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What's Hot in Hong Kong

  • Written by Natalie Brown


Happy New Year! From colourful festivals, international sporting events to new cultural hubs, restaurants and hotels, here are just a few reasons why Hong Kong should be top of the 2019 travel hot list...

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The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) will open the first landmark performing arts venue, the Xiqu Centre, at the West Kowloon Cultural District (West Kowloon) on 20 January.  Located at the junction of Canton Road and Austin Road West in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Xiqu Centre is designed to be a world-class platform for the conservation, promotion and development of Cantonese opera and other genres of xiqu (Chinese traditional theatre) in Hong Kong and beyond.  In addition to presenting quality programmes, its mission is to promote the development of new repertory, research, education, training and exchanges, as well as holding professional development programmes to help nurture young talent. The building's striking design, created by Bing Thom Architects (now Revery Architecture) and Ronald Lu and Partners, was inspired by traditional Chinese lanterns and blends traditional and contemporary elements to reflect the evolving nature of the art form. www.westkowloon.hk 

Located at on the waterfront at Tsim Sha Tsui, the Avenue of Stars (AOS) is set to reopen by the end of January with a new collection of celebrity handprints and statues on display. Visitors will be able to step back in time and relive the successes of past Hong Kong movies, set with the backdrop of the stunning Victoria Harbour. www.avenueofstars.com.hk

Regarded as Hong Kong's largest and most colourful festival, visitors and locals alike will be caught up in the energy and atmosphere of Chinese New Year, Hong Kong style. Squeeze into temples to pray for good fortune, browse festive markets selling auspicious foods and blooms, take in the red lanterns that adorn the city or sit back and enjoy one of Hong Kong's most anticipated annual events, the International Chinese New Year Night Parade on 5 February. www.discoverhongkong.com/au/see-do/events-festivals/highlight-events/chinese-new-year-celebrations.jsp

The Longines Masters continues its journey across continents in Hong Kong. After Paris and before New York, the Asian leg of the Longines Masters Series, the Grand Slam of Indoor Show Jumping, will take place from 15 to 17 February at AsiaWorld-Expo. Now in its seventh edition, the Longines Masters of Hong Kong has become an integral part of the region's social and cultural calendar, combining heart-pounding competition by the world's top showjumping riders and horses with world-class entertainment, fashion, art and gastronomy. www.discoverhongkong.com/au/see-do/events-festivals/sports-and-recreation/hong-kong-masters.jsp

Elite runners from around the world will compete in Hong Kong's largest outdoor sporting event, the Hong Kong Marathon on 17 February. The event has seen huge growth in popularity since its conception in 1997 when just 1,000 competitors participated, to now attracting tens of thousands of participants. It is expected to be even bigger this year with a full marathon, a half marathon and a 10km run taking competitors past some of the best urban scenery Asia's world city has to offer. The fierce competition is just as exciting for spectators as it is for runners, with the 42.195km full marathon starting in the scenic Tsim Sha Tsui area of Kowloon, racing up into the New Territories and heading back down to a spectacular finish in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island. www.discoverhongkong.com/au/see-do/events-festivals/sports-and-recreation/hong-kong-marathon.jsp

The Mills project has seen the former textile mills owned and operated by the Nan Fung Group turned into a new destination for innovation, business, experiential retail, arts, culture and learning. Once the vibrant heart of Nan Fung Textiles in the 1960s, the former textile Mills 4, 5 and 6 has been transformed into a single complex called The Mills, comprising of three pillars: The Mills Fabrica; The Mills Shopfloor; and the Centre for Heritage, Arts & Textile. www.themills.com.hk

The Peninsula Hong Kong heralds the arrival of a new Peninsula Yacht for guests' enjoyment. The introduction of the yacht results in The Peninsula being the first luxury hotel in Hong Kong to offer a trinity of deluxe transportation options, complementing the existing fleet of Rolls-Royce Phantoms and a customised helicopter. The Sunseeker Manhattan 60 is an iconic, 19 metre cruiser that will welcome up to 15 passengers each evening to enjoy a two-hour evening cruise featuring the 'Symphony of Lights' on the mesmerising Victoria Harbour during the “Harbour Sunset Cruise”. www.peninsula.com

