Harbour Grand Kowloon introduces F&B offers

Harbour Grand Kowloon

Harbour Grand Kowloon has introduced an Oyster Fiesta Dinner Buffet at their western restaurant – The Promenade. The restaurant is offering five kinds of freshly shucked premium oysters from communes in France such as Bouzigues, Brittany and Normandy. The festival offers different variations of oyster preparations including oyster shooters as well as baked oysters. It is being held at the restaurant until the end of the month.

The hotel has also introduced Australian Tajima Wagyu beef to their menu at the Harbour Grill restaurant with three different cuts namely striploin, tenderloin and shorted ribs. The offer lasts until October 31.

Kowloon.harbourgrand.com

Bhavya Aggarwal

Harbour Grand Kowloon has introduced an Oyster Fiesta Dinner Buffet at their western restaurant – The Promenade. The restaurant is offering five kinds of freshly shucked premium oysters from communes in France such as Bouzigues, Brittany and Normandy. The festival offers different variations of oyster preparations including oyster shooters as well as baked oysters. It is being held at the restaurant until the end of the month.

The hotel has also introduced Australian Tajima Wagyu beef to their menu at the Harbour Grill restaurant with three different cuts namely striploin, tenderloin and shorted ribs. The offer lasts until October 31.

Kowloon.harbourgrand.com

Bhavya Aggarwal

Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon marks 22nd anniversary with dining offer

Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon is celebrating 22 years of being in business with a dining special for its guests in the month of July. The hotel has put forward a selection of dining offers namely:

  • Buy 3 Get 1 Sumo’s Choice Japanese Brunch — the all-you-can-eat menu comprises of grilled delicacies, fresh sashimi, sushi, tempura and desserts such as Hokkaido Pudding. For every three paying diners, one additional diner eats free.
  • 22 per cent off on an eight-course set dinner — includes the yellow tail, salmon and sweet shrimp sashimi, Japanese blow fish, Australian Wagyu beef rib eye and ice cream.
  • Buy 3 Get 1 Free set lunch — the fourth diner of the set lunch is not charged. Available from Monday to Friday.
  • 1 Complimentary Bottle of Sake for a group of eight and above.

The offers are valid until July 31, and prices are subject to ten per cent service charge.

harbourgrand.com 

Bhavya Aggarwal 

Harbour Grand Hotel, Kowloon is celebrating 22 years of being in business with a dining special for its guests in the month of July. The hotel has put forward a selection of dining offers namely

  • Buy 3 Get 1 Sumo’s Choice Japanese Brunch — the all-you-can-eat menu comprises of grilled delicacies, fresh sashimi, sushi, tempura and desserts such as Hokkaido Pudding. For every three paying diners, one additional diners eats for free.
  • 22 per cent off on an eight course set dinner — includes the yellow tail, salmon and sweet shrimp sashimi, Japanese blow fish, Australian Wagyu beef rib eye and ice cream.
  • Buy 3 Get 1 Free set lunch — the fourth diner of the set-menu lunch is not charged. Available from Monday to Friday.
  • 1 Complimentary Bottle of Sake for a group of eight and above.

The offers are valid until July 31, and prices are subject to ten per cent service charge.

harbourgrand.com 

Bhavya Aggarwal 

  • Buy 3 Get 1 Free set lunch — the fourth diner of the set-menu lunch is not charged. Available from Monday to Friday.
  • 1 Complimentary Bottle of Sake for a group of eight and above.

The offers are valid until July 31, and prices are subject to ten per cent service charge.

harbourgrand.com 

Hong Kong MTR proposes Airport Express price increase

Hong Kong Airport Express MTR

The cost of a ticket on Hong Kong’s Airport Express rail link may be set to increase by 10.3 per cent as early as June, the South China Morning Post reports. The price hike would be the line’s first since it first began operations 19 years ago.

According to the proposed increase submitted to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong by The MTR Corporation on Tuesday, the cost of an adult Octopus travel card fare between in-town stations and Hong Kong International Airport and the nearby AsiaWorld-Expo would increase by HK$5-10 (US$0.6-1.3), while adult single journey tickets would rise by HK$10-15 (US$1.3-1.9).

