The best advice comes from those in the know. So we asked dining, nightlife and retail gurus for their favorite spots, and used their tips to lead us to even more insider spots, and so on… and, just like that, it turned into a bunch of chain reactions. To find out where to buy men’s shoes or the best new dessert joint in town, just follow the chains. Women’s Fashion Fashionistas dish on the best boutiques for jewelry and womenswear. For Jewelry: Divia Harilela, fashion and lifestyle blogger ( www.the-dvine.com ) “I love accessories because they can make or break an outfit. One of my favorite local jewelers is Audrey Savransky, founder of AS29 which is also a favorite of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. Her style is a bit rock ‘n’ roll, but elegant—she likes to use unusual materials like green or yellow diamonds which she then sets in black gold. Everything is super cool.” AS29, firstname.lastname@example.org , www.as29.com . Showroom visits by appointment only. For Dresses: Audrey Savransky, founder of jeweler AS29 “For my dresses, I love going to French store La Rue Madame in IFC, owned by Ariane Zagury. I can find so many cool French designers that don’t have their own stores in our city.” La Rue Madame, Shop 3088, 3/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St., Central, 2234-7880, www.ruemadame.com . For Bags: Ariane Zagury, founder of boutique La Rue Madame “I like items from Daydream Nation, which is a shop founded by two Chinese designers. The designs are very unique but wearable; the styles are very playful and easy to match with different clothes.” Daydream Nation, 2/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbor Rd., Wan Chai, www.daydream-nation.com . For Shoes: Kay Wong, co-founder of boutique Daydream Nation “Frankly, I can rarely get shoes in Hong Kong. My shoe closet has been acquired mainly from London and from different cities I travel to. But I would recommend “Uuu…Shooop!!!” Not a conventional choice for shoes, but their collection always makes you look like you came out of a fairytale. The shoes are all very spacious; they normally have a bell-shaped front and laser cut details; and you can always find colorful matching socks to go with them!“ Uuu...Shooop!!!, Shop 206-208, 2/F, Island Beverley, 1 Great George St., Causeway Bay, 2808-0205, www.uuushooop.com . High-End Dining From amuse bouche to dessert, the city’s best restaurants share the love. For an Amuse Bouche: Kelvin Ho, food blogger (a.k.a. HK Epicurus) “I will nominate Pierre from Mandarin Oriental as serving the best amuse bouches in town—their duck foie gras, glazed pigeon fillets with apple marmalade and shallots with cinnamon, in particular. Amuse bouches can often foretell the finer haute cuisine experience to follow. It is just like dating—the first impression really counts! If a hearty kitchen took effort in ensuring that their little morsels impress the guests, you can count on them to make the remainder of your dining experience successful.” Pierre, 25/F, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd. Central, 2825-4001. For an Appetizer: The team at Pierre (headed by Pierre Gagnaire) “We recommend the Tomato Declination appetizer at St. George at Hullett House.” St. George, G/F, Main Building, 1881 Heritage, Hullett House, 2A Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 3988-0220. For a Main: Philippe Orrico, executive chef at St. George “[I recommend] 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana for its authentic Italian cuisine, high service quality and nice ambience. My favorite dish at 8 ½ is the risotto.” 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Shop 202, 2/F, Alexandra House, 18 Chater Rd., Central, 2537-8859. For Dessert: Umberto Bombana, executive chef at 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana “I recommend the black sesame dumplings at Lung King Heen at Four Seasons Hotel. The dish is not on the menu and a special order is required. I am attracted to this Chinese dessert for its simplicity. Like my culinary principle: simply design to let the ingredients speak for themselves. The sesame gives off an intriguing aroma and the dumplings have a smooth texture.” Lung King Heen, 4/F, Four Seasons, 8 Finance St., Central, 3196-8880. Nightlife Tired of the usual haunts lining the streets of Lan Kwai Fong, SoHo and Wyndham? We spoke to those in the know on where they like to enjoy a drink or two outside of uninspired nightspots frequented by the masses. For a Brunch Cocktail: Nick Willsher, managing director at Entertaining Asia ( www.entertainingasia.com , www.hkclubbing.com ) “I would suggest Blue Butcher for [great brunch cocktails]. It’s hard to choose a best one; I do like almost any cocktail that has mint! I like the venue as it is just comfortable. In addition, as a meat eater, it is also great place for me.” [Blue Butcher serves a wide selection of high-quality beef and houses its own dry-aging room.] Blue Butcher, 108 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan, 2613-9286. For an Early-Afternoon Drink: Malcolm Wood, partner and managing director at Maximal Concepts (of which Blue Butcher is a subsidiary) “Coco Thai is one of my favorite places to go for an afternoon cocktail or a glass of Rosé on the beach in Deep Water Bay. They do great Sangrias or Mojitos