Sunday, May 17, 2009
High Tea at The Peninsular
I might have missed the opportunity to swank it up in colonial luxury in Darjeeling, but tea in The Peninsular has made up for it.
The Peninsular has been a Hong Kong institution since 1928. Being situated on the Kowloon waterfront, it offers excellent harbour views. An extension was added in the 1994 and the Felix bar on the top floor quickly established itself as the Top Dog venue, but it is pricey and has a strict dress code. I once tried to gatecrash Bruce Willis' private party. I did catch a glimpse of the host (this man is huge!), before being swiftly ushered out by two burly bouncers for the wearing of open-toed sandals. The views from the bathroom are exceptional. The hotel boasts the largest fleet of Rolls Royce, all specially painted in Peninsular Green.
I'm in sandals (and traditional Indian linen) again as we spend half an hour queuing up for tea in the foyer. Fortunately Dr Gloves and my parents are looking much more respectable. Table bookings are not accepted.
An orchestra plays traditional jazz and Beatles' covers from the gallery above. My Dad insists on me bro. and I indulging in the full works which includes scones (with jam and cream, mini-quiche (excellent, but too small), assorted sandwiches (with cut-off crusts) and assorted cakes (the lemon sponge being a little disappointing). The coffee is particularly weak. It doesn't come cheap, but it is a special experience.
Ma, Pa and Dr Gloves living it up!
Four hours later, Auntie J joins us for yet another meal - this time at La Pampas, an Argentinian steak joint in Central. My parents love to eat, but as delicious as it is, (all their meat is freshly imported), I have reached bursting point.
Kev's barbecue is running from 1pm today, and I have been put in charge of the leg of lamb. It has been marinaded in garlic, onion, rosemary (from Kev's garden), lime and honey, and has been cooked at 80 Celsius for over 24 hours. Kev has made his house special (Thai green curry with chicken pies) and salmon tortillas and we have enough sausages and burgers to last late into the evening. No doubt I'll be grazing like a famished yak. I'm gonna be the biggest lard-arse in Dharamsala next week.