FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Hong Kong: Appetite For Business

Apr 1, 2012
2012 / April 2012

A city of contrasts, Hong Kong is one of the only places in the world where skyscrapers sporting Michelin-starred restaurants tower over curry stalls and seafood shacks; where just around the corner from The Peninsula Hotel more than 20,000 hoteliers and hawkers cram into the cubicles of the notorious Chungking Mansion; where one might pause on the sidewalk and hear a Nigerian, a Bangladeshi and a Chinese mainlander all   shouting into their phones in a single collective babble.

While baffling, Hong Kong can also be a business traveler’s best resource. The first step in navigating this multicultural metropolis is decoding the names of its tongue-twisting neighborhoods. At the southern tip of Kowloon Peninsula on the mainland side of the city, the Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood houses thousands of hotels, shops, international restaurants and bars in the area around Nathan Road, nicknamed “The Golden Mile.”

Among them is the newly minted Mira, a technology friendly hotel that features in-room PC/televisions, Blu-ray players and mobile phones for guests to use during their stay.

Directly across Victoria Harbour via the world’s most scenic commute — the five-minute Star Ferry ride — is the heart of the city’s business and finance world, appropriately named the Central District. Take your pick of any number of posh hotels and fine restaurants in the midst of Central’s sparkling skyscrapers.

Business travelers can’t go wrong with the Mandarin Oriental, where the recently renovated rooms feature teak paneling and floor-to-ceiling views of Victoria Harbour. In addition to stylish boardroom space, the hotel’s Mandarin Grill makes an ideal backdrop for morning meetings over disum or a full English breakfast.

Down the street at Le Jardin de Joel Robuchon, clients can’t help but be impressed by the power breakfast. Chef Robuchon’s inventive menu includes spicy grapefruit sprinkled with ginger, crab and avocado wrapped in Chinese leaves, and fresh carrot juice with orange flower.

For a more casual start to the day, media types go for the gourmet coffee at the European-style café Classified. Named one of Time magazine’s “Top 5 Restaurants for Cheese Lovers,” it’s the perfect place for a creative meeting over handcrafted breads and artisan cheeses from all over the world.

At noon, Hong Kong’s white-collar workers head to some of the city’s many fine restaurants for a leisurely lunch break. (Recently, more than 1,000 stockbrokers took to the streets to protest their lunchtime being shortened to an hour; until last year, it lasted two hours.) At Café Gray Deluxe inside The Upper House hotel, the city’s business elite dines on celebrated Chef Gray Kunz’s menu of modern European classics like red curry snapper with Thai basil, Black Angus strip steak, and steamed black cod in sour plum broth.

If you want to entertain a client over an Easternstyle feast, Hutong is the current hot spot for innovative Chinese food. Decked out with antique wooden screens and bamboo bird cages — not to mention killer views of Victoria Harbour — Hutong dishes up Beijing-style
comfort food like pan-fried tofu and crispy, melt-in-your-mouth lamb.

Diners who know their way around a dim sum cart rub elbows with the locals at Luk Yu Tea House, one of Hong Kong’s oldest restaurants. The dim sum menu may not be the most extensive in the city, but the classics (like barbecued pork buns) are well represented, and the
1930s-style atmosphere alone is worth the trip.

Like driving on the left side of the road, afternoon tea is a British institution that remains an integral part of life in post-colonial Hong Kong. Take hours in the neoclassical lobby of The Peninsula Hong Kong, where the tradition dates back to 1928. Tourists and businessmen alike nibble on finger sandwiches and sip Earl Grey with live classical music for accompaniment.

For an afternoon meeting over something stronger, a good concierge can arrange access to the Kee Club, a private social club where members drink martinis and rare Burgundy in an intimate lounge complete with Picasso prints, a baby grand piano and designer furniture.

But Hong Kong’s true powerbrokers make their plays in the private Hong Kong Jockey Club at the Happy Valley Race Track. Visitors can access the members’ bar and restaurants by purchasing a tourist badge up to 10 days prior to a race.

In a city that often has first pick of the latest designer fashions, nothing makes a good first impression like a fine tailored suit. If you’re not normally a snappy dresser, consider paying a visit to Ascot Chang, a local favorite for bespoke shirts made from sea-island cotton.

Or make a bold statement with a Mandarin-collared suit or cheongsam dress from China’s leading luxury brand, Shanghai Tang. Each brightly hued creation is tailor-made from the highest quality silks to make you look — and feel — like a million bucks.

Weblinks

Ascot Chang

Café Gray Deluxe

Classified

The Hong Kong Jockey Club

Hutong

Le Jardin de Joel Robuchon

Kee Club

Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong

The Mira Hong Kong

The Peninsula Hong Kong

Shanghai Tang

Star Ferry

The Upper House

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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