Meanwhile adult fares of long validity round-trip tickets would increase by HK$15-30 (US$1.9-3.9).

Currently a single fare ticket from Hong Kong Station in Central district to the airport is HK$100 (US$14.1), while the fare from Kowloon Station is HK$90 (US$11.6). Under the proposed increase, these would increase to HK$110 (US$14.1) and HK$100, respectively.

However, promotional items including the Airport Express Group Tickets and Airport Travel Pass will remain unchanged.

According to the proposal, a significant increase in the operating cost of the Airport Express has necessitated the fare revision.

mtr.com.hk

13 hotels on Hong Kong’s Kowloon waterfront

Harbour Grand Kowloon Lower Pool Deck

Gateway Apartments

A serviced residence with 499 units across two towers, it recently completed renovating its two- and three-bedroom apartments. Guests have access to the 13,000 sqm Pacific Club’s excellent facilities.

gatewayapartments.com.hk

Gateway, Hong Kong

A new Continental Club floor will be unveiled this month on the hotel’s uppermost level 17, with 21 new guestrooms and suites, plus the Continental Club Lounge, designed as a social and networking space.

marcopolohotels.com

Harbour Grand Kowloon

In 2014 the hotel commenced an extension project of 360 guestrooms, which will bring the total room count to 915 – it’s scheduled for completion in 2018. A refurbishment of all 555 existing rooms is also planned.

kowloon.harbourgrand.com

Harbour Plaza Metropolis

An 821-room property located near Hung Hom Station, with a rooftop garden for Club Floor guests and an outdoor neon-lit bar.

harbour-plaza.com/metropolis

Intercontinental Hong Kong

Formerly The Regent Hong Kong but rebranded in 1980,
this much-loved 503-room hotel has 87 suites and an enviable location on Victoria Harbour close to Tsim Sha Tsui’s Star Ferry.

hongkong-ic.intercontinental.com

Kowloon Harbourfront Hotel

The latest addition to Harbour Plaza Hotels and Resorts’ properties was launched in 2015, and is a 240 all-suite hotel located on Hung Hom Bay near the Kerry Hotel.

harbour-plaza.com/kowloonharbourfront

Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel

This 688-room hotel celebrated 35 years on the Kowloon waterfront last year. Offers such as its Cultural Heritage Package and complimentary iPhone 7s for MICE organisers booking 25 or more rooms keep it moving with the times.

shangri-la.com

New World Millennium Hong Kong Hotel

Last year the hotel unveiled a refurbished lobby lounge, event spaces and most of the 464 guestrooms. By the end of this year it will have upgraded the remaining rooms, some of the F&B outlets and the executive club lounge.

newworldmillenniumhotel.com

The Olympian Hong Kong

A boutique hotel with only 32 rooms (43-75 sqm), the lobby’s cascading crystal chandelier and a Rolls-Royce limousine service hint at its luxury credentials. It is located near the China-Macau Ferry Terminal and Kowloon Airport Express Station. 

theolympianhotel.com

Regal Kowloon Hotel

Thirty-nine spacious suites are split into six themed set-ups – Business, Family, Shopping, Ladies, Romance and Celebrity – each packed with special privileges and amenities.

regalhotel.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong 

Hong Kong’s tallest hotel is located at the top of the ICC building, and boasts an indoor infinity swimming pool on the 118th top floor, featuring 144 LED screens on the ceiling.

ritzcarlton.com

The Royal Pacific Hotel & Towers

Its Tower Wing and the non-smoking Hotel Wing comprise 673 rooms across a wide range of room and suite choices with sizes from 35 sqm to 145 sqm.

sino-hotels.com/hk/royal-pacific

W Hong Kong

This stylish 393-room hotel offers in-room 3G smartphones, the SPG Keyless mobile check-in app, and features the highest outdoor pool in Hong Kong (76/F).

w-hongkong.com

Six new Hong Kong restaurant reviews

Excelsior Yee-Tung-Heen

There’s no shortage of places to find a standout meal while in Hong Kong, such that the sheer plethora of possible dining spots can be a bit overwhelming to the recently arrived traveller.

