For dinner, we tried what is, reputedly, the best Chinese restaurant in a city chock full of Chinese restaurants. Since it is located in our hotel, the choice was easy. Whatever the cost, we would save on taxi fare (not that taxis are expensive here). Anyways, it was an easy elevator ride.
The first impression was good, because the decor is marvelous. Luxury in Hong Kong is measured in ceiling height, and this place has a high ceiling. The architect and interior designer got everything right. We had a table at floor-to-ceiling windows offering a view of Hong Kong harbor and half of the island skyline.
Service is excellent, as it is at every part of this hotel. Of course, one receives a cold towel upon arrival. Here, we received two more during the meal. That was a first. These supplemented the starched linen napkin.
The waitress was helpful in steering us through the large selection of “interesting” dishes. We followed her recommendation to start with honey glazed pork, which turned out to be about as tough as jello and very tasty. Because here English was not perfect and we are stupid, we ended up with too many dishes. She brought mushrooms and snow peas fried in soy sauce. Next she delivered mango duck and prawns, only one of which we thought we had ordered. Both were excellent, but too much to finish. Of course, fried rice was delivered. To prevent becoming uncomfortable, we stopped eating and pleaded old age to the waitress. She was polite and feigned sympathy.
All in all, it was a pleasant experience. With greater hunger, we would have been able to finish what we ordered and even try more courses.
Because we had spent the last ten days on a ship offering copious wine with each meal, we decided to forego alcohol. Besides, we had just enjoyed free drinks on the club floor.
Anyways, a glance at the wines list can often be entertaining, so flipped it open. The first item was a jeroboam of Crystal for 1900 euros, not unlike other restaurants of this class. I kept going until I reached the Romanee Conti....for 19,800 euros. 19,800 euros! I think that is roughly the cost of my parents’ first house. For a bottle of wine. Which might or might not be good. Despite its reputation. I have enjoyed this wine in the past, compliments of a wealthy friend. I recall it as being tasty, but not worth the price of a house or car. It takes only one person with stupid money...or a need show off...to justify having such wines on a menu. From what I have read great amounts of money are oozing out of China to replace bonus money of investment bankers, who are known to be reckless spenders.
We had water with our meal and jasmine tea at the end...once again proving that we are not stupid.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.