Trip Tips: LUXE City Guides - Heritage Hong Kong

Fri May 15, 2015 2:04am EDT
 
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(Reuters) - If you think that Hong Kong is just glass and steel, you are very much mistaken.

Sure, this pearl of Asia is lustrous, but shuck the husk and you’ll discover profound riches that shine even brighter. There’s no time like the present for a trip to the Fragrant Harbour to discover a metropolis that’s blossoming before your eyes.

Beauty sleep seekers rejoice; there are plenty of places at which to steal forty winks. From Hong Kong’s veritable Grande Dame, The Peninsula (peninsula.com), which reigns supreme from its picture-perfect Victoria Harbour vantage point, to understated sky-high style courtesy of André Fu-designed The Upper House (upperhouse.com), via Central’s boutique newcomer, The Pottinger Hong Kong (thepottinger.com), there is a suite to suit all tastes.

Hong Kong was once a city content to follow trends. A newfound confidence in its own taste means it’s now leading them.

Nowhere is this more apparent than on the culinary scene. A distinctly Hong Kong style of cuisine is emerging, led by homegrown chefs who champion local flavors in innovative new ways.

Among the trailblazers is two-Michelin-starred haute Cantonese salon Duddell’s (duddells.co) and a slinky, subterranean farm-to-table Chinese den, Mott 32 (mott32.com). The former dazzles with modern-minimalism meets gallery chic; the latter beguiles beneath seductively appointed vaulted ceilings, envisaged by the Hong Kong-born designer Joyce Wang.

And it’s not just glitzy gourmet haunts that have come to define the dining-scape of the city. A plethora of private kitchens have popped up, offering a far more intimate glimpse into the consciousness of the city’s gastronomes.

Take Ta Pantry (ta-pantry.com). Chef Esther Sham, who was born in Hong Kong but educated overseas, showcases the flavors of Asia, America and beyond from her North Point locale. It does not serve typically Cantonese fare, but still evinces an identity inspired by the city.

The food undeniably embodies the Hong Kong of the present; the architecture narrates its colonial past. Current trends dictate that heritage is hot and here to stay, which is good news for some of the city’s stateliest of structures.   Continued...

 
A tourist junk sails past the 118-storey-high skyscaper International Commerce Centre (ICC), the highest building in Hong Kong, during an audio-visual show "alpha pulse" by German artist Carsten Nicolai, as part of the Art Basel programme, in Hong Kong in this May 15, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/Files