The best way to spend this afternoon saving money has to be stocking up on wine at warehouse prices. In a pre-handover promotion, Western Australia wine specialists, Boutique Wines, is throwing open its warehouse in Ap Lei Chau from 2pm to 6pm. Among the 35-plus labels will be the winning wines from Winpac '97, Cullen 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, Cullen 1996 Reserve Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon, and Brookland Valley 1996 Chardonnay. Prices range from $100-$338. The warehouse is at Room 1603, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau. Tel: 2872-4234. Fax: 2877-2131. Venue falls from grace The American Restaurant in Wan Chai, where surly service and old-style dish clattering were part of the charm, seems to have fallen from favour as a first-stop on the Hong Kong visitor's culinary itinerary. Yin King Lau on Lockhart Road has taken its place. 'It's just like the American, but better,' one former American Restaurant stalwart says. 'Anyone doing a Chinese meal for visitors goes there these days.' The most popular dishes are shredded beef with chilli in sesame pockets, sizzling prawns, and seaweed and bamboo shoot dishes. Tel:2520-0106. Visitors with more adventurous tastes may prefer T'ang Court at the Hong Kong Renaissance Hotel. Dishes served with pomelo skin include braised shredded abalone, braised sliced frog and dried shrimp roe. Tel: 2375-1133 for reservations. Al's handover facelift The rush to polish up Hong Kong restaurants before the handover continues. Al's Diner in Lan Kwai Fong is putting the finishing touches to the latest round of renovations, which include mirrors and more mirrors, a more open bar area, new tables, a new sound system and five television sets. Owner Richard Feldman says the TV sets are specifically for the handover. 'If people like it, we'll keep them,' he says. Reservations on 2521-8714. A Mexican mouthful Anyone standing on the Mexican border last week will have seen former Elite Concepts man, Clayton Parker, speeding across to Tijuana from the US to collect bric-a-brac for his new restaurant. Mr Parker, the managing director of his own agency, Eclipse Management, opens Caramba! Mexican Cantina on Elgin Street around June 20 in time to feed the handover hordes. He promises the food will be unpretentious and the place informal, with sandy colours and terracotta features. The offerings include tacos and quesadillas, as well as a complete Margarita menu. Reservations on 2530-9963. Coffee with crunch Rich Hong Kongers may be stashing their jewels in Singapore's bank vaults but there is another, far more tasty, reason to head for the island state - the Ice Blended. A thick, highly acclaimed drink, the Ice Blended is coffee blended with milk, crushed ice and a secret ingredient that gives it its edge. Ice Blendeds are available in various flavours and fat contents. American franchise, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, is adding two outlets to its three in Singapore, and has plans for one in Malaysia later this year. And Hong Kong? 'I guess there's just no one there who wants to do it,' a staffer said.