Stanley Wong, former executive sous chef of the Mandarin Oriental (he left the hotel in May), is searching for a space to start his own restaurant. Wong (below) - who led his team from the Mandarin Grill to a gold medal in last year's food competition during the Hong Kong International Culinary Classic - is looking at potential sites in Causeway Bay, Central and Wan Chai. When asked what kind of food he'll be cooking once he finds a suitable space, Wong responded: 'I think you have to be flexible, and to adapt the concept to the site. If it's in Wan Chai, it will probably be a bar/restaurant concept, but if it's in Central, it will be more of a proper restaurant.' Wong has a partner, a chef from a top hotel, whom he refuses to name because the chef has yet to hand in his notice. Asia's second trade-only wine and spirits exhibition, Vinexpo, took place last week in Tokyo from June 6-8. The first Asian Vinexpo (it's held every other year in Bordeaux, and will alternate between different locations in Asia) was held in Hong Kong in 1998, soon after the region's economic crash - which meant many Asian visitors from outside Hong Kong stayed away. The Hong Kong Vinexpo was large, but nothing compared to the five day mega-affair in Bordeaux (it will take place next year from June 17-21). According to several visitors, the Vinexpo in Japan was smaller than the one held here, with fewer overseas exhibitors. Trade people from Japan and Korea made up most of the attendants. The three day event included the usual - and unusual - tastings, seminars and conferences ('The 'terroir' of the great white wines of Burgundy', 'Recycling of empty glass in Japan - cost and environmental aspects' and 'Wine and spirits in a dotcom world'). Visitors from outside Japan had some complaints about difficulty in getting to the event - it was held at a new exhibition centre known as The Big Site (the 1998 Vinexpo took place at the convenient Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai). Other complaints were about lack of nearby hotels (only two close to The Big Site, which meant unlucky visitors had to take a 30-minute trade ride from central Tokyo), long queues for food at the site, and expensive hotels and restaurants. Hong Kong is getting more Starbucks: a new outlet will open, probably at the end of June, in Hutchinson House in Central. A spokeswoman didn't want to confirm the location until it was pointed out there were signs posted outside, announcing the impending opening. An auspicious date has yet to be picked. The next branch will open in Alexandra House on Des Veoux Road Central.