There goes the neighbourhood (even more)

The constant churn of restaurants in my once-quiet home district continues. Two new slaves to ruthless landlords have opened in just the last couple of weeks.

Maison Libanaise occupies the old Life Café next to the Mid-Levels Escalator. In fairness, it brightens up the street with a halfway decent mural and actually has a brand/design theme that isn’t repulsive (though you shouldn’t be able to go wrong with 60s Beirut)…

MaisonLiban

Around the corner – after weeks of noisy, dusty, street-disrupting renovation – appears something calling itself Belon (an oyster, apparently). Instead of a menu displayed outside, it has some sort of pretentious poem in a frame (it can’t not be pretentious, but I’m not totally sure – should have paid more attention)…

Belon

A quick rummage through Google, and I find both these places are run by the same outfit, one Black Sheep. According to the barely-readable-typeface blurb, they do ‘…niche, thought-provoking restaurant concepts that add to the existing culinary dialogue…’ One of HoLeeFuktheir other contributions to this dialogue and the overall neighbourhood ambience is an outlet with the dismal name Ho Lee Fook.

Restaurant investors must stuff cash into the pockets of the area’s rapacious landlords. The word is that Maison Libanaise has tiny portions. Belon, with its snotty/understated veneer and loud lighting, looks like it will go for flat-out haut prix. In theory, the relentless struggle to pad out margins should mean the district goes more up-market, more elegant, more ‘tony’, more stylish, and chichi, and refined, and oh-so tasteful and high-fallutin’ Wah – so high-class la!!!

And then, just a few doors further down…

SohoHotelPrices

A pay-by-the-hour hotel! Eeewwwww… What is this – Mongkok?

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10 Responses to There goes the neighbourhood (even more)

  1. Joe Blow says:

    Where exactly is this Soho Hotel ?

  2. FunB3 says:

    Ho Lee Fook was a Chinese restaurant on the Kings Rd in the 80’s , quite amusing name for the times ……30 years ago!

  3. Probably says:

    ‘…niche, thought-provoking restaurant concepts that add to the existing culinary dialogue…’

    I suppose putting a cow-pat on the table could be “thought provoking” and “adding to the culinary dialogue” simultaneously?

  4. dawei says:

    Honestly the only place worth visiting in the whole festering place is Anitpasta at the bottom of Elgin Street, a set lunch is still around HK$100 with desert and coffee, fairly good tasting too. Staff friendly, we get extra coffees as regular patrons. Was talking to them the other day, business still tough, the rent of course. Would be very sad to see them go, so we make a point of giving them our custom.

  5. Soho hotel…very reasonable charges. Legover is coming down in price at least. Let us know who you see coming and going. The real McCoy offer an hourly rate. Bring your own face masks and Dettol.

  6. Tai O Bloke says:

    @ FunB3

    I remember it well…the bill was printed in red, appropriately.

  7. old git says:

    11 years ago yesterday, the Missus and I took over Scirocco in Staunton Street, for a party lasting 10 hours. Damage notwithstanding, am amazed that Scirocco is still operating today in the white-heat of SoHo overhead.

  8. Qian Jin says:

    @ Joe Blow : “Where exactly is this Soho Hotel ?”

    Why do you want to know? Are you and your retired police mates planning on raiding it?

    The short time rates ought to be higher than the overnight rate, taking into account that Parkn’rob have just increased the prices of bleach , GIF and rubber gloves. And if you check out website Hotel-Traviagra, the fat in the pool only pays $169 for this room.

  9. pie-chucker says:

    ‘GIF’?

    Girly Intimate Friend. Which aisle is that in?

  10. Joe Blow says:

    @QJ: now you are really out of character. Blimey, or whatever you people say.

    As Dr Adams already pointed out, the rates are very reasonable. So I can imagine a pleasant evening out with the busty but cross-eyed lass from accounts, having drinks in a place in Soho that does not charge over $ 100- for a drink (Globe ?), fish + chips from Hooked on Caine Road, and an all nighter at Soho Hotel for a mere $ 390- (split the bill, of course). Who said romance is dead ?

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