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Fresh Cuts, March 9, 2007

By Bruce Dawson | Mar 08, 2007

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The tax on alcohol is about to be drastically cut! Do you realize what this means? It means cheaper prices at the bar, and Lan Kwai Fong Entertainments are the first to lower prices. To recap: Financial Secretary Henry Tang last week announced a reduction on beer and liquor (with under 30 percent alcohol content) taxes. How much? From 40 percent to 20 percent. Meanwhile, wines are reduced from 80 percent to 40 percent. What madness will this unleash?

Staunton’s is celebrating a decade in SoHo with a series of deals starting out with 10 shots for $100 all March. Do I really have to tell you the address?

Meanwhile My Place (not my flat, the restaurant) on Staunton Street is getting a total revamp. Actually, pity it isn't my flat - I need new curtains.

Hey, what happened to the liquor license for Pelican Pub on Wyndham Street? The latest outlet for IGOR’s group had all their paperwork in and all guns seemed ready to fire but then ye olde government indirectly let them know it would actually be more like early March before the mighty decree. D'oh!

But just opened in Stanley is Café de Paris and Pickled Pelican on the main street just next to The Boathouse.

I just got a call telling me all El Grande restaurants have reduced the price of a bottle of wine by 10 percent.

Then an hour later I got emailed this: "El Grande has decided 10 percent off bottled wines and 5 percent off bottled beers is not enough of a gesture to our valued customers, so we have decided to increase the discount to 12.5 percent off bottled wines and 7.5 percent off bottled beers at all of our restaurants and bars."

The Jumbo Kingdom boat has set sail to China for upkeep and all its restaurants, including Top Deck, have gone with it until May.

At Festival Walk there is some damn cool food carving and food sculpting going on outside Dan Ryan’s and Oliver’s Super Sandwiches. My favorite so far has to be the “chococycle.” There can be no debate; it is truly food as art.

Has it really been three years since FINDS opened in the LKF Tower? Yep, and award-winning executive chef Jaakko Sorsa and his crew have crafted a new spring menu. One of the coolest dishes is this thing called “black Angus beef tartar DIY” where you mix all the ingredients yourself. Or is that just being lazy, Jaakko? Anyhoo, lots more: blinis with wild Sevruga caviar from Khazakhstan, fennel and black pepper-crusted salmon and saddle of lamb await. 2/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St., Lan Kwai Fong, 2522-9318.

It takes stones to boast “on top of Joe Bananas” as a lure, but then this dog has always had a bite. Consider this if you’re in the area: a new Bulldog’s Bar & Grill sits right on top of JBs, making this the third pub in the group. I just happened to be in the area and dropped by for some life-saving grub, including what must be one of the best steak Caesar salads around. 2/F, 21-25 Luard Rd. & 93 Jaffe Rd., Wan Chai, 2529-2661.

So it seems Jaspa’s in Sai Kung, one of the best restaurants in that fair hamlet, is due for a renovation, or at least a wee bit of a revamp. It all started with Pepperoni’s, remember?

Hey did you know that Nadia’s French restaurant in SoHo closed? I live right above it so its demise did not escape my keen radar. It was a longtime veteran but I guess the fowl was no longer as fat and the guillotine blade dropped.

One of our favorite chefs has changed his menu with a burst of mad inspiration – rock'n'roll bad boy Alvin Yeung Jr. over at Bo Restaurant (yes, it’s also known as Bo Innovation) has just come back from the lab. Here’s but a sampling of the madness he's conjured: lap mei fan rice served in a scoop, cold, with puffed rice, Chinese salami, pork and liver – I know that’s a bit unusual, but such is his genius. Pan-fried scallops with caviar and lemon emulsion? Durian fried rice with preserved duck? Magic, my friends. UG/F, 32-38 Ice House St., Central, 2850-8371.

A tribute to the great Bogart movies of the 1940s – what a cool way to have a little noir with your Pinot. Post 97 hosts “Café Noir” Tue Mar 6 and Wed Mar 14, doors at 7:30 and curtain 8pm. Even cooler is that the audience is asked to vote who the killer is and the winner gets a night out courtesy of the Ninetysevengroup. $350 gets you the show and a three-course dinner, call 2186-1816 or buy at 9 Lan Kwai Fong

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