Hong Kong up close and very personal for winners of Tiger White contest

From left: Thomas, Pang, Lee, Goon, Foo and Lu raring to go; a toast with Tiger White in bowls at Tung Po restaurant.
On the street art tour with Xeme from HKwalls.
A taste of Japanese Brazilian fusion fare at Djapa.
Dim sum at Lin Heung Kui.
Lunch at Sham Tseng Chan Kee Roasted Goose.
The private kitchen of Yin Yang Coastal.

IN VIBRANT Hong Kong where old meets the new, time has never really stood still. While its rich heritage lies intact, it blends the past with new influences from abroad to capture the essence of a dynamic society on the move.

Hong Kong is certainly more than meets the eye. From the quirky to the quaint and the ordinary to the fabulous, it is a haven of hidden gems waiting to be uncovered.

Six lucky winners of a Tiger White contest had a treat of a lifetime when they were taken on a trip to Hong Kong, courtesy of Heineken, from Oct 12 to 15.

And it was not just any trip, as the six – Darren Goon, Lee Jo Ann, Janey Pang, John Rajiv Thomas, Lu Yew Sheng and Eunice Foo – got to discover a side of Hong Kong that they had never seen before, on a personalised tour of the city's street art, culture and food.

Tiger and Anchor brand manager Selene Ong Swee Leng said: "Hong Kong is known as the heart of Asia. Tiger, as a brand, is born in the heart of Asia and is the beer of the streets."

Drawing a parallel between the city and the beer, Ong added: "Many think that they know Hong Kong, just like many think they know beer.

"Tiger White aims to deliver a new drinking experience with its smooth, aromatic and flavourful taste to show them beer like they've never tasted before."

Ong also commented on the city's street art scene.

"Street art is also a reflection of the realities of youth culture in urban environments. It is art for the public and for the masses.

"On a broader sense, street art also contributes to beautifying common areas that is beneficial to the community.

"In a nutshell, just like Tiger White that brings 'a taste that elevates', we hope the winners truly have 'an experience that elevates' in Hong Kong."

For winners Goon and Lee, the trip really enabled them to see a different side to Hong Kong. The two had visited the city's more touristy places such as Repulse Bay, Golden Bauhinia Square and Victoria Peak in their earlier trips.

"Hong Kong has been on our holiday list and it's one of my favourite places," said Goon.

Lee, who is a pharmacist, felt that the trip's food trail was an amazing treat.

She said: "Tiger brought us to some places that we'd never have thought of as tourists.

"From our first meal of roasted goose in Sham Tseng to the last dinner at a private kitchen in Ting Kau, we were mostly taken to places off the beaten track."

She picked the Yin Yang Coastal's private kitchen fare by celebrity chef Margaret Xu Yuan as her best food treat on the trip.

"Every dish was delicious but the crab with salted egg and saltwater bean curd really stood out," she said.

For Goon, the HKwalls guided tour of the city's street art was an eye-opening experience, "especially in Wong Chuk Hang and Tai Ping Shan streets, areas that we hadn't been to before".

HKwalls is a non-profit organisation set up to promote both local and foreign street art artists in Hong Kong and abroad.

Goon added: "Coming from Penang, we've seen our fair share of street art so it was also interesting to see the differences between street art in Hong Kong and those in Penang, such as the different type of wall surfaces the artists painted on."

Another winner Thomas, who is a creative director, said the trip has exceeded his expectations.

"The private dinner on the third night was outstanding," he said.

"Having had the thrill of walking through the back alleys to come to a hidden private kitchen by the beach was amazing. The taste of the food was elevating. It was perfect."

For Pang, a banker by profession, she picked the roasted chicken and other dishes served on the second night at the hawker stall with a Michelin star to be the best meal of her trip.

She added that the street art tour was an exceptional opportunity to see Hong Kong in a different light.

"A picture speaks a thousand words," said Pang.

"Seeing the various types of street art taught us that people in Hong Kong can be united for a common purpose and interest."