Festivities at The Peninsula
The grand dame of Hong Kong knows how to do Christmas right, starting the festive season with their iconic tree-lighting ceremony at the end of November. The Peninula hotel’s two celebrated Western restaurants, Gaddi’s and Chesa, will also be serving up toasty autumnal dishes highlighting the richness of game and fresh mushrooms. Expect dishes like duck and partridge pie with autumn fruit, venison with honey-glazed salsify and juniper berry and forest mushroom filo tart with roasted prawns to put you in the holiday spirit. The hotel’s highly anticipated Christmas market will run from 6–8pm on Christmas Eve, Monday, 24 December. Filled with traditional treats, the market is open to all guests staying or dining at the hotel.
Salisbury Road, TST, 2920 6763
Down-home cooking at Commissary
Celebrate Christmas like they do in the Deep South at Commissary with American classics such as roast turkey, pulled pork, cornbread and pecan pie with bourbon cream. With over 20 dishes on offer, plus a seafood taco station, and the option for free-flow drinks, there will be plenty of merriment at the restaurant’s all-you-can-eat Christmas dinners on 24 and 25 December (2 seatings: 6pm and 8:30pm; $358/person). Tickets are available at Ticketflap – click here to book.
Shop 405, 4/F, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2602 0707
Premium cheese and wine from Classified
Classified’s hampers are filled with our favourite things: wine and cheese! With three different selections and price points, you can gift the starter hamper dubbed The Cheese Enthusiast ($788) or level up to The Cheese Master ($1,288) or the stuffed-to-the-brim The Cheese Connoisseur ($1,888) – all filled with a variety of cheese from Les Frères Marchand and premium vino. Order online here.
Ring in the holiday season in true Parisian style with timeless sweet treats from centuries-old patisserie DALLOYAU. Once the patisserie serving the French royal family, DALLOYAU now brings their unique, time-honoured repertoire to five locations in Hong Kong. Special festive sweets include the white opera cake, created in 1955 by Cyriaque Gavillon with velvety layers of caramel-milk-soaked biscuits, hazelnut buttercream, hazelnut chocolate ganache and white chocolate icing, and the playful snowman religieuse, a delicate snowman made from buttery choux pastry, vanilla cream and Christmas-inspired icing.
Branches around Hong Kong; click here for locations
Hotel ICON’s festive brunch
Mark the most joyful date on the calendar with a sparkling celebration for the entire family to enjoy. Celebrate Santa’s arrival with a bountiful brunch buffet (11:45am–3pm) on 25 December at Hotel ICON’s Silverbox Ballroom ($620/adult; $380/child). The Christmas Day brunch features unlimited seafood on ice followed by a selection of antipasti, traditional Christmas favourites, main courses and enticing desserts, along with free-flow sparkling wine, beer and juice. What’s more, the festive decorations and supervised kids’ activities will ensure a fun-filled afternoon for the whole family. Activities include designing gingerbread houses, a ring toss, an arts and crafts corner, a magic show and a photo corner for the kids to meet and take pictures with Santa.
17 Science Museum Road, TST East, 3400 1388
Invisible Kitchen’s green feasts
For a conscious Christmas with an indulgent yet responsible festive feast, Invisible Kitchen is the best in the biz. Hong Kong’s greenest caterer is the expert at party catering, using the finest sustainable ingredients without compromising on flavour or principles. Inventive dishes like the Beyond Beef Wellington are a veggie twist on the traditional, while the prawn Marie-Rose verrine uses sustainably sourced black tiger shrimp certified by the ASC. There’s also succulent free-range chicken wings from Australia served with blue cheese and bacon sauce along with delightful locally sourced vegetables and a clever vegan Scotch egg made with Omnipork (plant-based pork) and JUST Egg (an alternative-egg product). Prices start from $225 per person for catering. You can also indulge in a full Christmas dinner delivered direct to your door, with a showstopping “bred to be wild” KellyBronze turkey – recognised as the best free-range turkey in the UK – along with all the trimmings, including duck-fat roasted potatoes. Starting from $3,400 for up to 12 people for turkey+trimmings delivery.
Festive vegan cupcakes from The Cakery
Christmas is looking a whole lot sweeter for the mindful eater with The Cakery’s range of festive cupcakes. This home-grown Hong Kong bakery specialises in organic, gluten-free and vegan-friendly baked goods, and after sampling some of their holiday cupcakes, we can attest that we’ve come to love these guilt-free options just as much as we do regular sweet treats. Our favourites are the Gingerbread Cuddle ($48), a vegan gingerbread cookie topped with a punchy ginger and lemon dairy-free frosting, and the Nutty Rudy ($48), a vegan spin on the classic German chocolate cupcake, with a coconut-pecan filling and frosted with dairy-free chocolate cream.
