We heard about a good Thai/Vietnamese restaurant in Hong Kong's IFC, so we went to check it out today for Christmas lunch.
Fearing there may be hordes of people, we made a reservation for 12:30pm and we warned that our table would only be held an extra 10 minutes.
But when we got there a few minutes early, the restaurant was practically empty save for two tables that were occupied.
It didn't look like a good sign.
But the atmosphere is very chic, with dark wood, sleek lines and cool atmospheric music in the background that helped us escape temporarily from the cheesy Christmas songs in the mall.
Because we were early and made a reservation, we got to sit in a booth by the window that looked out onto IFC One, where the Hong Kong station for the Airport Express is located. Beyond that is Victoria Harbour.
The menu wasn't too cheap considering it was Thai and Vietnamese food. Vietnamese spring rolls with prawns were over HK$100. Not quite what I had in mind.
However, we were recommended to try deep-fried buttered chicken wings and it was a hearty serving with six wings and drumsticks that had a light-coloured batter and covered in chopped garlic.
They weren't that special and it seemed strange that as a side dish it was the last one to arrive at the table.
We also ordered the seafood pad Thai that was quite good, with large prawns, squid rings, rice noodles, chives, scrambled eggs and generous amounts of bean sprouts. Dried chillis and peanuts were on the side along with half a lime.
Stir-fried Morning Glory was also delicious, cooked with fresh chillis for a slight kick to the green vegetable.
Our drinks were refreshing -- mine a lemongrass lime soda that came with a stick of lemongrass in the glass that looked round at the top and then oval at the bottom. The other, freshly squeezed pomelo juice was good.
The restaurant is quite the people-watching place, as the centre of the room features a rectangular seating area and in the middle is a fountain level with the table surface.
Other design asethetics caught our eye, from the water jugs to the chairs that had a wooden slot that slid out for people to place their purses and shopping on.
In the end lunch for two was HK$386 ($49.80).