(6 June 2013, Hong Kong) Ocean Park, a long-time advocate for healthy eating and environmental conservation, will present a brand new dining experience to visitors during Summer Splash 2013. In a move that echoes the Hong Kong government’s recent initiative promoting hydroponic vegetables, the Park will present different summer dishes featuring locally grown hydroponic vegetables prepared with low-carbon cooking methods, all designed to offer guests a delicious, healthy and refreshing dining experience in the hot summer months. Ocean Park today also revealed that revenue from food and beverage operations during the first 11 months of the 2012/13 fiscal year recorded a 13% year-on-year increase on the strength of increase attendance and a series of strategic developments, including the launch of new themed dining locations and an expansion of the catering staff.
Catering Revenue Recorded 13% Year-on-year Increase; Korean Grilled Squid Most Popular Snack
Over the years, guest arrivals at Ocean Park have been rising consistently. In the current financial year, which ends on 30 June 2013, the Park has already surpassed the 7.1 million mark set last year. To make visitors from Hong Kong, Asia and other parts of the world feel at home, the Park has been committed to enhancing guest experience, including in the area of dining. Mr. Nick Lee, Ocean Park’s Senior Food and Beverage Operations Manager, said, “The first 11 months of this fiscal year recorded a 13% year-on-year increase in revenue from catering operations. The encouraging result is driven by new offerings such as the penguin-themed Tuxedos Restaurant, where guests can savour a low-carbon feast while watching penguins; new and seasonal offerings, highlighted by a series of fruit-based dishes designed by chef Christian Yang for this past Easter period; and increasing the size of our catering staff to better serve our guests.”
Since the opening of new attractions under the Master Redevelopment Plan starting in the 2008/09 fiscal year, the number of restaurants in the Park has more than doubled from 3 to 7, while 24 new food kiosks have been added. Ocean Park now offers over 300 food and beverage items, including 140 new menu options introduced by the newly opened restaurants and 90 new items available at food kiosks. To complement various seasonal events, the Park also presented more than 120 themed items over this past year. The top five snacks by sales were (in descending order): Korean grilled squid, hotdog, fried noodles with soya sauce, popcorn, and spiced fish balls. In addition, to better serve the growing number of guests, Ocean Park added over 100 new members to its catering staff. All these measures have helped to improve service quality and sales.
Refreshing Summer Dishes Feature Locally Grown Hydroponic Vegetables for First Time
For this year’s Summer Splash, Ocean Park has specially created a number of refreshing dishes by adding fresh hydroponic vegetables and using thirst-quenching fruits. Mr. Lee said, “During Summer Splash, we will use locally grown hydroponic vegetables for the first time to create refreshing dishes for our guests to enjoy. Among the fresh and hygienic vegetables we sourced from the Vegetable Marketing Organization are: mizuna, Chinese flat cabbage, rocket, oak leaf lettuce and red Asian mustard. Hydroponics is an environmentally friendly method of growing plants in an antiseptic greenhouse without using soil. The vegetables can be harvest after only 21 days. Hydroponically grown vegetables are clean, germ-free and nutritious. They also offer an exceptionally tender and crisp texture. In addition, the new summer menu items are noteworthy for an emphasis on low-carbon cooking principles, including using local and organic produce, larger portions of vegetables and energy saving cooking methods. The idea is to highlight the importance of environmental protection through an exciting array of culinary delights specially prepared for our guests.”
To welcome Summer Splash 2013, Neptune’s Restaurant and Tuxedos Restaurant have come up with the Summer Fresh 3-course Set Menu featuring hydroponic vegetables. The set boasts a host of healthy and fresh dishes, including Fresh Avocado and Grape Salad, which features vitamin-rich avocado and sweet grapes served with refreshing orange juice mixed with mustard for an appetising way to quench the summer heat. The main course is Steamed Sole Fillet with Mint Pumpkin Sauce, with celery and carrot wrapped inside a sole fillet before being steamed together for 15 minutes to preserve the flaky and delicate texture of the fish. Although the warm fish is served separately from the cold mint pumpkin sauce, they work wonders for the palate when enjoyed together. As for dessert, Mango Ravioli with Coconut Milk makes for the perfect summer treat, with fresh mango filling wrapped in in-house made ravioli dough, dressed with coconut milk and chopped pandan leaves.
In addition, the Park’s alfresco dining attraction, The Terrace Café, will present a Light Set Menu during Summer Splash. The set comprises two dishes: the succulent Seared Salmon Salad with Romaine and Tropical Fruit Salsa, where the seared salmon, high in omega-3 content, is complemented by a variety of fresh fruits, offering a cooling, citrus favour. As for dessert, the sweet, crispy Organic Bean Curd Cake with Oatmeal Cookie offers a healthy choice with a low-fat, low-sugar bean curd cake, topped with a piece of fibre-rich oatmeal cookie.
Also not to be missed is Bayview Restaurant’s Scallop with Grilled Aubergine and Avocado, which features fresh, tender scallops, and layers of grilled aubergine and avocado, topped with hydroponic vegetables. For a lighter bite, visitors can head to the Park’s kiosks, where they can find numerous creative and healthy snacks, including Grilled Vegetable Club Sandwich with Avocado Salsa. Made with Italian herb bread, the sandwich is filled with different vegetables, such as hydroponic greens, bell peppers, eggplant, lettuce, cucumber, purple onion and tomatoes. At Aqua City Bakery, homemade desserts such as Shortbread Mille-feuille with Berries and Fresh Fruits, both grownups and kids will like the mix of the crunchy shortbread and various fruits. Raspberry and Apple Cheese Cake is another delicious dessert with rich creamy flavours. Furthermore, many special summer cool drinks will be on offer to keep guests refreshed for more Summer Splash fun.