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Monday, June 11, 2007

Thumbs Up & Down

Friday (June 8)
Did nothing...had to stay late at work.
Was planning to have a nice dinner at Bricolage but turned to nothing since work somehow piled up to weird proportions by 6.30pm!
Another Friday it is then...I need some good wine in my week.
--> THUMBS DOWN...not happy...gotta make up for this soon.

Saturday (June 9)
I headed to Causeway Bay (CWB) to meet up Donna & Michelle, her out-of-town friend, and had dimsum at Tao Hing. It was a good dimsum and cheap too! HK50/pax...I believe we chose the heavier dimsum orders so that made us all full quickly. Shopped around @ IKEA, Island Beverly Shopping Center (pictured), Giordano Ladies, G2000 Ladies, Coach, Club 8 (very similar to the band with the same fav actually) and Times Square. I bumped into an ex-Citi pep at G2000 - Tish Dy of Greenhills CTB, who's now with Banco De Oro (BDO). The world is getting smaller by the days. Amazingly...I ended up with just one cheap/discounted dress from Island Shopping Center. Donna got one in grey/black while I got the black/grey one! We are so much like twins! It's a steal for HK100 (around Php700 or USD15)
--> THUMBS UP...with a deal like that...and unique clothing for 1/4th the price...who would complain?!?

Donna & Michelle had to head back and drop their purchases,mostly Michelle's, at home before coming back to CWB to meet up for dinner at CWB. :) Dinner was at Red Pepper Szechuan Resto at CWB, near Krispy Kreme, with ex-Citi pep like Peter Pantanco (still with Citi), his wife and Sonny Munoz (BNP). This place is basically known for their ever spicy hot dishes. We had the spicy chicken & cashew, the sizzling chili shrimp, stir-fried spicy string beans and fried chili squid. ice cream at the end of your mean...definitely a must to neutralize the numbness of my tongue.
We then headed off to Soho's Portabello for some cheesecake and more catching ups.
--> THUMBS UP for the Chili Chicken with Cashew Nuts :)

Sunday (June 10)
Lunch @ Crystal Jade as a simple one since I wanted to prep myself for high tea with Ali. :) Line-up was long but good that it's just getting a table didn't take me more than 10 minutes. These are the days when I love eating out alone. :P

After lunch, I headed A/X to inquire at IFC, exact branch as photographed, to check if I have a discount card since I've been getting their VIP mailers for so long now.
These mailers are normally for their VIP cardholders informing them of new arrivals and private sales. The most recent mailer I got was for a private sale last weekend. I thus had to check and see.
Lo and behold, I do have a discount card! The manager has informed me that they have phased out the physical discount cards and it's all done by giving your name and birthday, thus I do not have a discount card in my possession now. :P
I remember that I had one back 1999 and I didn't know that it's sort of a lifetime card for them. They do have a promo that if I have accummulated 10k points (10k spending) within a year, I get to have hk500 gift certificate. If you think about it it's a bit of a rip off since it's not even 10%...though remember, 10% is given upon each purchase it's all a balance. :P
Upon confirming the details, I got to renew my card now since policies have been changing...meaning I should get something...not bad since I got 2 white shirts (my main color nowadays) that I really wanted a while back now plus with discount! I'm all smiles now.
A/X's styles are more appealing to me this season than CK so that's great. I'm happy and it all turned out well.
--> THUMBS DOWN for me not being able to stop buying things but THUMBS UP for my discount card still useable.

Isn't this a beauty? It's was one of the lace/pattern designs by Paul & Joe Couture that I was able to try on during my shopping expedition around Lane Crawford. It's one cocktail dress with a high collor...very vintage/Old English and has a inner dress since the lace was totally see-through. The style isn't really "me" so that is out. Good thing thought since the price was a bit...well...totally steep especially when I can only see myself use this only a few times only since it's a really fancy and definitely for party standards. :)
--> THUMBS DOWN for the dress not being "me" but THUMBS UP for the lace design.

