All You’ll Want for Christmas
‘Tis the season, and along with the carols that grate on your nerves, the frenzy of last-minute shopping, and the often tacky ornaments and displays found…well, just about everywhere, comes the disappointment on Christmas morning when you unwrap your gifts to find a pile of presents that “it’s the thought that counts” doesn’t quite make up for.
An Interview with Kaitlin Kapur
As head of bespoke matchmaking company Anteros International – an exclusive dating service for the discerning and well-heeled – Kaitlin Kapur knows a thing or two about romance.
Admiralty’s New Class Act
It seems whenever you think of the word ‘Continental,’ it conjures up a sense of old world charm, of hospitality steeped in tradition, of an attention to detail that we rarely encounter in today’s fast paced world.
A Meeting of the Minds
Hong Kong’s cocktail culture is coming along nicely after many years of overly-sweet, overly-colourful concoctions that rot teeth and wrack brains the next day.
Hong Kong loves its culinary trends, and the latest is all about simple pleasures; the combination of a simple rib-eye steak, cooked to perfection, and served with French fries and sauce, usually hollandaise or béarnaise, or even a simple jus, is magic after a long day screen-gazing. Add lashings of cheeky red wine and you have a recipe for a lad’s night out. Here’s who’s doing steak frites in the Fragrant Harbour.
Keeping Things Simple
The French know a thing or two about fashion, culture, and fine dining. But like most fashion-forward cultures, they also excel at simplicity, as can be seen at family-run Parisian culinary landmark Le Relais de l’Entrecôte, founded in 1959, where your choices are limited to the wine that accompanies your steak and French fries, which come doused in a secret sauce passed down over the generations.
Video Gaming for Adults
When you were young, depending on how long ago we’re talking, you would have gone through a video game phase.
This November a brotherhood of men once again took to the streets of Hong Kong proudly sporting all manner of moustaches in support of Movember, the men’s health-advocating charity that seems to gather more ‘bros each year. NecesCity gathered three MoBros one evening to talk about their mo’ stories over a few man-approved cocktails.
MoBro: Nicholas Worley
Years as a MoBro: Five
This year’s mo’ style: Handlebar
Nick’s grandfather passed away at an early age from undetected prostate cancer, so when he heard about Movember, he knew it was a brilliant way to raise money to fight the disease,and raise awareness for men’s health in general. “I think Movember is important because men need to realise that we’re not as strong as we think we are, and that health is very important.” His involvement started when he contacted the Melbourne-based charity to try and organise a gala party here, a move which eventually led to the official launch of Movember in Hong Kong. For Nick, the biggest marker of Movember’s popularity has been its total assimilation into global and local culture, one so complete that even workplaces and gyms are supporting it. As well as growing a ‘mo, Nick’s team – a group of Crossfit enthusiasts – are raising money with a burpee challenge, where they complete one burpee for every HKD10 raised. So far the team has raised more than HKD30,000, so on November 29, the team – supported by the Hong KongCrossfit community – will be on a mission to finish 3,000 burpees.
Words of mo’ wisdom: Grow a mo’ and save a bro.
MoBro: James Aitchison
Years as a MoBro: Seven
This year’s mo’ style: Trucker
For James, Movember’s unique status as one of the few charities to specifically address men’s health was the initial drawcard. “Health is something which too many of us are nonchalant about until we hit mid-life, so the awareness the charity aims to increase is such an important aspect. In a very specific way it addresses the number one health concern for men, which is cancer.” But, the camaraderie he found once he started growing a mo’ is what’s kept him going for seven years. “Whether it’s with my team, or with a stranger sporting an excellent ‘gringo’ (look it up!) at the pub on a Friday night, it’s great that we can band together for a just and righteous cause.”James is also part of the Crossfit Burpee-athon, but his Movember involvement also has ties to his professional life. His employer, Australia’s Macquarie Group, is a vocal supporter of the charity – they were declared Movember’s biggest corporate fundraiser in 2012. James describes the charity’s rise in popularity as an ‘incredible journey,’ which has grown from being a largely Australian initiative into the truly global even that it is now.
Words of mo’ wisdom: Good donators make good lovers…make MO mistake!
MoBro: Peter Yuill
Years as a MoBro: Four or five years
This year’s mo’ style: None – I used to have big fancy ones, but decided to go simple this year.
Stylised facial hair was always a part of Peter’s look so when he heard about Movember, the charity seemed like a perfect fit. The fact that it was a fun, creative way to get guys talking about men’s health made his involvement a no-brainer. “Often, men don’t want to discuss their health so I think the Movember message is an important one.” As an official Movember representative in Hong Kong, Peter’s thrilled to see how much the charity’s popularity has grown in recent years. “Movember’s always been popular around the world but it only had a small following here early on. Now, you don’t just see expats getting involved, a lot of locals take part as well.” Peter and his team, Mo Against the Machine, have also teamed up with the guys at Clockenflap for a month-long run of events to benefit Movember – dodgeball days and trike drifting in the New Territories are just a few of the active, money-raising efforts the team have taken part in.
