Hong Kong, Night 1: Of delayed flights, UFOs and Angus rib-eye steaks

The date was October 12, 2011, just two weeks shy of us coming home from Seoul, when this conversation happened:

Me: May promo rates ang PAL to Hong Kong, cheaper than Cebu Pac. (quotes price)
Kite: Not bad! Go!
Me: Seryoso na ba ‘to?
Kite: Book mo na!
(10 minutes after)
Me: Booked!
Kite: Yahoo!

Wanderlust ba kamo? :-P Truth be told, if I were to assess my traveler self, this was probably the most kaladkarin I’ve ever been. And I have not regretted it since.

Without going into details, Kite flew in earlier than I did. The flight I got that Friday was supposed to leave half an hour past six but as expected:

PAL. Delayed. The only positive thing I can say here was that the flight crew looked and smelled good. (They were waiting with us in line to get to the plane.)

It was chaotic, I tell you. Obviously, PAL ground operations really hasn’t stabilized after the whole subcontracting debacle. In flight. the crew was apologetic about the food as well:

One of these days I'll be able to afford business class na. Just you wait. Haha!

Anyway, I can’t quite recall what time I got to HKIA, but the transfer to the hotel was painless. Second of the only three stops of the Airport Express of MTR, I was at Kowloon in less than thirty minutes (twenty-one to be exact). From there I boarded a shuttle bus (route K2, leaves every twelve minutes) that dropped me off at the hotel. If it was for free, I’m not so sure. I think fare’s included in the round trip ticket worth 160.00 HKD (~906.85 PHP, 20.60 USD).

Effortless transpo from the airport to the hotel in less than forty-five minutes! Sweet!

The shuttle ride was fun. It literally passed through most of the hotels of the Tsim Sha Tsui area, it was like a mini-tour in itself. Haha! I finally arrived at the Royal Pacific Hotel & Towers a few minutes before eleven.

Beautiful, yes?

I think this was just recently renovated. This still smelled of hints of paint.

Kite had been waiting for me for hours by that time because of the uber delayed flight so we hurriedly went to our room just to drop off my stuff and have a quick change of clothes. We rushed to this posh dinner place Kite was raving about and we got there fifteen minutes after eleven (Our reservation was at 9 PM!). We were so relieved it was still open and that dinner service was still ongoing. Good thing it was just a short distance from the hotel.

Someone was excited to eat here. :-P

I knew I was in a classy place when I saw these two.

I was so hungry by the time we reached DG Cafe & Wine Cuisine so we immediately ordered food. We had a complimentary basket (or two? Haha!) of really good bread, tempura-ish deep-fried tiger prawns and a superbly tasty linguine marinara in tomato sauce. (Wait, isn’t marinara, by default, in tomato sauce? :-P)

Eaten not in this order. :-P

All good, but paled in comparison to why we came here in the first place: grilled Angus rib-eye steak.

Grilled. Angus. Rib-eye. Steak. Read that (and drool) again.

While I would’ve preferred medium-rare, we had it cooked medium-well (Kite’s not a fan of really pink meat). It took only one bite to understand all the raves. The pepper corn crusted steak was well seasoned and was perfectly complemented by the Barolo (red wine) beef jus it came with. It didn’t quite reach the melt-in-your-mouth quality I was looking for, but it was tender and over-all, was very good.

Kite insists this was medium-well done. I say it's medium rare. Who get's your vote?

We finished dinner half-past twelve and spent a few minutes taking in the beauty of the 1881 Heritage area. I wasn’t able to take a photo of this surreal tree that jutted out of a gazebo-like structure. Picture perfect sana but as you would’ve imagined, it was dark already. (No to using flash! Haha!)

We walked back along Canton road to go back to Royal Pacific. The luxury stores that lined the famous street were all closed but seemed to tease us as we passed by. Kite and I proceeded to the deck behind the hotel to grab a quick a view of Victoria Harbour’s skyline (pampa-excite lang). We called it a night (and a lovely one at that) afterwards and went up to our room to rest and recuperate the energy we needed for the days to come. It was one in the morning.

Did I just capture a photo with a UFO?


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