Popular haunt goes down treat catering to the hungry hordes

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 March, 2010, 12:00am

Helping to feed the thirst and hunger of 40,000 rugby fans is no easy feat, and no easy feast.

While Holiday Inn is the main food supplier, long-term Hongkonger Stewart Montgomery (pictured) knows how to keep the wolves from the door as one of the directors of the on-tournament food concessionaire Mes Amis.

'Mes Amis is the only concessionaire in the South Stand, so every sevens we are knee deep in a scrum of hungry and thirsty people,' Montgomery said.

'I reckon that each sevens we sell around 10,000 pies, truckloads of bacon rolls and enough beer to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Of course, Pimms, Bloody Marys and Vodka Red Bull flow as fast as a Fijian sevens player sprinting the length of the pitch.

'Most of the crowd are a good-natured bunch in the South Stand and, although I welcome breaks to watch the game, it's pretty good fun watching huge blokes on a mission try to break the queue like they are Jonah Lomu.'

As an affable Scot who once worked as a bodyguard, Montgomery knows how to keep the crowds in line and in food with good humour. This demeanour also helps when running the bar version of Mes Amis that's a popular post-tournament haunt of fans and players alike.

'I once turned Gavin and Scott Hastings away from the bar at Mes Amis, as they'd lost to Canada while playing for Scotland. They could have done better! The brothers have been regulars at Mes Amis in Wan Chai for years,' he said.

Having lived in Hong Kong since 1980 and remembering the Sevens at the old stadium, Montgomery has got to know some of the players pretty well over the years.

'Eric Rush gets chatted up by the girls because he's tall and good looking and very funny. John Bentley is known in the bar as 'Bentos'. He's a great-natured bloke and has the patience of a saint. No matter how many times he's asked the same questions about Lions tests, he always answers them with good humour.'