Thursday, February 27, 2014
One of my favourite collections, and a really sick campaign as well. Makes you dream of resort vacations and hazy sunsets and good company and all the things you don't usually associate with February.
You know how I love to profile random Hello Kitty collaborations (case in point, Hello Kitty wine, Hello Kitty cars, Hello Kitty water, Hello Kitty anatomy dolls, Hello Kitty perfume and Hello Kitty breast implants) So the latest on my radar is the Mikimoto x Hello Kitty high jewellery collection. As you would expect, it's quite tastefully done. To my surprise, I quite like the bangle. If you know of a Hello Kitty aficionado, perhaps a good gifting option? It doesn't come cheap though, the bangle retails at HK$5,920 while others are not priced yet. The collection will be available in HK end of this year.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Planning on catching the Oscars and seeing if American Hustle will win and Jennifer Lawrence will yet again trip over her dress? Or are you more looking forward to Idina Menzel singing Let It Go live? Regardless, rather than watching it at home curled up with a blanket (although there's nothing wrong with that), how about checking out the Mandarin Oriental instead for their Oscar's brunch? Ryan Magarian, an award-winning American mixologist, will be jetting in from Portland, Oregon to host a special “Live from The Oscar’s Brunch” next Monday, 3 March and also host a cocktail-making event on Saturday, 8 March.
The "Live from The Oscar's Brunch" will take place between 9:30am and 2:00pm, alongside a buffet brunch, free-flow Champagne Thiénot and special cocktails and mocktails created by Ryan. A series of chocolate “Oscar” prizes will also be awarded to the most glamorously dressed guest etc. Priced at HKD658 + 10% service charge.
You can make a reservation for the Oscar’s brunch by calling +852 2825 4002.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
hkLifestyleGeek visits Man Mo Cafe
Walk along Cat Street or Upper Lascar Row in Sheung Wan and it's choc a block with Chinese antique or perhaps quasi-antique shops. However, one space has been transformed into a curious little eatery -- a restaurant serving western-style dim sum.
Owner Nicolas Elalouf had been in the F&B industry for five years in Hong Kong when the Swiss native decided it was time to do something he was really passionate about. The concept of the restaurant had been simmering in the back of his mind for a while and is now finally a reality.
Man Mo Cafe, a reference to Man Mo Temple nearby, is a clean modern space in contrast to its neighbours stuffed with antiques, and yet the restaurant also pays homage to the area with wooden chairs and tables. The atmosphere is laid back and casual, and staff are friendly, helmed by Elalouf.
The menu is a different take on East-meets-West and the pedigree of the two chefs in the kitchen is impressive -- one ex-Robuchon and one who used to train staff at Din Tai Fung how to make dumplings. As a result the presentation of the dumplings here are beautiful, though some of the flavours of the dishes need a bit more tweaking, but overall interesting.
The burgerbun looks like a pastry bun, and it comes with a small tube of sauce. Bite into it and you'll see there's a mini burger pattie with tomato inside. Squeeze a bit of the sauce into it and the combination is fabulous.
Another favourite is the bouillabaisse that is presented in a Chinese bowl that throws diners off in terms of what they are expecting. It's a flavourful soup, while the "risotto" is more like fried rice, again presented in a blue-and-white bowl.
While we like the delicate presentation of the dumplings, the taste isn't quite right. The foie gras xiaolongbao look gorgeous, but perhaps goose liver shouldn't be steamed, making it tough, and the oil from the fat oozing out.
Another is the truffle brie pot stickers that have fine bits of turnip in there to hold the truffle and brie in there, making it an odd combination.
Nevertheless the winner of the evening is the dessert of Nutella balls. From the outside they look like Chinese sesame balls, but bite the crispy exterior and inside is a dollop of the famous hazelnut chocolate spread -- a Chinese Ferrero Rocher.
Man Mo Cafe
40 Upper Lascar Row
Monday, February 24, 2014
Seems apt, since I'm in Singapore now and subsisting primarily on coffee and chicken rice, that we take a look at some of my favourite coffee and tea accessories. Party, sleep, coffee, repeat!
Menu tea pot / Design 55 coffee jar, $75 / W2 product, $15 / LSA International copper drinkware, $44 / Franz Collection teapot / Milk jug, $13 / Bodum coffee machine, $55 / Iittala tea cup / DeLonghi espresso cup / Crate and Barrel kitchen dining / Coffee Shop tin sign / Throw pillow / Clipper Organic White Tea with Raspberry 26 Teabags (Pack of 6, Total..., $26 / 87-oz. GIGA 5 Coffee and Espresso Center
The awesome Resh told me about this campaign for the Unicef Tap Project and I liked it so much that I felt I should pass it on. How often are you just tapping away on your phone? Unicef is challenging us to unplug from our phones and for every ten minutes the phone is untouched, their sponsor will make a donation so that Unicef can provide one day of clean water for a child in need.
As the timer ticks, various facts about water and the challenge pop up on the screen such as "After the Libyan Civil War left 4 million people without access to clean water, Unicef delivered emergency supplies to those in need. Right now you're helping too!" and "People have gone an average time of 42:45 without their phone."
