Saturday, 9 February 2008
Feasting on expensive shoes from inside a presidential suite 總統套房裡吃皮鞋
This is from a story on a Chinese New Year’s presidential suite crocodile hot pot deal at the City Crowne Hotel. The crocodile was not tasty. My cameraman Roy wrote about it in his blog and said he felt like he was “eating an expensive ladies’ purse inside a presidential suite.” I thought it was more like “eating an expensive shoe inside a presidential suite.” The chef demonstrated for us in the hotel room how he would prepare the dish in the kitchen, and while it may have looked good on TV, it sure didn’t taste what it should have. He let us eat what he made in the hotel room, and all I tasted was burnt, fishy, chewy flesh with a thick layer of rubber that was supposed to be collagen-rich skin.
The presidential suite there was once the private room of a man named Wang Youzeng (王又曾), reported to be wanted by the Taiwanese government for embezzling tens of billions of Taiwan Dollars (hundreds of millions to billions of US Dollars) and fleeing the country, leaving his children in Taiwan to do jail time for him. He used to own the hotel but it was sold off after the crisis broke out. Now the hotel is trying to capitalize on the fact that he used to own it and treated there heads of state (including former KMT party chairman Lien Chan 連戰 and former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui 李登輝) and conducted there all kinds of business killings. The room is usually open only to screened guests, but the hotel’s promotion was that if you paid for a TWD65.000 (USD2.000) 12-person Chinese New Year’s dinner, the meal will be served in that room and you also get to stay there that one night. Imagine getting to sleep in the bed that one of who could be Taiwan’s most successful crooks slept in. I don’t know if I could.
More pictures at Roy’s blog.