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Posts tagged ‘The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’

Luxe new rooms at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

Redesigned suite at The Landmark Oriental Hong Kong

Redesigned suite at The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong

[UPDATE: To celebrate the reopening of Harvey Nichols at the Landmark, a kitten heel’s throw away from the The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, the hotel is offering VIP access to Harvey Nics including discounts, personal styling, beauty treatments and champagne, sweetie. Stay & Shop at Harvey Nichols is valid from 1 November 2016 until 31 March 2017. Rates start from HKD 5,380: ]

There are several good reasons to stay at The Landmark Oriental when you’re in Hong Kong. First there’s the location, slap bang in the centre of the Central district with all the shops and restaurants you could wish for on your doorstep. That’s if you can tear yourself away from the hotel’s Amber, number 38 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Then there’s the brilliant Bastien Gonzalez mani pedi and the spa which is second to none, not just in Hong Kong but any city. And of course the boutique size which makes it feel very personal.

And now there’s another reason: The Landmark has become even swisher with new guest room designs by Joyce Wang.

LMHKG redesigned L600 living room (1MB)

LMHKG redesigned L450 (1MB)-5

The new look is softer and a teeny bit more feminine with the feel of those stylish apartments in glamorous 1930s films. Art Deco details are dotted throughout from the cabinets and side tables to the lights and glass screens.

LMHKG redesigned room Cooling Vitrine and Sofa (1MB)

Clever touches include a chic vitrine chiller cabinet in which delectable treats made by executive chef Richard Ekkebus and the Amber team will be left in your room. And the bed headboards are reminiscent of First Class flatbeds on the plane – complete with adjustable reading light.


LMHKG redesigned bedroom cameo (1MB)

Wisely, the huge bathrooms with their eye catching circular tubs have been kept as they are with Wang working her magic on the rest of the room.

The eye catching bathrooms at The Landmark are unchanged

Thankfully though, Wang has done away with the confusing multi blind system. The result is a pretty near perfect home from home in the heart of Hongkers.

Sing for your supper


Raffles Hotel Singapore, home of the Singapore Sling

Life in Singapore revolves around food. When Singaporeans are eating breakfast they are thinking of lunch, when they have lunch they are thinking about what to eat for dinner. Whether their insatiable appetites have spawned a glut of eateries or the other way around, there is an impressive choice in this city-state 24 hours a day. And nowhere are the options more varied. In Singapore (or Sing as the expats call it) you could start the day with Kaya toast – a “jam” made of coconut milk, egg and sugar – with a soft boiled egg at a corner coffee shop; eat cheap but safe street food for lunch and finish with dinner at a celebrity chef restaurant.

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Stars and Spas in Macau

Robuchon restaurant at Hotel Lisboa, Macau


[UPDATE: Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 will be held at the Wynn Macau on March 27th 2018.]

Something is stirring in Macau, the sleepy colonial backwater turned gaming mecca on the southern tip of the China mainland just a 40 minute ferry ride from Hong Kong. For amongst the glitz (and sometimes seediness) of the mammoth casinos and five star hotel complexes are some of the best restaurants and spas in the world.


Spa at the Mandarin Oriental Macau

While Macau, as a former Portuguese colony, offers any number of rustic bistros that Portugal can be proud of, it’s the fine dining that’s attracting attention.

Robuchon a Galera

Joel Robuchon has a new outpost there in the colourful Grand Lisboa hotel on the Macau peninsula. Newly unveiled as Robuchon au Dome – replacing Robuchon a Galera – the restaurant has just moved to an even flashier spot under the glass atrium at the top of the sky scraper hotel. With its Swarovski chandelier, Steinway piano and Baccarat crystal the place is almost a pastiche of a three Michelin starred restaurant (an honour it has secured four years running) but purists won’t be disappointed with the cooking. Under chef Francky Semblat [UPDATE: Chef Francky Semblat has been succeeded at Robuchon au Dome by Julien Tongourian] the bread and butter trollies and signature dishes such as caviar jelly with cauliflower cream all prevail. As well as new, Asian inspired creations.

