Wine & Dine 2016 – A Few Things to Enjoy

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It’s Wine & Dine! After a walk around under the blazing sun here’s a few things to enjoy. We can’t say it’s a ‘best of’, there’s over 400 booths to explore taste and savour. Have fun finding your own favourites.

It’s not cheap! While many outlets are offering discounts on their regular shop prices for buying bottles (with many happy to home deliver after the festival). Food is pricey, most places are averaging $50-75 per portion.

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In an attempt no doubt to break up the massive crowds this year’s Wine & Dine Festival is laid out in short blocks set at sharp angles. It’s not instinctively easy to find your way back to an outlet/booth so eat /drink what you want when you see/find it. This layout also makes it hard to direct friends to a spot they’d enjoy – take a photo of the booth number.

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Wine Whiskey and Beer

There are more wine companies and stands than you can possibly sample… decisions, decisions. Your wine tokens get a tasting portion – not a full glass. Ensure they rinse your glass first! Check out the Riedel tent, the glass manufacturer has an ongoing selection of talks and tastings.

There’s a large, essentially craft, beer area – towards the Admiralty end, far side from the harbour – with a wide range of local and international beers to sample. Several stands have special beers only available at Wine & Dine. Want a bite with your beer? Next to the beer stands at booth E814 you can find a mixed sausage platter of black cuttlefish and traditional German cheese sausages covered in melted cheese for $40.

If you like whiskey there are single brand whiskey stands, most are grouped in the middle of the festival. Except for the Jack Daniels booth which is in the American area. Celebrating it’s 150 anniversary, you’ll be able to taste a wide selection of Jack Daniels.

Food

It won’t mean much to many but one of the booths in the American street is offering a free drink to those who kiss Hillary and or punch Donald 🙂 For for a simple snack try Millennium Seafoods lobster soup.

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Enjoy a big tasty sausage? Opposite the stage the 30cm Mega Jumbo Wurst ($75) offers a nice meaty custom made German sausage. Cooked over a massive circular BBQ, the team is organised and ready for the rush, their target to serve you in 60 seconds. There’s also a 15cm version ($65) which is the same type of sausage but sold more like a hotdog in a bigger bun. Wash is down with some Fruh Radler (lemon beer).

Flavabomb (E506) has a lovely light refreshing Gelato di Moscato – a choice gelato ice-cream, topped up with moscato and we added in a few dried strawberry flakes (top photo). A light refreshing option perfect in the summer sun or after dark. They also have a range of bakery products including croissants and pain au chocolat and some tasty beef balls with truffle.

Seafood: Abalone more abalone plus a bit of shellfish. There several booths offering abalone from a variety of different locations, in different sizes and farmed or wild. On the harbourfront edge of festival The Gold Coast Hotel has a bowl of their signature tasty Sri-Lankan crab for $98 and a hearty German sausage with sauerkraut for $60. Both portions sized to be almost a complete meal in themselves. Next door the Panda Hotel has a lobster bun ($40) and salmon, crab, cheese tarts ($40).

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If want a change from seafood, U Banquet is offering Grilled Assorted Balls for $20 a portion

While you’re picking up your free cookies from Lucullus check out some of their other offerings the predominantly Kowloon side chain has a range of tasty bakery and desserts on offer including cheese tarts (original, durian or green tea, $30 for 2) and stuffed baked parmesan cheese rolls (chicken, Thai green curry, sichuan spicy pork $35 for 2) and some cute looking chilled offerings.

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There are lots of desserts on offer, one of bc’s favourites from last year returns at booth E507. A rich silky smooth egg custard served in a real egg shell. $40 for  box of 4, it’s seriously delicious.

Other food booths to check out –pork knuckle specialists Golden Pig, K-Town, Butcher and Baker who are offering hotdogs ($40) and baked chocolate fondants topped with ice-cream $30. And for something a little different, next to the Admiralty entrance, Kwun Tong private kitchen Wines Buddy and Dining at Home.

Basic things: A reminder there is little shade! Sun cream and a hat or expect to boil during the day. Bring water, there’s lots and lots and lots of wine, beer, whiskey – but little water to keep hydrated. There are very few seats.

NO refunds on coupons! In fact, unless you want to sample wine, there’s very little point in waiting in the long lines to buy coupons at a rough estimate over 80% of booths accept cash.

It’s outside, there’s food, wine, beer, whiskey, live music… what’s not to like, have fun!

Wine & Dine Festival 2016
Date: 27-30 October, 2016
Venue: Central Harbourfront
Tickets: $30

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Wine & Dine Festival 2016

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This year’s Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival returns to the Central Harbourfront from 27 to 30 October. The venue is 20% larger than last year and the festival features more than 410 wine and food booths in five distinct themed zones.

The ‘Tasting Room’ will host unique Master Chef Dinners ($1,688) prepared by Chef Gaggan Anand of Bangkok restaurant Gaggan in collaboration with three local Michelin-starred restaurants and other Hong Kong establishments.

From wine and whiskey to craft beers and cocktails, there is a wide variety of choices to suit different tastes. The range of gastronomical delights to choose is extensive, including street food and creations from some of the city’s trendiest restaurants and top hotels.

Wine & Dine Festival 2016
Date: 27-30 October, 2016
Venue: Central Harbourfront
Tickets: $30
More info:
27 October – 7:30-11:30pm
28-29 October – 12-11:30pm
30 October – 12-10pm

Wine & Dine Festival 2015

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The 2015 Wine & Dine Festival at the Central Harbourfront features a dizzying array of food and wine to enjoy over the next three days. The festival is organised by HK Tourism, which ensures that a large number of the territories hotels have food booths showcasing their signature dishes at prices well below what you’d find when dining at the hotel.

There’s wine, wine and more wine, tasting rooms, samplers and wine pairing dinners. To enjoy a glass and to keep things simple wine’s have been divided in to two categories. Classic wine – $20/coupon and Grand wine $50/coupon. You can purchase as many or as few coupons as you desire.

Food… There’s lots of lovely food, a smorgasbord of tastes and flavours from across the globe. The food and wine booths are separated into zones. Sadly, neither the festival map nor the booklet offer a list of all the participating outlets. In a way that good as it forces you explore, but it can also be a pain to locate a booth you want to visit.

Buffets are for grazing and sampling, and this is the best way to explore the large festival area because you never know what you might find. Dishes are paid for in cash and prices range from $10 up. Some of delights we discovered on our wander last night included a lovely artesian french booth offering cones of cheese, ham’s and salami ($50-60). Among the delights in the hotel booth area were a tasty lamb shank and a delicious stuffed crab topped with melted cheese; or enjoy heart shaped meatloaf topped with gold leaf.

Locally it can be hard to find good bread, but several restaurants make their own and are showcasing this on their booths Ciak has nice fresh bread to go with it’s spicy sausages. While Bagoes is offering fresh bagels, bagel sandwiches.

There’s lots of desserts, one definitely to look out for is is egg custard served in a real egg shell. It’s not cheap $70 for 2, but it’s delicious – booth C204.

There’s also a stage offering a variety of live music through the festival.

Frustrations – there’s very little seating, and no shade! So if the sun’s out, bring some suntan cream and an umbrella because without any breeze Central Harbourfront can be very hot.

It’s outside, there’s food, wine, beer, live music… what’s not to like, have fun.

Wine & Dine Festival 2015
Date: 22-25 October, 2015
Venue: Central Harbourfront
Tickets: $30
More info:
22 October – 8-11:30pm
23-24 October – 12-11:30pm
25 October – 12-10pm
More images here