With 3-Mich-starred strings to his bow, Hong Kong and Shanghai’s beloved Italiano maestro Umberto Bombana (8½ Otto e Mezzo) is now set to tingle Beijing taste buds with Opera Bombana, a continuation in Italian raffinato but with the addition of a teasingly aromatic open bakery. The 1930s-inspired patent black and cream interior is so slick you’d be forgiven for expecting a mafioso to glide through the door in spats and a tux demanding ‘mama’s finest meatballs’, but instead the refined menu sees chef Marino d’Antonio (Sureno) plating up perfectly al-dente pasta stuffed with veal, Parma ham and artichoke, or marinated NZ scampi with caviar, sea urchin and orange chantilly, to name but a few. The spoon-licking pistachio gelato is not to be missed, or alternatively, just pop in for a loaf of Beijing’s best bread, freshly baked everyday with imported Italian flour. Private dining is also available, and did we mention the restaurant is also home to a rather priceless Claude Monet? Surely you must be Bombana-bound by now… Ciao!
LG2-21 Parkview Green, 9 Dongdaqiao Rd, Beijing. T: +86 10 5690 7177. W: parkviewgreen.com
It’s official: forget coffee, tea is making a comeback… Just look to Berlin’s Jens de Gruyter, inviting you into his tea emporium Paper & Tea, where he is in hot pursuit of the perfect cuppa. But nevermind the dunk and dump method, these hip Berliners are bringing back the age-old ritual of tea-making with GongFu-style demonstrations and a hands-on display of rare and fine teas. Stoneware, porcelain, clay teapots and other quaint tea-swilling contraptions are also on sale, while regular seminars aim to broaden the palate with tasting sessions and the fascinating stories behind the various white, green and black leaves that come in from all over Asia. The paper part of the title refers to a pretty selection of wrapping paper, greetings cards and notebooks – perfect for jotting down any tea-inspired musings! Lattes? Pah!
Bleibtreustraße 44, Berlin. Closed Sun. T: +30 95 61 54 68. W: paperandtea.com
The Singapore summer sizzles on with the arrival of local boutique Willow & Huxley’s selection of fruity, silky flowing numbers, perfect for catching a breeze on the city’s hippest terraces. But what could another shop possibly have to offer in this already teeming retail metropolis? Well dolls, the ladies at W&H have scoured the globe to get their manicured mitts on labels unavailable elsewhere in Singapore – among them Sienna Miller’s Twenty8Twelve, minimalist Aussies Bec & Bridge, and über-now Danish duo Baum und Pferdgarten. Jewellery ranges between the delicate from T. Atelier and the chunky courtesy of By Malene Birger, or for something ultra unique, try W&H’s own selection of vintage pieces. You can even bring the ol’ grump along, as there’s a small but choice range of menswear with boardies and tees from TCSS, Onia’s luxury swimwear and polo-shirts by NY’s Psycho Bunny to keep him busy while you splash the cash. Ready to get spendy?
20 Amoy Street, Singapore. T: +65 6220 1745 W: willowandhuxley.com
There’s no doubt about it, celeb chef Jason Atherton has lately been busier than a paisley nightie. In addition to a slew of international openings, most recently Hong Kong’s 22 Ships and Shanghai’s Commune Social, the Brit chef has headed back to where he started, or just across the street anyway. Opposite his Michelin-starred Pollen Street Social, Atherton this past March debuted Little Social, a velvet-curtained, low-ceilinged, booth-and-banquetted vintage throwback offshoot of the beloved original, offering Franco-inflected, Anglo-centric comfort dishes all elevated by Atherton’s deft hand. Pork head and foie gras terrine is sweetly sliced with a tea and prune purée, braised Irish ox cheeks are crumbed with sourdough and punctuated with sharp horseradish mash, and true to Atherton style, the desserts don’t disappoint – the pink peppercorn meringue with lemon and lime curd is nothing short of triumphant. And clever cocktails like the Ooh La La-tinez (Chateau du Breuil Fine calvados, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, Dolin rouge vermouth, orange bitters) simply add to the fun. Pas mal, monsieur!
