Today a friend invited me to lunch at a restaurant called Felix in Greenbelt 5.
Since I'm out almost every night of my life, but never really to try new restaurants at home, I had never been here before.
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WHEN SOMEONE SAYS "FELIX,"
I THINK OF THE PENINSULA HONG KONG
And when someone mentions a restaurant called Felix, I automatically think of the stylish restaurant of the Peninsula Hong Kong.
It opened with a bang many years ago, and it was notoriously hard to book a table at in its early days -- but I was one of its first diners.
In fact, I was one of the first diners at Felix in the Peninsula Hong Kong, and also at Caprice at the Four Seasons Hong Kong.
The Four Seasons Hong Kong had just opened, and I stayed there for a week as the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, where I always stayed and still do, was in refurbishment or about to be renovated.
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
The moment I first ate at Caprice -- way before any reviews on it started coming out in a significant way -- I immediately thought this would be the best French restaurant in Hong Kong.
It was excellent from Day One, and my "prophecy" certainly came true.
In fact, it was so good that, on my last lunch at Caprice on that first visit, I decided to risk missing my flight out of Hong Kong, just to be able to eat the chocolate dessert at Caprice.
It was that good.
MISSING A FLIGHT FOR A CHOCOLATE TART
While I was making a unilateral executive decision about this, the hotel concierge had the car waiting in the driveway and my travel companion was thinking about a rather important meeting he was due to attend at 9 AM the next day in Tokyo.
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As you can imagine, they were both having mild heart attacks while I so enjoyed my chocolate tart.
And, just in case you're wondering what happened next, I made my flight out of Hong Kong on that day after all, and even with a few minutes to spare even for tea at the lounge.
THE PLACE TO BE SEEN IN HONG KONG
Meanwhile, I really liked Felix for its decor.
It was such a stylish place, and we always bumped into people we knew when we ate there. Most of the time, it was people we hadn't seen in a long time, or who had flown in from London or Tokyo, because everyone who visited Hong Kong wanted to eat at Felix back then.
So that's my Felix memory -- with a little bit of Caprice memories thrown in.
FELIX IN GREENBELT 5
And today, I had great difficulty finding Felix in Greenbelt 5 for two reasons:
1) I was on my mobile, talking with some contacts in Sri Lanka as I was walking, while at the same time waving hello to friends I kept spotting who were eating in other restaurants.
2) I have no idea where anything is in Greenbelt. It's a nice place but I just never have time to walk around it or to get to know it.
Finally, I did find it, and my friend was waiting already, with a bottle of San Pellegrino ready for pouring.
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HIS CHOICE. AND IT'S A GOOD ONE.
He'd picked the restaurant because I didn't have a particular preference and I'd said that I could go anywhere as long as it was in the CBD.
So when I sat in front of him, he said: "The food's good here."
I was actually still full from dinner at Stockton Place with another friend the night before.
But what do you know?
When the conversation's fun (all about travel) and you've had a glass of pinot noir, I realize you can eat a lot of good food -- even if you hadn't really planned to.
LUNCH IS DELICIOUS
We shared a really delicious salad with some kind of tuna tartare topped with wasabi-flavored cereal. It was really delicious so I ended up eating most of it.
Then, my friend recommended the black angus beef, done Bistek-Filipino style. Oh my goodness. Wasn't that good?
Again, I finished everything.
Meanwhile, I ordered the mango cheesecake for dessert. It was so delicious that I ate most of my friend's share as well.
And then we both looked at our watches and realized we both were late for our next appointments.
I had a 2 PM in Legazpi Village and he had a 3 PM in Ortigas. And it was 240 PM.
And just like that, another enjoyable lunch ended in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.