Sake for the Club

This might be news to you, but sake has been enjoyed in Japan for over 2,000 years (although rice wine has been distilled by the Chinese for twice that long).


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Sake for the Club

You might not realize it but bottle service can trace its origins to wartime Japan, when ewers of sake were served to seated soldiers.


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Ahoy Me Hearty

Cast back, if you will, to a time of innocence, when you were just a little lad.


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A Spiritual Recharge

Hong Kong can do things to a man, and while some are delectable, tantalizing and downright sinful, not all of them are good for the soul.


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Late Night Revelry

Hong Kong’s nocturnal offerings are region-leading – we’re sure you’ll agree there’s never a shortage of new restaurants, clubs or watering holes – but one thing we’ve never really grasped as a city intent on heading out after dark, is the supper club.


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The Godfather of Groove

 

On the eve of Pacha Macau, the first of the famous clubbing brand’s venues in Asia, opening at Studio City, NecesCity speaks with legendary club boss Eddie Dean about changing trends, the emerging club scene in Asia, and the end of an era in New York.


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Drone technology has come a long way in a short while and today there are hundreds of thousands of publically and privately owned drones flying the friendly skies above us.


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The Northwest Passage, which connects the northern Atlantic and the Pacific through the Canadian Arctic Ocean, remains one of the world’s most remote and least explored locales.


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We Can All Do With a Dose

Throughout history working men have sought clarity; ancient Chinese practitioners manipulated pressure points to ensure they stayed awake in the royal court and aboriginal tribes would do breathing sessions before night hunts in order to stay alert. When the jittering effects of a good cup of coffee were discovered, the world pulled an all-nighter that lasted more than a century. Somewhere along the way amphetamines are first synthesized, with depression-era doctors prescribing the new drugs for everything from obesity to nasal congestion. During WWII meth was laced into chocolate and given to bomber pilots to help them sustain long sorties but was phased out after a few became more strung out than a fiber optics cable.

Rather than hosting the first meth lab fire in Mid Levels’ history, modern gents looking for a pick me up that’s more about berries than bull semen might want to try Clarity Smart Energy, a new pint-sized solution for the sleepies. An energy shot that has little to do with the sugar-laden energy drinks that dominate the shelves of convenience stores across the city, Clarity is made in New Zealand (a country where the inattentive are regularly and randomly tackled) and is blessedly free of sugar, artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. Its low-calorie, vitamin-enriched formula offers a natural caffeine solution in acai or lemon and lime that’s great as a hangover or jetlag cure, a preventative measure or even as a cocktail mixer if you fancy a ride of the stimulant seesaw.

Just remember what goes up must come down.


 

Clarity Smart Energy
Available at leading health shops, clubs and spas including Gigasports, Epic and
Fitness First.
www.clarity-smartenergy.com


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Rekindle the Romance

According to feminist author and academic Carolyn Gold Geilbrun, “romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze.” That’s deep. Whether you’re a poet or a scientist, there's no debating the powers of the heart, but even the most intense romance needs fuel, and few things get the pupils dilating, the lips licked or the hair played with quite like a romantic picnic under a canopy of stars (just pretend they’re not in-bound Cathay flights). Yes, we hear you: it’s a lot of work putting together a picnic fit for a queen, and that’s where your saving grace comes in.

Down in Kennedy Town, Picnic on Forbes, the third eatery by moody culinary genius Philippe Orrico (he of Upper Modern Bistro success), has opened. In addition to a spacious, vibrant neighbourhood bistro designed by Tim Shepherd of Two Men in Hats, Picnic on Forbes creates bespoke picnic baskets for Lotharios on the go. You can choose one of the restaurant’s picnic basket packages, which start from HK$298, or pick your own wicker wonder and choose from a selection of amour-inspired accoutrement, from traditional crudité and French roasterie chickens to sumptuous cheeses from Jeremy Evrard, a wine list by Nicolas Deneux, and a collection of seductive desserts guaranteed to have the same effect on your lady love as snorting flibanserin (it’s worth a Google). You can even order a signature highball by mixology guru Giancarlo Mancino while you wait for your picnic to be constructed by the culinary team. Then all you have to do is pick a secluded spot, exaggerate how difficult it was to compile such a feast, and reap the many, many rewards of a job well done.

After all, there are many paths to ecstasy.


 

Picnic on Forbes
Picnic baskets from HK$298

38 Forbes Street,
Kennedy Town;
Tel: 2855 0810;
www.picnic-forbes.com


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Time for Some Southern Innovation

Southern cuisine sometimes gets a bad rap. Sure, it’s not always the healthiest, but it’s wholesome, simplistic home cooking that’s ideal for fending off winter’s last passata sotto.


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Intoxicating Art

Indecisiveness is an attribute we often identify with the fairer sex; we’ve all done dressing room jury duty; we’ve all walked at a snail’s pace down Pottinger Lane thanks to a pair of 15-inch Louboutins; and most of us have spent the first part of a night on the couch channel surfing and waiting for our significant others to pick an outfit.


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Intoxicating Art

Ok, so we’ve collectively come to the realization that not all coolers are created equal.


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Here We Go Again

It’s that time of year again, when you get bent over the barrel by consumerism in the name of romance. But let’s face it, home-made cards and pop-tart breakfasts in bed only work in the movies; there are expectations to manage and El Nino-sized sexual droughts to avoid, so gently, gently gents. Fortunately, NecesCity, your digital wingman, has done some of the thinking for you.


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Intoxicating Art

So you’re rebuilding your home bar after it was violated by those you hold dearest over the festive season.


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Bringing Floats Back

This might have slipped the nets of your passion for trivia but did you know the ice cream float was created by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia in 1874?


