Sounds like you had a lot of late nights in Hong Kong Got any ‘morning after’ tips for staying healthy and looking fresh in HK? Favourite spas, workout spots, or nail bars?
Ugh yes, I tried very hard to incorporate some healthy living amidst the constant dinners and cocktails!
My good friend Lindsay (who runs top restaurants Yardbird & Ronin) invited me to join her at a spin class at this place called XYZ and it was fucking amazing. The studio was like a nightclub: blacked out room, UV lights, strobes, disco ball, the whole lot. The instructor’s bike is up on the ‘stage’ and they use an iPad to control the music and lights throughout the class. It’s so engaging that the 50 minutes are up before you realise it. The studio itself is in New World Tower in Central - you go in this massive building, get in the lift with a bunch of suits who are all on their way to the various offices on the other floors, and get out on the 2nd straight into the gym environment. Kinda trippy when you first do it!
As for healthy food, I ate at this salad bar called Just Salad a lot - quick, delicious, easy. I also loved K-Roll a Korean takeaway spot in Sheung Wan became one of my favourite places to eat. Their shrimp Korritto is this seaweed roll filled with veg, some breadcrumbed shrimp and little bit of rice. So delicious and filling, and there’s a really cute story behind the store too. Also they play K-Pop videos all day long which are fucking mind-blowing to watch while you’re munching on your roll.
Mana is great for vegan food and a good green juice.
Spa-wise, I went to this SICK place called Ten Feet Tall with three friends the day after a night out. We all got foot massages together in a room with four incredibly comfortable day beds. There’s a constant flow of green tea and frozen yoghurt, a really cute interior, lots of inspirational quotes on the walls, etc. It was the first time I’d had a group massage (pause). Very fun!
I also have to shout out Rainbow Nails for being the one nail salon that didn’t try to bump me on the price and actually knew what to do with my acrylics.
Tell us your favourite place for….
Classified for a leisurely breakfast (the vegetable frittata and granola bowl are both very nice) or for a quick brekkie I fell in love with the little local bakeries that are on every other street, where I’d pick up really nice, light muffins, pastries, and of course, Hong Kong’s legendary egg tart.
Yardbird is my favourite spot in HK. I’ve eaten there every time I’ve visited: the atmosphere is amazing; it’s so open with high ceilings, kitchen in the corner, the waiters always recognize you/have a shot of sake with you. Then there’s the FOOD. The menu is a sort of Japanese-fusion, lots of skewers and stuff. You must must try the following:
- KFC (Korean Fried Caulifllower) - you would never know just how heavenly cauliflower could taste until you try this. At first you think it’s some sort of chicken ball and then you realise it’s a fucking vegetable and praise God.
- The sweetcorn tempura is out of this world
- As is the Liver Mousse
- Also order a bunch of the skewers (chicken skin, meatball etc) - All the dishes are designed to be shared by groups.
To drink it’s all about the Jolly Rancher cocktail, once again at Yardbird (it tastes exactly like the sweet. Their Sake is deadly in a good way…and a bad way.)
Brickhouse has some seriously impressive cocktails. It’s this open air Mexican bar that’s always poppin’.
When you’re sick of noodles, go to Motorino Pizza on Shelley Street in Soho. AMAZING pizza…
Sweet Potato Donuts with orange syrup at Peruvian restaurant, Chicha.
The top of Victoria Peak, which looks out over the entire city.
An ‘only in Hong Kong’ experience
Embarrassingly, I haven’t done an awful lot of real locals’ stuff out here cause I’ve been lost in the buzz of the city life, which feels like Manhattan in parts. But the big Buddha in Lantau Island is a must-see for sure.
Three essential things to pack in your suitcase for a trip to Hong Kong?
Your flyest outfit.
You will be out every night eating, drinking, socialising: do as the HK residents do and stunt.
Couple of honourable mentions
Fish & Meat
Exactly what it says on the tin. Best sea bream in town, and the desserts are out of this world too. Cocktails and interior are ten out of ten. Again, this place is very sharing orientated which is cool as most brasserie-style places are each to their own.
Great fine Italian food. I’m no a wine connoisseur but my very chic french friend says their collection is ‘parfait!’ There’s only one big table that all the diners sit at and the sharing-style menu keeps the social vibes up.
Gyu Jin in Tsim Sha Tsui
A must-try Japanese hotpot dining experience. There’s a stove in the middle of your table where they place a bowl of broth which you bring to the boil. Then you stock up on vegetables, meat, and raw noodles at the buff, come back, put it all in your pot, and start cooking. You can can also order a plate of thinly sliced beef that you dip in the broth as it’s boiling and cook to your preference. Fucking delicious.
God knows how Yasmin eats all that and still looks like a ten, but I salute her! Follow her future adventures on Twitter and Instagram.