This has been the hardest year for Hong Kong in a long, long time . . . perhaps one of the worst in its entire history. We’ve been dealing with social unrest for close to nine months. As a result, businesses have been suffering dramatically since last summer. More recently, the coronavirus appeared, dealing yet another blow to an already fragile situation. We’re starting to see the effects as numerous stores and restaurants shutter one by one in Hong Kong.
I’ve decided to occasionally pay tribute to some of these places. Although they are now closed, I still have fond memories of many of them. I’ve already published one tribute not too long ago, for the excellent Gough’s on Gough. Sadly, I fear there will be more coming in the next few months.
This post will honor Al Molo Harbour City.
This excellent Italian restaurant was right on the water in Harbour City in TST and had stunning views of Victoria Harbour. It was one of the first restaurants Bryan discovered when he first moved to Hong Kong, largely because he loves Italian food and our first apartment was located right in Harbour City.
Since Bryan was by himself at the time (I was still in Boston, packing up our house and preparing for our move), Bryan would go to Al Molo by himself from time to time. He befriended the sommelier there, who noticed Bryan’s appreciation for good wine with his Italian food.
Bryan likes to tell the story about how the sommelier sold him a couple bottles of 1989 Gaja Barbaresco virtually at cost (no mark-up!) because the external labels had been ruined due to a refrigerator leak.
After I moved to Hong Kong, Bryan was quick to take me to this restaurant. We were thrilled that the sommelier still had a bottle of “ruined” label Gaja left, so that I was even able to enjoy a bottle.
We took Bryan’s colleagues and business contacts here. They fell in love with the views (we watched the 8PM light show), the steak, wine, and pasta.
We were so bummed when we found out Al Molo Harbour City closed several months ago. Though we were sad, we were not surprised. Harbour City has taken a massive beating in business ever since the social unrest began. The current crisis does not help.
Interesting, two restaurants have taken over the Al Molo space. One is a new place by famous French dessert chef Dominique Ansel (of Cronut fame). The other is Amelia, a restaurant from San Sebastian, Spain that we visited this past summer during our Spain trip!
Let’s hope things improve in Hong Kong soon.