Causeway Bay: Shop 124, 1/F, Lee Garden Two, 28 Yun Ping Road, 2816 1838
Central: Shop 303, 3/F, LANDMARK, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, 6683 3833
Decadent dining at LE PAN
Kristal caviar, Alba truffle, foie gras, Kamchatka crab, fresh oysters, blue lobster, venison and Miyazaki Wagyu pack a hefty menu of gourmet indulgence this festive season at LE PAN. The six-course dinner on 24 December or New Year’s Eve dinner on 31 December is priced at $1,480 per person, with an additional $1,100 for wine pairings. Lunches ($380–480) full of Yuletide cheer with dishes like French onion soup with oxtail and aged Comté, blue lobster risotto, Wagyu with roasted vegetables in juniper gin sauce and passion fruit royal also make LE PAN a great option for office gatherings.
G/F, Goldin Financial Global Centre, 17 Kai Cheung Road, Kowloon Bay, 3188 2355, click here to book now
Takeaway turkey from the Mandarin Oriental
For those of us who prefer to stay cosy at home yet avoid the chaos of assembling a holiday feast, the Mandarin Oriental has you covered. We’re not huge fans of turkey (blasphemy!), but the hotel’s juicy roast turkey ($2,888 for 7kg/$3,488 for 10kg) always has us coming back for seconds (and thirds!). The honey-glazed ham ($3,088) is equally tempting and is served alongside Madeira sauce, roasted potatoes, pumpkin purée, caramelised apple and red cabbage. The turkey comes with stuffing, cranberry sauce, giblet gravy, pumpkin purée and roasted potatoes. Order before 18 December to ensure a delicious, foolproof holiday feast.
Phone 2825 4008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Perrier-Jouët afternoon tea set at the Conrad
Once Santa season rolls around, just about every hotel in Hong Kong launches a holiday-inspired afternoon tea set. One of the most indulgent this year is at Conrad Hong Kong’s Lobby Lounge, featuring a festive afternoon tea set ($318 for 1/$518 for 2; available until 6 January 2019) in collaboration with French champagne house Perrier-Jouët. The set includes an impressive range of savouries – we particularly enjoyed the lobster vol-au-vent and, served on a Chinese soup spoon, the braised Wagyu beef short rib with truffle mashed potato – scones with homemade strawberry preserves and real-deal clotted cream and sweets like raspberry and chocolate champagne mousse cake, Kir royal jelly with champagne sabayon, mini Mont Blanc and German stollen. While stocks last, each guest will also be gifted with a Perrier-Jouët anemone – the signature floral pattern of the champagne house – bracelet. Make your tea outing even bubblier with a glass of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut ($58).
Speaking of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, this year’s annual exclusive Grand Brut is inspired by Tokyo, with a luxurious gift box celebrating the Land of the Rising Sun’s love for art and nature. The Perrier-Jouët Tokyo Grand Brut Limited Edition is available at Watson’s Wine and ENOTECA while stocks last.
Lobby, Conrad Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 2822 8891, book online
Say Feliz Navidad with Bellota-Bellota
Take your taste buds to Spain for the holidays with this premium parcel of Ibérico ham. Bellota-Bellota’s Christmas offering ($950) includes the revered Iberian ham along with Manchego cheese, artichoke hearts and piquillo peppers to truly impress the gastronome in your life. Or buy it for yourself, if that gastronome is you!
Available at all city’super stores
Sweet Fashion House keeps it sweet
The only thing better than straight-up sweet treats is when they look like Christmas decorations! Sweet Fashion House’s holiday collection includes Christmas tree cakes, baubles and Santa hats ($68 each), along with Yule logs and holiday-themed chocolates.
Branches around town; click here for locations
Festive tea set at Tiffin, Grand Hyatt
Get into the Christmas spirit by indulging yourself alongside your loved ones with a range of festive savoury bites and desserts crafted by Executive Pastry Chef Smita Grosse for Tiffin’s afternoon tea set (from $298), accompanied by live music provided by a string trio. The brand-new set features a selection of savoury bites made with premium ingredients, such as prawn cocktail with cucumber sandwich, foie gras bonbon with port wine pear and pistachio, hare and hazelnut pâté with cranberry sauce and pumpernickel and more.
Mezzanine, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, 2584 7722, click here to book now
Green gift hampers
Gift Hampers HK has over 100 eco-friendly baskets that range from the uber affordable ($319) to the super luxurious ($4,000) – and everything in between – all in biodegradable packaging. The goodies include traditional Christmas treats like panettone, Abbey Lane Christmas pudding and chocolate truffles, wine, shortbread, candy canes and chocolate twigs, as well as unique items like chocolate Christmas games and a giant liquorice wheel.
Christmas cooking with meatmarket.hk
Customised online butcher and grocery service meatmarket.hk has all the festive fare you need to serve a slap-up meal at home. From turkey from New Zealand and Norwegian smoked salmon, to seasonal local fruit and veg, to a selection of wine, beer and mixers, cooking at home will be a pleasure with produce this sensational – all delivered to your door. If you want to check out some of the goods in person, head to meatmarket.hk’s Festive Fare Shop on Saturday, 8 December at their co-share kitchen in Ap Lei Chau.
Holiday happenings at Pacific Place
This year, the halls of Pacific Place are decked in festive holiday baubles and cosy furnishings. Step through Santa’s private study, complete with floating staircases, a self-playing piano, motion-sensor storybooks and a roaring fireplace. Aside from meeting Santa at his grotto from now till Christmas Day, there’s also an exciting treasure hunt, choir performances and interactive storytelling sessions. If you’re feeling crafty, there are workshops to create one-of-a-kind DIY gifts. Check out the full line-up of this year’s festive activities. Make a date with Santa and capture the moment with a photo, with all proceeds going to Operation Santa Claus.
88 Queensway, Admiralty
Nordic Christmas feasts
The Flying Elk
Michelin-starred chef Björn Frantzén’s The Flying Elk is serving up a traditional Swedish Christmas menu, available from 15–26 December ($498/person; +$198 for wine pairings). The six-course tasting menu includes Jansson’s temptation (a creamy potato and anchovy casserole – it’s much tastier than it sounds!) and Swedish meatballs with beetroot salad, mash, pickled root crops, lingonberries and gravy. The four-course New Year’s Eve menu on the 31st ($495/person) is more experimental, featuring the likes of red deer with truffle ponzu and cod with lobster, vanilla oil and bisque.
2/F, Wyndham Mansion, 32 Wyndham Street, Central, 2565 6788, book online
If you’re in a more Danish frame of mind, make a booking for Test Kitchen’s second annual eight-course traditional Danish Christmas feast ($980/person; +$380 for drink and wine pairings; +$180 corkage) on 22–25 December by Danish chefs Filip Søndergaard and Morten Langford. Mix classic festive Danish dishes like herring, beetroot-cured salmon, crispy pork belly and slow-cooked duck with the Danish tradition of hygge and you’re in for a delicious, cosy Christmas dining experience.
Shop 3, 158A Connaught Road West, Sai Ying Pun, book online
Make merry at Popinjays
Our favourite new hotel The Murray has a host of holiday happenings, but we’re most excited about the dining options at rooftop bar and restaurant Popinjays, where Chef Didier Quennouelle will be whipping up a six-course menu on Christmas Eve ($2,280/person) and New Year’s Eve ($2,988/person) using premium produce from around the world like Osetra caviar, Hokkaido scallop, blue lobster and venison. The NYE dinner price tag includes complimentary entry to Popinjays’ private countdown party. If you’re dining during the daytime, there’s a Christmas Day brunch and First Brunch of the Year on the 1st ($1,280/person; +$700 for free-flow wine and champers).
Rooftop, The Murray, Hong Kong, 22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, 3141 8888, book online
à nu’s French-Japanese Christmas
Michelin-starred Tokyo import à nu retrouvez-vous’ eight-course Christmas menu ($1,980/person; +$780 for wine pairings), available from 21–27 December, is packed full of decadent dishes including smoked caviar rice, foie gras with yuzu-infused daikon and Périgord truffle sauce and Wagyu fillet with sansho pepper sauce and Japanese winter vegetables. In addition to the stunning cuisine by Chef Yusuke Kitade, take in the equally breathtaking harbour views.
Shop OTE 402, 4/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3–27 Canton Road, TST, 2770 6222, email@example.com
Heritage duck at The Ritz-Carlton
If you prefer poultry of the “quack quack” variety rather than the “gobble gobble” kind, you’re in for a treat at The Ritz-Carlton. From now until 31 January 2019 (excluding 24–26 and 30 December 2018), The Lounge & Bar will be serving up one of the most ancient breeds, the Aylesbury duck. A rare English breed renowned for its succulence and rich flavour, the free-range Aylesbury ducks used at The Ritz actually hail from the green hills of Victoria, Australia, and are raised on a diet of berries, pears, grains and apples. The four-course menu ($580) starts with smoky slices of duck nestled amongst roasted beetroot and hazelnuts, before moving on to an earthy duck consommé and a creamy duck soup, with the main event being a deliciously crispy duck leg confit served with festive sides the likes of red cabbage, roasted squash, chestnuts and mash. A traditional Australian favourite, lamington cake, rounds out the festive offerings. Now, that’s something to quack about!
