Vasco restaurant review – everyday I’m truffling…

vasco hong kong chocolate

How do you make a fancy restaurant even fancier? With liberal sprinklings of truffle, of course!

Vasco in PMQ is the even more sophisticated upstairs sister of Isono Eatery & Bar, essentially taking many of that restaurant’s key elements and polishing them up into pure Michelin-bait refinement.

vasco hong kong

So we have the same interior designer Joyce Wang, except this time the exposed metals and marble surfaces are just that bit more luxe – a long dining room with plush banquette sofas and a striking circular dining room at its centre, with something of a train carriage vibe about it (we’re obviously talking first-class train carriages a la 2046 or Snowpiercer rather than the First Great Western to Slough).

Likewise, it’s the same head chef as Isono – Paolo Cassagrande from Michelin-starred restaurant Lasarte – but rather than a menu of rustic Mediterranean favourites, Vasco’s dishes are all about creative culinary flair with knowing nods towards Basque cooking. At high-end eateries like this, I always think you should try the degustation, a menu specifically designed to take you on a journey that showcases the restaurant’s raison d’etre… so that’s exactly what we did with their seasonal three-course white truffle menu.

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Shu Uemura Eye-Need-Shu Liner in Midnight Black review – the most purr-fect holiday cosmetics collection

shu uemura shupette collection

Calling it! The cutest holiday cosmetics collection this festive season has to be the Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld collaboration, Shupette; themed around Uncle Karl’s princess pussycat, Choupette, it’s a pun made in make-up heaven!

The second of Lagerfeld’s collaborations with Shu Uemura (you may remember his similarly adorable Mon Shu 2012 Holiday Collection), Shupette amps up the Christmas cute factor with a range of products encased in highly covetable packaging featuring sweet sketches of Karl’s famous fluffy white kitty, bearer of the most famous baby blues this side of Sinatra.

shu uemura eye need shu liner midnight black

However, one of my favourite products from the Shupette 2014 Holiday Collection is actually one of the more understated items – the Eye-Need-Shu Liner in Midnight Black.

Rather than featuring a drawing of the old fluffball herself, this pencil eyeliner instead has teeny-tiny silver paw-prints dancing their way around the black casing – subtle but sooooo cute!

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Gaucho restaurant review – don’t cry for me Argentina!

gaucho hong kong dulce de leche fondant

There’s something of a Brit invasion going on in Hong Kong’s restaurant scene right now – Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, Jason Atherton’s Aberdeen Street Social, Tom Aitkens at The Pawn, even Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian. Well, here’s another one, except it’s not a famous chef but a famous restaurant – London’s award-winning Argentinian steakhouse, Gaucho.

Brought over to Hong Kong by Dining Concepts (yep, them again – importers of Ramsay, Laurent Tourondel, Michael White et al), Gaucho takes over the space of another of the group’s steakhouses, Mario Batalli’s Carnevino, at a super convenient location in LHT Tower next to Central MTR.

gaucho hong kong

The space is unashamedly masculine, but in an almost metrosexual way – think sleek black surfaces, shiny mirrored accents and aeons of cow hide everywhere (I dare you to resist stroking it).

In case you’re wondering what makes an Argentinian steakhouse Argentinian, it’s that the cows are from Argentina… simple as that (and sadly not that they’re doing Argentine Tangos amidst the pampas; don’t worry, they’re free-range and fed on 17 types of pesticide-free grass in the most luscious grasslands in the world, so they’re probably not too bothered about missing their chance for Strictly Come Dancing fame). Elsewhere, the menu features further Argentine accents in the form of cooking techniques (hola open-fire asado grills), ingredients (hola chorizo and dulce de leche) and dishes (hola ceviche and empanadas).

gaucho hong kong chimichurri

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The Loft by The Nail Library – taking mani-pedis in Hong Kong to lofty new heights!

the loft hong kong

Stuff I like: nail polish, mani-pedis, being pampered.

