Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tis the Season: Jour d’Hermes Absolu Christmas Box Set

Still scrambling for a last minute Christmas gift? How about the Jour d’Hermes Absolu Christmas box set? Nobody ever says no to the orange box. Priced at HK$1,280 and comprises a 85ml perfume, a 7.5ml miniature perfume, 30ml body milk & 30ml shower gel. There's also a version for men, the Terre d'Hermes Christmas box set priced at HK$925 which has an EDT (100ml), a 7.5ml miniature EDT and 40ml aftershave lotion.

We're closing the Geek office until 2015 so have an awesome Christmas and New Year filled with joy, fun and cheer. See you in 2015!


Monday, December 22, 2014

Review: Pirata

Hailed as home to Asia's very first vermouth bar, Pirata recently opened in Wanchai serving up family style Italian cuisine. We went on the first day of opening a couple weeks ago while the restaurant was in its soft opening stage and tried out a variety of dishes. Upon arriving, we were offered a complimentary vermouth cocktail (above) which was quite weak but enjoyable nonetheless.

First up we tried My Mama’s Meatballs, beef, pork, Italian egg, tomato sauce, basil and extra virgin olive oil. Unfortunately the meatballs tasted quite bland and were lukewarm even though the pot it arrived in was hot. Oddly enough, when we had the last meatball, it was warmer than the first two, presumably from sitting in the hot pot while we enjoyed the food.

The Agnolotti “Grandma Paolina” with beef ragu, was nicely done with no complaints. We also ordered up a side of Italian tomato salad which was refreshing.

Those who know me will know that I have been on the hunt for good steak tartare (the one at Seasons is sublime and worth a visit for sure.) While I enjoyed that we can mix the ingredients and flavour to our liking, even after mixing all the spices together, the end result was under seasoned and bland. We ended up requesting for more salt and pepper to try to improve the flavour.

We rounded up the meal by ordering the Valrhona chocolate fondant and a mille-feuille where the former was a straightforward affair while the latter was soggy and mushy bringing a disappointing end to the meal. Overall, I'd say that the intention for good food is there while service was spotty but as mentioned upfront, it was their first day and there are bound to be teething problems. Hopefully the food and service will improve in a couple months time. Dinner for two came to HK$650 with a 50% discount during opening.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Bag Lady: Barbara Rihl

Loving Barbara Rihl's awesome quirky bags. The Grace in Havana bag is available at Moda SHU and priced at HK$5,990.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Tis the Season: Feeding HK Cookbook

Remember the bread run I did months ago where we collected bread that would have otherwise been thrown away to provide to the needy? The organisers behind Feeding HK have recently released a cookbook to highlight how easy it is to create nutritious, affordable and effortless recipes that can be used to create delicious dishes at home. These dishes can be prepared with limited ingredients, equipment and space and all can be made for HK$10 or less per portion. Isn't this the perfect Christmas gift for the budding chef while also spreading word about a good cause? The book is available for sale via www.feedinghk.org for HK$200 where proceeds from sales directly support Feeding HK’s mission to fight hunger in the city and reduce food waste.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tis the Season: TATCHA Indigo Collection

If you're looking for a special gift for the Beauty Geek, check out TATCHA's new Indigo Collection. I was introduced to the brand earlier this year and loved their products. I've been using their serum diligently every day and their hydrating face masks are such a treat to put on after a weary day. The brand was developed to introduce the secret to geisha's gorgeous porcelain skin where founder Victoria Tsai worked with teams of scientists and scholars to decipher the rituals and ingredients of a 200-year-old manuscript that talked about the daily regimes of geisha.

According to TATCHA, during the Edo Period, samurai would wear a layer of indigo-dyed cotton beneath their armor to help heal injuries. A family of Japanese farmers learnt of this secret and they started experimenting with herbal recipes using indigo to calm skin ailments. This farm is still growing and harvesting indigo today and this is where TATCHA sources its indigo for the collection. The plant is used to make a concentrated botanical extract and used in the skincare. Even though the products have a blue hue, the brand says that it will not permanently stain skin or fabric so don't worry about looking like a smurf!

The TATCHA Indigo Collection is available at Joyce Beauty. It comprises the following:

INDIGO Soothing Renewal Treatment HK$850 / 15ml
Ideal for All Skin Types, especially sensitive, inflamed or irritated skin consistent with symptoms of dermatitis, eczema and rosacea.

