Posts tagged “junk

Island Club – replacement for Frog & Toad on Lantau?

Of course nothing could replace the Frog & Toad on Lantau, it was a unique institution. But, I am interested to see that The Island Club has now been set up in Chi Ma Wan’s Dai Long Wan village.  I met the very nice Shirley Chan on a reconnaissance trip last weekend,  and discovered not only an organic veggie farm, but also her Island Club.

Dai Long Wan has a lovely beach and although has no road access it’s actually very straightforward to get to – either walking a quick 25mins from Chi Ma Wan prison, by 20min kaido from Cheung Chau, or by junk.  It’s not really on the junk trip radar anymore, but the Island Club will provide you with all sorts of watersports equipment, bbqs and booze.  Either $350 or $450 per person for all the food and booze you can tuck away  (including those lovely organic veggies), I think it would make an awesome stop off for a lazy weekend beach party. Certainly of more interest than the hideous Stoep on Cheung Sha.

We carried on round the coast to Sea Ranch for a bit of a gander.  Fantastic walk, really pretty path from Chi Ma Wan Prison all the way to Sea Ranch, but Oh My God!  What a horrible canker on the bottom of Lantau that former “luxury” resort is.  It’s post-apocalyptic, it’s rotten, it’s spine-chilling frankly.  Broken windows, broken blinds, desiccated pot-plants left out for years on balconies, one house had a bunch of weird statues of 4ft tall african tribesman standing outside their front door – oddness. A couple of the flats/houses are lived in and there are 24hour guards, but it really feels like hell descended and just ate everyone up.  Shpooky. We ran away ‘toot sweet’.

Anyway: Click here for all the contact details and how to get there.

The Stoep, Lantau – In need of a menu and attitude overhaul


Right, so The Stoep used to be a another stalwart of the Lantau dining scene, a real gem, but over the last few years it’s gone really down hill.  They never have any specials, and they haven’t changed the menu in the 9 years I’ve been in Hong Kong.  How lazy is that?

Perhaps because of this, the service has also become incredibly slack.  It may be different at weekends when the junks come, but a restaurant on Lantau really survives on the locals turning up during the slow weeknights, and the service is pretty rubbish.

Blessed by a lovely beach-front location and an established reputation, you would think that the latest management team would be all over this opportunity, but unfortunately not.

Food: South African BBQ.  Steaks nowhere near as good as they used to be, chips, salad, kebabs, chicken – you get the picture.  They do make a lovely seed bread though…

Drinks: Decent wine list.

Ambience: Can be rammed with junk trippers and families at the weekend, so very informal, beachwear and flips styley.  During the week it’s usually dead, and would suggest asking them to put a table on the beach with candles and mozzie coils which creates a really lovely desert island vibe.

Service: Can be slow and fraught at weekends. Weeknights be prepared for your hosts to sit at a table and just call them over when you need something, best summed up as disinterested.

Price: Soho prices and the quality of the ingredients really doesn’t deserve the pricing.

Location: Lower Cheung Sha on the beach, 10 mins from Mui Wo by Taxi and 15 from Tung Chung, all the taxi drivers know it by name. Make sure your junk has a tender if you don’t want to swim as there is no jetty. Tel: 2980 2699

Open: Tues through Sunday, lunch all the way through dinner.

The Stoep is well past its sell-by date and is in desperate need of an attitude and menu overhaul. Place could be really good again, but is frankly disappointing.