Posted on 22 February 2012
I’ll start by generally stating that i’ve never quite been as excited to share my experiences as i am after meeting Chef Gray Kunz and dining at the Cafe Gray Deluxe. With Cafe Gray in New York doing respectfully well, Chef Gray Kunz has taken the foodies by storm with his newest venture Cafe Gray Deluxe atop of Honk Kong’s chic Upper House Hotel.
I was offered the chance to meet and accompany Chef Gray Kunz to the Honk Kong wet-market and observe the creative process that Chef uses to pick the freshest ingredients and create new dishes for his menu. It was an absolute pleasure and gave me a much broader understanding on how a Chef’s mind works and seeing Chef Gray in action was the perfect introduction to Gray Kunz passion for food. We walked around the wet-market that was filled with a vast variety of seafood. I browsed with a strong sense of curiosity while Chef browsed with a creative freedom and process that allowed him to visually portrait in his mind the meal he would prepare later that evening. The best thing about going to the wet-market is you are guaranteed the freshest ingredients (what’s fresher than still alive?) and it’s a good chance to see what foods are coming into season allowing you to start thinking about updating and changing your menu slightly. A perfect example of this is whilst walking around, Chef caught sight of a little purple fruit and got very excited about it. I had never seen it before and i hear it was just coming into season. It was mangosteen and the Chef was very excited to have found this fresh fruit available. I was curious to see how all this would turn out on a plate.
On to the restaurant. Cafe Gray Deluxe is located atop the chic and minimalistic Upper House Hotel. Being on the 49th floor it boasts breathtaking views of the Victoria Harbour and with it’s plain tones and low lighting, the view is accentuated, allowing the diner to fully enjoy their surroundings. Staying within the main theme of the hotel, Cafe Gray Deluxe is a very chic and high end restaurant without having that stuffy feeling. The atmosphere while intimate still feels lively and fresh and shares that enjoyable buss that seems to fill the air in Hong Kong.
I was both curious and excited to see what Chef Kunz had prepared. We had 5 courses consisting of tiger prawns and crab, turbot and baby ginger, 3 different types of pork, a mangosteen soup (dessert) and lemon soufflé. Each course was carefully paired with a recommended wine by Chef Kunz’ extensively knowledgable and extremely friendly staff. The service was fantastic with just the right amount of attention and knowledge without making you feel like they are watching over your shoulder. The food was unbelievable. Perfectly cooked with perfectly matched ingredients and perfectly presented. One of those meals which kept getting better with each dish even though you swore that the dish before was one of your favourites ever tasted.
Overall I think Cafe Gray Deluxe is a must visit whilst in Hong Kong. Everything from atmosphere to food and service is a delight and Chef Kunz’ passion for food really shows at this place.
88 QUEENSWAY, LEVEL 49,
THE UPPER HOUSE
Hong Kong, China
Posted on 11 December 2011
A few months ago, I visited Hong Kong for the first time and stayed in one one the most incredible hotels in town: The Mira. First observation, it is extremely well located in Tsim Sha Tsui, you are directly in the heart of the action. Millions of restaurants, bars, boutiques and electronic stores -in case you feel like buying a ‘cheap’ unlocked iPhone. The subway station is across the road and if you just walk ten minutes you can catch the Star Ferry to get to the Hong Kong Island (the old part of the city) and by the way enjoy the stunning scenery of the tall buildings surrounded by green mountains. As soon as you arrive at The Mira, you can sense a crisp, clear and simple energy. And more practically, you can choose your room style and a colour scheme. Take your pick from 492 uniquely designed guestrooms, conceived by renowned lifestyle guru Colin Cowie. Four colour schemes, a total of 56 design-led suites and two exclusive Mira Club floors and The Mira Club lounge. From the Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair view your Sony LCD TV, stream the internet radio or plug your iPod into the Bose dock. Connect with free WiFi, or relax in the marble aromatherapy bath. Don’t forget the in-room Nokia My Mobile, which enables you to stay within reach and access the “My Mira” personalised concierge day or night. Rooms at The Mira Hong Kong redefine pared-down luxe, with vibrant colours, spacious interiors, ambient lighting and the newest on-demand features.
Besides treating your aesthetic sensibility, you will as well please your gastronomic fantasies at The Mira. A myriad of gastronomic choices: Whisk is a fun, lighthearted, unique gastro-journey to Europe; the 2 Michelin star rated restaurant brings upscale Cantonese cuisine to your table; while Yamm serves Japanese and international buffet favourites. COCO is a chocolatier and coffee addict’s haven, and Room One is your first stop for a stylish signature drink. Not forgetting the 5/F Terrace Garden Lounge for an upscale alfresco experience, and sleek nights to remember at the Spa Lounge Bar. The Mira is without a doubt the ultimate Hong Kong destination.
118 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Posted on 14 September 2011
What can you really say about Shangri-La hotels except for WOW. Their reputation stands strong among Luxury Hotels, and the Island Shangri-La is no different at all. This beaming tower of 56 floors is located in the most central location on Hong Kong Island and easily accessible from everywhere in Hong Kong. The Island Shangri-La can literally stake claim to having it all. Situated above the CHIC Pacific Place mall which is also connected to Admiralty MTR station, this hotel is the definition of First Class. The service is outstanding, the views are stunning and this towering palace boasts 8 highly acclaimed restaurants, of which 2 are Michelin-starred.
I had the pleasure of staying in a room 54 floors up and having one of the most flawless views of the beautiful Hong Kong Harbour. The rooms are massively spacious and feature everything you could possibly need to make your stay extraordinary. Giant and Comfy beds, Mahogany furniture, massive flat screen TV and a cheeky Chandelier deck out these grandiose rooms which literally make you want to live in them permanently. The Marble bathroom featuring LCD TV, huge bathtub and deluxe shower wasn’t bad either
On the 8th floor you’ll find the 24 hour gym, various health and beauty treatments and my personal faveorite the pool. The pool feels surreal. It’s a hidden Oasis among the massive sky scrapers of Hong Kong. Although surrounded by buildings the pool area is well shielded by greenery which makes you feel like you are in a tropical resort. Perfectly heated water and the intimate atmosphere give you the perfect surroundings for relaxing heaven. The service at the Shangri-La was exceptional in every way possible, but I guess that is expected from a Hotel group with such high standards. This hotel could and should be recommended to anyone who when travelling likes to associate themselves with : chic, luxury, grand, beautiful, decadent, delicious, heaven etc etc. If you visit Hong Kong and don’t find yourself inside the Island Shangri-La at some point during your trip, you have definitely missed out.
The Island Shangri-La
Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong