View Larger MapFor many years the sidewalk near O'Brien Road and Thomson Road has had a problem with the drug addicts hanging out around the clock in the area. The exact spot is the area in front of the Wanchai pedestrian walkway stair case. This is because a drug addiction center is situated right next to the location.

The drug addicts would leave chairs to sit. Some of them bring their unleashed dogs, which are dirty and looks as if they are diseased. Many of them also have various personal items stashed or hung in the fences of the MTR exit. All this caused a major hygiene problem, several of them also lay drunk along the sidewalks, shooting up near the MTR exit flower beds, or sell drugs openly.

This area is a major tourist area, of the easy access to Wanchai Computer City and with the walkway to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. The area also has heavy local pedestrian traffic, because the pedestrian walkway connects many government offices: Immigration Tower, Inland Revenue, Traffic Department, other private offices and hotels to the Wanchai MTR entrances. It is also area where many of the cross harbour buses unload their passengers returning to their apartments in Wanchai mid-levels.

During the municipal election, I once mentioned to a candidate about the problem at the location, a few weeks later the city Health & Hygiene department, ambulance and police all worked together to clean up the area. Unfortunately, this cleanup lasted only a few days and the drug addicts took over the area again.

After numerous complaints to the city and City Council, something was finally done on June 19th. The area was cleaned again by the city's Health & Hygiene department, all the chairs and personal items were removed and the police made some arrests. This time it kind of worked. The drug addicts left the area and was afraid to return, but instead they moved a few meters down and now hangs out in front of the 7-11's air conditioned doorway. As you can see from the photo, some of them just lay around sleeping along with their belonging.

Of course the only solution is to move the Drug Addiction Center some where else. The problem is where? I do not want this in my neighbourhood, but who would.

Posted
AuthorVinko
Categoriesopinion

On the weekend I walked by the new Hopewell property, Queens Road East, on Queen's Road East, and noticed the long boarded up store front of Fatburger is no longer boarded up. There's a buzz of activity, but I just finished shopping at Park N' Shop so it was not convenient for me to check it out. Instead I went there purposely to give Fatburger a try. As many readers and Twitter followers know, I favor burger joints and is a self proclaim burger connoisseur of hamburgers. Before Fatburger there are four main premium hamburger chains: the local "Shake 'em Buns", Canada's Whitespot "Triple-O's", Japan's two invasion "Freshness Burger" and "MOS Burger". By "premium" I mean more than simply McDonald's or Burger King.

With such well established competition the first impression is the most important, then comes services and finally the quality of the product. On approach the store is well lite, but strangely one of the two entrance to the restaurant was locked and a sign instructing patrons to use an alternative entrance.

After I walk in, I was surprise to find missing the aroma of cooking burgers, although the restaurant is 90% full in terms of seating capacity. There were two order counter to receive me, but the area between the door and the counter was fairly short. I can imagine line ups must overflow to outside during lunch hour rush. I was not rushed to order like I order counter staff at Freshness Burger or MOS Burger. Unfortunately, that was the end of my present experience at Fatburger.

After a quick browse of the large menu hanging high above and behind the order counter in English and surprisingly in Simplified Chinese (it is not unusual for a restaurant in Hong Kong to have a bi-lingual menu sign, but very unusual for the other language to be Simplified Chinese), both my friend and I had decided on what to have.

When I placed my order in bi-lingual (Cantonese and English), I found out why I was not rushed to order by the order counter staff. It is very apparent that the staff speaking to me behind the cashier does not speak English. Being a returning Hong Kong Chinese Canadian, I do not read Chinese well and definitely not Simplified Chinese, so the cashier and myself were not communicating, but the only English words I used were names of their products from their menu, and ingredients that are normally found on a burger.

I ordered "a[Cantonese] Triple Burger without[Cantonese] pickles" and "a[Cantonese] Veggie Burger without[Cantonese] pickles and[Cantonese] onions". The cashier repeated the order in Cantonese, but I have no idea if she got the order correct as she did not use any of the English names of their products. Nor did she mentioned any of the condiments that I did not want on the burgers.

