think it's a toss-up between the modernized PBJ or the olive-oil brioche, for those who can't end a meal without chocolate (hey, no shame).

What not to order:

This is a stupid entry, actually, because this dish was taken off the menu, in the Eggs section. It was not very exciting. And a little too much like actual breakfast.

I had the gambas but can't really remember anything about it. Given the price tag, I'd say your stomach quota is better served elsewhere. The oysters are also an interesting twist, but considering the price tag, it's really not anything special.