THE CONS 1

To Hong Kong’s foodies and anyone who enjoys going out not knowing where to dine but, with such a buffet of choices on offer, finding something- especially, something new as restaurants and bars come and go only to be replaced by clones prepared to pay the exorbitant rents demanded when original leases end, Hong Kong has an obscene over-supply to meet mild demand in a city with a population of only seven million.

THE CONS 2

Susan Jung, though the hardest working food writer, who writes about nearly every restaurant in Hong Kong for the SCMP, has never said it like it is. Perhaps she’s too busy stuffing her face?

THE CONS 3

The inconvenient truth is that the bad outweighs the good and there are some dreadful restaurants in the city- over-priced, over-hyped, unhygienic and pieced together with totally inept concepts.

THE CONS 4

There are the restaurants with the same old gravies poured over every dish- like the Thai(?) restaurant in Soho that has every dish swimming in the same yellow curry gravy- run and owned by small-time players who come and go and depend on the kindness of strangers to make ends meet.

These are innocents sucked into believing they can find their place in a vortex of scams and compete with cash-rich flim flam men.

THE CONS 5

For example, when one particular restaurant group owns over fourteen outlets, mainly in Soho, one does the maths and, purely as a business, it makes no sense.

This is unless it’s monkey business and where tax losses are what drive all openings of their new restaurants.

THE CONS 6

It’s control and also outta control as this particular group- and there are a few other syndicates like them- is obviously using all this “spreading of wealth” with a front man for the the real puppet masters behind them who are looking for any business to “rest their money.”

THE CONS 7

Opening a restaurant or club is an easy target as this business in Hong Kong isn’t exactly overflowing with Einsteins.

THE CONS 8

So, what has happened is that with Hong Kong not having some form of “regulatory measures” in place, any Tom, Dick and Suvraj can open a restaurant which has allowed in those with no passion for the F&B business.

THE CONS 9

Of course, there are the 5-star hotel venues and others for those who pay ridiculous prices for the dubious honor of being seen with Hong Kong’s air-kissing shee shee crowd and run by those with strong roller decks and old family fun.

Their restaurants are purely about face and surviving for as long as possible before, like many Humpty Dumptys this city builds up to bring down and be revealed as a fraud.

THE CONS 10

To the average punter, what do they care?

They’re spoilt for choice, there is no brand loyalty and they can pick and choose their way through the jungle.

Having said this, they SHOULD care when I have seen half-finished glasses of wine poured back into bottles, stale Mr Juicy cartons being used, kitchens located right next to toilets, food left on plates being “recycled” whereas don’t even get me started on the goings on in many kitchens.

THE CONS 11

Soon, Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver will open restaurants in Hong Kong- to be more precise, two dead brands looking for new hunting grounds and “subsidized” by those same groups with money to burn.

THE CONS 12

There are some VERY good restaurants and some VERY good people trying the best they can with what they have.

The problem is where the monopolies allowed in will take the restaurant trade and, with their long pockets, how they will- and are robbing- this industry of creativity and entrepreneurism until every restaurant not in a five-star hotel or in a prime location, will be serving dishes swimming in yellow gravy with the customer who can’t afford five-star dining being told to take it or lump it.

This is what happens when monopoly situations are allowed to happen.

THE CONS 13

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