For those looking for a bit of guidance to the city’s culinary scene, take a look at the following Hong Kong restaurant reviews from Business Traveller Asia-Pacific.

Yee Tung Heen

Where? The Excelsior Hong Kong, Causeway Bay

Celebrating its 45th anniversary next year, The Excelsior Hong Kong is one of the city’s best-known hotels and its Cantonese restaurant Yee Tung Heen is similarly renowned, receiving a mention as a recommended restaurant in the Michelin Guide to Hong Kong & Macau 2015.

Travellers looking for a dim sum lunch won’t be disappointed, with dumpling highlights including steamed rice roll with tiger prawn, kale and beetroot dumpling, and steamed twin gold fish dumplings. And with an a la carte menu that spans 14 pages, there are plenty of dishes to choose from.

See Business Traveller’s review of Yee Tung Heen here.

Flint Bar & Grill

Where? JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Admiralty

Despite being located within the JW Marriott Hotel above Admiralty district’s Pacific Place shopping mall, Flint Bar & Grill is more than just a standard hotel restaurant. New head chef Pieter Fitz-Dreyer is classically French trained, adding a distinct twist to the typical “bar and grill” concept, along with the many other dishes that fill out the menu.

Highlights include the Akaroa king salmon with oyster, charred cucumber and white balsamic, the Ahi tuna – prepared at the table and customised to each patron’s preference – and lobster ravioli with creamy coconut sauce infused with Thai herbs.

See Business Traveller’s review of Flint Bar & Grill here. 

Bizou

Where? Pacific Place mall, Admiralty

Another restaurant whose chef offers a fresh interpretation of a more commonplace menu, Bizou presents an organic, farm-to-table take on the traditional American brasserie tradition. Danish-born chef Magnus Hansson, who visits the restaurant each month, is himself a vegan, but the menu at Bizou is far from it.

Dishes such as the slow-braised boneless short ribs in red wine and the pan-seared Icelandic cod fillet with butter attest to this. That said, the menu is far from meat exclusive and includes sides such as fried lemon potatoes with chipotle aioli, baked purple yam, and starters that include fried camembert cheese with cloudberry preserves.

See Business Traveller’s review of Bizou here.

Hugo’s

Where? Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Sha Tsui

Hugo’s takes its name from a fictional Bavarian host, Hugo Ludwig Wilhelm von Cluckenstein, renowned for only serving guests the best food and wine. And this character is reflected in both the décor and the food.

A life-size metal suit of armour greets patrons as they enter the restaurant, for starters. Meanwhile numerous antiques, chandeliers and traditional hors d’ouevres trolleys add to the aesthetic.

Currently offering a new Swiss menu until the end of February that includes marinated veal cheek, Ruh venison, and melted Vacherin Mont d’Or cheese in a nut crust, Hugo’s offers a decadent European menu that any newcomer to the city ought to give a try.

See Business Traveller’s review of Hugo’s here.

Deng G, Chengdu Bistro & Baijiu Bar

Where? Queen’s Road West, Causeway Bay

Much like its name suggests, Deng G, Chengdu Bistro & Baiju Bar offers a distinctly Sichuan-style dining experience, with the décor inspired by the bamboo forests of Chengdu and a menu that has chilli icons throughout to denote the spiciness of the dishes.

Crispy fish in spicy sauce under the “Sweet & Sour Taste” portion of the menu is a good place to start at Deng G, as are the “Yu Xiang” prawns. Finish up with baijiu in the downstairs Baijiu Bar area and you can’t go wrong.

See Business Traveller’s review of Deng G here. 

Cobo House

Where? South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui

Cobo House opened in March 2016 as part of a collaboration with Singapore-based chef Janice Wong, whose 2am:dessertbar has become a favourite in Singapore. Cobo House follows in the tradition of the dessert bar featuring artistic desserts and chocolates, including an expansive dessert degustation menu that pairs sweet offerings with teas and other beverages.