Oriental jelly with spices and caramel

In Las Vegas – which Macau is often deemed an Asian version of – Robuchon sits alongside Thomas Keller and Nobu. Perhaps they will follow him to Macau but for now it’s the Chinese cuisine that really shines. Zin Yat Heen is one of a number of Cantonese restaurants with a deservingly high reputation. Tucked away within the Four Seasons on the Cotai Strip, a main drag for gaming and shopping, the two Michelin starred Zin Yat Heen is a tranquil haven away from the bling with laquered wall coverings and paper lanterns and a prominently displayed wine selection rather than the garish or downright dull décor that often comes with Cantonese dining rooms.

Zin Yat Heen

Chef Ho Pui Yung, originally from Hong Kong the heartland of Cantonese, specialises in seafood and the freshest of top quality ingredients for his exemplary cuisine. Diners flock here for the crab claw stuffed with shrimp and the crispy chicken in particular.

Wing Lei

And there are other contenders gaining credence. Over at the Wynn hotel back on the peninsula, fellow Cantonese restaurant Wing Lei has been elevated to two Michelin stars this year. Next door, Golden Flower at the Encore hotel has received its first star. What differentiates the Golden Flower is its emphasis on the elite Tan cuisine; created in Beijing and defined by detailed preparation and subtle flavours.

Golden Flower

Chef Liu Guo Zhu who moved from Beijing to Macau bringing seven apprentices with him says, “Tan cuisine is an exclusive school of cooking and hard to understand because of the labour intensive cooking methods involved.” In reality, that means dishes such as stewed fish maw in a rich chicken broth.

Tim’s Kitchen is another of the more interesting Michelin starred venues. Originally a private chef for HSBC executives, Tim Lai’s cooking is a sophisticated and contemporary take on Cantonese. Dishes such as simmered pomelo peel and goose meat roll practically have their own fan club.

While the Hong Kong branch is a chi chi affair in trendy Sheung Wan, Tim’s Kitchen Macau is found incongruously inside the Hotel Lisboa in the heart of the peninsula’s gaming area.

Mandarin Oriental Maca Vida Rica Bar

It’s no surprise that these fine dining establishments are housed within the casinos and hotels. Where the high rollers flock, it follows that high class restaurants will open. Though whether the gamblers are really interested in what they are eating is another matter. It’s not unheard of to see groups of women dining together while presumably their husbands are at tables of the gaming variety. At the Mandarin Oriental I saw a group of wives enjoying cocktails in the bar while at the hotel’s spa I saw a succession of well groomed young men. For spas are another draw for Macau – not just for WAGs but increasingly metrosexual mainland men (China is said to be the only country where men outspend women on beauty). As such the standards need to be high-roller high and many have scooped up awards.

Mandarin Oriental spa

Whoever the customers are, and whatever their tastes, their presence will continue to feed the trend for more high quality restaurant openings. The latest, Guincho a Galera, is the first foreign foray for a Portuguese Michelin starred restaurant. So perhaps Portugal will be landing on the map in Macau again very soon.

Hotel spas

The Mandarin Oriental – mercifully free of bling, boutique sized and without a casino attached. The compact spa is in keeping with the intimate size of the hotel and makes much of its view of the peninsula. Voted best spa for men but definitely will appeal to women too.

The Four Seasons

One of the largest spas in Macau, it has a botanical theme so really feels like an urban oasis in the middle of the mall madness. Large choice of treatments.


Emphasis is on exclusivity with eight private treatment rooms featuring their own steam, sauna and hydrotherapy as well as dressing room.

Banyan Tree

Incongruously located within the gargantuan Galaxy complex but including a massive spa. The Banyan Trees reputation for spas is huge and this one is no exception.


Robuchon au Dome

Zin Yat Heen

Wing Lei

Golden Flower

Tim’s Kitchen

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