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Zero Waste Diaries

Cooking With Beer

Ethical Meats

Kitchen items to last a lifetime

Brew-infused recipes to make at home

What not to eat when it comes to meat

Craftissimo PrintAD 136x101mm


THE AMBER NECTAR CEO Lily Ng CTO Derek Kean COO Shirin Ong Editor-in-Chief Alicia Walker Editor-at-Large Celia Hu Digital Editor Stephanie Pliakas Art Director Jen Paolini IT Coordinator Dale Foo Business Development Associate Potter Ma Marketing & Community Leader Yanhan Tan Design & Marketing Assistant Becky Fawdry Contributors Nate Green, Lisa Cam, Cindy Lam, Laura Williams, Hannah Chung

With the craft beer scene firmly establishing its place in Hong Kong, we wanted to explore more of the local brewers contributing to its rise and find out the personal stories that make their brews so captivating. If you imposed a dry-January on yourself, this is a great issue to get you excited about your return to a satisfying tipple and the origins behind the burgeoning craft beer movement within the city. We got plenty of enjoyment out of the “research” aspect as we sought to flesh out more about beer in general, and particularly how beer’s history in Asia began. Continuing in the drinks world, we interviewed the founder behind one of this city’s most talked about openings, New York’s Please Don’t Tell, within the Landmark Mandarin Oriental — we felt a bit like Lorraine Broughton as we made our entrance through the (somewhat) furtive telephone booth.

Cover image courtesy of Tom Quandt

Also, this month, our Zero Waste Diaries detail how to invest in kitchenware that last a lifetime, and our Ethical Meats column spells out what not to eat in the world of meat. For cooking at home, our wholesome recipes have adopted the theme and utilise beer to fully flavour the comfort dishes, and we have a veggie spinach bread dumpling recipe that’ll use up all the leftover bread in your breadbox. Time to get cooking!

Published by Foodie Group Ltd. 7/F Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong

Alicia Walker, Editor-in-Chief

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F O O D WA R : E M PA N A DA S With Empanada Day happening in April, we felt inspired to try out some of Hong Kong’s savoury pastries to find our favourites


C H E W I N ’ T H E FAT : JIM MEEHAN The co-founder of the hidden hotspot Please Don’t Tell, the New York export that’s just set up shop within Mo Bar


BEER 101 Celia Hu takes a crash course in the complexities of the world’s favourite casual beverage

THE ZERO WA ST E D I A R I E S Our zero waste hero Hannah Chung shows us how to invest in lifelong kitchenware


PLEASURE CRAFT We sink our taste buds into the suds of the craft brew scene that’s stealthily developing here in HK




Laura Williams injects a healthy dose of beer into this month’s wholesome recipes



We’ve got the lowdown on all the happenings at this year’s Taste of Hong Kong presented by Standard Chartered: the ticket prices, new attractions, chefs, and most importantly, the food!

Cindy Lam of Olive Oly Kitchen warms us heart, soul, and stomach, with her recipe of aged cheese and spinach canederli (traditional Italian bread dumplings)




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ZERO WASTE GROCERIES OATLY ESPRESSOS Pacific Coffee now offers Oatly, the popular Swedish plant-based oat drink, at 30 of their coffee houses in Hong Kong. Rich in fibre but without the saturated fat that regular milk contains, they also cite it makes an especially good pairing for espresso given its silkiness. This move proves that more and more coffee drinkers are seeking milk alternatives that offer a more sustainable choice (Oatly is made with 80% less greenhouse gas emissions than regular milk).

One of our local heroes, Tamsin Thornburrow, has moved her pop-up in PMQ into a permanent space in Sai Ying Pun, doing a considerable service to Hong Kong’s shopping future with her zero waste grocery store. Along with reusables, ecopaint, kitchenware and body care products, shoppers can pop in to Live Zero Bulk Foods to pick up pasta, grains, flour, nuts, herbs, oils, and vinegars, that are completely free of packaging. As well as providing items to the public, they are working with other shops in Hong Kong to provide them with bulk containers of zero waste goods. 24 High St, Sai Ying Pun

A DRINK FOR WHEN YOU’RE NOT DRINKING The British distilled non-alcoholic spirit, Seedlip, has finally launched on our shores, offering up a sophisticated drink alternative that’s not the classic soft drink or fruit juice. Sugar-free and boasting zero calories, teetotalers can choose from Garden 108, a herbal flavour with hints of spearmint, rosemary and thyme, or Spice 94, a citrusy, aromatic sip. Seedlip is available from HK Liquor Store, JOYVINO, The Bottle Shop, and will also be available at this year’s Taste of Hong Kong festival (p.12).




The latest and greatest ideas being cooked up in tech kitchens:

Photo Credit: SaltWater Brewery / Facebook

FECAL FOOD IN SPACE Food supply is one of the biggest challenges to space travel, but Penn State scientists believe they’ve found a way for astronauts to create food with the assistance of their own human waste. It’s not quite as bad as it sounds; they use the microbes that break down astronaut excrement to create a marmite-like protein and fat-rich substance or ‘microbial goo’. Not exactly appetising enough to get us up there, perhaps we'll just stay grounded for now.

Excitement abounds from ducks everywhere as SaltWater Brewery in Florida has begun using a six-pack ring on their beers that is biodegradable and compostable. Designed by E6PR, the sextet ring is made of wheat and barley instead of the animal and planet-damaging plastic. Now, that’s what we call an impressive six-pack.

Photo Credit: CaliBurger


Photo Credit: Seedlip

PAY WITH A WINK AND A SMILE American fast-food chain, CaliBurger has begun taking payments using facial recognition software. The FacePay programme is linked to customers’ loyalty accounts which include payment details, so all it will take to get their favourite meal is a flash of their pearly whites and the meal is all paid for. No word on what happens when identical twins discover their sibling’s love of free burgers... 05

Discover all the fun from our Foodie Club event last month. Join us next month by signing up on It's free!

To kick-start 2018, we took a group of brave and adventurous foodies on our first sold-out Secret Supper of the year. A signature Foodie event, Secret Supper usually entails meeting at a random spot, boarding a bus, and not knowing where you will end up or what kind of food you’ll be eating. On that note, we took a winding bus ride south. As we inched closer to the coastal view, the deep blue waves drew us into the beaches of Repulse Bay. The bus came to a halt outside the ever-evolving dining hotspot of The Pulse. After taking the lift up to the roof, our guests found themselves outside Sunset Beach Club’s entrance, but were soon to realise it wasn’t our Secret Supper location — it’s never the obvious option! An innocuous entry next door led up to a stunning nightscape of surf and sand. “I still don’t get it,” chuckled a visibly confused guest. “Where exactly are we?” We found ourselves on a rooftop surrounded by huggable ice-cream cones, miniature patio chairs, a massive kids’ racetrack, and a vintage Volkswagon van parked in the middle. Once our guests were treated to their welcome bubbly, we revealed that Maggie & Rose was our first Secret Supper location of the year. Started in London in 2007, Maggie & Rose’s family members’ club concept made its way to Hong Kong in 2015. Members’ club by day — a home away from home for parents and kids — to a grown-up oasis in the evenings for dinners and events. For this exclusive Secret Supper with Foodie, Maggie & Rose made special arrangements for the two nights curating an exclusive menu to create an unforgettable dining experience for our Foodie Club members. 06


Moving down from the roof to Maggie & Rose’s main dining area felt like Alice tumbling into Wonderland, with guests seated at candle-lit tables amidst a whimsical childrens’ fairytale. If we had the chance to be young again, we would have dunked ourselves straight into the gigantic ball pit, played pretend at the mini chaa chan teng, rode on the rocking horses and sailed the seven seas aboard the giant wooden ship. The night’s exclusive menu by Head Chef Eric Chou was complemented with wines paired by Storywine. The beetroot salmon appetiser was a dramatic start with its colourful and intricate plating of beetroot marinate salmon slices, sweet

heirloom tomato chunks and citrus aioli while other highlights included the truffle butter raviolo, featuring a giant raviolo spaceship resting on a cheesy bed that revealed a golden runny egg yolk surprise. Another main contender was the generously-portioned beef two-way that pleased indecisive guests who couldn’t have possibly chosen between the super tender short ribs and the seared ruby red tenderloin slice. We entered like Alice in Wonderland and left unwillingly like Peter Pan trying to stay forever in Neverland with this magnificent beginning to our Secret Suppers for 2018. 07



