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The best columnist SAI KUNG MAGAZINE ever had, finds his new home at SAI KUNG BUZZ

Iain Lafferty

Given not one, but two, current hotel building projects in the Sai Kung area, two luxury flat developments and of course the nearly completed “nudge, nudge, wink, wink Golf Academy” at Pak Kong. One might be tempted to think that Government planners have earmarked Sai Kung for conspicuous gentrification. Perhaps, the politicos have decided that the “Hillbilly Back Garden of Hong Kong” will become the new Monaco of the New Territories?

Casino apart, we already have some similarities with the Grand Prix principality of the French Riviera. Such as property prices measured in millions, a picturesque marina full of expensive boats and very narrow roads upon which over engineered cars designed to travel very fast, must slowly progress and occasionally risk overtaking. But, there is one current Sai Kung project that stands out as being far too plebeian to ever get past the Monte Carlo planning department. I am of course referring to the “Tikitiki Bowling Bar.”

Let us examine these three words carefully- Firstly “Tikitiki,” apparently a small town in the Waiapu valley located on New Zealand’s North Island; OK we’ll come back to that. Then, “Bowling” as in the ten-pin variety not the crown bowls, expatriate, white flannelled version favoured by members of the USRC. Conversely this is a wonderfully egalitarian pastime in which all age groups can participate. If you feel you’re not able or strong enough, a ramp, resembling a medieval siege weapon can be used to launch the 5kg polyurethane, bouncing bombs. Not skilled enough?

Bumpers can be placed down the gutters so even your tipsy mother-in-law can orchestrate the occasional strike. Then there is “Bar,” as in licensed premises. The implication being that kids, overseas visitors and even people who live on the Island, can all be safely entertained while you enjoy a beverage, hence the extreme sense of expectation and excitement which surrounds this project, amongst Sai Kung parents.

Presumably it’s going to open soon as the bamboo scaffold around the neon sign has been removed and when you pay $30 an hour for the pleasure of parking in Centro, (granted, in a space big enough for a Airbus) one can’t help notice the ubiquitous advert for staff.  Yet, this mystical and procrastinated opening has been teasing us for well over a year now. Recently, I even applied (not short listed) for the position of food and beverage manager in an attempt to break through the veil of secrecy surrounding the opening. So frustrated was I, at yet again, having to take the kids to Megabox ice-skating. No bar, little change out of $500 and the subsequent queue at Tseung Kwan O, A and E, was longer than that to buy an I-phone 6.  

Can anyone provide a definitive date when “The Tiki” is going to open? Hanging out with friends and family in your local bowling alley may not be as sophisticated as say, having a vodka martini on the patio of Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo, watching the sun go down over the Mediterranean while someone else looks after the sprogs. However, I bet, they don’t have a happy hour.

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