Smorgasbord of menus sure to satisfy a woman's hungry heart

PUBLISHED : Friday, 05 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 05 May, 2006, 12:00am

CHOICE IS NEVER a problem when dining out in Hong Kong, but deciding on a restaurant can be. Here are a few suggestions to help you plan a perfect Mother's Day.

Morning: The rest of the day's programme might have to be cancelled after this, but who wouldn't want a champagne brunch? ToTT's Asian Grill & Bar (The Excelsior Hong Kong, 2894 8888) offers unlimited good food and Moet for $508 a head (or $398 for unlimited Wolf Blass Pinot Chardonnay Brut, 11.30am-3pm). Alternatively, you can have a three-course meal for $388.

Brunch is also the name of the programme at Harbourside (Intercontinental Hong Kong, 2721 1211), where unlimited Moet & Chandon champagne, wine, beer, soft drinks and freshly squeezed juices are poured from 11.30am to 3pm to go with a scrumptious buffet of seafood and sushi, made-to-order noodles, salads, freshly baked pizzas and desserts. The price: $538 for an adult and $348 for a child (under 12). A special Mother's Day tea set with sandwiches, pastries, cakes and scones with clotted cream is $320 for two people (3.30pm to 6pm).

Dim sum is an eternally popular Sunday programme, and Mother's Day is no different. Loong Yuen Cantonese Restaurant (Holiday Inn Golden Mile, 2315 1006) has always been a reliable place for tasty victuals. The Mother's Day dim sum set lunch is $180 (child $90) per person from 10.30am (first seating). There will be three set dinner menus that night, with prices starting from $368.

Afternoon: One Bar (Exchange Square, 2522 2246) is famous for its long lunch buffet ($175), stretching from noon to 5.30pm. The various stations serve up roast beef, ham and turkey, sushi, sashimi and noodles, Chinese steamed fish and dim sum, as well as Middle Eastern, Indian and Thai goodies. Cakes, fresh fruit and fruit juices are also on offer. Children under 12 ($90) can enjoy marshmallows, cotton candies, jellies, Smarties, Rice Crispies and chocolate chips.

Abalone, especially the dry-preserved variety that becomes glutinous when braised, can cost a fortune (sometimes thousands each), but more affordable fresh abalone has been coming on the market in recent years. Cooked well, these can taste just as good as the costly item, and possess unique flavours.

At Dong Restaurant (Hotel Miramar, 2315 5166), you can have Cantonese braised whole premier abalone with oyster sauce for $298-$580 a serving, depending on the size of the abalone. Japanese dishes are also on offer. Highly recommended is the grilled salty baby abalone ($138).

For western abalone treats, head next door to Xi Restaurant (2315 5155), where they serve sauteed abalone with French white wine and tomato sauce ($238), among others.

Evening: Socialite mums would love to be seen at the Fourth Floor Restaurant & Bar (4/F Harvey Nichols, Central, 3695 3389). The four-course Mother's Day dinner is $420, including a complimentary drink for everyone at the table.

The menu includes confit of salmon crusted with nori, parsley pesto, cappuccino of wild mushroom, grilled US tenderloin served with duxcelle of mushrooms, lobster sauce, and passion fruit souffle, mango sorbet and coconut tuile.

Another see-and-be-seen spot is Angelini (Kowloon Shangri-La, 2733 8750), which maintains a fine southern Italian tradition. A Mother's Day special menu at $480 a head is available on the evenings of May 13 and 14. An a la carte menu is also available. All mothers will receive a memento in the shape of a jar of homemade tomato sauce and pasta.

Red Bar + Restaurant (4/F, Two IFC, Central, 8129 8882) has something for the weight-watching mum, light spring-summer dishes in the Mother's Day menu, $298 per person, such as steamed king scallops and tiger prawns with caviar dressing. Complimentary flowers for mum, Polaroid photo and spa coupon are included. The outdoor terrace is ideal for families with babies - there's plenty of space to explore safely.

La Brasserie (Marco Polo Gateway hotel, 2113 0888) celebrates Mother's Day in French style with a special $488 per person menu. It includes seafood vol au vent with asparagus, cured French ham with melon salad and truffle dressing and pumpkin soup with toasted hazelnuts, to name a few of the specials.

Amber (The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, 2132 0066) will go buffet-style for its first Mother's Day, with a sushi and sashimi counter, US prime beef and unlimited desserts.

The $588 per person price tag includes an a la carte main course of one of Amber's signature dishes.