Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Dining at Tin Lung Heen at Ritz-Carlton in ICC, Hong Kong

102F with 2 Aerial Views.  2 Stars Eating Leads to Paying with 2 Limbs.

  34° C

When I stayed in HK for a few months in 2009, ICC was taking shape. The construction completed in 2011, and snatched the title from IFC being the tallest building in HK. What's interesting is that most supertalls (buildings higher than 300m) tend to be erected in HK Island (where the CBD is located), none are located in Kowloon. As far as the supertall, ICC stands alone, dwarfing the surrounding Kowloon, facing off the HK financial centre across the harbour.

ICC has a double-decked elevator. It's one elevator stacks on top of another to save space. Instead of having elevators side by side, they're on top of another. To make it work, it has to be very smart elevators.

ICC, Hong Kong
Aerial from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
Left:  ICC emerged from the clouds.
Both photos were taken from The Peak on Feb 2009

Naturally, on this visit to HK, we want to check out this Kowloon's supertall. We want to make a (short) day trip out of this by starting with yum-cha at Tin Lung Heen (天龍軒). After lunch, we would do some walkabout of the Ritz-Carlton, ICC Elements, the promenade, and finally a little exploration of the nearby neighbourhood of Kowloon.

Panorama, Aerial from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
ICC stands tall on the opposite side from the peak.
This panoramic photo and the cloud-filled photos above were taken within an hour apart. How quickly the clouds dispersed.
(Click to enlarge)

Panorama, Aerial from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong
Not a pano, but it shows ICC tower stands tall more clearly on the opposite Kowloon shore.
Even before ICC is finished completion, you can see that it's taller than than IFC (because it's further away from the Peak)

The Ritz-Carlton used to be located in the more upscale Central district. It had closed down its operation in 2008, and re-opened in ICC in 2011.

Tin Lung Heen is part of the Ritz-Carlton. Located on 102nd floor, which is actually the lowest or "ground" floor for the Ritz-Carlton that takes up 102F to 118F in ICC, making it one of the tallest hotels in the world.

Dim sims, Tin Lung Heen, ICC, Hong KongDim sims, Tin Lung Heen, ICC, Hong Kong
Dim sims, Tin Lung Heen, ICC, Hong KongDim sims, Tin Lung Heen, ICC, Hong Kong

Since the restaurant is awarded with 2 Michelin stars, you can expect its food and services to be of high standard. While I can eat at a lower price with better tastes elsewhere with the same dishes we order here. My palate is blind and can't see the 2 stars, but my starry eyes can see the 102F aerial view. My eyes win this time, and it costs my 2 limbs (an arm and a leg). We booked for a window table before we came to HK. We wouldn't dine here at all if one wasn't available.

Having said that, there're many tallest buildings in Asian cities where they charge you a hefty fee to go up to their observation towers for a look (e.g. Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai, Taipei 101). If you view it from this perspective, the menu prices become quite low.

Window table, Tin Lung Heen, ICC, Hong Kong
A view to a meal

From Tin Lung Heen, you won't see the iconic HK CBD view. Instead, you will look toward west of HK. There, you'll see the world's noted Port of Hong Kong, and its container terminals, Tsing Yi Island, and the Nong Shuen Chau Bridge that connect Tsing Yi island to Kowloon Peninsula.

Aerial view, West Kowloon, Tin Lung Heen, ICC, Hong Kong
Aerial view showing Ngon Shuen Chau Bridge (昂船洲橋) and container ports, and the busy port traffic.
HK Disneyland is just off the photo on the left of Tsing Yi

Aerial view, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Pano sweep of HK's west

Breakwater of the New Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Breakwater of the New Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter

Barges with cranes
Barges with cranes in the shelter

Stonecutters Island, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
One of a point or corner of Stonecutters island (昂船洲) with beautiful strewn rocks near its beach

All the above and more could be seen from Tin Lung Heen restaurant while we chow down our dim sims.

I don't mind at all viewing at this side of HK because we have seen the "front-on" view of HK many times, and this side of HK is new and refreshing for us. For the 1st-time visitors or those who want to dine in front of the iconic HK Central district, you can eat in Tosca - an Italian restaurant with 1 Michelin star (if you must). The lowest budget would be to grab a drink at Ozone Bar (minimum charge is an outrageous grand total of $10 HKD = $1.50 USD). We could do that, but we aren't drinkers, and Ada is a dim sims' addict, so Tin Lung Heen it is.

After lunch, I stepped into Ozone Bar for a quick snap of their window view.

Aerial view from Ozone Bar, Hong Kong Central, CBD, Hong Kong
Aerial view of HK CBD from Ozone Bar.

Ozone Bar, The Ritz Carlton, West Kowloon, Hong Kong
Ozone Bar

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