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Time to Clean Up

For those of you who might not have spent much time in the Land of the Rising Sun, an onsen is a Japanese hot spring.


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Cool Has a New Home

Japanese cuisine has come a long way in Hong Kong, which is just as well.


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Keep Your Cool

Man has longed for warm nights and cold drinks for as long as we’ve had fire and rivers within proximity. The irony is that the hotter the weather the harder it is to keep your beverages cool, which is why some of mankind’s greatest minds have tasked themselves through history, not with curing cancer or exploring the cosmos, but with innovating on the eskie and other chilling appareil. Wine buckets were the obvious choice as far back as the 1700s – there is even a priceless antique item from 1753 in the MET – but they weren’t particularly portable and you still needed ice in the first place.

The wine bags by Hong Kong’s own Joy Vino are just the ticket for keeping your wine, or any other liquid, cool on those first-of-the-season junk jaunts. Fill the disposal bags with your wine or perhaps a craft cocktail, and stick it in the fridge until you’re ready to make for Pier 9. Then wedge it into its own cooler cover, which is akin to a wetsuit, and it will stay chilled all day long. It even comes with a handy hook so mother gravity is always at hand to help that health-giving nectar reach from in-built tap to your waiting palate, and afterwards simply fold and toss it into your waiting beach bag.

Just brilliant.


 

Wine Bags by Joy Vino
HK$250

2142 5233;
joyvino.com


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Acclaimed Hong Kong-born chef Vicky Cheng has teamed up with mixology maestro Antonio Lai to create VEA, an innovative open-kitchen concept that pairs fine-dining with imaginative cocktails. He talks to NecesCity about the challenges of cocktail and food pairing, his culinary influences, and the difficulties of incorporating cod fish sperm into his dishes.


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The Need for Speed

So when you were a little lad, there’s even money that you, like many of your little-lad mates, wanted to be a race car driver. The speed, the adrenalin, the adventure, and the pageantry of the racing scene is enough to seduce most would-be gearheads – remember this was the era of Top Gun and Days of Thunder and that awesome Audi scene in Ronin, when it was all about a close encounter with speed and not an endless car chase sequence starring a drooling Vin Diesel.

Time to live your childhood fantasy, with SpeedVegas, which opens in March and is now accepting reservations. This 100-acre complex just off the strip features a 2.4-kilometer Formula One-inspired track on which you’ll race everything from a Shelby Mustang GT500 and an Audi R8 V-10, through to a Ferrari 458 Italia or a Lamborghini Aventador. The ultimate pre-festivities addition to a bachelor’s party or weekend away add-on, the centre offers both day and night driving for anyone with a valid international licence, and while you rip your way around the course, your mates can either grace your rear vision mirror or watch on from an outdoor observation deck.

"If you’re not first, you’re last, " -- Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights


 

Speed Vegas
From US$49 per lap

2142 5233;
www.speedvegas.com


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Death Defying Without the Sweat Stains

We can all agree that the Belgians know a thing or two about making beer.


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Death Defying Without the Sweat Stains

Remember those carefree days spent cruising the streets on your Powell Peralta or mile wide cruiser?


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Make a Sound Statement

We’ve all seen them; those guys cruising down the street with their chunky ass headphones wrapped around their melons.


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Winter Warmer with a Kick

Christmas can be an odd time in Hong Kong. If you’re not headed to the homeland (which ever one you recognize) or are not part of the Phuket-bound exodus, then you’re here, enjoying the city’s second quietest spell (the first comes a month or so later) and its flirtation with “winter”. It’s also great time to learn that the Fragrant Harbour wasn’t designed for the cold, so take advantage of the lull and make the most of the silly season by ordering one of these soul-soothing-but-oh-so-manly tipples tonight.


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Cocktails on the Go

Picture this for a moment: you’ve survived a day of meetings and are hoping to hop an evening flight home.


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Searching for Spanish Gold

The South Americans know a thing or two about red meat. The Spanish word asado is used in countries like Argentina,


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Time to Impress

It’s almost Christmas and New Year’s, which means the party season is almost upon us. It’s a great time to stock up on grooming essentials that will ensure you look your best during those office parties and family gatherings. Here are some of our new-found favourites.


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Be a Good Host

Ah, the morning after, one of life’s potentially challenging entertaining opportunities.


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Chicago Athletic Association

Guys are naturally pack animals. We’re drawn to the group dynamic; we like to create bonds and associations, rituals and fellowships. In the Windy City, one of these institutions was the century-old Chicago Athletic Association. The ultimate old boys club, this Venetian Gothic-style retreat has towered over Michigan Avenue since 1893 as the perfect halfway house between a private members lounge and a track meet.

If you’re travelling to Illinoi anytime soon, you’ll need suitably stylish digs. Fortunately the Chicago Athletics Association is now the city’s coolest new boutique hotel after an extensive restoration by Commune Hotels & Resorts. With lines by Chicago-based Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture and award-winning design firm Roman and Williams Buildings and Interiors, the beautifully restored building now plays host to 241 elegantly-appointed guest rooms and suites that smack of the former club’s rich tradition, thanks to custom lacquered wooden armoires and bars, Faribault Woolen Mill Co. custom blankets, vintage boxing-inspired robes, and a modern take on 19th century brass beds. However, times have changed and during the summer months you’ll now find the city’s lovelies at Cindy’s, the hotel’s chic rooftop lounge, with its breathtaking views of Millennium Park and Lake Michigan. When the mercury drops head for one of the Land & Sea Dept-conceived restaurants, or to The Game Room, the city’s hottest mixology haunt, with its built-in bocce, billiards and shuffleboard tables.

It’s an athletics club after all.


 

Chicago Athletics Association
From US$269 per night, twin share.
www.communehotels.com


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