Words of mo’ wisdom: Growing a moustache doesn’t just make you look good, it might help save your life.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
We’re all looking for motivation in life; we’re all looking for satisfaction, renewed energy, and even companionship, and what better time to seek these essential elements out than at the end of yet another year?
Luggage that’s Smarter Than You
We’ve all been there, stuck at a soulless airport, looking into the dead eyes of an equally soulless airport employee, who couldn’t care less that your luggage never arrived.
If Not Now, Then When?
It’s almost bonus season, and you know what that means – daydreams at your desk, of all the places you’d like to visit, if only you could find the motivation.
Celebrating Attention to Detail
If you think about it, the older we get the more we appreciate precision; with the passing of years, we start to notice attention to detail, to crave the bespoke, to covet the curated, and to revel in the mastery of the artisans.
Even alpha males need a dose of self-appreciation from time to time and these guy friendly sanctuaries are bound to satisfy.
Brother to the original urban man cave in London’s Mayfair, Gentlemen’s Tonic on Wellington Street is a contemporary take on a traditional men’s barbershop, except it also offers facials, manicures, massages, and plenty of manscaping for the black suit crowd looking for reprieve from the corporate world. The Rubio package, designed “for the ultimate playboy”, includes a haircut, wet shave, express toning facial, hand treatment (not what you’re thinking), and a deluxe Swedish massage. Alternatively, great for buck’s party warm ups, the Hemingway inspired ‘After a Heavy Night of Drinking & Bullfighting’ marries an aromatherapy message and facial with a stiff Bloody Mary.http://www.gentlemenstonic.com/
The Landmark Mandarin Oriental
With a Turkish Hammam, Moroccan Rasul ,and a 1930s Shanghainese style barber and grooming centre at guests’ disposal, The Oriental Spa at The Landmark Oriental offers treatments laced with ancient wellness tradition across 15 treatment suites, with an adjoining state-of-the-art fitness centre and indoor swimming pool. Lads looking to languish should book the three hour long Gentlemen’s Refresher – Half Day package and arrive an hour early to chill in the vitality pool or sauna before starting with an exfoliating Hammam experience, followed by a de-stress massage, and a mini facial to rid the skin of impurities. Catch up with your mates over a session in the amethyst crystal steam room or over bouts at the ice fountain.
The Strand Hong Kong
The Strand Hong Kong is a haven in which modern men can unwind without the fuss of work or women. With the entire second floor of the Cochrane Street building dedicated to the lads, The Strand is famed for their extensive list of facials, which use organic products sourced from Germany. However, you’ll miss out if you don’t go in for The Godfather ritual, during which a team of professionals subject punters to a 60-minute oriental body massage, a 30-minute booster facial and a 15-minute jetlag treatment that promises to lighten eye luggage. There’s little left to do but kick back with a magazine in one hand, and a chilled beverage in the other.
The Langham Place Mongkok boasts the city-famous Chuan Spa, an oasis on the 41st floor where traditional Chinese medicinal practices are used reduce mental stress and muscular tension. The Chuan Signature Man Menu focuses on the male specimen’s energy flow, or Qi. Highlights include the Stress Killer massage and the Chuan Man’s World skin cleanse. The Metropolitan package, for the modern, working man, is a must-try, with its back scrub, warm paraffin mask, leg and foot massage, and Chuan Man Maintenance purifying facial, is designed to alleviate inner tension as well as sculpt and tone the body. An hour and 30 minutes later, you’ll be one with all of your chakras. http://www.chuanspa.com.hk/en/HongKong/
W’s Bliss Spa
Soaring way above cloud nine on the 72nd floor of the W Hong Kong, the Bliss Spa is a retreat that features nine lavish treatment rooms, jacuzzis in locker rooms, and even a brownie and lemonade buffet to satisfy mid-spa hunger pangs (though we’re sure they would also bring a margarita or two up from the WooBar if you asked nicely). Enjoy BIP (Bliss Important Person) priority status and check out the spa’s exclusive Pour Les Garcons summer promotion that combines a 30-minute back, neck, and shoulder massage, and a 15-minute scalp therapy session, with a 30-minute facial that’ll exfoliate and tighten the skin and rid you of your post-deadline panda eyes. You’ll even have access to the FIT gym and WET swimming pool, one of the city’s most iconic, leaving the hotel a new man. http://www.w-hongkong.com/
A Classy Cultural Immersion
We consider ourselves very particular travellers, and we’re sure you do too.
Release Your Inner Cowboy
When you were a little tyke, there’s a high chance you fancied, at one stage or another, being a cowboy.
The Closest Shave
Shaving. It’s a daily chore for some of us, and one that’s never as glamorous as the commercials would have us believe. After all, when was the last time you had a naked woman wrapping her arms around you and whispering in your ear as you shaved? Exactly. Razor burn, shaving rash, the odd self-inflicted wound; it’s hard to find joy in this daily act, but with the right tools you can add a little ceremony to the facial servitude.
