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Insider's Guide to China

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Photo: Philipp Engelhorn

Hong Kong

A burgeoning cultural scene is giving a new dimension to this fast-paced city.

Art Walks

Four noteworthy galleries and neighborhoods to explore.

Wong Chuk Hang: Cutting-edge art spaces are colonizing the former industrial zone. Veteran gallerist Dominique Perregaux opened the 5,000-square-foot, loft-style Art Statements, bringing in international artists such as Australian painter Dale Frank.

Aberdeen: Newcomer Yallay Space showcases up-and-comers from Asia and the Middle East; this month spotlights Hong Kong artists Gavin Au and Vivian Ho.

Sai Yung Pun: Indie-minded 2P Contemporary Art Gallery is devoted to experimental indigenous talent, such as performance artist Morgan Wong.

Wanchai: Five-year-old Red Elation Gallery represents emerging and established international names, with an emphasis on the contemporary landscape in Asia.

Star Street

With its well-curated, globally-minded boutiques, this area in the Wanchai district is Hong Kong’s of-the-moment shopping destination.

Kapok: Owner Arnault Castel sources street-smart looks and accessories from Hong Kong designers as well as from his native France.

Tsuchiya Bag: Sturdy leather satchels, totes, and wallets handcrafted by Japanese artisans are displayed on stark-white shelves at this minimalist space. 6 Sun St.; 852/2745-6821.

Russell Street: Opened by a group of fashion insiders, Russell Street is known for its bright dresses and one-of-a-kind pieces by indie brands from Australia, the U.S., and Europe.

The Principal: Need a break? This light-filled restaurant offers modern European dishes including arroz caldoso (saffron-infused rice with artichokes). $$$$

Dee Poon: My Hong Kong

The creator of bespoke PYE men’s-wear line and daughter of Harvey Nichols owner Dickson Poon shares her hometown spots.

Made to Order: “For standout cheongsams, head to Barney Cheng (Worldwide Commercial Bldg., 12th floor, 34 Wyndham St., Central; 852/2530-2829). He’s able to combine an old-world sensibility with a modern aesthetic.”

Hidden Gem: “Visit the Flower Market (Flower Market Rd., Kowloon) to see more flower and plant species than you can imagine, from orchids to bonsai trees and bamboo.”

Sole Soother: “Everyone in Hong Kong is obsessed with foot massages. There are places all over the city, but two of my favorites are Happy Foot (50-minute foot massages from $26) and Ten Feet Tall (50-minute foot massages from $34).”

Accessories Fix: “If you’re looking for something super special, drop by Yewn Heritage Jeweler (Shop 303, level three, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Rd., Central; 852/2868-3890), the flagship store of local jeweler Dickson Yewn. It’s rare to see such beautiful work—each piece has a story and an auspicious meaning behind it in the Chinese tradition.”

Day Trip: “Hong Kong has lots of great islands, including Lantau; take the 40-minute interisland ferryand spend the day visiting the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.”

Trending Now: Private Kitchens

A wave of talented chefs is elevating the city’s underground restaurants.

Model turned restaurateur Esther Sham serves refined tasting menus (duck à la cocotte; sea-urchin-infused pasta) at Ta Pantry ($$$$), which has moved to a stunning new space in a converted warehouse.

Former hotel executive chef Eddy Leung tends his own organic garden on the balcony of Chef Studio by Eddy(40 Wong Chuk Hang Rd.; 852/3104-4464; $$$$). Recent seasonal offerings include salmon confit with wood-smoked cherry tomato.

At Fa Zu Jie (20A D’Aguilar St., Central; 852/3487-1715; $$$$), Paul Hui marries French techniques with flavors from his native Shanghai—think wontons stuffed with slow-cooked beef.

You only get the door code to the 20-seat TBLS Kitchen Studio ($$$$) after you book. Once there, watch Que Vinh Dang and his team prepare signature plates such as braised octopus with squid ink rice.

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