Immersed in perfect tranquillity on the top two floors of the Peninsula hotel in Hong Kong, the classy Felix restaurant is much more sophisticated than your average chic eatery located elsewhere in Hong Kong. The most amazing thing about Felix is that it continues to be hideously virgin to the eye to this day. The moment I walked in, I actually had the feeling that this was a new restaurant. Designed by the high-flying Philippe Starck, who has a way of creating timeless design that's almost never conventional or secure, yet cutting edge and challenging. Lovely creamy white and vanilla colours adorn the walls that are designed such that represent the waves of the waters in the Victoria Harbour. The slight breeze feeling comes from the effect that dinars are enjoying a meal while situated in the middle of Hong Kong’s picturesque surroundings.
Evenings are meant to be for a sophisticated purpose to indulge in luxurious surroundings with good company, food, and wine. In a restaurant where style and quality of a person’s life are watched by others when they dine, there is little room for failure when minor but important things such as the ambiance, the background music and the customer service all have to be first class. You’ll be pleased to know that Felix fails to fail you in those respects.
Apart from the main restaurant area, which also includes a private VIP dining table in the corner providing jaw-dropping views of the Victoria Harbour, there is a balcony, a wine bar, an American bar and, as a stunning centrepiece, a green coloured illusion box that’s a dance floor known as the ‘Crazy Box’. However, it’s not so cold inside, but the floor is designed to give the illusion that your footprints are embedded on frozen ice. So what sets the restaurant apart from the other? One of the most beautiful things about Felix is the atmosphere. The ambiance (and the food), is the key to its success. The trendy bar at the corner of the restaurant is a chic placement raised above the main restaurant floor. It gives way for those who want to see and those who want to be seen. It’s quite the place where you’ll most probably meet business moguls and city yuppies from downtown Hong Kong catching up on the city’s latest riffraff. Without a doubt the late afternoons are the best time when the crowd descends for the restaurant’s extensive wine list and comfort food, inspired by different kinds of world-wide contemporary cuisine, and divided into ‘East’ and ‘West’.
The restaurant itself has plenty of choice from a varied menu. The buzz word among the regulars is to tuck into one of the specially designed set menus where each dish comes complete with a matching wine. Who wouldn’t mind fancy tucking into a seven course set meal for dinner? Felix impresses when it comes to exceedingly good exotic food such as ‘deep fried octopus beignet decorated with a summer vegetable salad, yogurt, and truffle lemon dressing’, or ‘pan-seared sea bass, mint and green pea puree with milk poached white celery’. The latter dish portrays a perfect example of how sea bass should be served. It’s the lovely garnish of micro basil leaves that adds the super arse-kicking effect into the meal. Delicious. Other tantalising dishes include ‘grilled quail with almond-curry cream, seared fresh tomato, and baby zucchini’. Now, when it comes to eating bird, not many people are adventurous to try something exotic such as quail. However, credit has to be given to the chef, Yoshiharu Kaji, who has newly arrived from the renowned Peter restaurant at the Peninsula Tokyo, for creating a dish where the meat stays juicy and tender, while the outer rind of the quail’s skin offers a slight crunchy feeling to it.
But hey, it’s no good for me to sit here and ask my dancing fingers to mention all these good words about Felix. Why don’t you just go and give it a go and see for yourself. But whatever you do, just make sure that you don’t burst out into uncontrollable laughter while attending for a technical stop at those urinals in the gents room. They actually give a completely new meaning to relieving yourself on top of the world- what a great view it provides too. Whatever you do, just make sure you do mind your manners!
P.S. At the time of writing, though dinner is served upto 10:30pm, the bar is, however, open until 01:30am (Daily).
(From Left to Right): Mr Edmond Kwok, Managing Director of BMW Concessionaries (HK) Ltd.; Mr Gert Hildebrand, General Manager, MINI Design; Mr Neil Galloway, Chief Financial Officer, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited; Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited; Lady Betty Kadoorie; Ms Rainy Chan, General Manager, The Peninsula Hong Kong; Mr Clement Kwok, Chief Executive Officer, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited; Mr Peter Borer, Chief Operating Officer, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited (Copyright Navjot Singh 2009)
On the morning of the 11th of December 2009, the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong (Hong Kong’s most luxurious hotel), celebrated its 81st anniversary with the addition of two new MINI Cooper S Clubman vehicles. These two cars are the luxury version of the MINI Cooper, and will be used to whisk around Peninsula’s distinguished guests around Hong Kong. The two MINI Coopers will join the existing fleet of fourteen Rolls-Royce Extended Wheelbase Phantoms and one 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II. One may ask why is the 81st anniversary more important than the 50th of the 100th? Bonnie Kwok, the Peninsula’s Public Relations Manager explained that the MINI cars were “presented as gifts from the BMW group on the 81st birthday because the MINIs reflect the legendary Grande Dame’s youthful spirit as she enters her ninth decade”. “I am certain that we will have more exciting happenings on our 100th birthday.” explained Ms. Kwok.
Stephanie Sim, the Peninsula’s Director of Public Relations, explained to me that the two MINI Coopers will be offered as a complimentary service to guests who stay in one of the hotel’s suites, and will be a treat for the hotel’s distinguished guests while they are in Hong Kong. The MINI's are a complimentary service for suite guests using the car exclusively for shopping and perhaps sightseeing purposes. This is on top of the fleet of 14 Rolls Royce Phantoms for airport transfer services.Ms. Sim further explained that the MINI engineers and designers worked closely with The Hon. Sir Michael Kadoorie, Chairman of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Limited (photo below), and Martin Oxley, The Peninsula’s Fleet Vehicle Manager, to develop a number of dedicated features which took into consideration the specific requirements of the hotel’s brand policy- and its guests. These include a custom-illuminated Peninsula logo on door entry sills, leather finishing matching the existing Rolls-Royce interiors and the signature Peninsula Green color that adorns every vehicle in the hotel’s transport fleet. Each car is also fitted a mini-fridge, and an iPhone. The two MINI coopers’ are registered PEN 1 and PEN 2.
The Peninsula’s two MINIs were unveiled by Sir Michael and Mr. Gert Hildebrand, General Manager MINI Design (pictured below. The two guests of honor were then joined by three representatives from The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Limited: Mr. Clement Kwok (Chief Executive Officer), Mr. Neil Galloway (Chief Financial Officer) and Mr Peter Borer (Chief Operating Officer), together with Ms Rainy Chan, General Manager of The Peninsula Hong Kong.
In his speech, Sir Michael announced, “In keeping with The Peninsula’s Rolls-Royce fleet, they
will quite simply add further inspiration to our unsurpassed levels of luxury and service.”
The Peninsula MINI Clubman will consist of the following features:
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