I do not remember the last time I visited Hong Kong. At the back of my mind, I remember being there before Hong Kong went back to China. That was a long time ago. Hong Kong was crowded then and people walked fast. The eating places used to allow smoking then. I remember walking under dripping buildings. I never knew what would end up dripping on my head. It could be water from air-conditioners, dripping flower pots or something else. Fast forward twenty years later, the place is still crowded but this time with a different crowd. The place seems to be swarming with people from the mainland and that is with cross border control in place for the mainland Chinese. The eating places have a no-smoking rule now, to my great relief, but the service quality for the food business anyway seemed a little ungracious to me. People tend to eat and leave hurriedly or someone else will wait at your table until you leave. I thought it was bad in Singapore but here people will sit down without even looking at you or asking if the seat is taken. The clearing of plates and utensils is rushed and noisy. I simple do not recall Hong Kong being this way before. Has it really been that long? Was it like this before?
Service attitude aside, Cantonese food is best eaten in Hong Kong, though I believe that many places where Hongkongers have opened restaurants worldwide are giving those in Hong Kong a run for their money. When I ate at Crystal Jade which is a Singapore chain of restaurants serving Chinese food, the food too tastes better in Hong Kong than in Singapore. It was just more authentic and I am sure it had a lot, if not everything, to do with the chefs. I’ll talk about Crystal Jade another time. Today, we had a westernized meal at Tea and Herb.
This is a neat, little eatery that serves western food. We came here for a quick bite. The food was average, not outstanding but not bad either. The coffee however, was not the good coffee that I was used to. I later concluded that good coffee was rather hard to come by unless one visited places like Starbucks or something similar.
On hindsight, among all the eateries I have been to in HK on this trip, this eatery turned out to be the most pleasant of them all. I did not feel rushed and the service was at least gracious. And this was the first restaurant I ate in.
Tea & HerB, Shop B, G/F, Po Wing Building, 6-16 Shell Street, North Point, Hong Kong.
香港北角蜆殼街 6-16 號寶榮大廈地下B鋪