February 11, 2015

You’re sitting at a table for two gazing into the eyes of your most favourite person in all the world.  You’re bathed in candlelight, there are red roses on the table and you have your sexiest lingerie on under something suitably short, tight and revealing.  You’re lovingly spooning morsels of deliciousness into each other’s mouths between sips of Champagne and stolen kisses. Absolute fairytale perfection…

Apart from the fact that to the right, ten centimetres from the edge of your table, another couple are doing exactly the same… and ten centimetres to the left… oh and ten centimetres behind you too…  They’re all eating exactly the same ‘special’ romantic menu full of things that should not have been prepared four hours ago in multiples of fifty.  They’re all desperately trying to avoid catching the eye of the man with the guitar wandering around serenading couples who shrink into their chairs and blush furiously as he stands over them belting out ‘Wonderful Tonight’.  They’re all trying to be hopelessly romantic with each other while trying to ignore that their new underwear is incredibly uncomfortable and should have been bought in the size up. It could only be February 14th.

So with just a few days left to go, here are a couple of ideas for something a bit different to do in Hong Kong this Valentine’s Day.  Boys, take note and maybe try to get something organised.  Girls, start dropping hints, now…

The One Where You Need to Get Her DrunkTiki Cocktail Making Experience at Honi Honi
Perhaps you’ve just started dating and need a little “Dutch courage” or maybe you’ve been together so long that only a few strong drinks will lift your evening from plain old grey to fifty shades of it… Either way, a night at HONI HONI learning to shake up your very own potent love potions is a pretty surefire route to being drunk in love. Hop behind the bar with just your beau and one of HONI HONI’s top bartenders, then a couple of hours and a few tipsy kisses later, stagger out full of Valentine’s spirit with the recipe for two yet to be released cheeky tiki cocktails (including, the rather racily named, Karma Sutra).  (Available 1 – 28 Feb, HK$1000 per couple including 4 cocktails per person, info@honihonibar.com, +852 2353 0880)

The One Where You Want to Make Her Think You’re Jamie Oliver (But You Can Only Boil An Egg)Romantic Night In with Secret Ingredient
We all know that the Jackson Five were somewhat understating things when they sang “A, B, C… that’s how simple love can be”. But, this Valentine’s Day whipping up a swoon-worthy feast really can be as simple as that. Secret Ingredient to the rescue. If you’ve promised to cook but could burn water, the Secret Ingredient Valentine’s Day menu is the answer to all your culinary prayers. Delivering the highest quality ingredients, ready washed, chopped and prepped together with step-by-step instructions Secret Ingredient enables even the most kitchen shy of us to assemble super impressive meals. We’re talking lobster with squid ink tagliatelle followed by molten chocolate cake impressive. Availability’s limited, so get in there quick. (orders@secretingredient.com.hk, +852 2108 4000) 

The One Where You Did Something Very, VERY Wrong Last WeekThe Peninsula Hong Kong
You bought her a hoover for Christmas, were caught kissing her best friend at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and have so far spent the start of 2015 in a constant state of anti-dry January, Vodka-soaked naughtiness. Time to make up for it with some turbo-charged romance. Say hello to your Valentine’s savior in shining armour, The Peninsula.  A box of chocolates may sound clichéd, but make those hand-crafted, artisanal, haute couture chocolates lovingly hewn by resident Peninsula Maître Chocolatier, Marijn Coertjens, and we’re talking a whole other level. Not swoon-some enough? How about having those A-list chocolates delivered by a Peninsula-liveried Page Boy? And if even that’s not guaranteed to have her heart melting faster than a chocolate oven glove, perhaps the Page Boy could also hand deliver a little note pointing her towards the Peninsula Mini Cooper idling at the curb waiting to whisk her off for a candlelit tete-a-tete at Gaddis? An evening guaranteed to bank you enough brownie points to carry you through to your boys’ holiday in Bangkok at Chinese New Year… (+852 2696 6694, diningphk@peninsula.com)

The One Where You Want To Make Her Fall Head Over Heels: Couples Stretch Class at BounceLimit
She told you last week that when she sees you she gets butterflies and her stomach triple flips, which lead to you thinking along the lines of Valentine’s dates of the acrobatic variety. Step up BounceLimit, Asia’s first trampoline fitness studio, which promises to have her soaring through the air and literally falling straight into your arms. This Valentine’s Day, the studio introduces the Couples’ Stretch Class where you and your sweetheart will boing your way through a one and a half hour workshop learning how to knead and stretch each other’s bodies into a state of loved-up, knot-free bliss. (Feb 14, 1:30 – 3:00 pm, HK$500 per couple, bookaclass@bouncelimit.com)

The Daytime One (or the One Where You Have a Couple of Sittings to Get Through)Tea for Love at the Island Shangri-La
Keeping your options open this V Day? So much so that you’ve had to schedule your dates in shifts? Don’t waste a second of the most romantic day of the year by filling that tricky slot between lunch and dinner with a romantic afternoon tea for two. Elevate the Earl Grey and cucumber sandwiches to sparkling new heights courtesy of the Island Shangri-La’s Tea for Love, an elegantly sumptuous afternoon tea set paired with Perrier-Jouët – Blason Rosé champagne.  The bubbles aren’t confined to your Champagne flutes though, the menu fizzes with Perrier-Jouët spiked delicacies from the Gravlax marinated with Perrier-Jouët and served with Sriracha dill to the insanely indulgent Mascarpone Vanilla and Perrier-Jouët Charlotte. Guaranteed to inject some serious swoon into your afternoon. (HK$538 for two, Reservations: +852 2820 8560 – Lobster Bar and Grill, +852 2877 3838 – Lobby Lounge)

The One Where You Can’t Quite Find the Words: Pizza at Motorino followed by Tai Tai Pies at Home (If Everything Goes to Plan…)
You’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to utter the L-word for some time now, but somehow the right occasion never quite seems to present itself. So this February 14th, what could be better than dispensing with words altogether and letting your food do the talking? Spare yourself the blushing and stuttering by whisking the object of your affections to Motorino for a supper of heart-shaped Neapolitan pizza that’ll leave no doubt in her mind that you mean amore. Seal the deal with a round, or two, of love-bomb, a decadently delicious cocktail of gin, prosecco, strawberries and lime. As you both tip over into tipsy, suggest you continue the evening back at yours, where sweet nothings will be whispered between even sweeter nibbles of Tai Tai Pie Pies’ heart-shaped Tart Cherry Sweet Crumble pies. Well, they do say a way to a girl’s heart is through her stomach… (Motorino 9 – 14 Feb, +852 2801 6881, Tai Tai Pie Pies +852 2529 7900)

The One Where He Liked It, But He Didn’t Put A Ring On ItAnti-Valentine’s Day Fatty Crab
If you’re single and fabulous this year, there’s no need to spend the weekend crying into your Chardonnay while bellowing along to a Taylor Swift medley. Grab your stilettos and shrug on something suitably short and sparkly, there are a whole host of lonely boys out there just waiting for you to shimmy onto the dancefloor, flutter your lashes and break their hearts. Avoid the cooing couples and dodge the sick-inducing displays of sweetness, instead head on up to the “Anti-Valentine’s Day” celebrations on February 13 at Fatty Crab. Billed as a darker, sultrier take on V-Day, this is where you’ll find the beautiful crew, too elusively awesome to be tied down, sipping cocktails, slamming shots and getting inked by Fatty’s tattoo artists in residence for one evening only. Just remember, six shots in, that while one night stands may be just for Valentine’s, tatts are for life… (Feb 13, +852 2521 2033)

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