Stuff I don’t like: walking, walking uphill, getting really sweaty when walking uphill.

You may remember my discovery of The Nail Library being life-changing for my love of nail polish, mani-pedis and being pampered in Hong Kong. However, in order for The Nail Library to be something of a hidden gem, it has to be… well, a bit hidden. Hence its perfectly charming location off the beaten track in Po Hing Fong, which is a reasonably lengthy and very uphill walk from Sheung Wan MTR station.

the loft by the nail library hong kong

So I bring good news to those of you who share my aversion for most forms of physical activity. You can now get all of The Nail Library’s amazing range of nail polish brands, its superstar nail therapists, its unparalleled nail art expertise, and its laidback urban-luxe vibe at an even more convenient location just by Central’s escalators at The Loft by The Nail Library. Huzzah.

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Rummin’ Tings restaurant review – love that ting you do!

rummin tings hong kong jerk chicken

“Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up, it’s bobsled time!”

Me shoehorning this Cool Runnings reference into a review isn’t a sign that Hong Kong’s first bobsled-themed restaurant has opened (alas!), but that its first Caribbean-Jamaican themed bar and restaurant has arrived instead – Rummin’ Tings in Central. OK, it’s a pretty tenuous connection, but what piece of writing wasn’t improved with a spurious Cool Runnings reference, eh? (And it’s about the only thing I can say with a passable Jamaican accent.)

rummin tings hong kong

Located by the escalator on Hollywood Road, Rummin’ Tings has some legit cool credentials behind it; it’s founded by two sets of brothers, Harsh and Rohit Roopchand (who brought NYC it-resto Fatty Crab to HK) and Manoj and Manesh Chelleram (the hip party and event planners behind The Edge), whilst its gorgeous beach shack-style décor is courtesy of Candace Campos (whose similarly inspired interiors can be found at Fatty Crab, BEP and Tate).

As you know, I don’t drink, so Rummin’ Tings “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum” sensibilities are rather lost on me. What I can get behind, however, is some bang tidy Caribbean street food servings that are way superior to most bar bites in town. The portions are designed for sharing – small but not ant-sized and reasonably priced too – meaning you can get your fair share of different tings to try without breaking either the bank or your gut in the process.

rummin tings hong kong conch salad

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Clinique Quickliner For Eyes Intense in Intense Clove, Intense Truffle and Intense Peridot review

clinique quickliners intense truffle intense clove intense peridot

#BeautyBloggerProblems – having such a mega stash of make-up hidden away that you forget what products you even own in the first place!

Back in 2012, I reviewed Clinique’s Quickliner For Eyes Intense eyeliners… loved them… then promptly forgot all about them in favour of my usual Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil and Clinique Brush-On Cream Liner combination. But one day recently, when I couldn’t be bothered to faff with my eyeliner brush or go crazy with colour (funnily enough, the exact circumstances I predicted myself using them in my Quickliner review – well done me!), I spotted them sitting forlornly in my eyeliner tub – and remembered exactly why I fell in love with them in the first place. They’re so easy to use! The colour is so intense! They’re great for sensitive eyes!

clinique quickliners for eyes intense

… Which is how I found myself in Clinique buying another three Quickliner For Eyes Intense pencils – this time in Intense Clove, Intense Truffle and Intense Peridot. And I found myself smitten all over again, like a grown woman surfing Friends Reunited only to fall back in love with her teenage crush.

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Dessert of the day: let’s twist again… the Churros Twist, that is!

churros twist hong kong

Time for another trip down dessert lane – and this time it’s by way of Spain and Australia (errr… the scenic route?) with Churros Twist.

Churros Twist is a small takeaway dessert shop in Wan Chai that offers freshly-cooked Spanish churros paired with Australian frozen yoghurt or vanilla soft-serve ice-cream, which is then sprinkled and drizzled with toppings and sauces of your choice. Since churros are not only desserts but deep-fried desserts, you can see why a trip here was nothing short of a necessity.

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