Bryan's birthday has had its fair share of drama in the past few years. In 2019 his birthday fell on a weekend, and thus the scheduled date of a massive protest. Despite the "danger", close friends ventured out and joined us for dinner at Tosca di Angelo at the top of the ICC. The next several years, the pandemic hit, making gathering together as a large group always an iffy thing. Despite rolling restrictions, we managed to dine out for his birthday with different sized groups starting in 2021 (Xin Rong Ji, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon), and even traveled around Hong Kong's outerlying island, geopark, and Saikung in 2020 when we were "stuck" in Hong Kong.
This past year in October, a different threat arose. The first potentially category 8 or higher typhoon was on its way, heading towards Hong Kong. Although we had booked a junk boat trip a month earlier, it turned out that this typhoon just might hit Hong Kong on Bryan's birthday.
"We'll have to wait and see" the captain said.
As his birthday got closer, the winds changed a bit, and it seemed like the typhoon wouldn't come until the evening of Bryan's birthday. It was tough and truly a test of patience for us as we waited and waited, intently watching how the storm would move. We had friends traveling in from out of town just to come celebrate on this half-day boat outing, so the weather made things particularly hard to plan.
Finally, the morning of his birthday, the captain green lit the boat trip. The typhoon wouldn't start until later that evening.
It was a GO!
After taking a leisurely boat ride around Hong Kong island, we landed at Lamma Island right in time for a seafood banquet. The sky was still blue, almost clear at this point! I even enjoyed another "first" in my lifetime. First time playing guitar (and singing hymns!) on a boat together with a professional musician from the Hong Kong Philharmonic orchestra!
Lamma Rainbow 10-Person Set Menu
We had pre-ordered the 10-person set meal and added a few additional dishes (for our non-seafood eating friend) after arriving. The restaurant was very responsive via WhatsApp, and everything went very smoothly. They sent me different menus and the wine list via WhatsApp, so we were able to put in our order early. Lamma Rainbow has a great wine prices (hardly a mark-up), so we ordered some nice bottles of champagne (always a crowd pleaser).
As an aside, I will say Lamma Rainbow was very, very accommodating and flexible with respect to our reservation due to the weather. I told them we couldn't confirm whether we could come or not until literally the morning of the meal, since we had to watch the weather. They were very kind and agreed to hold our reservation (without any deposit) until the morning of the meal (which was a lunch!).
Thankfully, we were able to set sail, and after a lovely excursion around Hong Kong island, we arrived at Lamma Rainbow around 12PM for lunch.
A Seafood Feast
There are many different levels of set menus, as you can imagine. Prices range roughly from HK$250 per person to $HK1000 per person (plus tea charge of $20 and 10% service charge). The menus change, so it's best to contact them to get the most recent menu. The below set meal for 10 people was HK$9699 total.
We had a friend who didn't eat seafood, so we did order a few non-seafood items.
We had a great table right next to the waterfront, so we could enjoy dining outside while looking at the ocean.
Time to Head Back to the Dock
Afterwards, we took a short stroll along the waterfront back to the boat, which was waiting for us at the dock.
If it wasn't this special occasion, we probably would have done what most of the other diners did, take Lamma Rainbow's free ferry for their guests. It picks up at TST, Central Pier, Cyberport, and even Aberdeen, and goes straight to Sok Kwu Wan (which is where the restaurant is). You just need to book about a day in advance. You can also just take the normal ferry, depending on which time slot works better for you. I like hiking from Sok Kwu Wan to the other end of the island (Yung Shue Wan). In that case, I'd just take the public ferry back home from Yung Shue Wan.
Originally we were thinking we might hike a bit on the island (like I did with my mom back in 2019), but the typhoon was coming, so we had to get going. Unfortunately, due to the winds, the captain said we had to go back. Our original plan to stop at Stanley had to be canceled.
The ride back was peaceful (though we kept our eye on the skies). The clouds were coming in, but there was still no rain. We hung out on the boat, chatting, taking photos, and generally just relaxing.
The boat arrived at the pier right around 5PM. Everyone made it back home with no issues, and we're very thankful for the wisdom of the captain in allowing us to have our birthday trip in a very safe manner. The category 3 typhoon warning signal came down around 6PM that evening.
Even though we didn't get to visit as many islands, we're still thankful for the sunshine in the morning, lack of rain, and the cool weather. Most importantly, it was a blessed time to spend together with friends, and we're truly thankful for the entire day.
Happy Birthday Bryan!
G/F, 23-27 First Street
Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island, Hong Kong
WhatsApp: +852 6407 4179