Red Hot Alfresco Dining Festival
It's that time of the year again - you're wearing shorts at weekends, your shades are more important than your Blackberry, and you're debating whether to get a tan or go for SPF 50. Now that summer has descended in the city in earnest, it's time to turn up the heat and where better to enjoy some red hot alfresco dining than Alfresco Lane in Tsim Sha Tsui East? With over a dozen restaurant outlets in Tsim Sha Tsui Centre and Empire Centre, choosing a venue for a long lazy brunch at weekend, a romantic dinner for two, or a mid-summer party with the troop, is never easier. This summer, check out the Red Hot Alfresco Dining Festival, and enter the free lucky draw to win some fabulous prices, including a free meal for 10, worth more than HK$3,000!
Villa in the East
LaVilla (G/F Tsim Sha Tsui Centre) is an oasis in the midst of Tsim Sha Tsui, with an extended patio right along the harbour, as well as live music every night. Start the night with the seafood platter and the tomato and crab meat soup. Next up is tasty salmon pasta, but the best is yet to come. Equipped with a charcoal grill, La Villa churns out fantastic rib-eye that is dry-aged in-house. The crème brulèe might be the dessert that rounds up the meal, but the entire dinner at $328 per person? Now that's sweet.
Hotter than wok
Instead of cooling down with an iced drink, traditional Chinese medicine steers us towards a nourishing bowl of hot soup. Banqueting House (1/F Empire Centre) is a traditional banquet hall that offers an exceptional view of the harbour. This summer come for their famous roast spring chicken and don't miss the innovative Alaskan king crab soup, cooked for hours with Chinese herbs that taste sweet rather than bitter. Save some space for the flavourful braised lobster, served with egg noodles that fully absorb the superior broth.
Those who fancy Shanghainese food shouldn't miss the bell pepper with black fungus in mild wasabi sauce at the elegant and tranquil Shanghai Xiao Nan Guo Cuisine. (UG/F Tsim Sha Tsui Centre) The mild wasabi sauce gives the crunchy black fungus a kick. Finish off with the cassia flower rice pudding that has a subtle aroma but additive after the first bite!
For a bit of homestyle cooking, head to Home Feel (UG/F Empire Centre) that offers healthy Cantonese cuisine with less salt and less oil. The refreshing sweet and sour shrimps in fruit sauce is light and tangy. Such an unusual combination of flavours works surprisingly well and the sour kick is great in the hot weather.
Red hot summer
With over 40 years in history, Lee Fa Yuen (UG/F Empire Centre) is one of the best Korean restaurants in Hong Kong. Its home-made kimchi is juicy and crunchy, and is fresher than what you get elsewhere. The special homemade kimchi noodles is the perfect summer dish.
Seafood is popular in the summer and at Aku Teppanyaki Japanese Restaurant (G/F Tsim Sha Tsui Centre) you can turn up the heat with the tantalising grilled spicy king prawn. The juicy king prawn from Thailand is cooked with the chilli paste on the teppanyaki grill. Drown the heat with a sip of sake!
Meal with a view
Only meat at steakhouse? Think again. Wooloomooloo Steakhouse (G/F Tsim Sha Tsui Centre) has prepared the red hot prawns and pepper just for this summer. The king prawns are sautéed in light curry sauce before being stuffed in a crunchy red bell pepper. The sweetness of the bell pepper balances the spiciness in the curry, making this a great starter.
For a quick bite, head to McLovin's Tavern (G/F Tsim Sha Tsui Centre) for the tasty and spicy Red burrito. The filling is moist and a little spicy, and those who cannot take the heat can offset it with the creamy guacamole, or wash it down with a pint of beer.
Spoilt for choice
Enjoy these promotions from now till the end of August. Receive a free HK$25 Starbucks cash coupon when you spend over HK$350 at any venue. Don't forget to drop in your business card in order enter the lucky draw!