INDIGO Silk Body Butter HK$440 / 200ml
Ideal for All Skin Types, especially sensitive, inflamed or irritated skin consistent with symptoms of dermatitis, eczema and rosacea.

INDIGO Soothing Silk Hand Cream HK$340 / 60ml
Ideal for All Skin Types, especially sensitive, inflamed or irritated skin consistent with symptoms of dermatitis, eczema and rosacea.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Festivities at The Peninsula

As the festive season looms closer and closer, I'm sure plenty of us are taking time off or hosting visitors. If you're looking for a good place to have afternoon tea, The Peninsula is likely to be top of your list. One thing you may not be aware of is that their classic afternoon tea has been given a makeover called Tea of Hope where an ornament will be included in the tea set and 20% of the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish. This tea is available from now until December 30 excluding the 24, 25, and 26 and is priced at HK$ 358 + 10% for one or HK$ 638 + 10% for two.

In addition to the Tea of Hope, the adorable Snowpage in the photo above is having a campaign of his own. Priced at $200, half the proceeds will be donated to Make-A-Wish too and if you snap a photo of him (or the Christmas ornament) and share it on Instagram, Twitter, or The Peninsula Hotels Facebook page using the hastag #SnowPage, the hotel will make an additional donation for every tagged photo.

If you're on the prowl for Christmas goodies, stop by The Peninsula Boutique which is offering lots of goodies like truffles and pralines (from HK$180), and coffee and butter cookies with chocolate chip and macadamia (HK$220). The milk chocolate-coated ruffle potato chips (HK$240) are sinfully delicious as well as the milk chocolate-coated marshmallows (HK$240), but we have to say our absolute favourite this year is the dark chocolate-coated pretzels with popping candy (HK$240).


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tis the Season: Sol Republic PUNK Wireless Speaker

How is it December already? I'm always scratching my head as to what to get people so first up on our Tis the Season gift guide is the Sol Republic PUNK Wireless Speaker that is "deceptively small, ferociously loud." Available in a wide range of colours, it's perfect for the gadget Geek who loves music. Available here.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In the Mood for: Winter Coats

Brrr... What's with this insane cold weather? It's making me want to curl up in bed with a laptop to keep me warm. Of course what I end up doing is going online to look for coats. Currently lusting after the ESCADA Lace Coat (HK$26,900) above.
Aisby Biker Jacket from Jack Wills (HKD$2,000)
Nike x Mo’Wax by James Lavelle MA1 Destroyer Jacket


Monday, December 8, 2014

Bag Lady: Longchamp Le Pliage de Noel

How cute is this year's Le Pliage de Noel Faceted bag? Loving the geometric shapes! Priced at $3,900,


Friday, December 5, 2014

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Geek Peek: Julia Gash from Bag it Don't Bin It

Julia Gash, the Founder and CEO of Bag It Don’t Bin It Ltd and ethically focused accessory label: Talented , was in town last month as part of the GREAT Britain campaign, the UK Government’s initiative to showcase the very best of what Britain has to offer and she took a moment to speak to us about why she would want a lifetime of reflexology and her favourite thing about Hong Kong.

HKFG: What's on your lust list?
JG: A lifetime of reflexology (I’ve been enjoying plenty of foot massages in Hong Kong!), A Saab convertible and Liberty bags.

HKFG: What could you not live without?
JG: My two cats Bobby and Jimi (named after Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix)

HKFG: What’s your favourite thing about Hong Kong?
JG: The way that new design is embraced – I’ve come to Hong Kong as part of The GREAT Britain Campaign to connect with the business community and promote British design and creativity, but whether it’s local architecture, fashion or even design store concepts, I’ve been seriously impressed by the innovative ideas that are living and breathing in this city.

HKFG: What’s the song you sing in the shower?
JG: I’m tone deaf so I avoid singing! Michael Buble or something very classic like Somewhere Over The Rainbow

HKFG: Ultimate indulgence food
JG: The Great British tradition of afternoon tea – I find it calming, comforting, and very luxurious. I’ve actually incorporated this aspect of British heritage into a range of my bags.

HKFG: Name your secret-weapon beauty product.  
JG: Sleep.  8 hours every night in a dark room.

HKFG: What's your worst nightmare?  
JG: Having a conversation with someone and not just forgetting their name but who they actually are!  It's happened … scary!

