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Old 15-03-2007, 08:25 PM   #1179
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Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner: With views of Hong Kong's fabled harbor, live piano music, French cuisine, and one of Hong Kong's best wine lists, Petrus, Island Shangri-La Hotel, Supreme Court Road, Central (tel. 852/2820 8590), sets the mood for a special evening deux. You'll want to linger for some time here, savoring the Mediterranean-influenced food, the castle-like ambience, the view, and each other.

Best Spot for a Business Lunch: Since 1963, business travelers have favored the Mandarin Grill, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Rd., Central (tel. 852/2522 0111), conveniently located in the heart of Hong Kong's financial and business district. It offers drawing-room comfort and high-powered food, a winning combination for clinching those business deals. And since no children are allowed except for Sunday brunch, business deals won't have to compete with toddler theatrics.

Best Spot for a Celebration: An elegant, colonial-age setting, attentive service, dependably good French haute cuisine, and an extensive wine list make Gaddi's, The Peninsula hotel, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (tel. 852/2315 3171), a natural for a splurge or special celebration. If, however, your idea of a celebration is more exuberant and youthful, you can do no better than M at the Fringe, 2 Lower Albert Rd., Central (tel. 852/2877 4000), a Hong Kong favorite for its quirky interior, artsy crowd, and always excellent creative cuisine.

Best Decor: The avant-garde Felix, in The Peninsula hotel, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (tel. 852/2315 3188), was designed by Philippe Starck. In addition to providing Hong Kong's most unusual, innovative setting, the restaurant offers stunning views, one of the world's smallest discos, and slightly exhibitionist bathrooms. Wear your trendiest duds -- you, too, will be part of the display.

Best View: In a town famous for its views, you might as well go to the very top, where the curved facade of Cafe Deco, Peak Galleria, Victoria Peak (tel. 852/2849 5111), offers Hong Kong's best panorama, along with live jazz in the evening and moderately priced -- though occasionally mediocre -- international cuisine. Reserve a harbor-view window seat a couple of weeks in advance; what you're really paying for here is the unparalleled view.

Best Wine List: Not only does SPOON by Alain Ducasse, Hotel InterContinental Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (tel. 852/2313 2256), offer great harbor views, excellent contemporary French cuisine, and impeccable service, but it also boasts a selection of 3,000 bottles of wine, on view at the restaurant's entrance.

Best Cantonese Cuisine: With some of the world's best Cantonese restaurants located in Hong Kong, this is obviously a tough call, but you can't go wrong at the very sophisticated and classy Yan Toh Heen, Hotel InterContinental Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (tel. 852/2721 1211), where the emphasis is on stark simplicity, a view of the harbor, and traditional and creative dishes that border on Chinese nouvelle cuisine.

Best Chinese for the Uninitiated: If you're unfamiliar with Chinese food beyond sweet-and-sour pork and feel -- perhaps reluctantly -- that Hong Kong is the place to widen your horizons, Shang Palace, Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, 64 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui East (tel. 852/2733 8754), is a good introduction to the almost limitless variety of Cantonese food, all listed on an English menu. It's also a good place to try dim sum for the first time. The helpful staff is happy to make recommendations. The elaborately decorated lacquered walls and Chinese lanterns all fit the fantasy of a Chinese restaurant in Asia.

Best Chinese Hot Spot: Make reservations early for Hutong, on the 28th floor of an office building at 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (tel. 852/3428 8342). This place is as hip as a Chinese restaurant can be, with fantastic views over Hong Kong, a darkened interior with splashes of red lighting, and innovative northern Chinese cuisine. Dining here will want to make you live forever, if only to see what can possibly top this; this being Hong Kong, something eventually will.

Best Dim Sum Experience: The quaint ceiling fans, spittoons, and wooden booths evoke a 1930s ambience at Luk Yu Tea House, 24-26 Stanley St., Central (tel. 852/2523 5464). First opened in 1933, it's one of Hong Kong's oldest restaurants, famous for its dim sum and filled daily with regular customers. It's hard to find an empty seat here but worth the effort.

Best American Cuisine: There's no better place in town for a Caesar salad than Napa, Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel, 64 Mody Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui East (tel. 852/2733 8752), where you can follow your salad with Californian cuisine that includes pastas and seafood. The great harbor views make it a perfect place for a relaxed lunch or dinner.

Best French Cuisine: Petrus, Island Shangri-La (see "Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner," above) is the top French restaurant in more ways than one: It's located on the 56th floor and offers breathtaking harbor views. Decorated like a French castle, it features contemporary French creations and one of Hong Kong's most definitive wine lists, delivered by a professional and discreet staff.

Best Italian Cuisine: There are a lot of contenders in this category, but the harbor views, airy palatial setting, and traditional northern Italian home-style cooking combine to make Grissini, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Hotel, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai (tel. 852/2588 1234), a favorite choice for lunch or dinner.

Best Western/Asian Fusion Cuisine: Trendy restaurants utilizing Western and Asian ingredients to create new dishes are the vogue in Hong Kong, but few carry it off as masterfully as Vong, Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 5 Connaught Rd., Central (tel. 852/2522 0111), offering what is arguably the best interpretation of Franco-Asian cuisine in this part of the hemisphere (same owner/chef as the Vong in New York City), as well as great views of the harbor and a nattily dressed crowd.

Best Seafood: Huge decorative seafood tanks and views of Victoria Harbour provide the perfect setting for a memorable seafood dinner at Y, Hotel InterContinental Hong Kong, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui (tel. 852/2721 1211). Lobster, crabs, prawns, abalone, mussels, and fish are kept alive until the decisive moment. Chefs prepare your food according to your wishes; there are also imported oysters and a sushi bar.

Best Buffet Spread: Lots of hotels offer buffets, but none can match the sheer extravagance and chic atmosphere of caf TOO, Island Shangri-La Hotel, Supreme Court Road, Central (tel. 852/2820 8571, ext. 8571). Overlooking the greenery of Hong Kong Park and sporting a hip, contemporary look, it features open kitchens and seven "stations" of food presentations spread throughout the restaurant, eliminating the assembly-line atmosphere inherent in most buffet restaurants. The danger? The temptation to try every delectable dish on display.
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