High Tea at Hotel Intercontinental, TST
Ali and I planned to check out this hotel's high tea since she was informed that the hotel is one of the best and stylish hotels in Kowloon. It is the Asia-Pacific flagship for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts.
Verdict: not really what I expected with service, let alone the food. Kindly note that there are three criteria for me with regards to rating high tea in general:
(1) food
(2) ambiance/environment
(3) service
They are all important but if you only have one out of the's not really worth the price you will pay since you are being charged for all three. Hong Kong is a mecca for food...why settle for anything less than what you are already charged for?
Food was okay...just satifactory. The portions are bigger but less refine to be called as high tea. Nothing noteworthy on the sweets or petite fours that were provided. The scones were not as nice as the ones at 4Seasons or even Mandarin. A bit disappointing for me...and the size is about the same but came cold already. I remember Cora would ask me if I would like freshly baked ones on my last two visits.
Weird thing that happened that needs pointing out: Ali & I asked for a tea set for two but the stuff that came seems to be only for one person. In 4seasons, they would have given us each two sandwiches so we can both enjoy the portion that we are entitled to...not here. Plus when we asked for two different teas (which should have been a dead giveaway that we ordered two high tea sets), and came up with only one we complained to the guy that took our order, who was also the head waiter/manager - he seems a bit annoyed and was holding his tongue on "other things he wanted to tell us" while telling us that we ordered only one tea for the two of us. This is dumb because I swear that we specifically ordered two very different teas. Nonetheless...even if we were wrong, he should not have said that we ordered one and we were to share this - what an insult! Right or wrong..."paying customer" is right and this is what we are paying them...the extra of superb service, which we didn't get. No refills & it seems that both of us had to make the set fit us in the end. The table we got was pretty small (can you see the tiny round table in the photo?) so understand...we had four pots (2 hot water pots, which I think they can do without & 2 tea pots,which at first was the same tea!!!), one tea set stand and that was it for us...nothing else could have fitted on our small circular table! Ali and I agree...not nice!
Service/environment was just not refine and "smooth" as what is expected from a 5 star hotel. Service could have been better in handling our "tea problem" and they should teach their staff not to try to be a typical "cha chan ting" (Cantonese canteen/restaurant) by having to pick-up two hot pots in one hand in front of their guests while balancing a heavy tray. The waiter could have just said that he would come back to pick the pots or have gotten a fresh pot on his way to drop off the heavy tray of cleared-up dishes then exchanged pots instead. No cramming us in his busy schedule while showing no flair. You see it vividly in the other waiter services or just asking them a question. One of the waiters almost smacked Ali in the face while he was refilling her tea! I felt the gush of wind on that one. It's quite sad to see that training is very much lacking.
Plus it's a bit noisier than the typical lobby lounge since they have a big band playing at the background. This is NOT a great place if you want to have a quiet tea or talk with friends.
View was spectacular...definitely something nice to visit and look at but I'm sure that I can have that view at another venuw, more worthy of my business.
After this experience, my mom said that maybe I should write a compliant letter on this hotel since it's quite rare for a hotel to have their staff be conducted that way. Oh well...I don't think I will bother...I'll just make a mental note not to go to their Lobby Lounge for high tea.
THOUGH - Ali recommends other restos of Intercontinental for EW and I to try out like THE STEAK HOUSE and NOBU (yep the same one as the NYC franchise by world-famous chief Nobu Matsuhisa..and I heard the interior is rocking modern - ust how EW likes it).
--> THUMBS DOWN...WAY DOWN...not even the THUMBS UP for the view can save this! You can go and visit...take photos of the view and maybe run to another place for high tea...4Seasons still tops my list.

June 12 is
Philippine's Independence Day
Mabuhay ang mga Pinoy!

Joining the YouTube brother!
Enjoy some of my nephew's increasing antics. :) I'm so proud of him!
Love your own...THUMBS UP (way up) for my little nephew!

Goodnight Gorilla ... love his laughter...or his hysterics

Kit: Toffee Apple (DigizinesDigitalDen)
Designer: Deanna Patterson (ShabbyScrapDesigns)
Program: PS7.0
Font: Script MT Bold/High Tower Text
Journaling: Balthazar Resto Experience. this was definitely a great highlight for our NYC 2006 visit. Located in Soho (NYC’s hippie district), it is a evocation of a typical Paris brasserie is all about, meaning crowded-next-to-each-other tables, busy-body waiters, loud, etc at the same time home to savory dishes! Noteworthy - French Onion Soup
The resto also has a superb bake shop next door. Mom & I were drooling over all the mouth-watering goodies on display. Too bad both of us were already full...but that doesn’t stop us from ordering somecakes home for our mid-night snacks! Can’t wait for our next trip to NYC again!
Notes: just a little reminder of the food adventure my family and I had on our last NYC trip. Can't wait to get back there again. :)


The Thompsons said...

Cute layout! I swear, you take the best food pictures!


malou said...

I know you are the best when it comes to taking pix of food and reviewing the restos you go to. Yeah, I loved NY would love to go back there again w/DH.

Michelle said...

Man I always feel so hungry after visiting your blog! LOL! Sounds like we would get along so darn well if we ever get the chance to meet in real life!

dawn said...

Hello my sweet - you always give me a good read :) Hope that yesterday was a better Friday for you... hugs xx

Jennifer said...

I guess I should have read down further before posting on the IC above. Yikes! I've only had one bad experience there... your visit definite sounds like something was off that day. :-(