My BFF Robert picked me up for a trip to Stanley. I was glad I didn’t have to go the peasant route of taking the bus out there. It was a scorchingly hot day with humidity at 90%. I was happy to sit in his air-conditioned car and comfortably ride all the way into the once quaint little fishing village for shopping and lunch.
Stanley is located near Repulse Bay, where my high school was located. I used to skip class to ride into Stanley to have lunch with my friends and take in an hour of shopping before heading home.
The ride in was beautiful. The skies were blue with cumulus clouds but the passing vehicles were a bit daunting on the narrow roads often only inches apart.
We arrived into Stanley and found a parking spot pretty easily. After feeding the meter, we walked down to Stanley Market, my forehead and neck already sprouting beads of sweat and I, longing for somewhere cool to lunch at.
Stanley Main Street overlooking the water was relatively empty on this Monday. A handful of tourists dotted the path stopping often to check out what the restaurants’ menus had to offer. We did the same but I left the deciding to Robert due to his diet restrictions.
We decided on Spiaggia, which, at the onset sounded Italian, but after further probing, offered a hodge podge of dishes on its menu. I was actually pleased with that because I wasn’t feeling Italian at all.
The restaurant offered a lunch menu and for HK$128/US$16.40) you get a drink and a choice of a dish from a list offered.
Robert ordered Margarita Pizza (yes it’s spelled like the drink and not the queen) which was extremely heavy on the sauce and very light on the basil.
I was glad I chose Kukulmas, a medium spiced chicken curry with steamed rice and pulao rice. Pulao rice is basmati rice infused with saffron to give it a red hue amidst the white rice and seasoned with various spices such as cumin and cardamom.
The curry was fragrant and well-flavored and they were very generous with the chicken. I enjoyed the curry with the pulao rice very much. A pappadum was also served alongside offering a nice crunchy contrast to the rest of the dish.
Sitting at Spiaggia you forget you are in Hong Kong for a while. The restaurant is open but AC is turned on creating a false sense of coolness outside. However, the minute you’re done with your meal and leave, the reality of the humid heat immediately envelopes you and brings you back to your senses.
Unfortunately, after lunch, our browse at the markets was an epic fail. I bought nothing. In the old days Stanley was known to house a host of outlets where factory extras or rejects were brought here to be sold. It has now been gentrified and only a handful of those stores remain. I was hugely disappointed at how much had changed since my high school days, but it was still, a wonderful afternoon spent with Robert chilling and relaxing.
92 Stanley Main Street
Tel: +852 2813 7778