THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

The term “flavour of the month” doesn’t ring more true than when talking about Hong Kong’s dog-eat-dog world of restaurants, bars and clubs. One day, you’re on top of the world, and everyone is your friend and chow fan. The next minute, you’re old news as there are ten new kids on the block, and, yes, the flavours of the month.

dod eat dog

So, who’s In and who’s Out? And who’s been given the boot, or has been another victim of Hong Kong’s crippling rents?

Barbie Mean Girls

We asked a number of restaurateurs and foodies for their lists. and below is a condensed Big In and Out List- and not in any order of importance.

IN

Mott32

Overrated 1
Basement, Standard Chartered Bank Building, 4-4A Des Voeux Road Central, Central

Fabulous decor and serving, amongst many other brilliant dishes, an outstanding char siu fan- Barbecued Pork and Rice.

Overrated 2

Stocktons

Overrated 3
G/F., 32 Wyndham St., Central

On the expensive side and the service borders on the wobbly, but the ambience and clientele makes it all worthwhile.

Overrated 4

Warning: Don’t order their cocktails, and always ask the prices of the champagnes recommended before blindly ordering and fainting when seeing the bill.

Overrated 5

Manchu China

Overrated 6
G/F, 33 Elgin Street, SOHO, Central

Unpretentious restaurant serving deliciously spicy Manchurian cuisine at affordable prices. A restaurant totally lacking in bullsh*t and the air kissing crowd.

Overrated 7

Da Domenico

Overrated 8
G/F., 25 Tung Lo Wan Road, Causeway Bay

Almost impossible to find if not a regular- but there are plenty of loyalists who want the restaurant’s basic Italian cuisine without any unnecessary frills. The service is helpful without being intrusive, and the presence of larger-than-life owner, chef and passionate Hong Kong racing fan Alessandro adds to the homely atmosphere.

AJ’s Sri Lankan

Overrated 9
G/F, 14 Sai Kung Hoi Pong Street, Sai Kung

The only restaurant in Hong Kong serving authentic Sri Lankan cuisine- string hoppers, the brilliant lampris- a meal in itself comprising two different curries, sambals, a hard boiled egg and rice baked and served in a banana leaf. Enough said.

Overrated 10

Ho Lee Fook

Overrated 11
G/F, 1-5 Elgin Street, Central

One of the very few restaurants able to pull of Chinese fusion cuisine, thanks to the creativity of Chef Jowett Wu. Always full so patience becomes a virtue.

Overrated 12

Jimmy’s Kitchen

Overrated 13b
Basement, South China Building, 1- 3 Wyndham Street, Central

A Hong Kong institution and known for its superb Madras Chicken Curry that no one has been able to copy.

curry chicken 2

Overrated 14c

Cha Cha Wan

Overrated 15
206 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong

Fusion Thai cuisine at its very best.

Overrated 16

22 Ship

Overrated 17
G/F, 22 Ship Street, Wan Chai

Dim Sum 1968

Overrated 18
Shop No.A, 14D Elgin Street, Soho, Central

Sumac

Overrated 19
G/F, 8 Glenealy, Central

The best restaurant for Lebanese cuisine.

Overrated 20

———————————————

OUT

Harlan Goldstein

Overrated 20c

Overrated 21

Said to be a man without a country- and any restaurants? Really? Will he make another comeback, or has these run their course by now?

Overrated 22

The Pawn

Overrated 23
2/F, 62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai

Absolute rip-off with its prices for ordinary dishes and housed in a heritage building with an ongoing controversy as to whether it owns the rooftop area that it claims to be theirs. Get journalist Michael Chugani, below, the voice of Hong Kong’s under trodden, to bang on about it.

Overrated 24

New Joe Bananas

Overrated 25
G/F, The Phoenix Building, 23 Luard Road, Wan Chai

Not new. Simply old and withered, and a nursing home for cheap “gweilos” after a cheap beer (one) and even cheaper women. A sad testament and crispy bacon to those days when taking a walk on the wild side of Wanchai with Lou Reed led to somewhere dark and mysterious.

The Champagne Bar

Overrated 27
Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1 Harbour Road, Hong Kong, China,

A shadow of what it once was and could be. The current management of the Grand Hyatt seems lost and confused.

Overrated 28

The Lobster Bar

Overrated 29
Lobby Level, Island Shangri La, Level 6 , Pacific Place, Supreme Court, Central. Hong Kong

See above. And even more lost.

Overrated 30

The Beijing Club

Overrated 31
M88, 2-8 Wellington St, Central, Hong Kong

From being the meeting place for local trendies to closing down from lack of business- always a good reason to call it quits.

Overrated 32

Anything with the name Gordon Ramsay

Overrated 33

Rayne

When it pours, it rains, and in this case, this club was just washed away in a tsunami of politics between its partners.

Overrated 34

Goodfellas (and The Cage)

Overrated 35
Ground Floor, No 24-30 Ice House Street, Central

The secret gentlemen’s clubs that were such an open secret that we hear they’ve both closed to regroup, and reopen bigger, brasher and with more Western ladies paid to laugh at cornball jokes while continually ordering expensive water coloured “Martinis”.

OVERRATED

Limewood

Spices At Repulse Bay

Overrated 36

Sepa

Peak Lookout

Overrated 37

Cafe Deco

Any restaurant on the Peak.

Fernando’s in Macau

Overrated 38