Rooftop restaurant ToTT's at the Excelsior still grilling after 35 years
Venue thrived through the economic boom years
Originally called Talk of the Town, with a poetic Chinese name Fung Yuet Heen (house of breeze and moon), the Excelsior Hong Kong's rooftop bar and restaurant started out as one of the city's most glamorous nightlife spots.
"We opened in 1979 as a disco and bar. Not many hotels had late-night outlets back then. We had live music, and musicians from all over the world came to play," says Sonny San-yau Mo, ToTT's bartender, who has been with the hotel for more than 20 years.
Talk of the Town opened just in time for Hong Kong's golden era of economic boom, and the bar saw its fair share of celebrities. "It used to be very in-vogue to open a bottle of liquor, like brandy, and have it kept for you with your name on it," says Mo.
In 1995, the bar was renamed ToTT's Asian Grill. The Chinese name was dropped, and the nightlife focus shifted to include dining options. Mo says, "We had an oyster bar, which was quite exotic." Dining tables by the window became hot property. "You used to be able to see planes landing in Kai Tak from here." These tables are still popular these days, as the floor-to-ceiling windows continue to command sweeping, unobstructed views of the harbour.
An additional spot to enjoy the panorama, the outdoor terrace opened in 2009. Still doing grill-style food, it's now known as ToTT's and Roof Terrace.
ToTT's and Roof Terrace, The Excelsior, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, tel:28376786. Restaurant open Monday to Friday noon to 2.30pm, nightly 6.30pm-10.30pm (Sunday until 9.30pm). Bar open from 5pm (6pm onSunday)