Night 4, Hong Kong:
Last night, my mother, brother and I scurried from Wan Chai MTR station, sweating in our woolen coats, as we were running late for a family Christmas dinner. At the entrance of the Grand Hyatt, we were greeted by a grandiose Christmas tree soaring 10m – 15m in the elegant lobby – so we re-composed ourselves before walking in to the grand Grand Hyatt.
The Tiffin Lounge is located right above the lobby and is equally as grand and impressive. The ambience was faultess, with lights dimmed, elegant Christmas trimmings around the grand buffet layout, excellent service, and best of all, a live 4-piece jazz band playing smooth tunes throughout the evening (we later found the band was called Carpio Music, more on that below).
We sank into our plush oversized sofas spread far apart from other diners and enjoyed our festive dinner. The buffet was excellent – Tiffin is renowned as hosting the best dinner buffet in Hong Kong and boy did it surpass my expectations!
Tiffin keeps its diners to a minimum to ensure there are no queues and no pushing. The variety of dishes and the quality of the food was exceptional.
Starters – lots of variety, including attractive individual glasses serving up portion-sized seared tuna salads, salmon sashimi salad, octopus salad. Also a selection of cold cuts, including seared kingfish, standard salami and other meats, duck liver pate, duck terrine and chicken terrine.
Mains – impressive seafood selection with lobsters, crabs, abalone, and huge fresh prawns. Huge selection of hot mains, amongst the standouts was a pigeon consomme.
Dessert was a crowd favourite. Even those of us who weren’t dessert fans jumped on the Tiffin’s dessert bandwagon and tried out more than a few desserts. A huge selection (in fact, diners can opt for the dessert buffet instead of the full buffet) including Instagram worthy creations, and a glass cabinet full of ice-cream and ice-cream cakes, the size of an ice cream shop in Central! The highlights were truffle ice-cream, eggnog ice-cream, hazelnut macaroon ice-cream cake and a raspberry macaroon ice-cream cake. All very delicious.
My cousins and I came up with a game – whoever lost scissors-paper-rock was to request the band to play a song. We didn’t know if the band even took requests. I lost on the first round and requested Sugar by Maroon 5. I waved down a waiter, who had pen and paper ready for me to write down my song request. He prompty passed my note onto the band, which kept up their great quality of music whilst listening to Sugar through an iPhone…and in less than 5 minutes, the band played their own jazzy rendition of Sugar! The saxophone played the melody so smoothly, the piano harmony was simply divine, the drums gave the song a jazzy, chilled out beat and bass completed the piece. We were incredibly impressed with their amazing performance.
After dinner, we stopped by the band to let them know our appreciation for their music and especially their request. Turns out, they are one of Hong Kong’s well known jazz bands called Carpio Music and perform at jazz clubs, corporate functions and other functions such as weddings.
The frontmen of the band, the saxophonist and pianist, were half Australian half Philipino brothers who live in Hong Kong.
Carpio Music play at the Foxglove, a secret speakeasy bar located in a back alleyway in Central on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The frontmen invited us to go this Tuesday and I’m keen to check them out!