So how long can you go without your phone? Click on the link and find out! http://tap.unicefusa.org/
Friday, February 21, 2014
I love Smythson diaries so it will come as no surprise that I've taken to the Smythson Soho Clutch which was inspired by their diaries. To quote their release, "A nod to the Soho diary, original dimensions are replicated in a supple lambskin frame that bookmarks practicality and elegance, while familiar gilded edges are engraved and beautifully replicated in amour of page-edge detailing." So my question is, would I be able to fit the diary in the clutch? Maybe it's an excuse to get one to try it out. Anything for an excuse to buy a bag right?
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
As a food writer, I interview my fair share of chefs, and one of those "default" questions I often pose is what their last suppers would be. It's hardly an original question -- Melanie Dunea put together a cookbook called The Last Supper detailing the imaginary final meals of 50 chefs, from Ferran Adria to Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver to Alain Ducasse. I've never particularly considered it a morbid question, although it supposes that these chefs are on death row, or at least forces them to confront impending and inevitable death.
But then Buzzfeed Food posted 12 photos of actual last suppers -- aerial views of meals requested by the likes of Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy -- as a way of seeing into the psyches of men facing the end. The stark visuals, depicting anything from an empty lunch tray to plates brimming with KFC, are surprisingly emotional in quality, and borderline creepy in some instances. Either way, they force you to give pause. The fact that so many request food that is comforting is a heart-wrenching reminder, even when we're talking about mass murderers and rapists, of the human instinct for reassurance that is so universal, whether we are criminals or commoners. Worth a look here, although kind of a chilling side to the world of food porn.
We've featured the lovely Sarah before for one of our Geek Peeks and I'm so happy to see that she's continued to come up with some amazing designs and now will have her latest collection available at the LANDMARK Harvey Nicks. Her designs have definitely evolved throughout the years but one thing has remained consistent, it's always been tied to her family. I still recall that when I first met her back in 2008, her collection featured playing card pendants which I believe I still have hanging around in my jewellery tree at home! Be sure to stop by the LANDMARK and see her collection in person.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I apologize for the weak-sauce Spice Girls lyric reference in the title. But there's no better vibe for the exuberance of these cute Clarisonic Mia 2s. Virginia and I both own boring classic white devices, and I don't really think the Clarisonic is something you need two of, so sadly we won't be able to partake in this colourful carnival. But you kids go crazy, spice up your life!
Monday, February 17, 2014
Just off the edge of Central the neighbourhood of Kau U Fong is fast becoming a popular dining destination with its eclectic mix of restaurants. The Chairman has been there for a while as well as Celebrity Cuisine in the Lan Kwai Fong Hotel, but now there's also 85 South bringing barbecued pork from North Carolina.
And the latest addition is Le Port Parfume, French for the Fragrant Harbour, part of the Les Amis Group that includes Piccolo Pizza and Bistro du Vin. The dishes at Le Port Parfume are cooked European style -- mostly grilled and braised in Le Creuset pots and pans on a Josper grill, while the seafood is freshly caught locally.
The bistro is cozy and warm, with lots of dark wood, leather banquettes and wooden chairs. There's some French posters on the walls, boating knick knacks and a large collection of wines that servers fetch using a ladder used in old school libraries, and whiskies too. By the way feel free to bring your own wines -- there's no corkage here.
To keep things fresh, the menu is presented on a blackboard that is shown to diners and there's lots to choose from. There are many appetisers to choose from, such as the smoked eggplant with greens that has that wonderful smoky scent and the spread goes well with the bread, while crab cakes are chubby and substantial with a side of greens as well.
For those who love clams, be sure to try the butterfly clams whenever they are available at the restaurant. They are bigger than the usual clams you find in local markets and much meatier. Sweet and succulent, these clams are cooked in a mild curry sauce with a good dose of minced garlic and fresh coriander.
Other seafood options include grilled lobsters that are freshly cooked on the hot Josper grill, pan-fried prawns, and scallops cooked in their shells.
Carnivores will enjoy savouring the lamb spare ribs with peas -- the meat falling off the bone, and the braised beef cheeks are very hearty with a side of mashed potatoes. For a more delicate taste, the tea-smoked pigeon is tender and perfectly cooked.
Finish the meal off with French desserts, like freshly-baked Madeleines accompanied with a scoop of chocolate ice cream, or the floating island, actually a triangular piece of meringue surrounded by creme anglaise. It's light but you'll have a sugar rush from the caramel sauce.
There's an extensive selection of French wines to go with the meal and if you prefer by the glass, they are reasonably priced and are poured from a magnum for a more dramatic effect.
Le Port Parfume
Shop C, 6-10 Kau U Fong
Sunday, February 16, 2014
The cutest guy, with the hottest style. Details editor Eugene Tong shows guys how it's done, shows girls what they want in a man. This guy knows how to work a belted cardigan, rocks out in a leather muscle tee and does leopard print without losing an ounce of swagger.
Mandy, this one's for you!