Peking Duck and Fireworks in Hongkong

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December 31st 2008
Published: January 4th 2009
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Dining in Hongkong never fails. And speaking of culinary adventures, 2 Hongkong favorites easily come to mind. I had my fingers and toes crossed that a reservation can be made in either one of the 2 for our New Year's Eve dinner. It was just our luck that a table for 9 pax is available at the Jade Garden Restaurant on the 4th floor of the Star House in Salisbury Road, where diners can enjoy good food as well as a good view of the Victorian Harbour. Our table may not offer the best views, but we had a delightful dinner that night. How can one go wrong with Peking Duck? We enjoyed the delicious duck meat and skin served with cucumbers and hoisin sauce, wrapped in thin egg wrappers. It was the finest way to start a Chinese dinner. We enjoyed the near ritual of using our chop sticks to pick up a sliver of duck meat, a slice of skin, and arranging them neatly on top of the egg wrapper. The spring onion sits right smack at the center, with a spattering of hoisin sauce. Then we try to outdo each other on how best we can fold and wrap the duck before taking a bite. Or perhaps that is just an excuse to have a bite after another bite, as we enjoyed the food as much as the conversation at the table. The hot and sour broth readied our taste buds for the rest of the dinner menu. We were careful not to enjoy second servings of the soup to ensure we leave room for more. The rest of the duck was minced and served with lettuce, which was just as wonderful. The steamed garoupa had such a fresh taste to it, that it sets the bar for seafood freshness. All these went so well with the braised mushrooms with bamboo piths and the shrimp fried rice. We had to order a second serving of the shrimp fried rice and proudly declared "No mercy" over our dinner. We all agreed that this is one of our best dinners so far.

From Star House, we walked towards the pier for a clear view of the fireworks display. We reached only as far as the Bus and Ferry Terminal as the 'prime spots' were too crowded with cheery midnight revelers. It was a very cold night and it was amazing the kids were all hyped up for the midnight revelry. Must be the duck dinner. Or maybe, it helped that they had a pick of the blinking head gears available for sale at a nearby booth. We all braced for the countdown in the cold, but not for the size of the crowd. After the fireworks, there was a sea of people all moving towards the metro stations for a ride home. We walked along with the crowd, wave after wave, painfully slow. But near the metro station behind Peninsula Hotel, all the walking stopped. We were so concerned that the kids may be crushed by the crowd that we decided to step out of line and instead walk the whole way towards our hotel. We walked for the next hour or so, with mochi ice cream stopovers along the way. After that sumptuous dinner, you can't win them all. We reached our hotel by 2 am.

We spent the whole morning in bed. Woke up only to hit the showers and get ready for brunch. The kids ruled, and we all enjoyed our McDonalds breakfast. Then we took the metro for Tsim Sha Tsui, and exited towards the Avenue of the Stars. The sun was up at high noon as we looked at the likeness of Bruce Lee. The harbour view is so breathtaking. This must be the best spot to view the fireworks display. We can only imagine how crowded it must have been the night earlier. The kids peeled off their sweaters as the temp rose middle of the day. By 1 pm, they lost interest matching their hands against the handprints and was threatening to complain.

At the end of the boardwalk was the ferry terminal. We took the short ferry ride for Hongkong Island. From Central HK, we took Bus No. 15 for Victoria Peak Terminus where we found a long line for the tram. We skipped the line and took the combination ticket for the tram ride, Sky Terraces and a visit to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. With no expectations whatsoever, I think the whole group was satisfied over the scheduled adventures for the day. The very steep tram ride was quite exciting for the first timers. We took the seats previously "reserved" till the last 2 minutes for the Governor of Hongkong. This trivia was volunteered by Patricia after reading
Lights, Camera, Action!Lights, Camera, Action!Lights, Camera, Action!

Tita Mayette and Patricia Hamming It Up!
the Peak Tram brochure. It was a short uphill climb. And the series of escalators to get on the viewdeck , passing all those shops and eateries, added to the excitement. The view at the Sky Terraces is to die for! We took many shots at the viewdeck.

Just when our energy levels were waning, we trooped to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. Over 100 wax statues of Chinese and Hollywood stars, plus all those sports idols and political leaders. We had our fill of posterity shots with Brad and Angelina, Mao Tse Tung, David Beckham, Jackie Chan, Bill Clinton, Albert Einstein, to name a few. The Wax Museum display was organized so well that simply breezing through it would be a sin. Both adults and kids enjoyed the entire assembly of stars! Going around the Museum, we felt like we were being quizzed on who's who. We also got a good laugh where one of us tried to do a Marilyn Monroe. Near the end of the gallery, Martin lost all energy and we both sat it out in one corner while the rest happily snapped away.

As we were planning to have an early start the next
Umbrella Ella Eh Eh.......Umbrella Ella Eh Eh.......Umbrella Ella Eh Eh.......

This drew a laugh from all of us........Zet with her umbrella on the Avenue of the Stars!
day (our Disneyland visit), we decided to have an early dinner and to sleep early tonight. And so we dined at Hongkong Day Cafe within the Victoria Peak complex. This time we tried the fried rice, chinese barbecued pork and chicken, and wonton noodles soup. The kids have not lost their appetite. Gosh, they are really eating well here in Hongkong. As for the adults, we have never had any problems with our appetite. Ahem.

After dinner, we queued up again for the tram ride down to the Terminus. The view at night is just as wonderful. Off the tram, we then walked and crossed several streets to reach the Central Metro Station. We rode all the way back to our hotel. Off to bed early. Tomorrow's event is featured in a separate blog. Ta ta.............

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