I was excited to try the Mountain Cafe at Ngong Ping village. The quality of food at the top of the cable car is at best mediocre, apart from the Japanese which is OK, and the staff are so lovely. From out outside it seemed promising - Professional graphics and a decent looking interior. The walls are adorned with images of famous mountains - very in keeping with the name. I tested myself to see how many I could name and the answer was a pitiful 1!
Turns out this cafe is more of a canteen. You order at the counter and grab your own drinks from the fridges. There is the usual selection of soft drinks and they have a liquor license so I grabbed a bottle of Tsing Tao for $40.
Food was delivered on a tray and no plates were harmed in the serving of the food. Instead, the pasta dishes were swimming in their own little wax lined pool. Perhaps lots of people eat half and take the other half away so they're simply missing out the middle man. Maybe they don't have a dishwasher or a sink? They do have proper cutlery so maybe that just throw all that away too like my friend Heather when she worked in a cafe when she was 16 and couldn't be bothered to do the dishes. Who knows?
We opted for spaghetti Bolognese, pasta carbonara and a pulled pork sandwich. The carbonara was wrong to such an extent it could cause an international conflict should an Italian ever eat it; or drink it - I'm not sure which one as it perfectly crossed the border of solid and liquid.
Saying that, after the first fork-full my eldest daughter's eyes lit up and she was silent for the rest of the meal as she happily tucked in, so whatever it was, she enjoyed it.
The bolognese was pretty standard and my pulled pork sandwich was actually decent. It came in a tandoori flavoured pita with crunchy cabbage 'slaw, tomatoes, mayonnaise and fries. It was big enough to fill me up too and was a very reasonable $85.
This is one of those typical Hong Kong places that could have been really decent if they had bothered to go the extra mile. They had a lot of staff milling around but you still have to order at the counter. Why not just take our order?
Why not just serve the food on plates and please, for the love of all things holy, learn to cook the dish your food is named after. The carbonara was as closely related to a carbonara as I am to a pangolin. It's not just this place - another large Tung Chung restaurant once served cabonara made with American plastic cheese. It was so bright aeroplanes were trying to land on it.
If you've gone to the huge expense - I'm told $1M + to open a restaurant in Hong Kong - why not make it as good as you possibly can? It baffles me.
So, for about $360 we had food and a drink for 3 people. It's pretty good value. The food was alright. The staff, bar one, were smiley and helpful. My kids thought it was better than I did. Will I come here now and not the Japanese? Nope. Might swing by for the sandwich though...