How to Make the Most of a Hong Kong Business Trip

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Hong Kong

Many business travelers only see enough of Hong Kong to take note of its luxurious airport and glittering, high-rise office buildings. Business travelers are busy people, after all. But as the international hub of Asia, the small island is bursting at the seams with some of the world’s best shops, restaurants and hotels that shouldn’t be missed.   Though Hong Kongers work hard, they also play hard. Travelers can find everything from the world’s best roast pork buns to tagliatelle that rivals that of the best restaurants in Italy. Cutting-edge boutiques, ultra-luxury hotels and high-end cocktail bars – they’re all here. Whether you’re looking to eat, drink, shop or squeeze in a workout, they’re all here, and The Financialist has gathered a list of both the city’s most loved attractions and hidden gems.   RESTAURANTS   Under the Bridge Spicy Crab, 405 Lockhart Road, Hong Kong Blink and you’ll miss the unremarkable storefront of Under the Bridge Spicy Crab, which is tucked between several other Cantonese seafood restaurants in Causeway Bay, a major shopping district. But don’t be fooled by the eatery’s plain exterior – or interior, for that matter. The focus is on the food here, especially the restaurant’s namesake dish. Giant, fleshy, sweet typhoon shelter crabs are deep-fried and buried under a mountain of crunchy fried garlic, chili and spring onions. The dish is messy, smelly and easily one of the most sublime seafood delicacies in Hong Kong.   Lung King Heen, The Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is home to the world’s best dim sum, and the best-of-the-best is served at Lung King Heen, the only Cantonese restaurant in the world to have earned three Michelin stars. The setting isn’t bad either, with stunning views across the bay to Kowloon. Bamboo steamers encase mouthwatering renditions of dim sum classics, such as lobster and scallop dumplings. The kitchen makes its own XO sauce, a spicy seafood condiment native to the island, and the concoction is a veritable umami bomb made from a base of dried scallops and shrimp.   Sushi Yoshitake, The Mercer Hotel The spartan space at Sushi Yoshitake has only eight seats, allowing an exclusive, intimate dining experience and up-close views of three-star Chef Masahiro Yoshitake’s handiwork. The Hong Kong outpost of Tokyo’s acclaimed sushi restaurant serves only omakase-style meals, which means that the chef chooses your dishes. The menu changes according to the season, which means customers are treated to only the freshest melt-in-your mouth catches. That’s not something to take lightly: To experience the ultimate in freshness, the restaurant suggests you eat your sushi within 30 seconds of its presentation, as the fish served are mostly wild, caught individually with a rod and reel and brought to the restaurant while still alive.   8½ Otto e Mezzo, Landmark Alexandra Renowned chef Umberto Bombana is Hong Kong’s biggest name for fine Italian fare. Bombana is famous for his modern take on flavors from his home country, producing delicate culinary creations from luxe ingredients such as tender cavatelli with shellfish ragout and briny sea urchin or lobster salad with oscietra caviar. 8½ Otto e Mezzo is the first Italian restaurant outside of Italy to earn three Michelin stars.   Bo Innovation, J Residence Kitchen wild child Alvin Leung serves up Chinese food as you’ve never seen it before. His signature dish, Molecular Xiao Long Bao, is like a little water balloon bursting with the taste of a classic Shanghai soup dumpling, but without the actual dough-and-filling structure. Other Chinese classics are paired with non-traditional accents such as such as “lo mein” made from dried shrimp, served with Carabinero prawn and Chinese egg waffles with Iberian ham.   HOTELS   Langham Place, Mongkok, Kowloon Langham Place boasts five-star luxury a little bit off the beaten path. The hotel’s crisp, modern design, attentive service and plentiful amenities rival those of the best hotels in Central, Hong Kong’s financial district. That includes a luxurious spa and attractive swimming pool, as well as a restaurant, Ming Court, that boasts two Michelin stars. The difference between Langham Place and other luxury hotels is its location. Bustling food stands and markets are steps away in this lively area of Hong Kong, where traditional Chinese life still prevails.   The Mira Hotel, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon Design buffs and foodies alike flock to the Mira Hotel in Kowloon for its Michelin-starred restaurant, Cuisine Cuisine, and stunning interiors by Colin Cowie, a celebrity event planner. The trendy design hotel boasts an 18,000 square-foot spa with a glowing, ultramodern infinity pool. Free international and local calls and mobile data are an added bonus for techies and international business travelers.   The Upper House, Pacific Place, Hong Kong Tastemakers and jetsetters love the eco-friendly, stylish Upper House, tucked away in a discreet corner of shopping mecca Pacific Place. The cozy, boutique hotel is known for its enormous rooms with elegant interior accents such as limestone baths and minimalist wood paneling. And a secret garden offers a green escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.   Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Hong Kong It’s a bold statement to name a hotel after a famous fictional Utopian paradise – but when it comes to unfettered opulence, the Island Shangri-La hotel comes pretty close to the high standards its name implies. The lobby atrium even showcases a jaw-dropping 16-story silk mural that happens to be the world’s largest Chinese landscape painting in the world.   BARS   001, LG/F, Shop G1, Welley Building, 97 Wellington St., Hong Kong +852 2810 6969 Up for an adventure? Search through the wet market – a thoroughfare full of ultra-fresh seafood, meat fruits and vegetables – inside the Welley Building for a doorbell and black door to gain access to one of the city’s most exclusive cocktail bars. The quiet, intimate space is a welcome break from Hong Kong’s crowds, and the bar’s famous grilled cheese with Gruyère makes a great accompaniment to the cocktails mixed with homemade infusions. Call ahead for reservations, as space is tight.   XXX Gallery, B/F, 353-363 Des Voeux Road West Sai Wan, Hong Kong XXX is Hong Kong’s hipster answer to flashy clubs like Lan Kwai Fong’s iconic Dragon-i. You won’t get bottle service in this spartan basement space, not least of all since the XXX is BYOB, but you will see some of the city’s coolest live acts and art shows here. Look for the door simply marked XXX, located in a neighborhood that is otherwise a nightlife wasteland, Sheung Wan.   Sevva, Prince’s Building, Hong Kong Located on the 25th floor of the Prince’s Building, Sevva is a top choice for urban sophisticates who want cocktails with a view. The terrace offers cushy loungers, 360-degree views of the city’s skyline and unique cocktails muddled with passion fruit or lychee. Dress to kill at this watering hole for the city’s young and beautiful, but skip dinner – you’re better off sticking to drinks.   Lily & Bloom, Hotel LKF, Hong Kong Cocktail snobs flock to Bloom, the sophisticated, low-key upstairs area of bar-restaurant Lily & Bloom. Mixologists here shake up stiff, quality cocktails like the Inu of Skye, made with Talisker 10-year whiskey and absinthe. Art deco-inspired iron details, Edison bulbs, oak paneling and leather armchairs add warmth to the prohibition-themed bar, which also has a small cigar room.   Quinary, Ground Floor, 56-58 Hollywood Rd, Hong Kong Understated elegance is the look here at Quinary, where molecular mixology takes the spotlight. Bartenders use high-tech tools such as centrifuges to mix up their own versions of classic drinks, like the Dark & Stormy Intense, which features ginger slow-cooked in Gosling’s Rum for an extra spicy tipple, or the Earl Grey Caviar Martini, topped with a dollop of mustardy foam.   SHOPPING   Kapok Shop, G/F 5 St. Francis Yard, Hong Kong This boutique carries a tightly curated selection of hip, fashionable goods available at a range of price points, including unisex Miansai bracelets and Oliver Spencer sweaters. The store is perfect for fun and fashion-forward gifts like minimalist Clomm watches and fancy Astier de Villatte candles.   Empire International Tailors, Shop No. 6, G/F, Houston Centre, 63 Mody Road, Kowloon Hong Kong is famous for its tailors, and Empire’s jet-setting customers swear by the quality and fit of the shop’s bespoke suits. Empire does fittings around the world, but you can come straight to the source and choose from over 40,000 fabrics to get a suit made exactly as you want it.   The Armoury, 307 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder St, Hong Kong. B62 Landmark Central 15, Hong Kong. The Armoury combines expert Hong Kong tailoring with the elegance of an English haberdasher. Made-to-order suits are carefully constructed with  expert craftsmanship and high-quality, classic fabrics in tweeds and patterns that call “Mad Men” to mind. The men’s shop also sells gorgeous accessories like semi-precious stone cufflinks and suspenders made from bright purple leather and elastic.   OVO Home, 16 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong OVO Home has 16,000 square feet of space to showcase sleek and luxurious furniture and home accessories. Tasteful Chinese-influenced items such as jade pieces on stands or bone ceramic Buddha statues make much better souvenirs for friends and family than the tacky trinkets available in tourist traps.   EXERCISE   Torq Cycle, 26th Floor, Li Dong Building, 9 Li Yuen Street East, Central, Hong Kong If you love to spin or just want to get an intense workout in while you travel, look no further than Torq, a spin mecca located in the island’s business district. Classes range from 35-minute sprints to endurance workouts of 90 minutes. But bring your wallet: A single ride goes for HK$250 (about $32).   Circuit25, Various locations – See http://circuit25.com/hk Circuit25 is Hong Kong’s answer to the circuit-training craze. The group circuit sessions mix beginners and advanced practitioners in all classes, and there are 20 different sessions each week at a number of locations around the city.

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