At the Michelin-starred Tim Ho Wan's North Point branch, I experienced a level of rudeness that I'm sure you will all agree is beyond the accepted Hong Kong norm, no matter how you see this norm.
A waitress grabbed my wrist as my chopsticks were mid-air reaching for a rice-roll, and shook my hand until a dropped the roll!!
Why?! Because they had accidentally served us this dish that we had not ordered, we had been too busy chatting to realize it, and had already eaten more than half the dish. A few of the waitresses came over to check our order, then loudly accused us of eating something that was not ours. The defensive response from one of our party was that it was their mistake for putting it on our table in the first place. Anyway, too late to save the dish.
Several minutes have passed without any other exchanges, and we are back to chatting and eating when I reach for that dish again. That's when the waitress came up from behind me and grabbed hold of my wrist. After she shook my hand to force me to drop the offending role, she whisked the dish away while making some nasty comments. At first, I was so shocked, I was probably just sitting open-mouthed. I finally looked around and spoke to her for the first time, "Is that how you treat your customers?" only to see all the other staff looking at me accusingly. Expecting an apology? Forgetaboutit!!
When I went to pay, I asked to speak to the manager. No manager in sight, apparently, just the woman running the cash register, who only gave me snarky remarks and when I told her what happened, she replied with only a sarcastic look and "I don't know."
I thought, after all these years of living in Hong Kong, I was beyond calling the service "rude". After all, you can't blame an entire city for one rude waitress. But with the entire restaurant staff giving me the same stone-cold face, suddenly I recalled all the other rude behavior that we all tolerate on a daily basis in this city come to the surface. It really left me with a terrible taste in my mouth.
We were a party of 3, speaking mostly Mandarin to each other, which was our common shared language. The person who first spoke to the waitress is a native Cantonese. Was it the Mandarin that made them treat us like that? Even so, WTF?!
Michelin needs to remove that star. The dimsum is also entirely over-rated. Even the famed pork bun is so sweet, like candy, and with hardly a nibble of pork inside. There is so much better dimsum elsewhere in this city.