62 Kimberley Road, 1st floor,Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2685 3000
After a few days in Hong Kong, one tends to develop a strange craving,
to eat something - anything - with an implement other than chopsticks.
The Empire's Kitchen is an excellent palliative.
My first thought after mixing sashimi and Alaskan crab legs on the same plate was "fusion".
But a more honest description would be "everything, buffet style".
From left to right, there was an oyster bar, chinese dumplings, perhaps 20 assorted European and Chinese hot dishes, several different soups, pour-it-yourself beer, a comprehensive salad, shellfish galore, sushi and sashimi, rice, beans and pulses, and finally a further mixture of desserts from East and West, the star feature being two sweet soups.
The oysters were excellent, up to Birmingham Market standards, not at all the bland US type.
I tried two delicious soups, a spicy seafood, and a sharks' fin (apologies to any Greenpeacers).
If you think two soups are a bit over the top, I must also confess that a small complimentary
bowl of lobster bisque then appeared at my table; it would have been rude to refuse.
Given the enticing variety, main dishes are best sampled like Tapas.
This was when I discovered the somewhat excessive efficiency of the waiters, who removed plates
the very second after they were cleared. The attempt to overcome this by mixing the sashimi and
the shellfish failed - my debris plate was replaced on a per-shell basis. After all that, I could manage only a very tiny dessert, which was equally delicious.
Since the meal included free beer - today - I feel a bit guilty at a slight criticism, that I would have preferred a glass of wine, which was not available even after offering an inducement to the waiter to nip out to the bar beneath.
An incredible bargain at HK$235 (just over £15!), including the 10% service charge customarily added to every
Hong Kong bill.
Parking garage around the corner on Kimberley Street, where a valet gets you into a space
a millimetre or two larger than your car.