Curry lovers are bidding farewell to a host of their favourite holes-in-the-wall. As the latest government regulations kick in, restaurant owners face a choice of either closing down or spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to comply with the new rules. By the May 10 deadline, the dust from the frenzy of renovations and upgrades should have cleared. Among the stayers is the India Curry Club, which faces its future with a new name (The Curry Club), new management, a doubled space, and $300,000 worth of kitchen and other upgrades. The 13-year-old Club on the third floor of the Winner Building on Wing Wah Lane, off Lan Kwai Fong, will still serve the same favourites, such as chicken tikka masala ($43), mutton sagwala ($42) and fish tikka ($60). Owner Prasanna Gopalan, who was one of the original founders of Club Sri Lanka on Hollywood Road in 1986, will hire out one of her rooms for private parties and also does outside catering for $100 to $140 a head. Some fellow Indian restaurants have not fared as well, as the deadline for regulatory compliance looms. Spice Island on Wellington Street has closed down, so has the Shalimar Club on Stanley Street. Johnston Mess, owned by the Maharani Club, is also on the to-go list. Some are closing down because they do not want to spend the money, others because for a variety of other reasons, they simply cannot comply with the new rules. Guest chef offers food for wine buffs One to note on the promotion food diary this month is the menu of guest chef Brian Leonard, from The Kendall Jackson Winery in California, at The Verandah in Repulse Bay. His menu includes soups such as grilled shrimp bisque garnished with green curry yoghurt ($85) and salads, including grilled pear and baby greens with Oregon blue cheese ($110). All the dishes, apart from desserts, are accompanied by wine suggestions, including Vintner's Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 1994 with the Sonoma-style cioppino (scallops, mussels, Dungeness crab and market fish, $248); and Vintner's Reserve Zinfandel 1994 with the fettuccine and ribbons of duck breast with beet greens ($159). Desserts include chocolate fudge cake ($70). Leonard will be at The Verandah from April 15 to 30. Tel: 2812-7353. Hotel tries the impersonal touch The Conrad Hotel's banqueting department has gone in for a waiter-by-number strategy which, critics say, puts the old-style impersonal touch right back into food service. Diners at a recent Chinese banquet in a private room at the hotel were served by a team of waiters wearing number tags. 'Thank you Waiter 113 doesn't sound quite right,' one complained.