Another three deaths mark passing of Ye Olde HK

Three Hong Kong icons of the 1980s-90s – when the city’s mojo was bigger than all the other mojos in Asia put together – pass on. The borderline-wearisome excessively-British-in-a-Chinese professional personality David Tang recently checked out. And now his relatively understated namesake former Chief Secretary Sir Ford has departed.

When Anson Chan succeeded Ford and moved into the official residence up on Barker Road, she had to have the whole kitchen torn out because everything was equipped to make boiled beef and spotted dick and all the other gwailo culinary grotesquerie.

And the subject of Westerners’ dietary horror-habits brings us rather neatly to the third dying remnant of Hong Kong’s heyday – Lan Kwai Fong. Once a buzzing bar district with even some edgy and bohemian dashes, LKF has degenerated into a landlord money-machine of overpriced plastic tapas-bodega-concept outlets. The drunk schoolkids vomiting outside 7-Eleven are the only vestige of authentic character.

Lan Kwai Fong’s last glimmer of class and sophistication now seems to be slipping away with news that Hooters has rent problems. While some might regard it as a tacky hovel for the educationally subnormal, the mammary-themed restaurant (if you please), is a beacon of elegance, refinement and taste by the standards of the surrounding streets.

A planned gentle stroll through Lan Kwai Fong this morning turns into a hasty trot down to Queens Road in search of air to breathe. Forget the broken bottles and other riotous debris strewn along the gutters – the stench! Eeewww… Of course, an essential secret ingredient of LKF’s charm is the refuse collection station, but I was nowhere near the Municipal Rancid Festering Black Plastic Bag Depot. Everywhere, the unmistakable air of carrion hangs over the place.

Mercifully, there is a solution.

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7 Responses to Another three deaths mark passing of Ye Olde HK

  1. Joe Blow says:

    Right now somewhere there is a business talent (spotty Dick ?) calculating how many spaghetti-based food covers, served by underpaid but cheerful Filipino waitstaff, he’ll have to sell every day just to meet the rent, if he decides to take over the soon to be vacated Hooters premises and start an edgy but elegant concept bar/ grill/ bistro (“hmmm, how about ‘nouvelle British’ ?”).

  2. Stephen says:

    HK$371,000 a month – Ouch ! That is a whole lot of chicken wings and cold ones just to cover the rent. In central Sydney, which I believe was number two on the astronomical property index, a beer cost around the same as Hong Kong (AUD10 / HKD60). However in Sydney the minimum wage is AUD18.29 per hour whilst in Hong Kong it’s HKD34.50 per hour. The Puppet Government, self-serving Legislators and Business will penny pinch and bitch about MPF, minimum wage or even smoking but never business rents. At these rents no Hong Kong bar survives and staff will never get properly paid.

  3. Old Fishmarket Close says:

    According to a friend who has been tupping a Hooters waitress for some time now, the staff do alright but rely heavily on tips. Just how many tips remains a mystery.

  4. Red Dragon says:

    I knew David Tang slightly, and liked him.

    I was indifferent to David Ford, but friends of mine who knew him claim that he was a nice chap.

    I rejoice in the inexorable decline of LKF. If Zeman starts to lose big money, surely it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    As for Hooters, I don’t think “pear-shaped” is quite the right term. “Melon-shaped” might be better, or perhaps “tits up”.

  5. David Ford actually doubled in size when he left Hong Kong.That was remarkable.

    David Tang was one of the world’s greatest social climbers. Funny how that phrase never entered any of the obituaries. You can be a bumptious twat when alive but dead, you are a style icon. That must give us all hope.

    As for LKF. I think I only ever bought two drinks there. A sort of human zoo.


  6. Donny Almond says:

    I always sort of admired those fake monks in LKF (still there ?). Even after telling them for the fifteenth time to buzz off, they would still smile serenely while mumbling under their breath *never mind, there are plenty of other suckers here*.

    Last time I had a quick drink there was 5 years ago when I paid $100- for a draft beer, for the first and last time in my life. ‘Twas in the now defunct Hong Kong Brew House.

  7. Hank Morgan says:

    As the proof of the pudding …,

    “Hooters Asia general manager Mike Warde dismissed accusations that breast size was a factor in the hiring process for waitresses, …”

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