For dining, Caprice is a sure-fire winner. The chef here is Vincent Thierry who used to run the famous Le Cinq in Paris and the food is always excellent. You also have pretty harbour views. It’s quite formal so is a good place to go with clients, but if you want somewhere a bit more laid-back, then try Di Vino on Wyndham Street, which also has an excellent wine list.
There is a bar and restaurant called Weinstube. I found it accidentally and was surprisingly welcomed after listening to the craic going on at the bar by some local expat regulars, while having some really good schnitzel!
Staff are not over-friendly and if you need to know anything they just want to help you, from shopping to directions, or other places to eat or drink! I travel regularly to HK and pop in every time I'm there as it’s like a home away from home for me...hope it’s the same for you!
Weinstube: First floor, Ashley Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui (TST), Kowloon (opposite the Gaylord restaurant).
Dim sum is to Hong Kong as fish and chips (or perhaps a chicken korma) is to the UK. However, with countless restaurants in Hong Kong, where you do start? My recommendation would be at the dim sum restaurant (Lung King Heen) at the Four Seasons, Hong Kong. The dim sum served is of a different standard, each with its own twist on traditional classics. This delicous food is complimented with outstanding views of the harbour and impeccable service.
Situated on the first floor of the Four Seasons hotel. Make a reservation beforehand. Ask for a window view.
Using fresh, locally-grown ingredients to re-create rustic Andalucian cuisine with a contemporary touch, Al Lago has to be one of the best eating houses in the Sierra de Grazalema area of western Andalucia. If you are in the area give it a try, you won't be disappointed.
Calle Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente, 11
Zahara de la Sierra, 11688 (Cádiz), Spain
phone: + 34 956 123 032
mobile: + 34 662 052 553
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/
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.
One reason why Emirates Towers is the hotel to be in if you are doing business with the Dubai government (or one of its agencies) is because, as well as being an excellent business hotel, it is owned by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
It’s worth extending this principle to other business you may be doing in the city. Most businesses based in Dubai itself, rather than one of the Free Zones, are part of large, family-owned holding companies, many of which will have hotels among their interests. It’s always worth staying in the leading hotel of the group you are doing business with. It probably won’t make the deal but such courtesies are valued highly in the Gulf.
You are likely to meet plenty of extremely well-educated, modern young Emirati women – particularly if you are dealing with the government. However, remember that traditionally Muslim women are not supposed to touch men outside their family. Therefore, however warmly they smile when they hand over their cards, don’t automatically attempt to shake their hand unless they offer it. I might also add that Arab men are normally slightly more sensitive when touching each other and no one will infer weak character from your failure to crush their hand with your firm grip.
Favourite restaurants: Gordon Ramsay’s Verre at The Hilton Dubai Creek for European cuisine. Go for the food, not the décor, and because it’s somewhere you can actually talk. Lebanese is often the fallback for mixed entertaining but Iranian is a good alternative and in many ways closer to the Emirati palate; I would recommend the Shabestan at the InterContinental. Sadly, both are on the Deira side of town - but they are well worth the effort.
Jumeirah Emirates Towers, PO Box 72127, Dubai, UAE.
Tel.: +971 4 3300000
Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek, Beniyas Road, PO BOX 33398, Dubai, UAE.
Shabestan at the InterContinental, Dubai Bin Yas Street, PO Box 476, Dubai, UAE.
Tel.: +971 4 222 7171
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
Charlie Trotter’s on West Armitage is very expensive but also worth it: the epitome of New American gastronomy, punters are consistently dazzled by the freshness of the ingredients, the innovation of the daily changing menu, the exceptional wine cellar and the courteous and knowledgeable staff. It’s a touch over-formal but, after a few bottles, you’ll forget the stuffiness.
A tip: for the ultimate, sublime experience, get a reservation at the kitchen table. Also formal but utterly magical is TRU in Streeterville. A rather unique combination of gallery and eatery, this hip establishment houses two of Chicago’s most eminent chefs (Rick Tramanto and Gale Gand), sommelier Scott Tyree’s 1,400-bottle wine selection and an original Andy Warhol. From the moment you enter through the deliciously decadent black drapes, you’ll be stunned. Try the caviar, kobe beef and truffle-garnished scallops for a lasting memory. And don’t forget to wear a (louche) jacket.
Charlie Trotter's, 816 West Armitage Chicago, Illinois 60614 Tel: 773 248-6228
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
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.
La Quincaillerie (if you can pronounce it) is the place to go for upmarket Belgian dining in the atmospheric, bustling setting of an old ironmonger's store. It's a really memorable experience for visitors to Brussels and has fantastic seafood.
At the Nanxincang branch of Da Dong Roast Duck they have 22 private rooms, making it a great restaurant to do business – it is also the best Peking duck in Beijing. You have to reserve, though, because it is a popular place and the queues can be horrendous.
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