That said, Cobo House isn’t all treats and no savoury, with its vegetarian somen noodles and slow-cooked pork belly being well worth trying before filling up on the final course.

Although a little out of the way with regards to Hong Kong’s key business districts, Cobo House is easily accessible and well within reach of travellers staying just west of Central district in Sheung Wan or Sai Ying Pun.

See Business Traveller’s review of Cobo House here.

Roundup: Airport to city transportation tips

Hong Kong Cityscape

When travelling between a major airport and the city centre, going by car or taxi isn’t always the most effective means, particularly when those airports are located far on the outskirts of the city. In these instances, using a dedicated express train can often be the most prudent option.

But travel by train is not simply a matter of buying a ticket and being on your way – there are tricks to making that journey even more efficient. We take a look at some of the ways travellers can make their trips between the airport and the city in these Asian destinations a little more cost effective.

Hong Kong International Airport – Hong Kong

Operated by the MTR (Mass Transit Railway) Corporation, Hong Kong’s Airport Express takes travellers from the airport to the city’s central business district on Hong Kong Island in just 24 minutes.

Costing HK$100 (US$12.8) for a one-way journey to Hong Kong Station, the service becomes cheaper with a larger group. A ticket for a group of two averages out as HK$85 (US$10.9) per person, a group of three costs HK$76.7 (US$9.9) per person and a group of four is just HK$70 (US$9) per person. That said, if you are travelling with children between the ages of three and 11, stick to the HK$50 (US$6.4) children’s tickets.

Meanwhile for travellers staying on the Kowloon peninsular side of Victoria Harbour, Airport Express offers a 50 per cent discount on train tickets when a taxi is used to travel to the line’s Kowloon or Tsing Yi Stations, on or before June 30, 2017. The taxi fare must be HK$60 (US$7.7) or more with an original receipt for the taxi on the date of issue – and travellers need to have a valid stored-value Octopus travel card.

mtr.com.hk

Seoul Incheon International Airport – Seoul

Seoul’s notorious rush hour traffic jams may make travel via road seem like an awful idea. Indeed, taxis in the city can be quite expensive – operating on flat rates to particular areas of the city, starting at KRW55,000 (US$48) – and the journey by road can take upwards of 45 minutes depending on traffic.

A more economical but still highly comfortable option is Korean Air’s KAL Limousine bus service, which stops at a wide number of hotels. The service is not just restricted to those flying with the carrier either, and while the journey takes approximately 80 to 90 minutes, it costs just KRW16,000 (US$14). Spacious seats and complimentary wifi and mineral water are offered.

That said, an even more economical option is the city’s Airport Railroad Express (AREX) – not to be confused with the KTX Korea Train Express – that goes non-stop between Incheon airport and Seoul Station and takes 43 minutes. The service is currently offering a discount from its previous price of KRW14,800 (US$13) to KRW8,000 (US$7) for all travellers valid until December 31, 2016, while purchasing a ticket at an automatic ticket machine at Seoul Station or Incheon airport provides a further KRW500 (US$0.44) discount.

Travellers with tickets for flights on Jeju Air, Korean Air, Asiana Airlines and China Southern Airlines within seven days, meanwhile, can get a further discount to KRW6,900 (US$6) when they present their tickets upon purchase. Regardless of airline, however, groups of three or more can get a discounted rate of KRW6,000 (US$5.3) per person.

kallimousine.com; arex.or.kr

Narita International Airport – Tokyo

Though it shares incoming international traffic with Tokyo’s other major airport, Haneda International Airport, Narita is a great deal farther from the city than its counterpart. This distance can make taxis or cars to the centre of the city somewhat prohibitive in terms of cost and time efficiency.

East Japan Railway Company (JR East) operates the Narita Express (N’Ex) that travels directly between Narita International and major stops in the city, including Tokyo, Shinagawa, Shibuya and Yokohama, among others. The journey time is approximately 53 minutes from Tokyo Station and the trains offer wifi.

Perhaps the most attractive aspect for international travellers, however, is the reduced fare offered to foreign passport holders. The N’Ex Tokyo Round Trip Ticket reduces the cost for a regular round-trip ticket in ordinary cars with reserved seating for a flat 4,000 yen (US$38.3) regardless of destination – a vast discount compared to the regular fare of 6,040 yen (US$57.9) to Tokyo Station or 9,240 yen (US$88.5) to Ofuna. Tickets have to be purchased at the JR East Travel Service Centers or JR Ticket Offices at the airport, and require passengers show a non-Japanese passport.

jreast.co.jp/e

Pudong International Airport – Shanghai

Much like Narita, Pudong International Airport acts as an out-of-town alternative to its sister airport, Hongqiao International Airport – though the large majority of international flights go through Pudong.

The city’s Maglev (magnetic-levitation) train is fast. Hitting speeds of up to 430km/h, the train gets you to the outer part of the city on the Pudong side of the Huangpu River in approximately eight minutes – a journey that would typically take about 45 minutes by road. From there, connections to the Shanghai Metro can be accessed directly at Longyang Road Station, or a taxi could be taken the rest of the way into the centre of town.

A single-journey ticket costs RMB50 (US$7.3), the train also offers a VIP class at twice the cost. However, if you present an air ticket for the same day as your journey, a single journey ticket ends up being just RMB40 (US$5.9) for standard class. Meanwhile, regular travellers to the city can opt for a RMB900 (US$132.8) ticket valid for 30 standard class trips for a year after purchase – averaging out to RMB30 (US$4.4) per trip.

smtdc.com

Kuala Lumpur International Airport – Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur’s KLIA Ekspres is arguably the most convenient way to travel to the city from the airport. The express even offers a VIP Service providing executive-class door-to-door service with a car transfer between the main station in the city, KL Sentral, and your hotel.

However, travellers looking to get the best deal when using the express can get a 20 per cent discount when buying a single or return ticket from now until December 31, 2016. The purchase has to be made with a Mastercard debit or credit card, with tickets valid for travel one month from the date of purchase.

kliekspres.com

Restaurant check: Sushi Ta-ke

Sushi Ta-ke Interior

Sushi Ta-ke

The premium Japanese restaurant has welcomed new executive chef Adachi Seiji and launched a new Omakase menu. Business Traveller Asia-Pacific went to try it out

BACKGROUND

 Located in Causeway Bay’s Cubus building, just off the busy shopping streets, Sushi Ta-Ke offers top-quality Japanese fare, based on traditional Edomae sushi and sashimi.

The upscale restaurant, managed by 1957 & Co hospitality company, has been a firm favourite on the Hong Kong dining scene since it opened in 2011.

The arrival of new executive chef, Adachi Seiji, and a brand new omakase (chef’s choice) menu, meant it was time for a return visit.

THE RESTAURANT

 Arriving at the 12th floor, patrons enter an atmospheric bamboo-walled corridor that leads to an intimate dining area. Seating options include regular dining tables or bar stools perched around the chefs’ workstation – a fabulous choice for watching the masters at work.

The décor and ambient lighting, conceived by Steve Leung and Tino Kwan respectively, are characterised by dark, elegant furniture and a continuation of the bamboo theme for a sleek, minimalist appeal – allowing all focus to be centred on the food.

A private dining room is also available, and an ideal setting to impress a group of clients.

THE FOOD

Bring an appetite to tackle the ten-course tasting menu; though each dish is light and delicate, the sheer range and variety quickly adds up and you don’t want to miss out.

Appetiser

Slow-cooked Japanese octopus

Octopus is rarely described as “soft” and “tender”, yet the slow-cook method erased all traces of chewiness or rubbery-texture. Totally unlike any octopus I’ve had before, and an excellent start to the menu.

