I lived in Hong Kong for four years and by far the most impressive view of Hong Kong island is from 'Aqua', a bar/restaurant at the 29th floor of 1 Peking Rd, Tsim Tsa Tsui on the Kowloon side. On the floor above Aqua there is a Chinese Restaurant called 'Hutong' that is also very impressive and with dimmed lighting to enhance the view even more.
1 Peking Rd, Tsim Tsa Tsui. www.aqua.com.hk/
If you go to Hong Kong around December the place is awash with hairy crabs - not an outbreak of unpleasantness, but a gastronomic opportunity. The ones I had were steamed and once one worked out how to get inside them, the ovaries were something between scrambled egg and mashed potato.
In every market, on every street. If your local restaurant doesn't have it on the menu, then buy a couple and ask them to cook them for you - you'll want other dishes too, as they weren't very filling.
When in Hong Kong - check out the Haagan Daz in Lan Kwai Fong, Central, for an Ice Cream fondue. I haven't found this available anywhere outside Asia (although I may be proved wrong). The dish features different flavours of ice cream, fresh fruit and a warm chocolate fondue dip. Perhaps for those with a sweet tooth.
Lan Kwai Fong, Central, Hong Kong Island
Partake of this for €25 at the Villa Leonhardi – a superb Italian restaurant in an old villa just outside the old city; and once a month they do a seasonal tasting menu for €80‚ which is well worth making the journey for.
My tip for a hotel is the Marriott in Deira. Away from the glitz so that you can concentrate but close enough to everything that you want, first class business facilities and a rooftop pool. The best restaurants are the Sphinx at the Pyramids and Shabestani Iranian restaurant at the Hyatt.
Oriental, seafood restaurant at the Grand Hyatt in Deira. The restaurant location and setting are ideal for meetings, the staff are quietly efficient and knowledgeable about the food, they have a great selection of wines while the signature dish, Pepper Crab, is truly outstanding.
Grand Hyatt, Deira
This restaurant situated on the Chicago River serves great sushi and modern Japanese cuisine. It’s very smart and tends to attract a rather beautiful crowd. You can choose between the red room or the green room, depending on what mood you’re in; or there’s also a wonderful river-front patio.
If you’ve got something to celebrate and feel like splashing out, the 23-course tasting menu at Alinea in the Lincoln Park area is a must. It’s an eye-popping $195 at first glance, but with the exchange rate as it is, it does represent excellent value. Everything is exquisitely presented and tastes wonderful.
If you’re after old-world charm, I can strongly recommend The Peninsula or the Four Seasons. The Peninsula is located in the middle of Chicago’s magnificent mile of department stores and designer boutiques, has a fabulously grand lobby and is home to Shanghai Terrace – arguably Chicago’s finest Chinese restaurant. The lobby lounge is lit by twenty-foot-high windows, and the bar, in contrast, is intimate and low-lit, with a roaring fireplace and a surprisingly hip crowd. Despite its excessively grand décor, I’ve always found it very difficult to leave the Four Seasons – the CEO hotel of choice. The service is friendly, super-competent and never intrusive; the views spectacular – of the Michigans (Avenue and Lake); and the pampering genuinely top-notch.
The New American food at Seasons is delicious and you can easily lose a week at the extraordinary spa and pool. Every bit as impressive as its New York sibling, the Chicago Seasons happens to be cheaper, too.
The Peninsula Chicago 108 East Superior Street (at North Michigan Avenue), Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA Tel: (1-312) 337 2888Fax: (1-312) 751 2888 chicago.peninsula.com
Four Seasons120 East Delaware Place, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. 60611-1428 Tel: 1 (312) 280-8800 Fax: 1 (312) 280-1748
If you’re looking for food with a view, try The Signature Room at the John Hancock Centre. With better views than the building’s observation deck, this is Chicago’s brunch centre. The prices are reasonable and you’re guaranteed to wow your colleagues/clients. The service can be a little variable – it took the waitress 15 minutes to find me a fork – but the weekend live jazz more than makes up for the occasional shoddiness.
The Signature Room at the 95th® 875 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60611 Tel: 312.787.9596
For something completely different, try X/O in Boys Town. This ultra cool spot dishes a delightful variety of creative eclectic small plates – including tapas with a twist – and offers some of the city’s best cocktails. The champagne concoctions and martinis are as spectacular as the atmosphere – fuelled by a DJ with a Hoxton haircut at weekends. If you can, try to sit on the patio.
3441 N Halsted Street Chicago, IL 60613 Tel:(773) 348-9696
For a quality lunch, pay a visit to the Museum Brasserie, which is in the Museum of Fine Arts overlooking the Palace Royale. It has a menu terroir of Belgian cuisine cooked by the Michelin-starred chef Peter Goossens.
Aux Armes De Bruxelles is a long-established restaurant near the Grand Place with an excellent menu and good beer and wine list. The moules are to die for. I ate there every evening on my last trip.
Yunnan food that people from Yunnan actually eat. Serving the Yunnan Provincial Government Office, Yunteng Shifu offers authentic Yunnan cuisine made with ingredients which are flown in direct from the southern province. The restaurant is open all day and the somewhat kitsch, jungle interior can feel like a breath of fresh air after dusty Beijing.
Yunnan specialities include goat's cheese (rubing), pineapple rice (bolo fan), 'crossing the bridge' noodles (guo qiao mixian), proscuitto-like cuts of ham and the hot, fresh wonderfulness which is Dai mint salad.
There's no English menu but everything is illustrated with photos. Yunnan food is very trendy in Beijing and can be hugely overpriced, but a meal here for two with Yunnan beer or tea shouldn't cost more than £10. Highly, highly recommended.
Set back from the road, Yunteng Shifu looks to be part of a posh housing estate. Look for the building with large gold characters down the side of it and stone steps leading up to the entrance.
Yunteng Hotel, 7 Donghuashi Beili Dongqu (bet. Chongwenmen Dongdajie & Donghuashi Dajie) Beijing, China 100019
Nearest metro stations: Chongwenmen (line 5) or Beijing Train Station (line 2).
A very friendly organic restaurant (no sit in; stand-up and take-away only) with a fabulous selection of dishes inspired by the local food culture. You select two choices for a small 'boat' (small, biodegradable pine dishes) and four for a large - and the sweet mint tea is unlimited. They speak (at least) English, French and Spanish, and are a new venture from the folks who run El Piano in York, UK. My wife and I loved it.
They are located a few minutes' walk from the city centre (nothing in Granada is very far...)
The Anoki was voted one of the top 10 UK Indian restaurants; I have eaten in countless curry houses and this is deservedly acclaimed.
The service, food, decor and ambiance are all top notch. Go, you will not be disappointed, but book or you will not get in on many nights.
London Road, Derby
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