with some excellent Thai nibbles while waiting for the sunset.” Coco Thai, G/F, West Block, Deep Water Bay Beach, Island Rd., Deep Water Bay, 2812-1826. For an Early-Evening or After-Work Drink: Jean-Paul Gauci, owner of Coco Thai “Salon N° 10 is a friendly and trendy place; I particularly enjoy its whisky sour and vodka Mei Ling.” Salon N° 10, 10 Arbuthnot Rd., Central, 2801-6768. For a Mid-Evening Drink: Julien Hebert, manager at Salon N°10 “I had the chance to swing by La Cabane, the new organic wine bar and bistro from the guys behind the organic wine shop La Cabane a Vin. It’s small and already pretty packed, but the service, the food and of course the wine are all super and far from the usual French fare in Hong Kong. La Cabane, 67 Hollywood Rd., Central, 2776-6070, www.facebook.com/lacabaneavin . For a Late-Evening Drink: Cristobal Huneeus, partner at La Cabane “I suggest Tai Lung Fung Bar in Wan Chai, which is next to the Blue House. I love this part of Wan Chai; it is still very much a ‘real people district’ with its garages and old buildings at a stroll from the city center. It gets lively in the evening; a good way to start or end the night would be with a classic cocktail or a refreshing San Miguel. All in all, a great 1960s-style place and a perfect match with old time Hong Kong.” Tai Lung Fung, 5 Hing Wan St., Wan Chai, 2572-0055. Men’s Clothing Need something sharp to wear? Some of the city’s most sartorially sophisticated gentlemen share their fashion recommendations. For a Hat: JJ Acuna, fashion and lifestyle blogger ( www.thewanderlister.com ) “I love Luddite because the brand is unique and the guys behind the brand both have a great eye, and they are quite creative about making vintage fashion very stylish and current.” Luddite, G/F, 15A Haven St., Causeway Bay, 2870-0422, www.facebook.com/luddite1811 . For a Shirt: Rex Ko, owner of Luddite “[For] a men’s shirt, I suggest a shop in Wan Chai called Wudai-Shiguo. The shop sells clothes from American brands [as well as 1920s American-style furniture].” Wudai-Shiguo, 9B, St. Francis St., Wan Chai, 2528-3800, www.wudai-shiguo.com . For a Belt: Spancer Ko, copywriter at Wudai-Shiguo “[Opera Opera] is filled with a unique selection of Italian garments and handmade accessories. They are all made in Tuscany. The handmade accessories, especially the belts, are very sophisticated.” Opera Opera, G/F, 14 Gough St., Central, 2851-1601, www.operaopera.com.hk . For a Pair of Pants: Danilo Ceri, creative director at Opera Opera “Where to get a pair of pants for men in Hong Kong? I suggest Take5 & Co., [a Japanese vintage-style denim store] in Tsim Sha Tsui.” Take5 & Co., 1/F, 75 Granville Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2375-5731, www.take5jeans.com . For a Pair of Shoes: Bryan Chan, senior sales at Take5 & Co. “Tassels Gentlemen’s Shoe Store. In Hong Kong and Japan, the mature and relaxed look is becoming more popular, and high quality men’s leather shoes are now a necessity. Tassels stocks brands like Alden, Edward Green, Sabelt and other quality brands.” Tassels, Shop B64-65, B/F, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2789-9911. All-Day Dining From morning to night, foodies and chefs dish on their favorite places to nosh. For Breakfast: Food blogger Rita Suttarno (mochachocolatarita.blogspot.hk) “Fu Tung is great value for money—it’s hotel dim sum, but not really expensive. And their dim sum is much better than some random Chinese restaurant—even the plain vegetables taste perfect. They make a really nice pan-fried radish cake.” Fu Tung, Wharney Guangdong Hotel, 57-73 Lockhart Rd., Wan Chai, 2861-1000. For Lunch: June Yu, manager at Fu Tung “Bouchon: It’s located in SoHo, and you can try their delicious and pretty authentic French food.” Bouchon Bistro Francais, G/F, 49 Elgin St., Central, 2525-9300. For Tea: Aurelien Simony, chef of Bouchon Bistro Francais “I usually go to have afternoon tea in Harbour City on my day off. So I can go shopping and then relax on the Al Molo terrace having one of the coffees and canapés, and enjoying the great sea view with the skyline in the background.” Al Molo, Shop G63, G/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2730-7900. For Dinner: Saliba Robert Hanhan Omar, chef of Al Molo ”[Amber] is quite expensive, but the pricier dishes have a certain wow factor, and the flavors and presentation are very thoughtful without being pretentious. The sea urchin and caviar starter is amazing!” Amber, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 15 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2132-0066. For Dessert: Richard Ekkebus, culinary director at Amber “I love the new place opened by my colleague and friend David Lai called Boulangerie Bistronomique. David is an Alain Ducasse protégé and a big lover of French food—his love for French pastries drove him to open a French bakery. I have tasted a great green tea by MingCha with a succulent caramel éclair. I was also lucky to try a killer mirabelle plum tart. It was hard to choose between lovely religieuse (another French favorite), the lemon tart and the French pain au chocolat! But David reaffirmed that boutique bakeries will be the new HK foodie hype, and with the quality he brings, he will certainly do very well.“ Bistronomique, Shop B, G/F, 1 Davis St., Kennedy Town, 2818-8266.