Sunday, October 12, 2014

Inaugural Women's Associate Lunch at Ciak

Recently, my law firm has made some new hires, and many of them are women.  When I first came to Hong Kong, the place had a very large male presence and I think there were only four or five female associates in the entire office.  Now, we number eight female associates.  To celebrate this trend and to provide a precedent for some casual mentoring as well as workplace bonding, I proposed a lunch for all the female associates on Friday of this week.  We went to Ciak, the sister restaurant to Otto e Mezzo.  It is located on the fourth floor of the Landmark, replacing what used to be the 360 food hall.

 There is a more formal sit down dining area in the back, which is where we sat:
When you first walk into the restaurant there is a large section for takeout.  The top is lined with pizza in glass shelves; the bottom decorated with huge bags of flour.

They have a lunch set menu and combos as well as an a la carte selection.
 We ordered two types of cheese to start, a tomato with mozzarella and a fried cheese.
 I thought the mozzerella was underwhelming - it tasted like store bought mozzerella - too firm and lacking in flavor.  I think burrata cheese would have been the better option here.  The tomatoes were a bit bland and a little too firm for this dish.  Unfortunately it is incredibly hard to find a tomato that actually tastes like a tomato these days.  It is surely my favorite fruit/vegetable but I don't know why I continue to like it, because the real thing is practically impossible to source nowadays.  It is a sad state of affairs.
We tried their house specialty sausage, one regular (which I thought was mediocre) and one spicy merguez style (which I thought was much better).  We also ordered two pizzas, one margarita with basil and another with prosciutto.I ordered the steak, which actually turned out to be two steaks??  I foisted a lot of slices off to the others at my table.  It was perfect.  Cooked to a perfect medium rare with juicy ribbons of fat at opportune places.  I really enjoyed this dish.
 It's really interesting to see the spectrum of associates from the most newly initiated to the very senior.  It  allows me to see how much I've grown and changed since starting this job, both in my substantive legal knowledge and in my attitude and understanding of the workplace.

I think women have to help each other get through/up/by the corporate system.  The corporate world (and really just the world in general) needs to change so that women truly have opportunities.  It is a very distressing fact that even as numbers of female students in law school swell and the number of female associates in law firms have increased steadily, the number of women being promoted to leadership positions in law firms remain devastatingly low.  Where are the women going?  What is happening to the women?

It was a very good experience and I am really happy that I suggested the lunch.  Although this lunch was just a tiny attempt at solving these bigger and more troubling issues, at least it was a positive start.

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