Hong Kong

hongkongcity

[trip style = luxury + foodie + urban]

Editor's Note: This is the second post in a series I'm writing about my March trip to Asia. Look for continued coverage over the next few posts, and don't miss the first instalment: Vancouver to Hong Kong Business Class

Taking an inventory of the 48 hours I spent in Hong Kong, I came to the conclusion I could be writing for days—I mean, how do you summarize Asia's glitziest gateway in a Haiku? There's a saying that goes "two is better than one," so with this, I'll tell you about the city today, and gush about my hotel, the Four Seasons Hong Kong, on Thursday.  

Hong Kong holds a special place in my heart. It's the metropolis where Mr. Trip Styler and I found our spark. We were in China to study international business; neither of us foresaw getting an A+ in Coupling 101.

Fast forward a decade, or so, and the city is precisely how I remember: Highfalutin and polished with a democratic sensibility. Everyone meets on the street. Skyscrapers rule—all 7500+ of them. Neon signs pulse. Beaches abound. And nature isn't that far off {spoiler alert: there's a huge hiking scene}, in fact 80% of Hong Kong is covered in foliage.

While I didn't get to tie up my hiking boots or suntan in the sand—been there, done that and got a sunburn at Repulse Bay—I did get to put on my lucite-rimmed spectacles and explore the art, restaurant and street food scene, as well as make time for one of Hong Kong's fondest pastimes: Shopping {evidenced by the fact that there's a two-month Hong Kong Shopping Festival}. 

F & B
LUNG KING HEENIt's a crime to visit Hong Kong and not indulge in a traditional dim sum feast. And since you're there, why not ensure China's first three-star Michelin chef prepares it at Lung King Heen in the Four Seasons Hong Kong. My multi-course meal mingling vegetarian hot and sour tofu soup with wontons, and roast Chilean sea bass with sweet fermented bean sauce was exquisite, but it should be noted that my well-traveled friend, Chad, who has lead dining teams at top restaurants around the world, told me Chef Chan Yan Tak's fare is the best dim sum he's ever tasted. 

 Vegetarian hot and sour tofu soup with wontons at Lung King Heen. 

Vegetarian hot and sour tofu soup with wontons at Lung King Heen. 

YARDBIRD - The new and now tide shifts very quickly in this major metropolis, but one restaurant has remained hot since the day it opened in 2011, Yardbird. Helmed by Chef Matt Abergel who hails from Masa in NYC, Yardbird offers a mod take on yakitori {skewered, grilled chicken}, in a an urban, loft-like environs. Don't miss the inclusion of Portland-based Stumptown coffee in the form of housemade shochu {a Japanese distilled liquor}, or the fact that you can BYO dessert with no cutting fee. 

 Yardbird

Yardbird

STREET FOOD - I hit up the Jordan district for my street food fiesta starting with one of Chef Tak's top stops: steamed rice rolls topped in soy sauce, and a peanut and sesame paste. The neutral taste of the rolls subdued the sauce's sweet and salty into luscious perfection making me wish I'd ordered more.

 Street food: steamed rice rolls in soy sauce, and a peanut and sesame paste.

Street food: steamed rice rolls in soy sauce, and a peanut and sesame paste.

FOOD INSTITUTION - Also in Jordan, start your day with scrambled egg and a slice of cheese on thick white toast at the Australian Dairy Company. While this seemingly non-exotic concoction sounds blasé, both the restaurant and the dish have reached cult-status since the proprietor went to work in Australia at a dairy farm, discovered milk's charms, and moved back to bring his pairings to the masses. Pair your scramble with a milk tea, and finish with custard.    

 Australian Dairy Company

Australian Dairy Company

Shopping
Witness Hong Kong's shopping craze first-hand along Canton Road, home to some of the highest-grossing stores in the world. And in case you're wondering how Dubai got the idea to place skating rinks and such in malls, look no further than Hong Kong, home to awe-inspiring shopping meccas—try Harbour City or IFC Mall—so large, you need a map to navigate. If you're pining for the traditional, browse by the Jade Market for the precious stone in all shapes, sizes and forms. 

 Jade Market

Jade Market

Sightseeing
While I love Victoria Peak because it's the one vantage point in town you can actually tower over skyscrapers, one of the best {and most wallet-friendly} ways to see the city is on the Star Ferry, criss-crossing between Kowloon and Hong Kong a zillion times a day. 

Street Scenes

[photos by trip styler (except for Austrlian Dairy Co via Daniel Food Diary) snapped while a guest of Cathay Pacific and Four Seasons Hong Kong]