Spice up your life on Valentine's Day

Updated: 2008-02-13 07:19

(HK Edition)

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With the Chinese New Year holidays and celebration opportunities upon us, Hong Kong gourmet seekers will seek out new dining experiences and adventures. For those who feel the need for a cosy and heart-warming dinner, or an excuse to take a break from the usual Chinese New Year dishes loved by all until after 3 days of incessant consumption, then the Raclette and Fondue promotion at The Repulse Bay just might be the place for you.

Turnip cakes are the traditional soul-warming dish for Chinese people during the cold winter Chinese New Year celebrations, and the Swiss' version of the ultimate comfort food is the hearty cheese fondue or Raclette. For those less familiar with the Raclette, it is both a cheese type as well as the term for a traditional Swiss dish.

 Spice up your life on Valentine's Day

Private dining at The Repulse Bay

Mentioned in writings as early as 1291, the Raclette dish was a typical source of nutrients for cow herders living in the mountainous areas in Switzerland during the Middle Ages. To prepare this Swiss national dish, the semi-firm cow cheese is first heated, of which the melted cheese is then scraped off and eaten accompanied with small potatoes, gherkins, pickled onions and dried meats. The term Raclette probably originated from the French word "racler", meaning "to scrape".

Start off the year of the Rat by heading to the Verandah at The Repulse Bay to work on some serious cheese intake, a guaranteed auspicious beginning given that the delicious cheese is the Rat's favorite dish! There are no mouse traps in store at The Reading Room, where you can snuggle up, experience the original fireplace of the old Repulse Bay Hotel, and work your way through the Fondue and Raclette menu.

Carved in the Reading room, each order of Raclette comes with boiled new potatoes and other tradition condiments. As for Fondue, choices include the classic Gruyere and Raclette cheese fondue, scented with saffron and sun-dried tomatoes, a Tilsit and Appenzeller fondue flavored with Calvados, and the Mustard fondue comprising Gruyere and Emmental cheese with Pommery, Dijon and English mustard.

Want to add a dash of luxury to the evening? Then order the Black Truffles and Champagne fondue. And for those having insatiable appetite, then indulge in the ultimate ending to the evening in the form of the Swiss Chocolate Fondue, which comes with fruits, berries, brioche and all-time favorite, the marshmallow.

It's not everyday you can warm your hands and toes in front of a roaring log fire in Hong Kong, so make that reservation as soon as possible as the promotion only lasts till February 24. But for those hoping for a Fondue tte a tte on Valentine's Day, the promotion is not available on February 14 as The Repulse Bay has created the ultimate private dining experience instead for that one night.

For absolute privacy and luxury at the price of HK$30,000, the Reading Room, glowing from the warmth of the log fire, will be your private dining room with that special someone on Valentine's Day. The evening promises to be Hollywood romance movie material, with a seven-course gastronomic meal, free flow Cristal Roederer Champagne to go with the Caviar and Balik Salmon, plus a "can-never-go-wrong" bouquet of 99 red roses. Celebrate true love at the end of the evening, without the need for a trek home after dinner, with a one night stay at The Repulse Bay Sea View Suite. To add an air of mystery and intrigue to the evening, a discreet private entrance is available for an incognito getaway!

Spice up your Chinese New Year celebrations and Valentine's Day doing what this year of the Rat would do best, don't let good food go to waste!

Reservations at The Repulse Bay: 2292-2882.

(HK Edition 02/13/2008 page4)