Posts Tagged China

Tai Hing, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

At a loss for somewhere to have lunch after visiting the Hong Kong Science Museum, I started up my trusty TripAdvisor app to see what restaurants with a decent rating were close by. Up popped Tai Hing in the New Mandarin Centre a couple of hundred metres away from where I was so off into the hot, humid, smoggy day I went.

Tai Hing, as I eventually found out, is a chain of around 45 restaurants around Hong Kong who’s main menu items are roasts – several different type of roast pork, roast goose amongst others.

I went to this particular restaurant 3 times during my 2 stays in Hong Kong each time having different combinations of their roast pork and roast goose (I love goose!).

The quality and price can’t be beaten and service is really fast. The combinations of  pork, goose & rice, along with a cold drink came in at around HK$70, which is just a shade over AU$10.

Highly recommended.

, , ,

No Comments

Mody’s Bar, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong.

After the pretty crap service at Roccos Pizzeria I decided to give a bar called Mody’s Bar directly across the road from the InterContinental Grand Stanford on Mody Road in East Tsim Sha Tsui a go.

Its much smaller than Roccos but has a similarly long happy “hour” and attentive staff. Another plus is also has live music on some evenings (it was a Wednesday evening that I was there) which wasn’t too bad.

During the afternoon there were only half a dozen of us in for a drink, but the next evening there were probably 30 or so people in.

They also have a kitchen but I haven’t tried the food there yet, but I will next time I’m in Hong Kong.

So far so good – I’ll do a longer review next time.

,

No Comments

Roccos Pizzeria, East Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

For the past 4 or 5 years I’ve been lucky enough to travel to my favourite destination in Asia, Hong Kong, once or twice a year either as a trip in itself, or as a staging point to nearby countries (China, Macau & Vietnam).

I always try to stay in East Tsim Sha Tsui at the InterContinental Grand Stanford. I like the area as its far enough away from the main Kowloon touristy area of Nathan and Canton Roads so that you’re not constantly being harassed by tailors or dodgy Rolex watch hawkers, but you’re also just a 15 minute walk, either by the harborfront promenade or underground through the MTR stations and shopping centres, to the Star Ferry terminal for the ferry hide to Hong Kong Island.

During one of my trips a couple of years ago I happened to stop at Roccos Pizzeria on Mody Road just up the street from my hotel, and with the offer of happy “hour” for most of the day I settled in for a couple of cold beers to quench my thirst. Service was always good, and the food as always a welcome break from always eating Asian food.

On my subsequent trips I used this place as my winding down location after a day of sightseeing and for the most part they were pretty good. Some of the staff even remembered me from my previous visits by name – I think I’d officially become a barfly in another country!

Anyway, onto this years trip. I used Hong Kong as a transit point before and after my trip to Vietnam. I did 2 short stints in Hong Kong, 4 days & 3 days. First thing I did after I’d checked in the first time was head down to Roccos for a couple a beers and to just watch the hustle and bustle of Mody Road. I find it relaxing just sitting there sipping a beer and watching one of the busiest cities in the world go past me.

Things started to go down hill once I returned to Hong Kong after Vietnam. My how the service had deteriorated in just 2 short weeks, and its completely substandard compared to what it was in previous years.

What pissed me off?

Well it was a comedy of bad service… actually bad is the wrong word… absolutely the worst service I’ve ever received in my travels is probably a better way to put it, that occurred on my second day there.

1) I walk in around 5pmish, there’s a couple of people sitting at the bar, and maybe 10 tables of 2 or 3 people. Not overly busy. I sit at the bar and get ignored by the bar staff for a while, I wave to try to get their attention to order a beer, but they seem pre-occupied with cleaning the dirty glasses and chatting which each other to serve me.

2) I finally grab their attention, order a beer, and wait… more chatting, more cleaning glasses, but no beer… feeling a little pissed off I finally grab the bar guys attention again and ask where my beer is… “Sorry sir… I forgot” pfft

3) Finish my beer and wait for my second (its 2 for 1 during happy “hour”)… and wait… and wait… more chatting behind the bar but no beer… about 10 minutes later they look in my direction and finally ask if I want my second beer…

4) After my 2 beers I decided it was time to head off… didn’t want to waste anymore time being ignored so I asked for the bill… and I waited, and waited, while the bar staff chatted and did other things. Another staff member finally noticed I was sitting there like a bump on a log, wallet in hand and asked if I wanted the bill. I said I’d asked for it 10 minutes ago but still hadn’t received it… he went over to the guy I first asked (same guy who forgot my beer, and ignored getting me my 2nd beer) and he frantically printed out my bill and presented it with another “Sorry sir, I forgot”. Well, I “forgot” to leave a tip the service was so bad.

