THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

Goodness gracious and even gracias me, all these restaurants in Hong Kong, all these different types of cuisine and, in many kitchens where restaurants are trying to be what they’re not- like being an “authentic Italian restaurant” but with Chef Carlo Wong who’s never left Kowloon in charge- it really must be like Fawlty Towers with Basil and Manuel in panic mode

CHEF TOMMY 1

Let’s face it, if you go to a Thai restaurant, you’re far more confident about the authenticity of the dishes if it’s been cooked by a Thai.

There is lap and there is lap sap.

CHEF TOMMY 2

Same when you know Chinese cuisine has been prepared by chefs who know the difference between Cantonese, Szechuan and Shanghai dishes.

Hell, if a dish of Ma Bo Dao Foo- Spicy Bean Curd and Minced Pork- hasn’t been made by a chef from Shanghai or Szechuan, I won’t touch it.

CHEF TOMMY 3

Even when it comes to a burger, or a pizza, it’s that much more “tasty” and where you’re prepared to spend more, if you ask to meet the chef and they’re from NYC.

TGI FRIDAYS BURGERS

It’s why Restoration in Wyndham Street which specializes in New Orleans-style cuisine does so well- Jack, the chef and part-owner is FROM New Orleans.

CHEF TOMMY 5

It’s why Middle-Eastern restaurants stay true to themselves as almost every one in Hong Kong is run by Middle Easterners and the food prepared by those from that part of the world- some much better than others.

There are kebabs and there are kebabs just as there is sashimi and there is sashimi.

CHEF TOMMY 6

It’s also why with zero marketing and not even a sign, Da Domenico has a waiting list- the chef, host, raconteur and owner Alessandro is Italian- and also why Hong Kong’s power players will always pay top dollar when any hotel brings out a chef from Paris or Tuscany or Rome or Brazil.

It’s all about The Confidence Factor.

CHEF TOMMY 7

Of course, at the other end of the scale are those who are intimidated, insecure, inferior and suffer from shrinkage to dine at Restoration or Da Domenico or any five-star restaurant.

CHEF TOMMY 8

They’re happy as Larry and Sally with a Crabmeat Au Gratin or a Prime Rib US Steak or an “Authentic South Indian Curry” prepared by Chef Tommy from Yuen Long.

But for $65, they don’t care- and which is where pricing comes into play.

With such a glut of restaurants in Hong Kong serving the same type of “International” cuisine, one cannot charge top dollar for dishes from the kitchen of Chef Tommy from Yuen Long and wines picked by “experts” who wouldn’t know a Pinot Noire from Pinnochio.

CHEF TOMMY 9

CHEF TOMMY 10

If a restaurateur, be what you are and not what you think you are or what you hope to be seen as.

Dining IN is becoming far more popular than dining OUT and which means when dining out, one would definitely go with an original than a wannabe.

Yes, it’s like dating.

Give me someone original any day of the week as opposed to sitting with yet another bimbo or Hello Kitty doll who instagrams her food or has zero idea about wines other than ordering “something red”- mixed with a Coke.

Glamorous women in a restaurant