Internationally renowned entrepreneur and socialite Sir David Tang gives us his tips on where to go in his home town.
Known across the world for his countless enterprises and key involvement in arts and charity initiatives, Sir David Tang is the founder of fashion label Shanghai Tang, restaurateur of China Club and China Tang, and with an avid interest in the arts and philanthropy, he is the trustee of Royal Academy of Arts, advisor to London Symphony Orchestra and the founder of Hong Kong Cancer Fund. The famously well-connected entrepreneur gives us his tips on where to eat, shop and explore to experience the best of Hong Kong.
A culinary experience
“Try the crab in yellow wine sauce at Victoria Seafood at CITIC Tower, the steamed garoupa at the China Club, and the roast chicken at Fook Lam Moon. It’s the best kind of Cantonese cuisine one could hope for.”
From its vantage point in Citic Tower, Victoria City Seafood Restaurant overlooks Victoria Harbour and Kowloon and is perhaps best known for its exceptional dim sum. The members’ eating and drinking spot China Club is another venue that’s gained a reputation for its culinary offering, as well as for hosting live jazz performances and tea shows; Chinese modern art and art deco furnishings give the interior its edge, and you can look out over Central from the club’s terrace. Wan Chai is the setting for the flagship restaurant of small chain Fook Lam Moon; A venue that’s known for attracting the city’s celebrities, who go for traditional Cantonese fine dining.
Victoria City Seafood Restaurant, CITIC Tower, 1 Tim Mei Avenue, Hong Kong. China Club, 13/F, The Old Bank of China Building, Bank Street, Central, Hong Kong, Fook Lam Moon, 43-45 Johnston Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Authentic local eats
“Go to Luk Yu Tea House on Stanley Street. It’s charming.”
Regarded as Hong Kong’s most famous tea house, Luk Yu is fitted with colonial decor – incorporating stained glass, wooden booths and ceiling fans – while specialising in dim sum and Chinese tea. Having opened in 1933, the tea house has some intriguing stories to tell and is said to be an unrivalled insight into old Hong Kong.
Luk Yu Tea House, 24-26 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong.
“See an outdoor performance of a Chinese opera. The Hong Kong Heritage Museum is worth going to as well.”
The peak time for Chinese opera shows on the island is during Hong Kong Arts Festival – throughout February and March – and during the summer months as a part of the annual Chinese Opera Festival, which celebrates this iconic art with a packed schedule of theatrical events, talks, exhibitions and film screenings. Situated beside the Sing Mun River, the Hong Kong Heritage Museum focuses on the local history, arts and culture. In addition to the permanent galleries and temporary exhibitions, there’s a theatre for talks and the performing arts, including Chinese opera.
Hong Kong Heritage Museum, 1 Man Lam Road, Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
Where to shop
“Hollywood Road remains the best place for shopping in Hong Kong for me.”
Running between Central and Sheung Wan, Hollywood Road was the island’s first road to be completed, back in 1844, after Hong Kong was founded. In its early days the road was a hub for merchants selling antiques from mainland China. Now, reflecting its origin, the street is primarily an antiques market, with the more recent addition of galleries and dining spots. Head to Man Mo temple to find out more about the famous street’s past.
Top spot for a sundowner
“It has to be Captain’s Bar at the Mandarin.”
A stalwart of Hong Kong’s drinking scene, Captain’s Bar has remained popular for decades, with a classic interior of red leather seating, and wooden and brass furnishings. Catch nightly jazz performances and try one of the bar’s classic cocktails or draught beer that’s served in a silver tankard; regular guests are presented with their own tankard that’s been engraved with their name.
Captain’s Bar, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong.
“Go to the Chi Lin Nunnery at Diamond Hill.”
In the high-rise district of Kowloon, Diamond Hill is the setting for Chi Lin Nunnery – a temple complex that encompasses a nunnery, temple halls housing Buddhist relics and Chinese gardens with lotus ponds. Built in the style of the Tang Dynasty, the temple complex was constructed using traditional Chinese architectural techniques.
The great outdoors
“Hong Kong is 60-percent countryside and Sai Kung Country Park is spectacular.”
Covering 4,494 hectares, the vast landscape of Sai Kung East Country Park is made up of high island areas and coastline, with a number of bays and coves; many people come to hike the park’s trails and to wander along Hong Kong’s most famous beaches. At 468 metres, Sharp Peak is the park’s highest point, rewarding climbers with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and coastline. Sai Kung West is an area of mountainous countryside with hiking trails, old rural settlements and a coastline that you can snorkel and scuba dive from.
“Do both the Star Ferry and the Peak Tram. They are cliche, but fun.”
The Star Ferry passenger boats take commuters and travellers alike on a journey across Victoria Harbour between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, while the Victorian-style trains of The Peak Tram take passengers up to Hong Kong Island’s highest point, The Peak, where you can set out on nature walks and savour a 360-degree view of the city from the top of the Peak’s tower.
Central Star Ferry Pier, Central Pier, Central, Hong Kong Island. Peak Tram Lower Terminus, 33 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong.