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Dara Chau

Dara Chau

Contributor

Raised between Hong Kong and Canada, Dara found her penchant for writing by composing her own short stories as a child. Now, she contributes to Time Out Hong Kong covering topics under dining, wellness, and beauty. Outside of work, she spends her time chewing the fat with friends, travelling when possible and lounging with her cat, Max.

Articles (40)

HKMoA 'In-Between' exhibition shows lesser-known works by leading artists

HKMoA 'In-Between' exhibition shows lesser-known works by leading artists

With the city returning to its former busy and bustling glory; now with extended opening hours of restaurants, events and activities finally resuming, and the amount of new things to see and do in the city, the Hong Kong Museum of Art (HKMoA) is forging a new creative path with a brand new exhibition unveiled this month to the public as it commemorates its 60th anniversary. As one of Hong Kong’s most esteemed museums, it has long had a reputation for housing some of the rarest and most excitable artworks in town. Veering away from the obvious showstoppers, In-Between celebrates the uncelebrated by featuring lesser-known works from prominent artists. The exhibition showcases carefully selected works from the four core collections of HKMoA – Chinese Antiquities, Chinese Painting and Calligraphy, China Trade Art and Modern and Hong Kong Art. The objective of this exhibition is to showcase the different points in the life of the artists’ creative careers, and demonstrate how the artist has transformed and evolved in perception and execution. 

New restaurants to try in Hong Kong this May

New restaurants to try in Hong Kong this May

May is a bit of a special month in Hong Kong, with the relaxed dining restrictions allowing us to enjoy a meal out until midnight, there is really no better time than the present to treat yourself to an evening out. The city’s dining scene is still hot with restaurant openings to appease the appetite for new bites. This month, we see the launch of a Spanish fine dining restaurant, a tech-driven food hall and a couple of neighbourhood bistros, among others.  Keep reading to find out where the latest and greatest restaurants to get stuck into this month are.  RECOMMENDED: Also check out the 50 best restaurants in Hong Kong, or try to get a booking at Hong Kong's toughest tables. 

Where to find the most Insta-worthy desserts in Hong Kong

Where to find the most Insta-worthy desserts in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a city full of fab photo ops, from Instagrammable locations to photogenic cocktails and delightful looking desserts. Plus, with new sweet treats popping up left, right and centre, you needn’t venture too far to score a drool-inducing shot. Whether you’re into doughnuts, waffles, ice cream or cakes, here are Hong Kong’s best-looking desserts.  RECOMMENDED: Continue your Instagram adventures at the city's most photo-worthy restaurants!

Best Mother's Day gift ideas in Hong Kong

Best Mother's Day gift ideas in Hong Kong

The day to honour all mothers falls on Sunday, May 8 this year, and no matter who it is that you’re thinking of, it's only right that you get this superwoman the Mother’s Day gift that she truly deserves. To give you some inspiration, here is our pick of the best gifts that will no doubt brighten up her day. RECOMMENDED: For more inspiration, check out where to get her a beautiful bouquet at Hong Kong’s best florists or pamper her at one of these amazing spas in the city.

Cathay launches an exclusive Blue Bottle Coffee subscription

Cathay launches an exclusive Blue Bottle Coffee subscription

Hong Kong's affinity for coffee is brewing a growing café and coffee culture in recent years. And as a lifestyle purveyor, Cathay Travel Lifestyle Programme is embracing the flourishing  coffee industry by partnering up with one of the city's most popular coffee chainlets, Blue Bottle Coffee, for an exclusive three-month coffee subscription (valued at $1,920 or 44,780 miles). Shop with Miles Plus Cash and earn one mile for every $5 spent. 

Best Mother's Day menus in Hong Kong

Best Mother's Day menus in Hong Kong

Since the end of the dinner restrictions, everyone starts trickling out of their homes and onto the streets. And restaurants are once again gearing up for the influx of patrons. And with Mother’s Day as the first celebratory occasion since Hong Kong’s fifth wave, many of them are putting their best plates forward to spoil our mums. After all the meals that your mum has prepared for you, it’s only right that you take the first lady in your life out for a special meal too. With Mother’s Day just around the corner (Sunday, May 8) and all the event-specific menus out there, there’s really no excuse not to! From unlimited tapas to free-flow brunches to elegant dinners – here are the top spots to treat your mum to a lovely meal. RECOMMENDED: You can also book a table at the oldest restaurants in Hong Kong. 

Where to get the best facials in Hong Kong

Where to get the best facials in Hong Kong

Living in Hong Kong is great. You can dine at an incredibly diverse range of restaurants, explore streets that are steeped in history and culture, and enjoy the city's stunning skyline, among many other things. But life in Hong Kong can also take its toll, especially on your skin – what with sun damage, mask-wearing, constant air conditioning, and other stress factors that this beautiful city of ours presents. Thankfully, there is a way to counter this, and that is to indulge in a soothing facial to bring some life back into your skin. For those that aren't sure where to start, well that's what we're here for. So, keep reading for some of Hong Kong's best facials to try. RECOMMENDED: Looking for other ways to relax in Hong Kong? Check out the best spas in Hong Kong, or try out these ways to bring wellness back home.

The best spas in Hong Kong to get pampered at

The best spas in Hong Kong to get pampered at

Alas, the time has come to emerge out of our cocoons and back into the real world. With the restrictions stretching out for months, the stresses of the pandemic have certainly taken a toll on our physical and mental health. So finally, it is time to give ourselves the TLC that we all crave and deserve. Finding a spa that works for you is essential. Before you switch off and enjoy a soothing treatment that eliminates all your stresses and strains, selecting where to go is key. So here you have it, our list of Hong Kong’s best spa sanctuaries to whisk you away and pamper your mind, body, and soul. RECOMMENDED: With wellness being a top priority as of late, don't forget to check out our list of the top gyms and studios in Hong Kong or keep it simple and go for a long stroll in one of the city's best parks. 

Hong Kong's oldest restaurants you need to visit

Hong Kong's oldest restaurants you need to visit

The food and drink industry in Hong Kong is constantly changing. Every month, we see a slew of new restaurants opening in the city. But while we all love to get a seat at the latest dining establishments, we should also revisit some of the city's longest-standing establishments that have survived the elusive F&B scene over the decades. Between new ventures popping up and disappearing quicker than you can say "char siu fan", it's important to support local businesses and visit the city's age-old gems that have stood the test of time. Because if you don't, you may come to regret it later on. So, without further ado, here are some of the most historical restaurants in Hong Kong you should check out today. RECOMMENDED: Feeling nostalgic? Take a trip down memory lane by checking out these historic streets in the city.

The best gyms and fitness centres in Hong Kong

The best gyms and fitness centres in Hong Kong

Never did you really think that you'd miss the gym. At least we didn't. After a much too long temporary closure, the fitness centres are finally reopening their doors, and we really can't deny that we're ready for a piece of the action. After months of laying dormant, it's time to get our blood pumping again (and let's face it, swimwear season is also just around the corner). There are plenty of options and training styles to choose from in Hong Kong – from studios to personal training to gym classes and group training to multi-discipline clubs and multi-branch studios – it's time to get your sweat on at the best gyms in Hong Kong.  RECOMMENDED: Looking for some outdoor activity? Try the best Hong Kong hiking trails

The best Easter menus in Hong Kong

The best Easter menus in Hong Kong

With Easter coming a bit later than usual this year (Easter Sunday is on April 17), the wait is worth it. Just before restaurants are scheduled to reopen for dinner, there are still many places that are offering festive options for lunch, brunch, takeout and delivery. From beautiful roasts to chocolate eggs and rich carrot cake, the Easter-themed menus around the city allows us to still rejoice with the ones we love, given the circumstances.  RECOMMENDED: There are plenty of other ways to enjoy Easter. Here's a guide to the best ways to enjoy your extended break in the city. 

The best dim sum in Hong Kong

The best dim sum in Hong Kong

Ask a dozen Hongkongers where to get the best dim sum in Hong Kong and you’ll likely get a dozen different answers. Dim sum is a huge part of Hong Kong's unique heritage and cultural identity and therefore, also a big part of our diet. There’s everything from white tablecloth establishments housed inside luxury hotels to neighbourhood gems that are still rough-around-the-edges, but almost equal in quality. Such diversity can be a little overwhelming for the uninitiated, but that’s what we’re here for. Ahead is a list of the very best dim sum restaurants in Hong Kong. The settings may vary, but just about everything they serve is highly recommended. RECOMMENDED: If you're looking for more of the best food options to try in the city, don't forget to check out our pick of the top 50 restaurants in Hong Kong.

News (4)

Hong Kong to relax more social distancing rules on Thursday

Hong Kong to relax more social distancing rules on Thursday

At long last, Hong Kong sees the end of the tunnel with the government announcing today loosened restrictions coming Thursday. This long-awaited good news will ease the stringent rules on the city just in time for Mother’s Day. On May 5, beaches and pools will reopen to the public as temperatures rise, and mask-free exercising will be accepted in outdoor areas. Evening dining will also be relaxed, raising the current limit of four persons per table to eight. “Considering the epidemic’s relative stability and the strong demand of people in this time, I further announce that the following three measures – which are part of the phase two social distancing measures – will be in effect two weeks earlier, from midnight on Thursday, May 5,” says chief executive Carrie Lam in a press conference today. As Mother’s Day is around the corner, the news will allow families to gather and celebrate. “We hope everyone has an enjoyable Mother’s Day and that one table can sit eight people spanning three generations,” says Lam. Bars and late-night venues were ordered to be closed in January, but now with the latest announcement, they will soon resume operations. Bars, nightclubs, karaoke rooms, mahjong parlours, and cruises are set to reopen starting on May 19. Restaurants will be able to extend their opening hours until midnight, while bars and clubs can operate until 2am. These new guidelines are a positive indication that soon, the constrictive measures will be slowly lifted, and Hong Kong ca

Seoul’s two Michelin-starred Mosu opens in Hong Kong

Seoul’s two Michelin-starred Mosu opens in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is not a city short of fine dining experiences, but can you really have too many luxury establishments? Joining the lineup of world-renowned restaurants is new kid on the block, Mosu. The innovative Korean fine dining restaurant has already made its name back home in Seoul, and now, the refined cuisine will be made available in Hong Kong.  Photograph: Courtesy Mosu Hong Kong Set in the newest museum of visual culture, M+ Museum, the restaurant melds its creative dining within the destination for art, technology, and gastronomy in the West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong. The interiors are simplistic and contemporary, with wall to ceiling windows lining either sides of the restaurant, the lush greenery, skyscrapers, and artwork flood through the space giving the whole dining experience more dimension and depth. Aside from the bright dining room, the restaurant also includes two private rooms for more intimate gatherings.  Photograph: Courtesy Mosu Hong Kong The ‘tasting menu-only’ restaurant is based on reconstructing Korean traditions in a forward-thinking and sophisticated manner, reviving old humble ingredients and transforming them in a way that is rarely seen in contemporary fine dining culture. Chef Sung Anh of Mosu Seoul replicates his signature dishes from Korea to Hong Kong, while also adapting his recipes to fit the local palate and utilise local ingredients as well. The seasonally changing menu will give diners a refreshed experience on a regula

Unemployment Relief Fund to extend to more people in need

Unemployment Relief Fund to extend to more people in need

The pandemic has deteriorated much of the city’s economic activity and vibrancy over the past few years. Especially with the hard-hitting fifth wave, businesses have suffered like never before. To alleviate a bit of the strain on those directly affected by the closures of specific businesses (F&B, fitness facilities, spas, and nightclubs), the government has announced a one-off subsidy of $10,000 to those who have lost their jobs during this challenging period.  In order to be eligible for the Temporary Unemployment Relief Scheme, a few criteria must be met. Full-time, part-time employees and self-employed individuals or those who have been requested to take a no pay leave for at least 30 days (over the age of 18 must have worked in Hong Kong for at least one month during the period of October 1 to December 31 of 2021, with a monthly salary which falls between $2,700 and $30,000). And while this does help some to get back on their feet, the government has decided that they will be furthering this relief to others in different sectors, and without an income ceiling cap.  To simplify the application process, those who were filed under MPF employment will only have to submit their application form to validate their work term and proof of salary. For those without MPF, it could require a lengthier course with additional documentation required. For the first batch of successful applicants, the relief fund will be directly deposited into personal accounts as soon as April 12. So fa

Hong Kong to lift flight bans imposed on nine countries starting April

Hong Kong to lift flight bans imposed on nine countries starting April

Starting April 1, flight bans will be lifted from nine countries, including Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UK, the US, and Nepal, initially scheduled to remain until April 20. Seeing that these countries no longer pose serious risk, the new policy will allow for Hongkongers abroad to return home. Countries will no longer be designated in groups A, B, and C.   Travellers are required to produce a vaccination record of two doses, a negative PCR test within 48 hours prior to travel, and proof of a seven-day quarantine hotel booking. Upon arrival, travellers are expected to undergo a PCR test and will be given a pandemic kit including self-administered RAT tests which are to be carried out daily throughout quarantine.  Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam also announced that social-distancing rules will still be maintained until April 20 and will not be relaxed ahead of time, citing that the Covid-19 situation in the city is still severe.  If Covid-19 infections do not rebound, social-distancing measures will be relaxed in three phases starting April 21. The first phase will include the reopening of gyms, beauty salons, massage parlours, religious places, game centres, and sports venues. Group gathering will be increased to four from the previous two. And restaurants will be allowed to operate until 10pm, from 6pm, allowing four diners per table. Phase two of Covid measures will see bars reopening (operation until 2am, seat up to four people per

Take a ride on the world's first official 'Very Peri' Tram

Take a ride on the world's first official 'Very Peri' Tram

Following the successful collaboration of the ‘HK Tram Green’ in 2021 to commemorate the 117th anniversary of the tram, Hong Kong Tramways has once again teamed up with Pantone to bring the world’s first ‘Very Peri’ Tram inspired by Pantone’s Color of the Year.  Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Tramways Affectionately known as the ‘Ding Ding’, named after the electric street car’s distinctive bell sound, Hong Kong Island’s frequented tram embraces the selected colour to signify “a spritely, joyous attitude and dynamic attitude that encourages courageous creativity and imaginative expression”, which is synonymous with HK Tramways’ mission to bring about innovation and vibrancy to the city.    Photograph: Courtesy Hong Kong Tramways The 'Very Peri' Tram (#30) will make its way around our little island from March onwards to send a warm and positive message for Hongkongers to stay hopeful during these trying times. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch last year’s HK Tram Green and the new Very Peri colour coming across each other on the rails! View this post on Instagram A post shared by 香港電車 HK Tramways 叮叮 (@hktramways) Do you still feel the same about our city even when things are looking a bit grim? Take the Time Out Index survey and let us know what you think about life in HK now.  Want to hear the latest city news and learn about what's happening in the city? Subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to get the news.

Travelling to Macao? Here’s the latest on the entry restrictions

Travelling to Macao? Here’s the latest on the entry restrictions

Travels to our neighbouring SAR have been restricted (or at least very discouraged) with the current 21-day quarantine requirement upon entering Macao. But there’s still a glimmer of hope for those looking to cross the waters into the shiny gaming mecca starting from February 21, 2022.  Macao authorities have recently announced their new entry requirements for travellers coming from Hong Kong. Hong Kong residents can enter the territory provided that they have not travelled outside of mainland China within 14 days of arrival. Foreign nationals in Hong Kong with residence permits are allowed entry if they have not ventured out of Hong Kong in the last 21 days.  Hongkongers entering Macao will be required to take a Covid-19 RT-PCR test and wait for negative results to return before granted entry. Travellers who test  negative will then be transported for their  14-day quarantine in  their designated hotels (and present booking confirmation issued by the Medical Observation Hotel) for medical observation. Hongkongers whose test returns positive will be isolated.  Other requirements for entry include documentation for the initial full course of Covid-19 vaccination taken at least 14 days prior to arrival, with the last vaccine taken within seven months of travel. For those who are deemed unfit for vaccination, a certificate must be presented for proof.  Currently, Macao allows for bookings at Optional Hotels (Regency Art Hotel and Grand Coloane Resort), Designated Hotel (Pousada

Hong Kong introduces designated taxis free of charge for Covid-19 patients

Hong Kong introduces designated taxis free of charge for Covid-19 patients

In the case that you, or someone you know, has contracted Covid-19, moving around the city can be risky for others in Hong Kong. In order to reduce the chances of spreading the disease, the city’s Transport and Housing Bureau has recruited 300 cabs to act as a designated taxi fleet transporting Covid-19 patients to and from Hong Kong’s seven designated clinics in Shau Kei Wan, Kennedy Town, San Po Kong, Kowloon Bay, Kwai Chung, Sha Tin and Tin Shui Wai, completely free of charge.  The fleet of 300 designated cabs will begin operations on Friday, February 18 at 7am. These special taxis will be labelled with a blue and white striped sticker that reads ‘designated for anti-epidemic; pre-booking required’ in Chinese text only. All tagged cabs will run without a taximeter and can be booked via the online portal designatedtaxihk.com or by phone at 3693 4770 between 8am and 10pm daily. Once the order is confirmed, patients are only allowed to sit in the back seat of the vehicle to reduce contact with the driver.   Drivers who are set to earn $3,000 a day will be transporting these patients will be wearing protective gear and undergo daily rapid antigen testing. All cabs will be disinfected daily too. To be eligible as a designated cab driver, individuals must test negative. Drivers who are part of the designated fleet are not to pick up any other passengers and those who have not booked, or are not Covid-19 patients, should refrain from getting on these taxis.  For further informat

Michelin Guide 2022 unveils nine newly starred restaurants in Hong Kong

Michelin Guide 2022 unveils nine newly starred restaurants in Hong Kong

It’s been another tumultuous year for the food and beverage industry in Hong Kong and Macau, what with the recently reimposed social distancing regulations banning dine-in services after 6pm – but hey, the show must go on. While restaurants have not been operating at their full capacity these days, that doesn’t mean the kitchens have been quiet. Chefs have been hard at work to present their creative inventions in new adaptive ways to suit the social climate. Despite the challenges the industry has been facing since the pandemic outbreak, restaurants have been pushing culinary boundaries and achieving new levels of excellence.  Following in the footsteps of the 13th edition in 2021, this year’s Michelin Guide for Hong Kong and Macau was announced in a live virtual ceremony broadcasted on social media. Restaurants were judged based on the following criteria: quality of products, mastery of flavour and cooking techniques, the personality of the chef in their cuisine, value for money and consistency between visits.  Photograph: Courtesy Chaat In Hong Kong, nine new one-star additions were announced including Belon, by Matthew Kirkley who joined the Black Sheep team from San Francisco’s Coi in 2020. Rosewood’s Chaat, helmed by Manav Tuli, also earned a well-deserved star for its refined modern Indian cuisine. Meanwhile, Hansik Goo received a star for its bold interpretations of Korean cuisine under the direction of Kang Mingoo. Two Chinese restaurants, Seventh Son and Yong Fu,

Three Hong Kong bars make it on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 list

Three Hong Kong bars make it on The World’s 50 Best Bars 2021 list

The World’s 50 Best Bars have just announced this year's winners in London on Tuesday, December 7. Making the list this year are three prominent bars from Hong Kong, including Jay Khan’s Coa – which is currently the Best Bar in Asia – taking number 7 on the list; Rosewood Hong Kong’s DarkSide, and the winner of Bar of the Year for Time Out Hong Kong Bar Awards 2021, makes a new entry at number 49; while Antonio Lai’s Quinary reenters the ranking at number 50. Nabbing the title of the World's Best Bar this year is London's Connaught Bar, the reigning champ from last year and also the winner of Best Bar in Europe. Other countries around Asia such as Shanghai, Japan, and South Korea have all claimed several spots on the list, while Singapore has the most (more than any city in the world) with six bars on the list. And, for the first time since 2012, India returns on the list with Sidecar in New Delhi, ranking in at number 47.   Here's the full list of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2020: Connaught Bar (Best Bar in Europe) - London, UK Tayēr + Elementary - London, UK Paradiso - Barcelona, Spain  The Clumsies - Athens, Greece  Florería Atlántico (Best Bar in South America) - Buenos Aires, Argentina  Licorería Limantour (Best Bar in North America) - Mexico City, Mexico  Coa (Best Bar in Asia), Hong Kong  El Copitas - St Petersburg, Russia Jigger & Pony - Singapore  Katana Kitten - New York, USA Two Schmucks - Barcelona, Spain  Hanky Panky (Highest New Entry) - Mexico City, Mexico