Step into popular Disney stories at Hong Kong Disneyland Resort (HKDL) in 2019 with more magic than ever, thanks to all-new immersive attractions and exclusive Disney experiences across the resort. Join Marvel Super Heroes, Ant-Man and The Wasp, in a heroic battle; be transformed with a magical Disney Princess makeover in the castle area, or join festive celebrations with Disney icons such as Mickey Mouse, Three Little Pigs and characters from “Toy Story” and “Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.” Make it a complete Disney experience and discover the magic of a Disney “staycation” at the resort hotels with premium dining options and HKDL-exclusive merchandise item. www.hongkongdisneyland.com

Eat
Japan's renowned ramen noodle champion Hayashi Takao and leading specialist in Japan's national culinary artform, Matsumura Takahiro, has launched a new international flagship brand, RAMEN CUBISM at a chic basement venue in Wellington Street, Central. RAMEN CUBISM is the first overseas collaboration between the chefs and Hong Kong's Bird Kingdom Group, renowned for putting Lai Chi Kok's D2 Place on the dining map. www.facebook.com/ramencubismhk

Daarukhana, a contemporary concept delivering a dazzling new take on Indian food, has opened in Wan Chai. The restaurant features lofty interiors defined by luxe finishes including brushed metal and gleaming marble, while the kitchen shrugs off convention by using ingredients rarely seen in Indian cooking. Guests can indulge in pairings including chili honey glazed French langoustines with South Indian beans as well as other culinary innovations. www.daarukhana.com 

No-frills burger joint, Five Guys has opened its first store in Asia in Hong Kong. Five Guys focuses on serving burgers and fries in a clean and friendly environment. www.fiveguys.com.hk 

Former three Michelin Stars Chef Bruno Ménard, has join the JUNON team as Culinary Director. JUNON is a romantic establishment that celebrates and preserves Hong Kong's past golden era of music and cuisine. Inspired and impressed by the unique concept of combining live musical performances with fine-dining cuisine, Chef Bruno crafts seasonal menus supported by premium quality, fresh ingredients sourced from Hong Kong and around the world. Dishes can be described as neoclassic, with a French-styled base that is constantly brought to the next level by new cooking techniques and ingredients. www.junon.com.hk 

MOKUTAN, Hong Kong's latest sleek and contemporary Japanese Izakaya, has opened in the vibrant heart of Tsim Sha Tsui at Empire Prestige. An exclusive, hole-in-the-wall gem designed for epicureans in the know, MOKUTAN offers a repertoire of high-quality, seasonal specialties, highlighting three affordable Omakase menus. MOKUTAN features a design that is reminiscent of Japan's zen character. An expansive white wall marks the entrance to the restaurant, projecting a sense of simplicity that contrasts the eclectic bustle signature to Tsim Sha Tsui. Inside, down-to-earth materials such as packed earth, wood, and paper are used to give the space a minimalist feel, paying homage to an era of Japanese history. www.facebook.com/MOKUTANhk

Peking Garden in Star House, Tsim Sha Tsui, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a complete revamp of its interiors and offerings. First opening in 1978, Peking Garden has established itself as one of the only restaurants in Hong Kong to offer dishes inspired by Beijing's Imperial Cuisine, characterised by its elaborate detail and craftsmanship. www.maxims.com.hk/en/index.asp

Occupying a multi-storey complex in Kowloon City, known for its diversity of culinary offerings, Sanwa Jo has five master chefs at the helm, the curators of the three Japanese gastronomic classics: sushi, teppanyaki, robatayaki and washoku. Appealing with an outstanding contemporary architectural exterior, Sanwa Jo greets diners with a graceful comfort that penetrates the Japanese-style interior, complete with an open kitchen. www.sanwa-jo.com.hk

SHÈ, a concept derived from the Chinese character “舍” for a place of rest, tranquillity and hospitality, mirrors its namesake as the first gourmet sanctuary opening within Lane Crawford IFC Mall. SHÈ is a relaxing, nature-inspired space with an alfresco terrace set against the backdrop of Victoria Harbour. The decor embodies modernity in both style and cuisine and represents a convergence between Asian and Western cultures. The food and drinks served at SHÈ follow suit; a refreshingly modern take on traditional Chinese culinary elements with a healthy twist. www.facebook.com/SHEhongkongifc

Celebrity Japanese pâtissier-chocolatier Hironobu Tsujiguchi has opened four Super Sweets Galleries located in Tsim Sha Tsui, Central, Causeway Bay and Shatin. The first overseas venture by the celebrated 'Iron Chef' confectioner, introduces a range of his signature cakes, roll-cakes, desserts, pastries, truffles and chocolates 'with a French twist'. Hironobu Tsujiguchi's outlets in Tokyo and Osaka are revered as meccas among aficionados of all things sweet. He is also Japan's most decorated confectioner on the world stage – with awards including the “Oscars” of the pastry world, 'Coupe de Monde de la Patisserie' and the equivalent to Michelin three-stars, 'Five Chocolate Bars', at the chocolate industry's 'World Cup', Salon du Chocolat, along with Gold Medal for the last six consecutive years. www.citysuper.com.hk

Drink
Fans of 'holistic' tea purveyor BASAO tea can now enjoy a 'cuppa' of its exceptional single-origin 'clean-grown' brews at the brand's first dedicated teabar located on Moon Street, Wanchai. The home-grown Hong Kong brand has attracted widespread acclaim since launching in 2015 with online distribution of its exclusive fine teas from hand-picked partner growers in China, Taiwan, Nepal, India and Japan. Equally admired for pioneering a “modern holistic era of sineculture”, BASAO works closely with small artisan growers across Asia, promoting sustainable, eco-friendly cultivation and production of highest-quality tea without chemical pesticides. www.basaotea.com

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Taiwanese drink maestro Angus Zou has partnered up with Tasting Group's Antonio Lai to unveil the city's first “cocktails on tap” bar concept, Draft Land. Zou and Lai serve up simple, no-fuss, high-quality cocktails at a reasonable price with seasonal pre-batch-only and garnish-free cocktails on tap. The focus for Draft Land is on consistency, craftsmanship and quality. www.facebook.com/draftlandhk

Sleep
Mojo Nomad Central, a ground-breaking concept that turns the traditional hotel model completely on its head, is now open on Queen's Road Central. The inimitable concept, which combines accommodation with all that is fluid, moving, surprising and exciting, is the second evolution for the disruptive Mojo Nomad brand by the Ovolo Hotels Group. Mojo Nomad's newest location features an exceptional food and beverage offering via the property's flagship bar-cum-eatery, Te Quiero Mucho, and 24-hour facilities including a contemporary fitness centre, laundry area and an expertly appointed co-working space. Guests can expect to be welcomed into a like-minded community upon checking in at Mojo Nomad Central, a collaborative concept that feels like a home base. www.mojonomad.com

Rosewood Hong Kong, a new ultra-luxury property situated within the Victoria Dockside arts, design and conceptual retail district, will open on 17 March. The 413-room Rosewood Hong Kong will be located at a prime Victoria Harbour waterfront location at the former New World Centre on Salisbury Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. The ultra-luxury hotel will occupy 27 floors of a multi-use tower, destined to become a landmark on the world-famous skyline. Eight restaurants and lounges will be complemented by recreational facilities including Asaya, Rosewood's holistic wellness concept, as well as a fitness centre and swimming pool. The Manor Club executive lounge will provide exclusive privileges while The Pavilion, the brand's signature residential-style meeting and function space, will host corporate events, conferences and social celebrations. Also on offer will be 186 luxury Rosewood Residences for guests choosing longer stays with a dedicated lounge, indoor swimming pool and fitness centre along with special services and amenities. www.rosewoodhotels.com/hongkong

For more information on Hong Kong visit:
www.discoverhongkong.com/au or www.discoverhongkong.com/nz

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