WHEN chef Law Yip-lam took on the challenge to match 12 Australian wines with Chinese food, it didn't faze him. The executive chef of the Grand Hyatt's Chinese restaurant happens to be a wine buff. His office, adjacent to the kitchen of the One Harbour Road restaurant, looks like a comfort station. Instead of cookbooks, there are shelves of wines from China, France, Australia, California and Italy. ''When I taste a wine, I think about foods and how they complement or contrast,'' explains Chef Law. ''Chef Law created a bold menu to complement the wines,'' said executive chef Josef Budde. ''The first course, smoked bean curd wrapper stuffed with vegetables and served with lima beans is a knock-out.'' So are the dozen wines, selected by Australian wine expert Ray Moorfield, who will preside over the meal and explain the pairings. Wines include Oxford Landing Sauvignon Blanc, Blue Pyrenees Cabernet Merlot, Tarrawarra Chardonnay will be served with the six-course Chinese menu. This gala kicks off a series of food and wine luncheons, sponsored by the South China Morning Post in conjunction with the International Wine and Food Society, Hong Kong. The luncheon will be held on Friday, September 17, at 12.30pm in the Drawing Room of the Grand Hyatt. Cost is $350, all inclusive. Reservations are limited to 100. For more information, telephone 565-2486. COFFEE Shop Wars (or Rehab of the Week). The Regent's latest face-lift, the Harbourside, now features ficus trees from Florida, a specially-built oven from Germany and breads and designer-size pizzas created before your nose. Across the Harbour and just hours old is the Hilton's Cat Street Bistro. What used to be the sidewalk-level coffee shop with the sun-streaked glass windows now features tried and tested favourites and dishes that show off chef Winfried Brugger's penchant for flavoured olive oils, Asian spices and Left Bank classics. WHEN he isn't consulting on restaurants, Donaldo Soviero teaches Italian cooking to groups of four in his flat in Pokfulam. The former lawyer and accountant will be going to the source in October, and invites any Italian food devotee to come along. From October 15-25, his gastronomic tour of Italy will visit Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Piedmont and Lombardy, dining in multi-star restaurants, trattoria, bakeries, pizzerias, you name it. Count on picnics, cooking classes, visits to cheese and pasta factories, vineyards and markets. Cost is $43,000. For more information, contact Dr Soviero at 817-4833 or 819-4800. Or write to P & O Travel Ltd, 7/F, Vicwood Plaza, 199 Des Voeux Road, Central. PATRICIA Quintana is not the type of Mexican cook who sits and slaps tortillas on her knees. The cooking teacher-cum-food writer was born into Mexico City's upper crust. She travelled around her country, tasting, learning and writing. Before she set up her cooking school in Mexico City, she studied cooking in France. The creator of insightful cookbooks will be serving the kind of regional cuisine you can only have in her country. The promotion runs from September 6 to 18 at the Mandarin Grill. PASS the complaints, please. And the kudos. Why is it people complain to friends about their latest culinary mis-adventure - a snotty waiter, a bloated bill, fresh salmon that wasn't, a grocery store rip-off? But those woes never fall on the ears of any one who can do something about it. ''Did you tell the maitre'd, the chef, the shop manager?'' That question gets a resounding ''No''. As one restaurant consultant commented on local apathy, ''Time is money here. The returns on complaints don't add up to the time spent.'' Next time, try us. Diners and shoppers, restaurateurs and retailers are invited to sound-off. Send or fax us your food and dining-related problem and in a column, run periodically, we'll take your complaint to people who can do something about it. Only letters of general interest will be used. Please include a day-time phone number. Send to: Bite Back, Thursday Food Page, South China Morning Post, Features Dept, Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay. Fax: 811-1278 or 811-1048. No phone calls, please.