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Christmas 2017: A Festive Guide

Renaissance 1

‘Tis the season to be jolly, so here’s a list of places to eat, drink and be merry this time of year. Happy holidays!

Words Nicole Hurip 

Munch

12,000 Francs
43A Elgin Street, Elgin Building Ground Floor, SoHo, Central
Tel: 2529 3100

We don’t want a lot for Christmas, but 12,000 Francs’ festive lunch set is definitely on our radar. From December 5 to 29 between Tuesday to Friday (except December 24 and 25), prepare yourself for the holiday season by tucking into foie gras parfait with jalapeño and herbs, “velouté” served with creamy sunchoke soup and persimmon, or a delectable piece of salt cured and slow cooked black cod and kale “chorizo” and ricotta. Two courses go for $228, and three courses go for $288 – if you ask us, we wouldn’t want to skip the dessert of homemade ice cream and profiteroles with coffee mousseline and glazed with chocolate.

 

Beef & Liberty
3/F California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Central
Tel: 2450 5778

Sometimes, it is difficult to differentiate between the things you want and the things you need, and the special Christmas Hamburger, cheekily titled Sweet Baby Cheesus, is one of such. Layered with melted brie, stilton cheese, caramelised onions, house pickles and sweet cranberry sauce, this heavenly creation is available all throughout December à la carte as well as part of the Christmas set menu. The burger costs $138 on its own, but for $328 per person you can share the joy with 10 or more of your loved ones when you have it as part of the four course set menu which includes snacks, a choice between the Christmas, classic or beetroot burger, sides and dessert. Add free flow options starting from $105 for an hour, and you’ve got yourself a very merry jamboree.

 

COBO HOUSE by 2am:dessertbar
8 South Lane, Sai Wan
Tel: 2656 3088

Who cares about presents when you can spend your money on food instead? Treat yourself to the six-course festive dinner menu at COBO HOUSE, where each course is beautifully presented. Themed “Love is Art”, chef Janice Wong showcases her appreciation for artistry with dishes like the guinea fowl consommé, made using traditional French techniques and served in a glass with dried berries. Vegetarians will love the nenrin, a kombu mushroom risotto with burdock ice cream. The pretzel ice cream, encased in a colourful layer of white chocolate, is a fun finish executed to perfection. Dark chocolate mulled wine ($98) is also available – a twist on the classic tipple. The menu – served on December 24, 25 and 31 – is priced at $1080 per person, but if you make your booking before December 21, its only $880 each!

 

The Manor at The St. Regis Macao
1/F The St. Regis Macao, Cotai Strip, Taipa, Macao
Tel: +853 8113 2777

Instead of sweating about what to put under the Christmas tree, take your loved ones to a festive Sunday brunch at The Manor at St. Regis Macao as part of a fun weekend getaway. Dig into luxurious Christmas specials like truffled roast goose, honey roast Christmas ham and gingerbread buche de noel, as well as a variety of cold dishes including oysters, charcuterie, cheese, cured fish and carving tables. Trolley gueridon services only add to the experience. The Sunday brunch is priced at MOP488 per adult and MOP244 per child.

 

Mirage Bar and Restaurant at Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong
1/F Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai
Tel: 2802 8888

In the season of giving, sometimes you just want something for your own. Maybe it’s that gorgeous dress that is finally on sale, or maybe it’s the chance to indulge for the sake of indulging. A buffet is a lovely excuse to stuff yourself up to your gills, as if you need any more motivation with the spread of caviar, foie gras and Iberico ham at the Christmas semi-buffet in Mirage Bar and Restaurant. And that’s just the appetisers. After a round of mains of your choice, take your pick from the desserts table, and perhaps a Christmas drink or two – the HO-HO-HO cocktail ($100) and the Spice Market mocktail ($80) are sure to get you into a festive mood. Available on December 24 and 25, lunch is priced at $398 for adults and $308 for children, and dinner is priced at $598 for adults and $408 for children. All prices include party favours and a Santa visit!

 

Mrs Pound
6 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan
Tel: 3426 3949

Brunch is two meals in one, so prepare to eat more than you can imagine at the Mrs Pound Christmas brunch. Free-flowing pancakes, unlimited berry toppings and smoky Kielbasa sausages are piled high for you to nosh on for $238 per head. Make it a boozy brunch by adding a free-flow package consisting of house wine and spirits as well as bellinis for $250. The brunch is available on Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day, from 12pm to 3pm.

 

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin
Shop 216, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay
Tel: 28895939

The Ocean by Olivier Bellin is going to make all your wishes come true with its eight-course Christmas menu that merges the best of land and sea using the finest produce and a modern take on Breton cuisine. Highlights include Hokkaido scallop with black truffle, Japanese sea urchin with bergamot orange served on a bed of straw, and blue lobster lightly cooked served with curry sauce and an apple and grapefruit condiment. This menu is available on December 24, 25 and 26, priced at $1,488 per person and includes a glass of Perrier-Jouët champagne for each guest.

 

Test Kitchen x Filip Søndergaard
158A Connaught Road West, Shop 3, Sai Ying Pun
Tel: 9032 7628

Celebrate Christmas the Danish way at Test Kitchen, which will be inviting back 34-year-old Danish chef Filip Søndergaard from Denmark to prepare an eight-course Danish Christmas feast for those looking for an alternative, but equally festive menu. Dine on Scandinavian delights like crumbled flatfish with a Danish Remoulade sauce and roast Christmas duck stuffed with apples and prunes. Priced at $1,080, the menu is available from December 20 to 22. Who knew all you wanted for Christmas was just some good brød and ost? Book you seats here.

 

Grassroots Pantry
108 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan
Tel: 2873 3353

Who says Christmas has to be all about meat? Have a very veggie Christmas at Grassroots Pantry, where they are offering a seven course festive tasting menu from December 22 to 25. Priced at $628 per person, enjoy selections like the Polish porcini dumplings in beetroot bortsch, or the Christmas dinner pie made with braised cabbage, “Beyond Meat” sausage stuffing, morel mushroom duxelles, truffle cream and cranberry sauce. The price includes a glass of organic sparkling wine, but if you are feeling extra festive, try the Chai Mulled Wine with vanilla and lime ($98), or the Fernet Hunter cocktail made with muddled rosemary, grapefruit and tonic ($118).

 

Treat

HABITŪ White Christmas Collection
Various locations

You don’t need to hang your stocking on the fireplace anymore, because you’ll want to eat Santa’s chestnut pound cake ($25 per slice) from HABITŪ immediately. Candied chestnuts, or marrons glacé, are folded inside a rich French butter pound cake, along with Belgium chocolate flakes. It is part of the White Christmas collection by pastry chef and model Amanda S, made using only the finest French ingredients. The collection also includes a log cake ($688) and Rudolph’s biscuits ($98 per box): buttery cookies with hazelnuts, cranberries and cocoa nibs – perfect for gifting! The cakes and cookies are available to order in all HABITŪ outlets until December 31, to be enjoyed in-store or at home.

 

Ms B’s Cakery
Shop 248, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central
Tel: 2530 0203

We would be much happier with a nice Christmas cake than a toy on Christmas Day, especially if it is one from Ms B’s Cakery. Any one from the 10 different creations would be the star of the party, or the belle of the ball. The Poinsettia Glory (500g for $920, 1,000g  for $1,500) is a delicate chiffon sponge flavoured with cinnamon, dotted with apple chunks and decorated with handcrafted Poinsettia flowers, and is also available as a pear and burnt toffee-filled cream chiffon sponge. For a true showstopper, opt for the gilded 24K Poinsettia (500g for $1,380, 1,000g for $2,200), which comes in three flavours: a chocolate cake with Nutella and chocolate shavings, the signature beetroot red velvet cake with maple and walnut cream cheese, or the champagne vanilla butter cake, all enveloped in a film of edible gold. The Christmas cakes are available from December 14 to 25, and orders must be placed at least two working days in advance, before the cut-off time at 6pm each day.

 

Paul Lafayet
Various locations

We won’t ask for much this Christmas, but some macarons would be nice. More specifically, the ones from Paul Lafayet. The 12-piece macaron gift box, priced at $265, allows you to fill it up with different flavours of your choice, including the festive cinnamon flavour as well as the chestnut and rum flavour. For an extra festive option, gift your macarons in a crystal ball containing two macarons so your loved ones can elegantly enjoy the light, airy confection in style. If macarons aren’t your thing, maybe the handcrafted cookies will tickle your fancy instead. There are five types of cookies: butter, Sichuan pepper, matcha, sesame and oatmeal raisin. A box contains 28 pieces, and costs $168.

Quaff

Lily & Bloom Miracle Christmas Pop-up Bar
5/F & 6F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central
Tel: 2810 6166

It does not do to keep on waiting underneath the mistletoe, and forget to have fun, especially because the Miracle Pop-up bar has taken over Lily & Bloom until December 30! Hailing from New York City, Miracle is a concept bar that serves unconventional cocktails amid nostalgic Christmas décor and classic holiday tunes. Head mixologist John Nugent and his team will be shaking things up with special drinks like the Bad Santa, a blend of mulled red wine, tawny port, orange liqueur, spices and golden raisins in a special Miracle Santa cup. All cocktails are priced at $120 each and shots are $70 each.

 

CÉ LA VI
25/F California Tower, 36, 30 D’Aguilar St, Central
Tel: 3700 2300

Christmas cocktails are on my list and Saint Nick knows it, which is why we’re headed to CÉ LA VI this month to warm our bellies and our hearts with their two Christmas tipples, the CÉ LA VI Toddy made with Baron Otard VSOP and a Hot Buttered Rum that sounds like it’s going to taste like Butterbeer for adults. Keep it coming, thanks.

 

Mak Mak
217A, 2/F Landmark Atrium, Central
Tel: 2983 1003

Have a few of the festive cocktails infused with Thai flavours at Mak Mak, and you won’t be awake to hear the magic reindeer click. The Mistletoe is a rich fusion of Koko kanu rum, coconut milk, Thai fresh lime juice garnished with fresh mint leaves ($98), and the Little Drummer is a refreshing take on the bellini, mixing champagne wit blood orange puree, peach and fresh lemongrass ($98).

Count 

Whisky Advent Calendars
70 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East
Tel: 27215161

A host of whisky advent calendars presented by Tiffany’s New York Bar is available for purchase at the InterContinental Grand Stanford Hong Kong, so you can count down to Christmas in style. Each calendar includes 24 delicious whisky expressions from around the globe, and comes with a Tiffany’s Glencarin Glass. The Ladies’ Edition ($1888) comes with a pair of Glencairn earrings, and the Aficionado Edition ($4888) features luxurious labels such as Glenfiddich, Macallan and Highland Park aged more than 20 years. Available for order until December 24. For online purchases, visit here.

 

Pierre Hermé Advent Calendar
Shop 2029, Podium L2, ifc mall, Central
Tel: 2833 5700

Pierre Hermé’s advent calendar is shaped like a Christmas wreath, and filled with chocolate bon bons in each of the 24 drawers that stand for each day leading up to the Christmas Day. It might be a square of dark chocolate with fleur de sel in one drawer, a mendiant the next and a delicate Isapahan nougat another time. Priced at $880, this limited edition calendar is certain to bring happiness to whoever is on the receiving end. What more can you ask for?

See

A Cinematic Christmas at Foxglove
2/F Printing House, 18 Ice House Street, Central
Tel: 2116 8949

As festive lights are shining so brightly everywhere, Foxglove is going to be dimming them for a different kind of Christmas magic – the magic of cinema. Christmas movies will be showed while you enjoy a three-course set dinner menu, with two seatings at 6pm and 8.45pm. The Holiday will be put on for the first seating and Home Alone 2 for the second. Get early bird tickets now until December 12 for $580, and standard tickets from December 13 onwards for $650. Get yours here.

Rest

The Ritz-Carlton Chocolate Spa
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon
Tel: 2263 2360

Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants that are good for the skin, but have you ever tried putting chocolate directly on the skin? The Ritz-Carlton Spa is offering a 120-minute full body treatment infused with nourishing chocolate ingredients, starting with an ESPA dry body brush to stimulate circulation and followed by a 25-minute chocolate fondue wrap and then a 80-minute massage. Best of all, the treatment concludes with a cup of signature hot chocolate to complete the ultimate chocolate journey. The Wrap Around Winter treatment is priced at $2,280 from Monday to Thursday and $2,430 from Friday to Sunday and public holidays.

 

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