Hong Kong Dining City Restaurant Week
A worldwide dining phenomenon arrives in Hong Kong in July, with the debut of Hong Kong Dining City Restaurant Week. Offering value-for-money menus at dozens of restaurants and bistros, the event comes courtesy of Dutchman Onno Schreurs, Managing Director for Hong Kong and China of DiningCity.com, an online restaurant guide and reservations Web site operating in 35 cities across the globe.
“The concept gives diners the chance to try out restaurants for a reasonable price, and restaurants to woo new customers by showcasing their cuisine in the form of a fixed-price menu,” said Shanghai-based Mr. Schreurs, who recently set up an office in Hong Kong.
The restaurant week concept was launched in New York in 1998, and has since expanded to become the world’s biggest dining event, generating 300,000 reservations at more than 2,000 participating restaurants.
Mr. Schreurs said Hong Kong makes an ideal host city. “Hong Kong is a dining capital, with a sophisticated culinary offering, including Michelin starred-restaurants. Its dining scene is very professional, very upscale – comparable to London and New York.”
The event, which has been introduced in other major cities, is greeted with anticipation. “In other restaurant week cities, people literally set their alarms to be sure of snagging a spot at their top choices, with many making five or six reservations in one go,” said Mr. Schreurs. “Once online reservations open, tables tend to fill up fast. The most popular restaurants are booked up within minutes.”
Hong Kong restaurateurs appear to have embraced the concept, with more than 30 of the city’s most fashionable restaurants involved.
In Shanghai, where it was launched last year to coincide with Expo 2010, “Restaurant Week” has grown from showcasing an initial 26 restaurants to 55 restaurants, generating 7,800 online reservations. Mr. Schreurs expects even better results in Hong Kong, a market with “huge opportunity.”
Hong Kong Restaurant Week will have two editions a year, one in the winter and another in the summer.
Mr. Schreurs said restaurants applying to join the initiative are carefully vetted. “Not everyone can join,” he said. “It is important we have good quality.”
For the city’s fine diners, the first Hong Kong Restaurant Week, July 11 to 17, is just a taste of things to come. DiningCity.com is planning other initiatives, including the weekly TasteIt restaurant experience and a weekly newsletter.
Article credit: Hong Kong Trade Development Council
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