Like everywhere else in the world, Hong Kong has become far more health conscious with more and more health food stores opening up along with latest trend among restaurants being to serve organic foods- at one of these establishments recently, we were asked by a waiter if we wished to know more about “orgasmic food”- and, of course, abs and abs of fitness centres.
The fitness business took a bad knock to their image, however, when one of the most well-known chains went belly up leaving members with, basically, a bar with no beer, or in this instance, a membership to nothing. Not even one barbell. To prove their fitness, they’d done a runner.
What’s surprising is how long this particular fitness centre not only survived, but actually expanded its business. It was a scam from the start. Us? Give us Gao’s Foot Massage parlour on Caine Road every day of the week. It’s really the cure-all for everything.
Having said this, it might be too tight a schedule to squeeze this in, but a few lady friends we know say that joining Barre 2 Barre has been a real life changer. And if you ask them if this is another fitness centre, be prepared to be clobbered.
The fitness regime called BarreAmped might be based on dance, but these are not dance classes, though Dance, or at least the rudiments of Dance, are part of the exercise practiced by using a barre to stretch and tone your body and, according to one friend, has helped her enormously with her posture, her breathing and overall well-being including a more disciplined approach to her eating habits, probably meaning no more bingeing on Spicy McChicken Burgers at 4am.
On the subject of eating, for a truly healthy Chinese dish, try the Hainan Chicken Rice- but minus the rice. Ask for white meat only with no skin and accompanied by plenty of ginger sauce.
Everyone in Hong Kong has their favourite restaurant for this dish, but for us, nothing comes close to what is served at the recently refurbished Grand Cafe at the Grand Hyatt.
Their selection of energy boosting drinks or a cup of green tea with your meal might actually have you chanting clichés like, “Today is the start of the rest of my life”, and start you on your journey to reach nirvana. Either that or stretch your muscles to just reach the loo as your body just might go into full mode shock from being hit by so much healthy goodness.
As far as organic restaurants are concerned, we suggest Sohofama (Address: Unit SG09-SG14, G/F., Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street | Tel: +852 2858 8238) an interesting collaboration between our favourite local lifestyle brand G.O.D and Locofama.
The Chinese cuisine- Modern Chinese cuisine- is excellent as is the very creative decor though the staff are a bit on the dopey side. Very dopey and extremely slow in many areas. Often they go walkies- straight out of the restaurant.
With an ethos that sounds like a Bobby McFerrin song- Eat Healthy, Be Happy- and knowing some of the owners, who have almost a hippie vibe to their outlook on life, you can be guaranteed that every dish- and even their Chinese herb-inspired drinks- has been created using the freshest and healthiest ingredients.
A leisurely lunch at Sohofama can lead you on a wonderful discovery of an area in Hong Kong not really highlighted in travel brochures.
Being located in the maze and architectural monstrosity known as PMQ- the old Police Married Quarters building- gives you the opportunity to do some shopping- a G.O.D-Goods Of Desire shop is adjacent to Sohofama- whereas the neighbouring area is well worth exploring.
It’s an interesting mélange of old Hong Kong and new Hong Kong coming together with some of this new Hong Kong trying to sell nostalgia by being old Hong Kong- but for around a hundred percent more expensive than the real deal. One supposes, this is the price for being trendy. But away from all this are small mom and pop antique shops, venues selling every find of art, traditional herbal shops that are worth checking out.
If by now, it’s nearing dinner time, go really local by joining the dai pai dong community minding their business around you and slurp down some noodles or congee with fresh Chinese vegetables and take in what truly is a city of contrasts.
Retrace your steps to Hong Kong with these former Fast Track #HKIR Tour Guides: