Your guide to love in the Big Lychee
Dating doesn’t have to be an endless grind. Here are eight ways to woo the object of your affections, whether you’re looking for some long-term lovin’… or just a one-night fling. By Evelyn Lok and David Vetter Graphics by Kay Leung
Romantic Rendevouz for Getting' Serious
Island of the Day Before
Ask your date to meet you in Stanley, just a scenic bus ride away from Central (buses 6, 6A, 6X, 66 and 260 ought to do the trick). Your partner might be anticipating a boring trip around the market, but you head over to the pier and board a kaito ferry to the lovely Po Toi island. Here you’re free to wander hither and thither, far from the cares of the city, and then gorge yourselves silly on seafood at Ming Kee restaurant (Tai Wan, Po Toi, 2849-7038) as the sun goes down.
Love-o-Meter ❤❤❤❤ ❤
Bumper Car and Grind
Nothing says innocent romance like carnival games and a sweet tooth. Tick both off your list at Lai Yuen Super Summer, which ends this weekend (Through Aug 7, AsiaWorld-Expo, Airport Expo Boulevard, Chek Lap Kok, $180, includes 12 game tokens, laiyuen.hk). The amusement park offers nostalgic favorites, from bumper cars to ball pits, including a new 650-metre go-kart racetrack. Afterwards, grab a bite at Kala Toast (G/F, 4-6 Tsuen Hing Path, Tsuen Wan, 3706-5432), famed for its rainbow grilled cheese sandwiches, just a short cab (or train) ride away in Tsuen Wan, which you can explore while you’re at it. Sweeter renditions like matcha, s’mores, or purple sweet potato are also available.
Love-o-Meter ❤❤❤ ❤❤
When Nature Calls
Get outside. Get sweaty. Get more than your RDA of vitamin D. Cresting a mountain peak at one of Hong Kong’s multitude of awesome hiking trails is truly a bonding experience—even (or especially) when your entire body is crying. And if she’ll give you a peck on the cheek when you’re drenched in sweat, you know you’re onto a winner. Make the moderate trek over to
Tai Long Wan in Sai Kung and you’ll find some of the best beaches in the region. Take some food with you and make it a picnic (City’super does a fantastic sweet potato salad). End the day on the way back with modern tapas at Casa in Sai Kung town (Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung, 2440-9288).
Love-o-Meter ❤❤❤ ❤❤
Malting in your Arms
The beardier sorts will delight in the glut of new microbreweries cropping up all over town. There are regularly run beer events all over the city, such as making your own beer at HK Brewcraft (hkbrewcraft.com), which gives you the opportunity to expound on all things hoppy to the object of your desire... if they’re into that sort of thing. And if getting elbow deep in malt mash isn’t your idea of sexy, try Import Beer Club (facebook.com/ importbeerclub) on for size: It hosts monthly beer tastings that allow participants to mingle and win prizes. Next up? “Spanish Summer Nights” on Aug 20, 8:30pm, at Platform, 120 Connaught Rd., Sai Ying Pun. Check their Facebook page for more.
Love-o-Meter ❤❤❤❤ ❤
Fish and Meet
No one can resist dinner and drinks at a sexy bar. Hidden behind a heavy velvet curtain in what seems like an ornithologist’s curio shop is Ophelia (Shop 39A, 1/F, Lee Tung Avenue, Wan Chai, 2520-1117). Part peacock-inspired drinking den, part dreamy cabaret complete with costumed dancers, if the mysterious air of the place doesn’t get the blood pumping, the heady, elaborate cocktails and bar nibbles will. Try the “Cheongasm” cocktail ($115), which is served in a lit-up bird cage, alongside shell-on fried school prawns in Sichuan pepper ($90). The mood still isn’t right? You know what they say about the power of oysters to set things pumping down below. Head up the road to get your fix of sexy bivalves from Fishsteria (111 Queen’s Rd. East, 2343-8111), which will only set you back $10 a pop between 10pm-midnight on Thursdays to Saturdays.
Got someone you can’t stop thinking about? Win ‘em over with a little spontaneity and adventure on a romantic but unpretentious stroll to the Shek Tong Tsui waterfront. There the Western District Public Cargo Working Area, fondly dubbed “Instagram Pier” by nearby residents, has everything a budding romance needs. There are cute photo opportunities, a romantic sunset vantage point, and somewhere to sit while you lay your hearts bare. Finish up at nearby Little Creatures (5a, New Praya Rd., Kennedy Town, 2833-5611) with a fresh brewed-in-Hong-Kong pint and a plate of food to share, and your new relationship will be stronger than bamboo scaffolding.
Love-o-Meter ❤❤❤❤ ❤
Let Me See that Junk
For the body-confident, there’s perhaps nothing half so intoxicating as hanging out together on the ocean waves wearing next to nothing. If you already own a private yacht, you probably don’t need our help in attracting able-bodied (ie. hot) shipmates to your deck. Otherwise there’s the ever-popular Hong Kong junk party: cruise out, get sozzled, see each other in your respective thongs/budgie smugglers, and maybe take a ride on the banana boat, if you know what we’re saying. If you feel like splashing out,
Breakaway (breakawayhk.com) does a romantic boat trip for two with dinner ($5,900), and we’re sure that if you ask the boat boy to look the other way, you can slip below decks to, you know, ride the swell. For the parsimonious paramours out there, why not smuggle a bottle of plonk and a hunk of cheese onto the Star
Ferry and canoodle at the back of the boat? And on no account sneak into the invitingly steampunk engine room for some greased-up piston-thrusting action.
Netflix and Thrill
To put things realistically, people who look for “short term fixes” don’t really “date” any more, per se. And if you’re one of these folk, why not just get to the point and go for some good ol’ fashioned Netflix and Chill? What you watch barely matters, but this month you can sink into “The Get Down” (launches Aug 12), a Baz Luhrmann-directed, Nas-produced hip-hop musical, and of course, “Stranger Things” (debuted Jul 15), which has Winona Ryder as a mother who uncovers all sorts of paranormal secrets in the search for her lost son. Feeling peckish? Deliveroo is an obvious choice for the hungry and lazy. But if you’re really looking to impress, order a ready-cooked dinner for two (from $185) from
Nosh by Secret Ingredient (order.nosh.hk). All you have to do is plate up, and your date will melt into your arms.