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For immediate release

July 10 2000

"Extinct" cuisine finds safe haven at Whampoa

In the interest of rapid urban renewals and high operating costs, recent years has seen a steady stream of antiquated, eccentric but authentic Chinese eateries being replaced by plastic-clad, centrally-managed chain store fast food joints. One such casualties on its way to the guillotine was supposed to be Sichuan noodle shop, Wing Lai Yuen, which earned its demise due to the demolition of squatter area at Diamond Hill.

The noodle shop has accumulated over 50 years of colourful history and has been very popular among local and international film stars, dignitaries and government officials. It has been the subject of many culinary television programmes both local, abroad especially Japan where the shop has gained a loyal following. All these was supposed to past until local property developer, Hutchison Whampoa Properties Ltd. stepped in.

Hutchison announced today (July 10 2000) Wing Lai Yuen will become the first tenant to join the Whampoa Gourmet Place which opens this Autumn in Hunghom. The Whampoa Gourmet Place, which is estimated to cost over HK$20million to refurbished, comprises a total area of 45,000 square feet, is located at the first and second floor of Screen World, Site 8 of Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa.

The venue will be decorated to the nostalgic style of old Hong Kong in the 40's and 50's, and will mainly cater authentic local food specialties. Each outlet is carefully selected by famous food critic and television personality, Chua Lam.

"Extinct" cuisine finds safe haven at Whampoa

Tony K. T. Tsui, Development & Marketing Director of Hutchison Whampoa Properties Ltd. said: "Whampoa Gourmet Place will be the first in Hong Kong that hosts authentic and nostalgic Chinese food specialties under one roof. We aim to allow only those local renowned restaurants and eateries to operate in a specially designed traditional Chinese ambience with modern management. We are also aiming the place to tourists as well as local epicures. The Hong Kong Tourist Association has pledged their support and will publicise the place through its network of overseas offices. We are confident that Whampoa Gourmet Place will become a tourist landmark in Hong Kong," Mr Tsui said.

Mason Hung, Senior Manager of Product Development Department of the Hong Kong Tourist Association said: "There are about 9,900 food outlets in Hong Kong and that makes one food outlet for every 700 people on average. The association has always been proactive in promoting Hong Kong's eating culture. We shall include Whampoa Gourmet Place in our future promotion plan, making Whampoa Gourmet Place and Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa a destination of leisure and dining for locals and tourists.

The vivacious Chua Lam, the Project Advisor of Whampoa Gourmet Place said: "Many Hong Kong old restaurants are facing extinction. I always want to do something to help preserve these "endangered species". Mr Chua is famous for his entertaining travel and food books and appears regularly in local television programmes.

Hutchison Whampoa Properties is planning a series of promotion activities and will invite Chua Lam to participate at various food promotion activities. There will be heavy promotions on newspapers, magazines, food and beverage column. With the fine food supplied at the Whampoa Gourmet Place and the support of HKTA locally and overseas, together with the reputation of Chua Lam, Whampoa Gourmet Place will be the new hot spot for Hong Kong dining.

"Extinct" cuisine finds safe haven at Whampoa

The spokesman from Wing Lai Yuen, Yeung Tin-po stated that he is delighted to keep the restaurant in business. "Due to the demolition of the store in Diamond Hill later this year, we have once considered closing the shop. Fortunately my son Leslie decided to take up the family business and relocate to Whampoa Gourmet Place. We are confident that the fine culinary of Sichuan noodles will be able to carry on into a bright future at Whampoa," he said.

Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa, located in the heart of the Whampoa Garden residential site at Hunghom, comprises a total area of 1.4 million sq. ft. It is one of the largest and most exciting entertainment, dining and retail complex in Hong Kong.

Wonderful World of Whampoa offers a multitude of "themed" malls, including Fashion World, Treasure World, Home World, Screen World and the Whampoa. The complex play hosts to department stores like Jusco (190,000 sq. ft.) and Wing On (60,000 sq. ft.), cinemas, bowling alley (36,000 sq. ft.), billiard centre (20,000 sq. ft.), home entertainment centre, restaurants, video game centre, home appliances stores and megastores like the largest Jumpin Gym (33,000 sq. ft.), Esprit (23,000 sq. ft.), Chinese Medicine Centre (38,000 sq. ft.), Park'N Shop Superstore (Site 12 - 46,000 sq. ft., & Site 3 - 25,000 sq. ft.), Giocity by Giordano (18,000 sq. ft. ) and Jade Rattern Ware Company (7,000 sq. ft.), each store carrying its own unique style and features.

Issued on behalf of
Hutchison Whampoa Properties Ltd
through
Choice Communication International Ltd