Patience pays off after a long wait for BLT Steak boss

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 March, 2009, 12:00am

Better late than never is Dining Concepts' boss Sandeep Sekhri's opinion about last Thursday' long-awaited grand opening party for his latest venture BLT Steak at Harbour City. 'We were going to have the opening last month but Laurent was busy and couldn't come so we decided to wait for him,' he said. That would be Laurent Tourondel, as in Bistro Laurent Tourondel, which makes the eatery's acronym. The New York-based French chef joined a full house of hungry guests clogging up the narrow entrance artery of the venue in a long queue to sample the steak, fried chicken and cold cuts.

It seems Sekhri's patience extends beyond delaying a bash. He had to wait even longer to land BLT's prime waterfront site with a clear view of Hong Kong's skyline. 'I waited eight months for this spot,' he recalled. 'There were nine other bidders for it and in the end it was Peter Woo [Kwong-ching, chairman of Wharf Holdings, parent of Harbour City] who decided who would get it.'

To celebrate in style, Sekhri (pictured with Tourondel) hired a jazz band and an Italian opera singer to perform, and guests were even given champagne flutes as gifts. But what did LT think of his first Asian franchise? 'It's been very good,' said Tourondel.