HKFG: What were your last five google searches?  
JG: The five buildings that I included in the Hong Kong Live Cityscape I did at PMQ as part of The GREAT Britain Campaign.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Blossom's Natural Diamond Foot Spa

I was kindly offered a trial of Blossom Nail & Beauty's Natural Diamond Foot Spa experience a couple weeks ago where my feet were pampered by going through a six-step process that was literally dazzling. My feet were feeling a bit abused after all the walking I had done while travelling so it was the perfect way to unwind and give them a treat. The treatment started by soaking my feet in warm water where the technician mixed some diamond spa crystals into the water and advised me to step on the powder mixture. As I agitated the mixture, crystals starting forming creating a beautiful glittering scrub that detoxifies, smoothens and moisturised my feet with witch hazel extract. After about five to ten minutes of stepping, she then added ocean spa crystals which comprises Dead Sea salt into the foam and the crystal dissolves. We then moved on to a sugar scrub before having a mask applied to my feet. After the mask, my feet were massaged with natural glycerin locking in the skin's moisture and finished with a cuticle oil. The whole process can take up to 90 minutes, however I was done in 45 minutes. Definitely a great way to prep your feet for a night out and indulge a little.

Blossom Nail and Beauty
Flat 2B, Keybond Commercial Centre, 38 Ferry Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Website: www.blossomnailhk.com
Priced at HK$360


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review: The Continental

hkLifestyleGeek visits The Continental and gives us her thoughts

There was shock and sadness when we heard Italian restaurant Domani was closing down in Pacific Place. There was no explanation until Swire announced it was taking over the space -- or shall we say taking back the space -- to open a British-style place which piqued curiosity.

But the results from the decor to food are fantastic. The undulating white ceiling designed by Thomas Heatherwick is thankfully still there, but the rest of the space has been cleared out with floor-to-ceiling windows to make a more open area and even has outdoor dining outside weather permitting.

Inside, the shade of Continental Green was chosen -- a deep jade green matched with dark wood that gives the interior a warm and elegant atmosphere with clean lines. The booth seating is great for parties of two to four for a bit more intimacy.

The restaurant is the brainchild of UK chef and food writer Rowley Leigh and he's brought modern British classics to the table. The restaurant isn't strictly British -- more French in fact -- according to Leigh, but focuses a lot on seafood along with items cooked on the Josper grill.

Guests can start off with items like freshly-shucked oysters (HK$490 for three) or raw tuna with ginger dressing (HK$145), but we opted for one of the signature dishes, the griddled scallops with chestnut puree, shio and lemon (HK$195). The effect is fantastic with the freshness from the perfectly cooked scallops to the smooth texture of the chestnut and the flavours perked up by the sharp taste of the shiso leaf.

Another signature appetiser is the chicken and goats' cheese mousse (HK$125) that is topped with finely diced olives, a very smooth and delicious taste that isn't too strong, paired with refreshing greens on the side to balance the richness. Pity there was only one slice of toast!

For mains, a British classic is the fish pie (HK$165), and be forewarned it's a challenge for one to finish! Sharing is easier and that way you can save room for dessert too. The dense dish is choc full of piece of fish like salmon, smoked haddock, prawn, and whiting) that are perfectly cooked and the topping of whipped baked potato is fabulous.

If that hasn't filled you up there's always dessert. Some may like to try the rice pudding with apricots that's light and not too sweet, or sample some full-on flavours with the pai perdu with chilli roasted pineapple and a scoop of vanilla ice cream (HK$85). Hot, cold spicy and sweet all in one bite.

But the one to beat is the chocolate souffle (HK$115) that takes 15 minutes to make, but well worth the wait. It arrives at the table perfectly cooked, and then the server makes a small hole in the middle and inserts a scoop of pistachio ice cream in there and the drizzles a rich chocolate sauce on top -- if that wasn't already enough chocolate for you.

The souffle is so airy and light, countered by the richness of the sauce that makes it so, so good.

If you're an early bird, The Continental is open for breakfast from 7am and serves lunch, afternoon tea, and of course dinner. The new go-to spot in Pacific Place with a touch of class.

The Continental
Unit 406, L4, Pacific Place
88 Queensway
2704 5211


Monday, December 1, 2014

Pedder Warehouse Sale

At the Harbour City Bazaar space. Enjoy!