5 Pollen Street, Mayfair, London. T: 020 7870 3730. W: littlesocial.co.uk
First launched in 2007, ArtHK grew rapidly over its five successful editions to become one of the world’s leading art fairs and arguably the most important art platform in Asia. Newly monikered Art Basel, this year the prestigious event for modern and contemporary art will showcase the work of more than 3,000 international creatives with a packed lineup of 245 galleries from 35 countries (half from Asia-Pacific), including 26 from our hometown, Hong Kong. Spectacul-art!
To read about our exhibition highlights, find the full story at PenCities!
They brought the world el Bulli, Tickets and 41º, and in the process placed their visionary molecular philosophy at the forefront of the world’s culinary evolution. But Albert and Ferran Adrià’s latest Barcelona-based offering, Pakta, eschews their signature foam and vapours almost entirely, instead plating up relatively straightforward Japanese-Peruvian Nikkei fusion fare with just a hint of faff. In a small, woody space accented with bright spools of strung yarn, the brothers Adrià, along with head chefs Kyoko Ii and Jorge Muñoz, present two tasting menus of 25 and 19 courses for a fraction of the former Bulli’s prices, at 98 and 68 euros respectively. Diners are encouraged to eat dishes like deep-fried baby whiting with kimchi and seaweed, leche de tigre-marinated and sesame-rolled baby carrots, seared salmon causa and grilled Iberian pork sushi with their fingers, making this a new and fully constructed experience from the kings of deconstruction. Viva Adrià!
Lleida, 5. W: pakta.es
It’s that time again, lovelies…
Perched above the shores of Cape Town’s Clifton Beach, this new boutique beauty boasts jaw-dropping views of the Cape’s coastline and is set to become South Africa’s must-stay spot this summer. Luckily, here’s your chance to get a head start – enter to WIN a 4-night stay, on us!
Save the date: This Saturday, May 18, we’re hosting a massive global flash sale!
Everything, and we do mean everything – from guides to box sets to our brand-spanking-new white linen summer series – is a whopping 50% off, so if you’re in the market for great gifts, good ol’ travel inspiration, or just want to add to your fabulous LUXE collection, don’t forget to visit www.luxecityguides.com and enter the code ‘LUXESUMMER’ at checkout! Get clickin’!
Last year we were (and frankly, are still) hopelessly, romantically giddy about Phnom Penh sunset sipper The Bungalows, but there’s a svelte new after-dark drink den in town and she goes by Bar.sito. With the resurgent speakeasy phenomenon having taken the world by storm, sure enough Cambodia is the latest to partake: Bar.sito occupies a tricky-to-find space down an unmarked alleyway, but boy is she worth the extra effort to locate. Slip into this warm, woody cubbyhole and you’ll find some of the very best cocktails in town, from Mint Juleps to Bloody Marys (arguably the best in PP) to good ol’ Martis, and blessedly none of the tourist faff. GPS out!
240½ Alleyway, Phnom Penh. Closed Mon. T: +855 77 555 447.
The hippest addition to Hong Kong’s happening hotel scene came with the April unveiling of Hotel Indigo, the ultra-mod hotel chain that swept the US and Europe before setting its sights on Asia. At its brand new home base, the hotel boasts colourful suites with wood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows and oriental-inspired decor throughout, from wall mosaics to hanging lanterns. With mod cons like complimentary WiFi, fab city centre position amidst the Wan Chai bustle, and come June, a glass-bottomed rooftop infinity pool sure to give fearless guests a unique angle on the city, Indigo’s ticking all the right boxes. But until the pool officially opens next month, slip on the stilettos and head up to the 29/F rooftop Skybar for snacks and sips under the stars, or get a taste of local flavour at the second floor restaurant Cafe Post, which seeks to fill big shoes by promising Wan Chai’s best coffee. With fab digs, views, and eats, Indigo’s in business!
246 Queen’s Road East. T: +852 3926 3888. W: ihg.com