Sashimi – three dishes

The first of three sashimi dishes was “Japanese fresh sea urchin” – a new experience for me, although as ratified by my fellow diners, I have been spoiled by my first introduction. The presentation was spectacular, with the soft flesh of the sea urchin naturally presented in its spiky, black casing. The freshness of the urchins – alive an hour before presentation – was discernable by the fact that they were solid enough to be picked up by chopsticks. A light mousse-like texture followed with a subtle, delicious taste of the sea.

Next up was a trio of dishes; melt-in-the-mouth toro – the “wagyu” of tuna, packed full of flavour and the most expensive cut from the belly of the fish; crunchy sea whelk; and marinated Golden-eye red snapper with seaweed. Each was also served with some fresh, hand-ground wasabi.

This was rounded off with a dish of fresh, tasty seared bonito. One of the benefits of the chef’s table seats, was being able to see first hand the tips such as nicking the side of a piece of fish to help it to lie flat on the plate.

These first few courses were also paired with Senkin Issie sake, that had a light, refreshing taste.

Simmered dishes

Simmered abalone – a Hong Kong-favourite, was up next. The presentation was immaculate as ever, decorated alternatively with a slightly suspicious green leaf, or a stem of delicate flowers. The abalone was dense and meaty but not overpowering.

Monkfish liver in red wine sauce, one of the most popular dishes on the menu, the foie-gras of the sea takes over 48-hours to be prepared due to the constant reheating required. The result was a melt-in-your-mouth texture, with an intense and smooth taste.

By this point we moved onto Modern Senkin Omachi, a slightly fuller-bodied sake that pairs well with meatier dishes.

Grilled dish

I’d been looking forward to the wagyu roll with great burdock in teriyaki sauce from the outset. As expected, the rich, marbled meat was absolutely divine, and the pariing with root vegetables and a light, fruity sauce helped to keep the dish light.

Seven kinds of nigiri sushi

This was my breaking point in terms of too much food, however, each handmade piece of sushi was elegantly presented and I endeavoured to sample as many as possible from the varities, which included: toro, surf clam, rosy seabass, sea urchin, striped-jack, small mackerel and marinated tuna with soya.

Soup

A light red snapper soup came at the end of the meal, followed by green-tea mousse and a special “egg-cake” surprise.

Special mention must also be made to the Senkin Issie, and sake we sampled with our meal – both high quality and very easy to drink, and paired particularly well with fish.

Verdict

I practically had to roll out of Sushi Ta-Ke, but it was worth every mouthful. An absolutely delicious

VERDICT 

Price: Chef Adachi Seiji’s Omakase Menu starts at HK$1,500 (US$193) per person + 10 per cent, excluding alcohol.

Sushi Ta-ke

Address: 12/F, Cubus, 1 Hoi Ping Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Reservations: 2577 0611

Opening hours: 12nn-3pm and 6pm-11:30pm

Hongkong’s fine dining scene heats up

Singapore’s Les Amis Group is opening its first overseas branch in Hongkong on December 29.

Those in the know will appreciate the gastronomic experience that has made Les Amis Singapore a connoisseur’s favourite over the last 14 years. Les Amis is French for “the friends”.

The newbie in Hongkong’s fine dining scene will be called CÉPAGE, whose name derives from the French wine terminology meaning a “blend of” or “variety of” grapes. The new restaurant first made headlines early this month, when legal complications arose over the use of “Les Amis” (supposedly its name), after it was found out that there is a similarly named restaurant and bar operator in Hongkong.

At the helm of CÉPAGE at 23 Wing Fung Street will be resident chef Thomas Mayr, who is responsible for setting the high standards already in place at Les Amis Singapore, and director of operations Randy See, voted Sommelier of the Year at the annual World Gourmet Summit for three consecutive years.

“Hongkongers have very sophisticated and fine palates, and Les Amis Singapore always enjoys a strong clientele from Hongkong,” said Raymond Lim, spokesperson, Les Amis Group. “With the zero liquor tax (in Hongkong), we are hoping to attract the fine dining market with our wine list which promises to be not only the largest in the city, but also a third cheaper than our nearest competitor.”

For reservations, please call 852 2861 3130 or visit www.lesamis.com.sg

Julian Tan