By this time, I was over the place and resolved never to set foot in it again… and to the staff of Roccos I won’t forget!

, ,

No Comments

InterContinental Hong Kong

The past couple of times I’d been in Hong Kong I stayed at the InterContinental Grand Stanford on Mody Road in East Tsim Sha Tsui which is the smaller sister hotel of the InterContinental Hong Kong.

The InterContinental Hong Kong is on Salisbury Road right on the Kowloon waterfront overlooking Victoria Harbour and is close to Tsim Sha Tsui and East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR stations, is a short walk to the Star Ferry, and just across the road from the Peninsula Hotel and Nathan Road. Its was very central.

This is the flagship InterContinental Hotel in Hong Kong and from the moment you drive upto the front door you can see it oozing opulence.

I was staying at the hotel for 2 nights using my Priority Club points so I didn’t expect to get the presedential suite but I was overawed by the suite I did get. I didn’t get a view of the harbour but I did get to look out onto the green oasis that was the pool and bar area of the hotel.

The room was large with a work area with a selection of international news papers, a very comfortable king bed and a reasonable sized bathroom with serarate bath and shower. Bathroom amenities were the standard ones that were also in use at the InterContinental Grand Stanford up the road.

Since I was staying on points I didn’t get the free mini bar that I normally get as a Royal Ambassador.

On the first evening my colleague and I were pretty tired so decided not to venture too far from the hotel. We decided to have a couple of drinks in the lobby bar at the hotel that overlooks the harbour. We had a couple of drinks and some snacks before venturing out to try to see the light show that Hong Kong puts on each evening but it was raining so we didn’t last long. I’d seen it before so didn’t care that I’d missed it again.

On the Saturday afternoon afer some touring around in the morning and a quiet lunch, we decided to try the afternoon High Tea that the hotel was famous for. There was a queue for tables when we arrived as the afternoon tea is very popular with locals as well as tourists. Being resident in the hotel we managed to jump the queue a little and were seated in about 15 minutes and then spentthe next hour or so eating cucumber sandwiches washed down with coffee. Very relaxing and all the while we had the great view of watching life going on on Victoria Harbour out the large windows. There was so much food that we didn’t even bother going out for dinner. My colleague crashed and I went out for a couple of beers at a bar I knew up near the other InterCon hotel.

On the Sunday we decided to try breakfast at the Peninsula across the road. Service left a little to be desired but the food was nice.

And then it was time to head back to Melbourne. After a late checkout we used the hotel limo to get to the airport for our evening flight home.

Would I stay at the InterContinental Hong Kong again? Definite yes!

, ,

No Comments

Hotel Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16

I had a 3 day training course in Macau of all places earlier on in the year. The course was held at Hotel Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 in Macau and I had the pleasure of staying at the hotel as well.

I’d been to Macau twice before but didn’t bother head out towards where the Sofitel is located. Its a strange but beautiful location which is the mixing pot of a bustling main roads with Chinese and Portuguese restaurants, temples and of course the iconic St Paul’s a 10 minute slow walk away.

The hotel has a courtesy bus to pick you up from the ferry terminal after the one hour ferry trip from Hong Kong. It’s about a 15 minute drive through the worlds largest casino to get to the hotel.

Being a casino the opulence of the the hotel is breathtaking with the reception a large marble affair.

My original room had two single beds, but a bit of a whinge later had me ensconced in a room with a King bed. The room was excellently appointed and the amenities in the bathroom were L’occitaine. Sweet!

The view from the hotel room was south west and allowed me to look over the busy Inner Harbour into mainland China. It was surprising the amount of river traffic that crossed that river. I would have thought that the small boats from relatively free Macau to/from mainland China would have been under excessive control but id didn’t seem to be the case.

Breakfasts and lunches were provided and in the hotel’s Mistral restaurant. The meals were buffet style so you could indulge (or more likely over indulge) in your portuguese and chinese favorites. The quality of the food was top notch, probably one of the better buffets I’ve had the pleasure of eating at!

Under the hotel was a casino. On the last evening I did pay my Macau tax and gambled away around HKD$200. Not a King’s ransom but I had fun and lost.

I’d stay here again and use it as a base to explore the little alleys of historical Macau.

, ,

No Comments