The Grand Cafe Grand Hyatt Hotel Wan Chai Tel: 588-1234 ext 7273. WITH a Cecil B. de Mille set, a million dollar harbour view, fountains and King Kong-sized flower arrangements, what should you expect from a coffee-shop where reservations are suggested? Plenty. After a number of visits, the Grand Cafe delivers with Ben Hur flourish. The prudent couple can leave, well-fed and content, for $200 each. Hardly cheap. But neither was Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. The dieter will have as many choices as temptations. But the menu's breadth includes so many grilled items, fresh produce and fresh fruit. If you have will-power, virtue is yours. And so is giving into temptation. Three of us left with a $1,400 bill. And eight of us on a nocturnal dessert raid, saw the calorie count go ballistic with the bill. No one complained. What makes this place inviting is the continuous serving policy, the drop-in convenience and numerous refills on the bread basket. Where else but in a hotel coffee shop in Asia does a hamburger share the menu with tandoori chicken, Caesar salad and seafood fried rice. Okay, so this burger, at $95, comes with cheese, mushroom, grilled onion or guacamole. That's show business. And here the food presentation lives up to the decor. Reservations recommended during peak hours. Otherwise, chance it. Tables are easier to come by in the smoking section, if you're in a rush. A meal can be made from the starters - a selection of garlicky tapas, a basket of crackers with Middle Eastern spreads such as hummus (chick pea spread) and baba ghanoush (eggplant). Sauteed mushrooms on potato pancake is rich enough to squelch tomorrow's hunger pangs. This pancake is a lighter, leaner version of the grease-slick, crusty version from New York delis. These sandwiches are not the eat-with-your hands affairs. They're open-face still-life arrangements of intriguing combinations - smoked grouper on walnut bread, roasted lamb on garlic pita, even the triple-decker duck tostadas are no match for tuna on whole wheat. The house green salad with four varieties of lettuce reaffirms the notion of simple, fresh foods. All it needs is crusty rolls and wine. The driving force behind the ambitious menu is Irish-born chef Angela Loftus. Her version of tandoori chicken raises a question. If the result of tandoori-style cooking is to produce moist, juicy meat through dry-roasting, the spicy tomato butter sauce is superfluous. The meat deserves to be seen, not smothered. This style of Caesar salad will satisfy those with a taste for salty, creamy things. But diners wishing a more acidic edge, better ask for some fresh lemon to cut the richness. Bring an army and try all the desserts. If raspberry crumble with whipped cream isn't sweet enough, a vanilla sauce tags along for those feeling deprived. The rum-flavoured rice pudding with raisins doesn't need an extra folding of whipped cream to lighten it. But it was devoured regardless. Their translation of chocolate pudding arrives on a plate, not in a bowl, a layered structure of brownie, peaches and ice cream. The coffee needs help. Any nutty richness to be expected of the espresso eluded my cup. The decaf fell short on flavour and the proper amount and thickness of foam on the cappuccino didn't make up for the lack of milk-coffee balance in the cup. The service is hit and miss. It ranges from sluggish to over-efficient, with waiters and assistants getting in each other's way. When hand-signals failed to alert any waiter in a near-empty dining area, fetching him physically was the solution that got results. The mood of the Grand Cafe with its sepia-tone lighting and larger-than-life appointments makes dining here a total package. Two can dine for $400; three for $1,400, and eight on a dessert and cognac binge, well, forget it. These are high prices for the usual coffee shop eats. But Cecil B. de Mille never came cheap.