While most people don't do much with grapes other than eat them straight out of the hand, there are actually quite a number of preparations - both sweet and savoury - they can be used in. While the green 'Thompson seedless' grapes seem to be the most popular - probably because they're easiest to eat (no seeds to spit out) - the red and black grapes are also sweet and juicy. Unfortunately, I've never seen muscat grapes in Hong Kong; this variety - usually made into raisins - is the most fragrant and beautifully flavoured I've ever tasted. Another type of grape that stands out vividly in my mind is the botrytised variety I tasted at a vineyard during the harvest in Sauternes. The shrivelled, dusty looking, mould-covered grapes didn't look appetising and they weren't very juicy, but the flavour was incomparable. Grapes for eating are entirely different from the types used for making wine - wine grapes are tart and astringent. I absolutely detest two of the preparations that immediately come to mind for table grapes - the old-fashioned Waldorf salad (apples, grapes, celery and walnuts in a light mayonnaise dressing) and the insipid grape tart (halved grapes on pastry cream in sugar dough then brushed with warm apricot glaze). Grapes are good when tossed in a summer salad of couscous, finely minced shallots, diced tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil and lots of fresh herbs. I also love them braised with one of my favourite birds - quail. Dice a few thick pieces of pancetta and fry until crisp, then remove from pan. Salt and pepper the quails (I allow two per person), then brown in a mixture of unsalted butter and olive oil. Toss in whole, peeled, garlic cloves into the pan, quite a lot of seedless grapes, fresh rosemary or thyme, and add some chicken broth and sherry. Cover the pan, and braise for about 20 minutes until quails are fully cooked. Remove the birds from the pan and discard the herbs. Fish the garlic cloves out of the pan and mash them - the flesh should be very soft. Turn the heat to high and add the cooked pancetta and smashed garlic back into the pan. Reduce the sauce, stirring constantly, then taste for seasoning. Swirl in some unsalted butter and pour the thickened sauce over the birds.