While part one centered on exploring our temporary and natural habitat, as well as uncovering a wild new playground, part two has an epicurean twinkle to it as it revolves around culinary delights and other such treats.
Life in the city has a lot going for it and deserves a closer look.
‘The Pearl of the Orient’
Hong Kong ranks among the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the world. Its streets swarm with people at all times, many of whom seem to be engaged in a gripping story of their own. Some of them dashing past, others floating by, in pursuit of a lofty (or not-so-lofty) goal.
For someone who is used to walking briskly, having my stride broken time and again took my patience to an unsuspected new level 😉
Bearings and balance
As every visit from Lamma Island to Hong Kong Central involved a ferry crossing, I quickly developed a slight unsteadiness and sense of dizziness.
Evidently, whether I was still at sea or back on solid ground, the motion of the boat would keep me company at all times, simulating a feeling of tipsiness with no intoxicating beverages being involved 😉
From western wine bars to local joints
On our first day, we let ourselves be guided by my younger sister to a small, colourful Thai terrace restaurant. We enjoyed our first night on Lamma tucking into an assortment of dishes to the hearty welcome of an orchestra of frogs (more in ‘Hong Kong bound – pt. 1’).
On the following evening, we ended up in a wine bar run by a French couple in a busy neighbourhood of Central HK.
There, we enjoyed a bottle – or two – of very good sparkling wine which, in this case, had every reason to make me feel a little wobbly 😉
From the tiny, inconspicuous dim sum canteen to the posh surroundings of a high standard restaurant, a whole range of places, reflecting a diversity of cuisine and culture, were brought to us and appealed to our palates.
Which brings me to an extraordinary episode…
A sumptuous spread
Looking out to Victoria Harbor, The Mandarin Oriental Hotel serves a Sunday brunch that will blow your mind, delight your taste buds and make you wish that they were open all day!
How they manage to provide such a wide array of fresh, full-flavoured and exquisite delicacies is a wonder.
Buffet tables and sideboards are neatly and skilfully arranged, presenting choice food ranging from shellfish (abalone was a first for me), sushi and dumplings to roasts, meat and poultry courses, charcuterie and cheese platters.
Not to mention sweet dishes! It is a mistake to fill up on everything else and neglect to leave some room for dessert. Although that is precisely what we did, we still managed to treat the cakes, verrines and other tasty morsels with due respect.
Champagne in no short supply
I should also mention that at no point did our glasses go empty! The sleek and discreet waiter did an excellent job at keeping us hydrated at all times 🙂
This was quite a relief since we had no wish to stand out by frequently seeking a refill on the very elegant R de Ruinart that escorted our feast from start to finish.
Comfortably numb and slumped in the stylish armchairs, we concluded our lavish late morning meal with freshly made pineapple juice, the likes of which I had never tasted before.
Being well-versed in the art of hedonism, we showed no self-restraint when it came to eating our fill and did well in all respects, including maintaining composure in the face of overindulgence 😉
Our only regret was to have arrived 30 minutes after opening time.
Should the opportunity present itself again, we will not make that mistake twice!
A tribute to The Dragon
Kowloon Peninsula forms the southern part of the main landmass in the territory of Hong Kong.
One does not worship Bruce Lee as a teenager and pass up on the opportunity to take a peek at the ‘master’s’ former home place 😉
In his famous mid-air fighting pose, his watchful bronze statue towers over curious enthusiasts, hovering at his feet, posing to ensure the perfect selfie.
Standing 396m above sea level against the backdrop of the Hong Kong hills, Peak Tower looms over the city, just below the summit of Victoria Peak, the highest mountain on the island.
The ascent to the top can be made by the funicular railway that runs through various levels of Hong Kong and reaches the upper terminus at Victoria Gap.
Due to its unique location, the Peak provides a stunning panorama of the city’s high-rise buildings and skyline.
After a stroll across the shopping complex with a quick look at the knick-knacks and souvenirs, we seated ourselves in the Tower Restaurant, on the top deck.
Keeping in the spirit of ‘bon vivant’, we seized the mood of the moment and treated ourselves to a couple of drinks and a pizza. Resting and joking with unconcern in the pleasant room seemed somewhat at odds with us hanging at the top of a tower overlooking the world.
In that moment, however, as long as we were indoors, the former trumped any kind of height-related uneasiness.
Having reached the premises in the late afternoon, we were lucky enough to witness the sun cast its last rays of the day, breaking up into multiple frames, spread them across the sky in a thousand shades of twilight mist, and fade swiftly into the night.
In between stories
While reminiscence comes to a close, new portals open up, paving the way to other promising horizons.
What is to come remains a mystery until it unfolds before us as a dream arising from the depths of another – more or less intricate – dream.