Men’s grooming brand Hommage has just launched in our fair city. From its beautifully-crafted shaving sets, conceptualised by industrial designer and Hommage co-founder Wolfgang Joensson and named for the most stylish destinations in the world, to its line of ‘performance-based’ skin care products, and signature grooming atelier Hommage promises to take your morning drag to a whole new level. Products like the Huile de PreRasage pre-shave oil and the Huile de Rasage Emolliente relief gel are designed to make your shave smoother, faster, and closer, with no burning or unsightly rashes afterwards. The blades and brushes, made from fine leather and carbon fibre reminiscent of a luxury fountain pen, also make for eye-catching additions to your bathroom collection, should the aforementioned wrapping and whispering ever take place.
Because a professional needs tools.
Available at the Cigar Emporium, Elements; Harvey Nichols; Havana Express, Soho; and the Mandarin Oriental Barber. http://hommage.com/collection/equipment.html
Back to Rum School
If you’ve been paying attention to the advice of your local barman, and you should, you’ll know that premium rum is picking up pace in Asia like a McLaren P1, and for good reason.
Embrace fighting – man’s ultimate pastime – by learning MMA from one of Hong Kong’s five best studios, so you can pack a punch and get your adrenaline and testosterone levels going through the roof.
The JAB Elite Mixed Martial Arts Studio in Central was named one of the Top Ten MMA Gyms in Asia in 2012 by Fight Nation for its high quality classes and training facilities. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu World Champion Professor Rodrigo Caporal offers both group and individual training sessions for all levels of MMA experience, and turns the sport into a full body workout whilst also teaching mental self-control and muscle conditioning. With classes happening throughout the week at various times, the club also provides therapy sessions to relieve body pain through neurological improvement and targets non-surgical fat burning processes with advanced nutrition plans. www.jabmma.com
Epic MMA Club
Since opening in March 2012, the Epic MMA Club in Central has taught men of all ages the art and discipline behind combative sports and cardiovascular conditioning. With punching bags, sparring rings and state of the art training equipment in over 1,350sqm worth of studio space, the club is famed for its Brazilian Jiu Jitsu-influenced MMA training programme. Instructors Alberto Mina and Alex Silva teach striking, clinching, take-down and grappling techniques to equip fighters for spars in the ring and in real life. Classes are scheduled for all levels on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30pm – the perfect post-work scene to release tension through exercise. www.epicmma.com
Impakt’s signature MMA classes value training and skill over brute strength and power. Instructor Rein De Guzman pulls styles from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai to develop a lethal brand of MMA which teaches control and discipline over the mind and body. The club also offers fitness training programmes along with the MMA classes to help build core stability and tone and strengthen muscles. Classes take place every Wednesday at 6pm and Saturday at 2pm, and are only seconds away from Central MTR. www.impakt.hk
For those on the Kowloon side, the Triquest MMA and Fitness Academy in Tsim Sha Tsui is the place to train. Hong Kong’s MMA legend Thomas Fan, Ken Man and Bernard Fung lead the MMA courses and draw elements from Kyokushin Karate and KickBoxing to give fighters an edge over others, whilst also teaching skills that can be applied in other sports such as ice hockey and rugby. Sign up for a Thursday or Friday class from 7-8pm, or go in for a Saturday 2:30-4pm session to spar and sweat it out with the lads. www.triquest-mma.com
Hayabusa’s top-notch MMA training programme is strongly influenced by Muay Thai techniques which emphasise quick, short jabs from the elbows and strong kicks from the legs. Classes are taught by MMA head coach Leo Li who encourages fighters to hone fighting skills (and burn a few calories while you’re at it) as well as develop aspects of sportsmanship. With a Central studio and a Causeway Bay centre to pick from, and classes scheduled for weekday evenings and weekend afternoons, learners will be in for action-packed sessions of aerobic and cardiovascular workouts. www.hayabusa.com.hk
Spain Meets Sai Ying Pun
Hong Kong is a city that’s always reinventing itself.
Bivouac with Style
We all know that our basic needs are simple: food, clothing, shelter, scotch.
While you’re reading this, there is a distinct possibility that you’re doing so on a slight lean.
Who Dares Wins
Learning to be a chef is often a long and gruelling process, working in the creative shadows of your elders and betters. After the technical education, after potentially years of washing dishes and chopping onions, you might be fortunate enough to be taken under the wing of culinary greats.
Returning to the Basics
In a city where the culinary culture simmers somewhere between late night cha chaan tengs and celebrity chef restaurants rarely visited by their namesake, it’s understandable if you crave a return to the basics, an adherence to heritage, and a respect for ingredients.
Your New Throne Has Arrived
Once upon a time, perhaps more years ago than you’d like to admit, you could be found perched on your Chuck Taylor All-Stars, staring at a boxy television, a game console controller clutched between sweaty mitts.
While we associate the sinfully cool creation of author Ian Fleming with tropical climes and scantily clad dames, he’s had plenty of skirmishes in cold weather.
Your Friendly Fusion Foundry
Some things just go well together, like pineapple and maple bacon, like vermouth and olives, like peanut butter and ladies.