Pet Peeves: Service Charges

Illustration: Lau Ka-kuen

One morning in Los Angeles, a few years ago, my partner and I, nursing hangovers, dropped into Mel's Drive-In on Sunset Boulevard in need of breakfast and Bloody Marys.

Thursday, 25 October, 2012, 3:39pm

Cool and creative

Our summer issue looks at innovation in cooking, from reinterpreting classics to using different ingredients and techniques - some that even require liquid nitrogen to prepare the dish.

We talk to creative chefs making their mark on the Hong Kong restaurant scene, asking how they are pushing their respective cuisines forward in the continuing quest to excite diners.

22 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Nordic lunch gets diners in party mode

A few lucky diners got another chance to sample Nordic dining fixture FINDS' special eighth-anniversary menu. The fare was delicious, with the usual stand-out dishes of salmon six ways and banana toffee pie. This lunch, however, had more of a festive feel, with classic FINDS cocktails resurrected for the event.

30 May 2012 - 12:00am

A fish-ball feeding frenzy

A quiet street became a hive of activity yesterday as diners flocked from far and wide to savour one last taste of fish balls dubbed Aberdeen's best.

Since news broke that Shan Loon Tse Kee fish ball restaurant is to close next month, large queues have formed at the tiny street-side shop, also noted for delicacies such as fried fish skin and fish cakes.

26 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Why cyber bookings push the wrong buttons

Hong Kong's second Restaurant Week, running until Sunday, asks diners to make a technological leap of faith by ditching phone and face-to-face reservations and booking tables online instead.

23 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

When it comes to eating out, one must have standards

Recently, I wrote about walking out of a restaurant because the manager was condescending and rude to diners who were using discount coupons. He also didn't seem to care about being hospitable to myself and my guest, even though we were prepared to pay full price (not that it should have made a difference).

17 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Rude service leaves only bad taste

I walked out of a restaurant last week. This is very unusual for me. I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I've done that, because it usually takes a lot to irritate me.

27 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

School to train chefs in cuisines

The government plans to open a college that teaches students how to cook international food.

The International Cuisine College will cost HK$500 million. It will open its doors in 2014, the Vocational Training Council says.

24 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Diners full of the joys of hot springs

The natural hot springs that bubble along Taiwan's east coast railway line into Jiaosi have long served to relax tired tourists. The town now also has 195 restaurants, bars and cafes, the local government says.

20 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Shoreline surprise

The InterContinental Sanya offers a full-day (maximum eight hours) meeting package from 500 yuan (HK$610), and a half-day meeting package (maximum four hours) from 350 yuan. Both packages are valid until the end of the year, and at least 10 persons are required. The hotel opened a beer factory on February 1.

14 Sep 2011 - 12:00am

Making the grade

There's no such thing as a free lunch, so the adage goes. But American-style diner Bubba Gump Shrimp says otherwise - well, for A-grade students, at any rate.

Until August 31, the diner on The Peak will reward high-flying junior students. By presenting their school report cards when ordering, youngsters aged up to 12 can get free treats.

24 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Signature dish

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about things that irritate me when I eat out. It's time to turn the tables (so to speak) and examine the behaviour that diners inflict on hard-working restaurant staff.

14 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Table manners

The other day I phoned a popular restaurant to book a table for six. The receptionist asked me for my phone number (which is standard practice) and e-mail address (which is unusual). I soon received an e-mail asking me for my credit card details, with the warning that if I cancelled with less than two days' notice or was a no-show, the restaurant reserved the right to charge me HK$1,800.

29 May 2011 - 12:00am

Parents and their crying babies have no place in restaurant environment

As someone who enjoys dining out - and I mean I want to enjoy it - I am dismayed by many parents' insistence on taking their babies to restaurants where patrons intend to pay a premium for the quiet environment.

10 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

In Brief

Squabbling diners arrested

Police arrested two diners in a row over trivial matters at a cooked-food stall in Wo Mun Street, Fanling, at about 2.15am.

26 Jan 2011 - 12:00am