Scenic Luxury Dining In Hong Kong

A man in a crisp uniform opened the door for us and we walked into the hotel, ready for our luxury dining experience.

HONG KONG
PHOTO ALEX BAKER-BROWN

It was a hot morning. The air was oppressively humid and enveloped me like a thick, damp blanket. The sun was barely visible through Hong Kong’s typical dense shroud of smog. My brother, his wife, their two friends and I left the bus stop in the Admiralty district and made our way down a street bustling with Sunday shoppers. As we headed toward the Hotel Excelsior (permanently closed) for brunch, the air felt heavy in my lungs and sweat began to drizzle down my face and back. We finally made it to the front entrance of the Excelsior, reaching over 20 stories high and located almost directly on Victoria Harbor. A man in a crisp uniform opened the door for us and we walked into the hotel, ready for our luxury dining experience.

As I stepped across the threshold a blast of refreshingly cold air hit me, and I was transported into another world. The door swung shut behind me, silencing the overwhelming noises of the city outside, and an easy, refined hush filled the air. The melody of a small fountain, peacefully trickling, spread through the lobby as we crossed the foyer and entered the elevator. We arrived in a large, elegantly decorated dining room and were seated at a table pushed up against a glass wall overlooking the harbor. The view was breathtaking, and separated from the honking and shoving of the streets many stories below, the city appeared serene, bathed in soft, late morning sunlight. The dining room had a bright, elegantly cheerful atmosphere. Families and couples from various corners of the globe, dressed in polite Sunday attire, gracefully talked and laughed, enjoying each other’s company. A waiter came by and filled our glasses with chilled champagne, and we enjoyed the view and our drinks before heading for the extravagant buffet.

Exotic delicacies from all over the world spread out before me. One table hosted a variety of seafood cuisines, ranging from elaborately structured sushi creations to caviar and lobster. Another displayed a giant wheel of cheese that was melted onto fresh bread for each individual patron using a giant blowtorch. Yet another table offered a luscious mix of colorful and bizarre fruits. A bar running along the edge of the room presented an alluring variety of fine sweets and desserts. Many other culinary options filled the room. I formed my plan of attack. I would start with the savory foods, sushi, caviar, small sandwiches and fine cheeses, and then work my through the fruits and finish with the delicate desserts. My mouth watered with anticipation as I began to fill my first plate.

My taste buds sent sparks of joy racing through my body as tender lobster dipped in warm butter slid down my throat. Fireworks of delight exploded in my mouth as I sank my teeth into tart fruits and waves of ecstasy broke over me as sweet, silky desserts lingered on my tongue. After four plates of food, however, my plan broke down. I alternated endlessly between savory and sweet delicacies as I enjoyed the food, sipped my champagne and joked with my friends and family. We sat at our table, chatting, laughing and repeatedly refilling our plates until the brunch ended at 2pm. Feeling too content and lethargic to embark on the long bus ride home, we decided to split a cab and left the glittering peace of the Excelsior. On the ride home, I rolled down the window and let the soft warm air tousle my hair. I felt an enriching sense of peace and calm fill my body and relished in the momentary cloud of serenity and luxury I had found in the exotic bustle, confusion and chaos of Hong Kong.

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Alexandra Baker-Brown

From a young age, Alex started visiting different continents with her family and then as a solo traveler later in her life.

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