The Lounge & Bar, 102/F, The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong, ICC, 1 Austin Road, Kowloon, 2263 2270, book online
Have a Cloudy Bay Christmas at SEVVA
Available from 5–25 December at ever-popular SEVVA is this divine five-course tasting menu ($2,000/person; +$600 for Ruinart Blanc de Blancs + 3 Cloudy Bay wines) collaboration between guest chef Chase Kojima from acclaimed Japanese restaurant Sokyo at The Star Sydney – named Chef of the Year 2015 by the Tourism Accommodation Australia NSW Awards for Excellence – and iconic New Zealand winery Cloudy Bay. The seafood-focused menu, showcasing dishes such as kingfish miso ceviche, king crab tempura and Wagyu tenderloin with smoked eel jus and Sokyo’s signature crispy tuna rice, is a perfect match for Cloudy Bay’s range of vibrant, aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
25/F, LANDMARK PRINCE’S, 10 Chater Road, Central, 2537 1388, firstname.lastname@example.org
Festive cocktails at Room 309
The Pottinger’s exclusive tucked-away cocktail bar, Room 309, has been transformed into an enchanted garden lodge inspired by the Black Forest in Germany. From now until 12 January 2019, sip on festive cocktails made with Monkey 47 gin. We like the sound of The Winter Clover ($160), made with gin, raspberry liqueur, raspberry purée, lemon juice, egg white, Bols Crème de Cacao White and soda water and garnished with red hibiscus powder shaped into snowflakes, blackberries and a single mint leaf.
3/F, The Pottinger Hong Kong, 74 Queen’s Road Central, Central (pick up a key card from Reception to enter)
NEW YEAR’S EVE
James Suckling 100-point wine-pairing NYE dinner
If wine is your thing, you can’t go wrong with the New Year’s Eve dinner ($2,688 per person) at newly opened James Suckling Wine Central. The four-course, eight-dish Korean menu features dishes like braised pork belly with kimchi and apple sauce, seared bulgogi and spicy clams. But the highlight of the menu for oenophiles will be the five 100-point wines served alongside, including revered wine critic James Suckling’s top wines from 2017 and 2018, Almaviva Puente Alto 2015 and Château Canon Saint-Émilion 2015. Ring in 2019 with free-flow Louis Roederer Brut Premier champers from 11:30pm with James Suckling himself!
Crazy Rich Asians party at Ovolo Southside
Head to hip boutique Wong Chuk Hang hotel Ovolo Southside on the 31st for their Crazy Rich Asians New Year’e Eve party (dinner + party $1,588/person; early-bird party admission $600). The dinner at Komune showcases a semi-buffet and three-course East-meets-West wine-pairing menu , followed by free-flow bubbly and canapés and a live band and DJ at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Above. Pay homage to your fave Kevin Kwan character by donning your best CRA glad rags.
64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 3460 8100, book online
Dinner with fireworks at Peking Garden
Where can you find one of the best vistas for the iconic Victoria Harbour NYE fireworks display? Try the newly renovated Peking Garden flagship in TST, smack in front of the Star Ferry. Known for its succulent, crispy-skinned duck, the newly refurbished location sets itself apart from other branches by offering intricately created Imperial dishes once found at China’s royal halls. Meticulously carved vegetables and painstakingly precise presentation feature in many of the dishes, ranging from a carved dragon’s head (which, by the way, takes six hours to create!) that garnishes the dish of sautéed prawn, scallop and sea whelk in light chilli sauce ($780) to the beggar’s chicken ($580) that is encased in a beautifully crafted pastry folded to look just like a chicken. If you’re in the mood for some Peking duck ($480) but don’t have enough stomach space or friends to share it with, there’s also the option of ordering half a duck ($240) – a guilt-free way to satisfy a craving without going overboard!
3/F, Star House, 3 Salisbury Road, TST, 2735 8211
Colonial-style splendour at Tai Kwun
Aqua Restaurant Group’s trio of F&B concepts at historic Tai Kwun in Central – the East Wing’s elegant eatery The Chinese Library, the West Wing’s modern British restaurant Statement and, nestled between the two, cocktail bar The Dispensary – have lots to charm on the 31st. Both The Chinese Library and Statement offer early-dinner menus from 6pm ($688/person), plus post-9:30pm menus to include free-flow Veuve Clicquot champagne ($1,888/person). Or if it’s a liquid NYE you’re after, The Dispensary presents celebratory drinks on the veranda ($988 free-flow champagne package). Live it up like it’s 1915 all over again…
Block 01, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central, 2848 3000/3088
Luau at Limewood
Spending NYE with little ones in tow? Limewood’s beachside BBQ from 6:30–10:30pm ($450/person; +$350 for free-flow package) sounds like just the ticket, with stars overhead and waves lapping on the shore. Kids under age 8 eat for free! The family-friendly all-you-can-eat buffet also includes a complimentary glass of champagne for all the grown-ups.
Shop 103–104, G/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2866 8668, email@example.com
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