I need to get out of the Thai midday sun. My fair skin needs a break. I thought I'd use the time wisely and settle in to share with you my fleeting visit to Hong Kong.
Alex and I flew in mid-afternoon on Wednesday. When we booked the holiday we decided it would be nice to have one whole night there so we could get a brief sense of the city. Following lots of helpful recommendations from my Twitter pals, we stayed in the perfectly adequate Langham Hotel (I wasn't bowled over) then walked the short distance to Victoria Harbour for the evening.
Victoria Harbour is the city's centre of trade and is known as one of the world's most thrilling urban landscapes. Lit up at night it certainly is an impressive sight to see.
The restaurant we were visiting was inside the InterContinental; a glamorous hotel I sort of wished we'd stayed in ourselves! The view of the harbour from inside the Lobby Lounge was spectacular.
We were dining at a two Michelin star restaurant called Yan Toh Heen. It's recognised as one of the world's finest Chinese restaurants specialising in Cantonese cuisine. If we were only going to be in Hong Kong for one night, I wanted to spend our time somewhere rather special!
We already knew that we had the Peking Duck to look forward to. For this signature dish you had to give the restaurant twenty-four hours notice. I couldn't resist; it's my oriental guilty pleasure!
In preparation for our duck feast, we were presented with what was probably the biggest selection of condiments and sauces I have ever seen in my entire life
Not that I'm complaining. I love a sauce!
Peking Duck has a long history and revered position amongst Chinese dishes. The traditional preparation leaves the skin crispy and the meat succulent and savoury.
(I'm sorry, duck fans).
The delicious crispy skin was removed from the duck and served at our table with some very thin pancakes and the shed-load of sauces.
It was absolutely stunning, very much worth the pangs of guilt I never fail to get whenever I eat duck (especially one that is still duck-shaped!).
For our next course, Alex had the crispy diced pork belly with mandarin zest. I chose the amazing wok-fried Wagyu beef and duck liver with a spicy sauce. Oh that ever-so soft and rich duck liver! Heaven! The dishes were accompanied by egg fried rice made with the tender meat of our Peking duck.
Now I didn't know much about Chinese desserts. I tend to be so full up by this stage of a Chinese meal that any plans for pudding are duly scrapped. On this occasion, we made room. Well, we are on holiday!
I had the delightful chilled mango pudding, Alex ordered the four mini baked egg tartlettes (of which I ate three) and we were also kindly given a selection of yummy little pastries served on a round stand; compliments of the chef. I ate most of those too.
Needless to say, my diet is already out the proverbial window. But what the heck!
We had a fantastic experience at Yan Toh Heen with stunning food and attentive service. We concluded our night in Hong Kong with another romantic walk along the harbour before heading back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep. We had a 5am start the next day in order to catch our flight to Koh Samui.
But more about that later...