I repeated my order and received confirmation from the cashier happened three times, and I even asked for the number of burgers she took as my order. When another colleague of hers said she now had 4 burgers in my order I quickly told the cashier to cancel everything and had someone else help me. This processes lasted about 10 minutes. Another, who appears to be more experienced staff, took over immediately, completed my order, confirmed it and gave me the exact change in less than 5 minutes. Strange that there would be more experienced staff, since Fatburger only opened for about a week in Hong Kong.

Next comes to the most important thing, the product! After a fairly short wait, our burgers arrived at our table. it was wrapped conveniently with half the burger exposed, allowing you to pickup the burger and take the first bite. This gives a fairly realistic presentation as pictured in their menu, but I do find this strange as the burger was sitting exposed on top of a paper place mat on the tray. The staff who brought us the burgers even reviewed a second tray underneath, which she then place in front of my friend. I found this totally unhygienic.

The burger itself was piping hot, which is good, but the juices that was pouring out was so hot it burnt my hand. The taste of the burger reminded me the ones I get at Freshness Burger, but the smell of the burger was still not that engulfing. After taking several bites I did not notice anything special about the burger, but it did reminded me of the kind I used to get in backyard barbecues in Toronto.

The triple patty burger I ordered was just slightly thicker than the ones I get at Triple-O's and Shake 'em Buns; the latter had since shrunk their patty substantially compared to just a month ago. The price was definitely way more at HKD80.00 without even cheese, bacon or egg.

So, after giving Fatburger a try I conclude that there are still four major "premium" burger chains ("joints") in Hong Kong, and Fatburger is not one of them. I question if I will give it a second chance too soon. May be several more months to give the operators (franchisee) time to get used to the operation and the staff to learn the menu.

Price: $$$$
Taste: 2Stars

Heard about this new restaruant on Ship Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong called, "Bo Innovation", so I decided to go check it out tonight. Not sure if the chef/owner planned it that way, but the name "Bo innovation" sounds very much like "bold innovation". Unlike most recent new restaurants in Hong Kong; particularly the ones on Ship Street, this is not just an Asian fusion restaurant. It calls itself a "X-treme Chinese cuisine", which you will find, after a visit, is a very appropriate description.

Before going in, I had no particular expectation, except restaurants on Ship Street had become trendy and chic. As a result I was expecting nothing less.

To my surprise, Bo Inovation situated above Brasserie Le Fauchon & Wine Bar, was nothing special. The deco was contemporary, with the traditional dark wood floors and light coloured canopy.

After I sat down for dinner I was a bit surprised by the simple menu and high price. There were two main choices: A Taste Menu or a Chef Menu. The Chef Menu is a HKD1080.00 per person 9 courses menu and requires the entire table to have the same things. The Taste Menu is a minimum HKD680.00 3 courses menu including appetizer, main dish and dessert.

The appetizer had 4 individual courses.

Bo Shushi


photo photo


The manager decided to give us a free appetizer to try. It is a rice noodle cooked in mushroom sauce with a small amount of white ginger sauce. photo

The main course came fairly quickly like all other courses so far.

photo photo

According to the waiter each meal always comse with rice at the end of the main course.

photo

The dessert came in three Chinese style desserts; at least in initial appearance, with western variations in each, making every bite a present surprises.

photo photo photo
The dessert course concludes with a final pair of Chinese dessert concoction that looks like typical Chinese dim-sum but definitely taste different.

photo photo
The service was very good during the early evening hours, which is why I arrived at the start of their dinner sitting, 19:00. Although, this tentative touch became very lacking as the dinner rush begins.

Even though the dessert is the best part at this restaurant, and the ingredients used are the best quality possible, it is not worth the price it is charging. Especially ridiculous is the French mineral water (750ml) that cost as much as a glass of house Champaign at HKD120.00 per bottle and  glass respectively.