Predicting the future can be tricky. Theres no way I would have ever guessed that my final meal in Asia would be at an astronomically priced American steak house chain. We were spending our last day in Hong Kong trolling around Kowloon, and somehow got it into our heads that for dinner wed check out this massive mall food court I'd read about, a few subway stops further out at Kowloon Tong.
Well, the mall existed (complete with a university attached–odd) but this supposed fast food mecca was nowhere to be found. All we could see was a KFC, Café de Coral, Yoshinoya, a mediocre Thai place and a smoothie joint. We were starving, and by now it was too late to take advantage of another harebrained idea wed had–to hit Mortons during happy hour for their skyline view of Hong Kong and free mini steak sandwiches.
While I got something tiny to hold me over (four KFC Baby Wings, which are truly infantile, perhaps even premature–the point was not spoiling my appetite and they certainly didnt) James sorted out his credit card being frozen. After a little semi-desperate hemming and hawing, we realized it was getting late, we were in the middle of nowhere and we had to be up early to catch a flight back to the U.S. We said, fuck it, lets just go to Mortons and get a big, fat juicy decadent American meal.
Just a few days earlier, Alvin, James coworker and Singapore transplant, had been telling us how hed thrown a company Christmas party at Mortons and that the staff seemed sort of baffled by the meal. The massive portions and meat-centric concept kind of freaked the locals out.
What freaked me out were the prices. Wow. Ive never been to a Mortons so I dont know how Hong Kong compares to America. But I'm sure theres a mark up. That afternoon I had been staring longingly at the See's Candy display at Festival Walk. But at nearly $40 for a one pound box (which can be ordered online in the U.S. for $13.60), I just couldnt bring myself to spring for 16 ounces of nostalgia. Mortons has you over the same hump. Their porterhouse for two was HK1100 ($141). For comparison, Peter Luger, which many would say is America's, if not he world's best steakhouse, a total different league than Mortons, version for two is $75.
We put price out of our minds and drank up Bombay Sapphire gin and tonics and Johnny Walker Black (theyre obsessed with JWB in Asia) scotches and sodas. I got the $63 double cut filet mignon. We had giant salads filled with blue cheese and anchovies, sides of hash browns and of course, creamed spinach. My side of béarnaise ensured I was getting enough cholesterol. We couldnt even finish our steaks, but never relinquishing our thrifty cores, we got doggie bags and packed them in our luggage the next morning.
This was an atypical total high roller, power dinner, and it was really really fun. I'm sure a kick-ass sharks fin, birds nest, abalone and all Chinese banquet wouldve set us back as much and been more locale appropriate, but sometimes you have to go with your meat-loving gut and make chain-hating travel purists cringe.
Mortons * 20 Nathan Rd., Hong Kong