HOW DO you make an LA gastronome interested in the impending handover? You serve up earth shattering revelations on food, that's how. Irene Virbila in the Los Angeles Times is a case in point. 'Though it's unclear what changes will be set in motion when the British hand over their prize colony to the Chinese on July 1,' she writes. 'One thing is certain. Hong Kong's love of good food will never change.' Irene takes her readers on a gastronomic tour of Hong Kong telling her readers that it is a 'city that lives to eat - and one of the few cities in the world that can deservedly call itself an eating destination. Restaurants outnumber banks,' she says, before adding that eateries 'don't survive if they are not good'. She eats Shanghai dumplings, Chui Chow crab, dim sum, Yunnan ham and even snake. But, she says, 'There's no truly spectacular restaurant featuring the cooking of Beijing,' she sobs, adding 'that's bound to change with the Chinese about to come to power. Where are all those Beijing officials going to eat?' Feed you Jimmy HOW do you make a Scottish tabloid reader interested in the handover. Easy, talk about food and the Black Watch. 'Hungry Scots squaddies left in the lurch by Army cooks will eat airline meals as they wait to quit Hong Kong,' writes the Daily Record. Sounds important. Apparently the barracks' kitchens hace to be scrubbed before the PLA nove in so 'top brass invited catering firms to bid for the job and Lufthansa won'. One squaddie quipped: 'We'd be more worried if the Luftwaffe were cooking ... Chances are it'll be better nosh than Army grub.' ' But thtat doesn't mean soldiers will be eating airline meals, food will served on proper plates and won't all be sauerkraut and bratwurst.' Cosmo Noodles THE Boston Globe also follows the edible theme to describe pre-handover Hong Kong. At the exclusive Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, 'a genteel oasis with its crown logo and ensign', there is an 'endless supply of Pimm's Cup'. The Globe goes on to reveal how Britain's taking of Hong Kong 150 odd years ago also involved its pre-occupation with another drink - Chinese tea. So, after this inauspicious start, are Brits staying when their government leaves? The Globe gets to the heart of the matter. 'At the Post 97 restaurant, where a clock ticks off the seconds before the British leave ... assistant manager Garry Stewart, 26, will leave by choice ... 'I'm not going to watch Hong Kong become worse and worse.' But the he Boston Globe finds real proof of British localisation, at the Kowloon Cricket Club, of all places. Says club vice-president, Peter Tsao Kwang-yung, even the expatriate members 'come and order noodles'. Proof enough. Switch off THE communist tourist supremo He Guangwei is heading to Hong Kong for the handover, writes the Auckland Sunday Star. If his inspection of the Kiwis is anything to go by we are in for a rough time. The China National Tourism Authority chairman dropped into Auckland to see if New Zealand could earn 'preferred destination' status. It was a tall order, considering how Mr He reminded them that the Chinese are 'sophisticated travellers' and as far as mainland hotels are concerned 'tourist facilities are better than in New Zealand. China is among the best in terms of tourism resources or facilities.' Apparently Mr He's need to develop tourism is based on his belief in communism and the development of international peace. An idea distinctly at odds with what he says about his next destination, Hong Kong. '... You always need to fight for peace. No one just gives it to you. If it wasn't for Mao and the party, people might still be living in misery,' says Mr He. 'The same in Hong Kong. No matter what the British Government says or does Hong Kong will come back to China. We can turn off the switches, water and electricity supply and they will come back to China.' Either that or we'll all go on holiday to New Zealand.