The mood among Hong Kong’s beautiful people on the Mid-Levels Escalator this morning is one of subdued disappointment as word spreads about our undemocratic government’s latest outrage against the will of the people – the closure of the elite cognoscenti’s favourite, cozy, out-of-the-way little barbecue spot.
Some people like to load up charcoal, lamb kebabs and Beaujolais and drive out to the wooded hillsides of the New Territories to enjoy a relaxing afternoon having their mobile phones stolen by child-biting apes. Others like to stuff plastic bags full of skewers, Park N Shop marinated squid balls and chicken wings and take the bus down to the beach at Repulse Bay to squabble with Filipino maids who take all the best cooking spots and play music too loud.
For those of us in the know, however, the idyllic barbecue location was Mongkok. Until the jack-booted environmental hygiene Sturmabteilung busted the place and shut it down. Where in the Big Lychee, other than the rooftop of 697 Shanghai Street, was it possible to gnaw, al fresco, on sizzling grilled steaks while taking in the sounds, aromas and magnificent view of all the hookers, cops and acid-scarred pedestrians scurrying around like little ants on the street far below? Not Ma On Shan Country Park, that’s for sure. Eat bitterness. Another sad day in the ruthless subjugation of Asia’s greatest city.