Michelin two-star Lai Ching Heen kept going while the building that is once again THE REGENT HONG KONG was closed for near-complete rebuild. All that remains of ‘the old’ is the basic concrete shell, and the love of the brand. The jewel that is Lai Ching Heen remained, open for its loyal fans. It’s an elegant space, down at the waterline, with big picture windows affording superb Victoria Harbour views. Henry Leung’s design is delightfully un-Chinese, with soft taupes and hints of yellow and green.
Lai Ching Heen has its own sparkling iced tea, Sparkling Golden Oolong with Lungan Honey cold tea. The restaurant’s tea sommelier will present this at China’s ‘Michelin’, the Meituan ‘Black Pearl’, at BEIJING KEMPINSKI on 21st August.
The Regent Hong Kong has brought back the eternally popular Harbourside, again lowest level. Its buffets are legendary, all meal times. Girlahead breakfasted there, underneath one of the two three-metre tall living trees. She opted for a most unusual, for a traditional western breakfaster, plate with dim sum and deep-friend wontons.
The other main dining option, lowest level again, is the essential Steak House, designed by BAR Studio. Its 90-plus seats were nearly entirely taken. This has been Hong Kong’s seriously-international carnivore heaven since it first opened its doors in 1977 (its original open-fuel grill range is still in action).
Chef Christophe Gillimo, from Aix en Provence, was very much commanding the performance. He makes a point of offering meat from wherever – one night he was stressing Italian or Korean. We went for the former, a gigantic Carimo Farm bone-in ribeye, 20+ days dry-aged, to share. The first glass of Chateau Lascombes 2015 Margaux was poured from a magnum.
Before carnivore capers, it was salad bar time – see the video https://youtu.be/T23QbaqD3-s . Take a grey-edged Legle plate, and go veggie-salad, or add prawns, smoked or gravadlax salmon, or about a dozen finely Bechtel-sliced cold cuts. Some might want to buy oysters, Gillardeau No 2 or Baby Boudeuse David Hervé No 5, as extra. Salad over, there is presentation of a snakeskin case holding ten Nesmuk Janus steak knives, identical blades but three choices of handle, ivory, black or olive wood.
And then the already-sliced meat arrived, a still-sizzling eruption of flavour on a paddle-shaped wood platter. Carimo came with bright-scarlet baby tomatoes and half a garlic to keep it company. Each slice tasted different – how much yummy fat on this piece, how much on that? Flavour everywhere. Superb. A choice of ten mustards and other additives had been offered, and the request bright green broccolini with garden added both to the colour and the overall taste. Scrumptious, memorable, divine.
It’s fabulous feasting at this place!