Eat and Drink
Talent from the four corners of the world descend on Hong Kong to ratchet up the city’s dining options: Venezuelan chef Ricardo Chaneton has departed Island Shangri-La’s Petrus to introduce his take on contemporary French cuisine at new restaurant Mono in Central.
Elsewhere, pop-up appearances include Christian Bau, of Germany’s Michelin-starred Victor’s Fine Dining, who will be showcasing his signature Japanese-influenced European gastronomy at Haku in Tsim Sha Tsui with an eight-course collaboration menu from 6-8 January, while award-winning chef Kenichiro Yamauchi is serving an eight-course menu at The Mira’s French-Japanese restaurant Whisk on 16 and 17 January.
Chef Davide Degiovanni, who leads the team at Gordon Ramsay’s Union Street Cafe in south London, turns up for four nights at Sheung Wan’s Test Kitchen with a nine-course menu drawing on his northern Italian roots. Meanwhile, at La Rambla, Spanish cuisine with a Filipino twist meets modern Catalan fare as guest chef Chele Gonzalez joins chef Ferran Tadeo for a special menu (7-8 January).
Afternoon tea at The Drawing Room in The St Regis Hong Kong in Wan Chai is getting an international twist with such ingredients as French chestnuts, Canadian maple syrup, American pecan plus Japanese pumpkin and sweet potato, courtesy of chefs Vincent Leroux and Chad Yamagata.
Red Lobster, a US restaurant chain which started out in Florida half a century ago, has now opened a branch in Causeway Bay – with a special ‘typhoon shelter’ lobster option just for Hong Kong.
Not partaking in Dry January? Good for you, because French sommeliers Romain Loriot and Jean-Benoit Issele – who made a splash on the local wine scene last September with SoHo winebar ThinkWine – are introducing a wine-focused three-course brunch on Sundays. Pair brunch classics like moreish Mediterranean quiche, plates of cold cuts, cheese and bread, and ocean-fresh oysters with free-flow Cremant de Bourgogne Marcelle Lochardet Blanc de Blancs 2017.
And Veganuary? At the least, you can eat your veggies and enjoy them, too, thanks to Giando Italian’s winter vegetarian menu – creamy Jerusalem artichoke soup, southern Italian Crusco peppers, pumpkin cheesecake… (Alternatively, check the best of the city’s vegetarian restaurants.) In other Italian food news, Peel Street welcomes Pirata’s newest opening, The Pizza Project, a casual pizzeria helmed by the team from Italian restaurant chain Pici.
For other artistic offerings, Dai Bing bar in Sheung Wan is hosting multimedia exhibition Combing for Ice and Jade on the lives of independent Chinese women known as ‘comb sisters’, focusing on photographer Kurt Tong’s own nanny.
Over at Central’s heritage hub Tai Kwun, new exhibition Let’s Do Lunch explores how the Hong Kong business district’s lunch culture nurtures social cohesion amongst a diverse group of workers (through 8 February). The site also hosts the second-annual Booked, an art book fair with a weekend’s worth of talks, workshops and performances (16-19 January).
And classical music fans take note: Beare’s Premiere Music Festival kicks off a fortnight of fantastic concerts featuring international musicians with a special performance of Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos – the six pieces are rarely performed in their entirety – on 8 January at Central’s City Hall.
At Portal 6311 in Kowloon Bay, Banksy: Genius or Vandal (through 1 March) serves up a healthy dose of satirical works and spiky social commentary in an impressive audio-visual exhibition of more than 70 of the British street artist’s pieces.
If adrenaline-spiking rides and funfair games are more your thing, get down to the Central Harbourfront for the return of the AIA Carnival (through 16 February). Also returning is The Great Circus of Europe, featuring acrobats, high-wire acts and death-defying motorcyclists.
Relax and Refresh
Meanwhile, over in spa land, the Four Seasons is harnessing oxygen to turn back the clock with its new Luminous skin facial, while brand new Amooma Spa & Sanctuary in Wan Chai is using virtual reality-assisted meditation to take spa-goers on a tranquil world tour of forests, waterfalls and flower-filled fields from Australia, the Philippines, Germany, New Zealand and the Caribbean.
Welcome the Year of the Rat
Chinese New Year comes early this year. From 25 January, the city becomes a riot of red, gold, good wishes and fragrant flower markets as families get together to feast and be merry. Check out this year’s four-day carnival with performances by local and international acts, festive food booths, games and installations at West Kowloon Cultural District Art Park. Plus: consult our guide to making the most of Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. Kung hei fat choy!