Best for drinks
CAFÉ GRAY DELUXE
Level 49, The Upper House,
Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Sitting in the clouds on the top of Hong Kong’s most salubrious boutique hotel, the Upper House, Café Gray has movie-set style. It’s somewhere George Clooney would sit sipping a cocktail with the city lights twinkling in the background. With a European menu, wines from little-known vineyards and impeccable staff, and views of Hong Kong Park, Victoria Harbour and the hilly peaks beyond Tsim Sha Tsui, it remains popular. Catch sunset in the bar with a Hong Kong Highball in hand.
Best for Asian cuisine
FOOK LAM MOON
43-45 Johnston Rd,
Whelk (a saltwater mollusc), bird’s nest, abalone: if it’s traditional Cantonese gastronomy you’re after, the Chui family restaurant, opened in 1972, is where it’s at to this day. This four-storey restaurant with the requisite round tables, chandeliers, carved wood panels and serious staff is the self-professed restaurant for the city’s elite. Tycoons, politicians and celebrities front up here to spend big money on the luxurious ingredients, of which millions of dollars’ worth are said to be in stock at any one time.
Best for executive toys
The GURUS SHOP
8 Cheong Ming St, Happy Valley
Big Boys’ Toys could be another name for the Gurus Shop. This contemporary place with window shopper- friendly floor-to-ceiling glass is a nifty gift shop for the (very) well-off man about town. Leica cameras, coloured binoculars, Rolex watches and Dyson propeller-less fans are stylish and practical, but you can let loose with some downright hedonistic items: the Angry Lego motorbike helmet holders, for example. The bee’s knees of gifts is surely the Romain Jerome moon DNA watches, which are made with parts of the Apollo 11 spacecraft. They’ll set you back about HK$1 million!
Best for Chinese fashion
1 Duddell St, Central
Born and bred in Hong Kong, this global boutique for high-end Chinese-inspired luxury should top your list of retail must-dos. Oodles of space, grand ceilings, immaculate staff and the signature ginger lily scent pervade so that the place oozes wealth and sophistication. If your budget allows a splurge, this is the spot for tasteful gifts and souvenirs, the ones you’ll want to keep forever: colourful cheongsam Chinese-style dresses, tailored suits, horoscope cufflinks, jewellery boxes, silver-plated chopsticks and beautiful pens.
Best for culture
12 Pedder St, Central
Sitting narrowly on Pedder Street, surrounded by modernity, this charming eight-level heritage building with a colonnaded arched facade is one of Hong Kong’s elderly darlings. Upstairs, there are upmarket galleries such as contemporary Gagosian, and Chinese art specialists Pearl Lam and Hanart TZ Gallery. Other truly good finds here include The Lavish Attic, a luxury men’s accessories boutique; Burgundy Etc, a cellar devoted to the famed region; and Red Chamber Cigar Divan, a smoking lounge owned by Sir David Tang (founder of Shanghai Tang), with wood-carved furniture, antique artwork and 300 Havana cigars to puff on.
Best for fashionistas
PATERSON, KINGSTON & CLEVELAND STREETS
Hip young things with cash to spare will gravitate to this (relatively) quiet block where malls give way to street-level shopping. Japanese fashion brands Mercibeaucoup, Tsumori Chisato and Y3 differentiate this fashion hub from others in Hong Kong, as do lesser-franchised names such as APC, Gomme and Isabel Marant. High-end names Armani Exchange, Burberry and Max Mara mingle with edgier Zadig & Voltaire, Vivienne Westwood, Miss Sixty, Killah and Diesel. There’s the brand-heavy, good-looking European fashion house Lusso Brillante, too. Cleveland Street is shoe central – check out Camper, Shine, Religion and, for true shoe eccentrics, Brit brand Irregular Choice.
Best for bespoke tailoring
98 Wellington St, Central
It can be slightly baffling finding a tailor in Hong Kong, as they all look like carbon copies of each other. Reality check – a lot of the clothes are made in the same factory over the border in China. Look no further than Lapel. This friendly team will measure you up for a stylish classic work shirt or hand-stitched suit and have it back almost overnight. Failing that, they’ll ship it home and keep your measurements on file for reordering. The walls are lined with pinstripes and checks in Italian and English fabrics.
And for those wanting more
Helicopter to Macau
It’s only one hour to Macau by ferry, but it is a mere 15 minutes by helicopter. Departing from the Hong Kong-Macau ferry terminal in Sheung Wan, a private chopper to the former Portuguese colony is the vehicle of choice for the city’s deep-pocketed. There are 42 departures a day between 10am and 11pm. Prices start at HK$4,300 (about A$776) one-way. Don’t forget your passport.
Join the club
Accessed via a private lift in the old China Bank Building, the retro-chic China Club is Hong Kong elitism at its heady best. Founded by Sir David Tang of Shanghai Tang fame, this members-only establishment features an intriguing collection of Chinese art, a bar reminiscent of Shanghai in the 1930s (complete with suited bartenders) and an exquisite library from where you can venture out onto a rooftop bar. To eat in the Chinese restaurant is to step back to a time when safari suits were de rigeur and ceiling fans whirred constantly overhead. Concierges at the city’s luxury hotels are able to score tables for visiting VIPs.
Wooden sailing junks were once a common sight on Victoria Harbour. Today – not so much. Happily, the red sails of the marvellous Aqua Luna still billow as the vessel ploughs the busy harbour waters. The vision splendid makes for a spectacular photo opportunity. Better still, get on board for a leisurely afternoon harbour discovery tour, a weekend cruise to the village of Stanley or a sunset cocktail cruise complete with lounge chairs and a beverage.
Three-Michelin-star foodie tour
Executive chef Chan Yan Tak, from Lung King Heen restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong was the first Chinese chef to earn three Michelin stars. Guests at the luxury hotel can follow in the culinary expert’s footsteps on an exploration of the city’s food scene. Start with dim sum making at Lung King Heen then head into Kowloon for a Cantonese taste test.