Bringing their super-secretive brand of vintage bar service and creative cocktails to the 852, they’ve opened the phone booth doors to Hong Kong’s own Please Don’t Tell. Clandestinely located within Mo Bar, and in collaboration with Amber’s Richard Ekkebus, who brings his own gourmet take on PDT’s hot dogs and American eats. Co-founder Jim Meehan talks us through their first-ever opening outside of their native New York:

Why Hong Kong for your first branch outside NYC? Nearly two years to the day after our Landmark Mandarin Hong Kong pop-up, we have the rare opportunity to open a permanent branch of PDT in the same location with two longtime team members from New York — Malaika Suarez and Adam Schmidt — and make our general manager, Jeff Bell, a partner in Hong Kong. Expansion allows my partner Brian Shebairo and I to reward and retain the people who’ve helped make PDT what it is today and grow with them. 08

What is the HK space like and how does it differ from the NYC PDT? We asked designer Nelson Chow to use elements of our space in New York for inspiration here. The herringbone patterned wood ceiling from New York is vaulted here and Nelson commissioned gorgeous resin panels that adorn the bar and banquettes. The bar looks and feels like PDT in New York, but it’s more clubby and luxurious. For me, PDT is a space for our guests to check out of the world and check in with each other. The unmarked entrance means you have to discover PDT; and the process of exploring


new places and sharing them with friends, family, and colleagues, is something we relish ourselves. Has the PDT concept evolved over time or remained very true to the initial ethos? Both! I always compared my creative process at PDT to being a band leader. We want to be Radiohead or the Beatles, whose sound evolves from album to album while remaining true to the band. The bar business is like the fashion industry: the cuts, patterns and colours change, but their function remains the same. What do you like about Hong Kong? The food, the people, the landscape, and being able to speak English with most people. Where do you like to go in HK for food and for nightlife? Most of my nights in Hong Kong have been spent behind a bar, but on my nights off, I’ve had great experiences at Yardbird, Ho Lee Fook, Bo Innovation, Chairman, and Amber, of course. Who would you say are the clientele of PDT? The best part of opening in the Landmark is being able to serve the clientele they’ve built

over many years. We look forward to welcoming our guests from New York to the Landmark and introducing cocktail geeks from around the world to Mo Bar and Amber. What can guests expect? A handful of New York favourites like the Benton’s Old Fashioned, Paddington and Mezcal Mule and a number of new drinks featuring ingredients and flavours we’re inspired by in Asia. We chose Adam and Malaika for Hong Kong because of their even-keeled personalities and hospitality instincts. We pride ourselves on our service. Any signature HK cocktails on the menu? We don’t decide what becomes a signature drink, the guests do! We’ve only brought four cocktails over from the New York menu, so everything else will be unique to Hong Kong. Have you seen some crazy stuff during your time in the nightlife scene? I started working in the bar business in 1995. The only way I’ve made it this long is to focus on what’s in front of me and leave the crazy stuff behind when I leave the building. What happens in the bar when I’m working stays there when I walk out. 09

empana stando April 8 is Empanada Day! We tucked in to see which restaurants in town have the best offering of this tasty meaty pastry by Lisa Cam 10

adas off


GAUCHO Price per serving of three: $280 This huge Argentinian steakhouse is a go-to for great steak in classy surrounds around the world. The empanadas here are by far the priciest of the selection we’re sampling, but also the largest. Having a hearty empanada is important, but what’s inside makes or breaks it. The filling was well-seasoned and a medley of beef, potatoes, and peas. The vegetables add interest texture-wise and increase the complexity of flavours. While we like that Gaucho’s offering is glazed and baked instead of fried — making it less greasy — the pastry was a tad too thick and tasted doughy at the crinkled edges. The serving of a salsa-like sauce didn’t help and somewhat detracted from the flavours of the filling. Verdict: This is a solid choice even with a thick pastry, but you’ll pay a pretty penny. Foodie rating:


PICADA Price per serving of three: $130

Price per serving of three: $118

One of the latest South American restaurants to open in the city, and a popular choice for those who favour large plates and a friendly atmosphere. The empanadas on Picada’s menu are a bit smaller than the other offerings we sampled. Forgoing the classic crinkled edge fold, the clean lines and thin pastry allowed for a deep-fried outer shell that featured a bit of cornmeal in the mix, allowing for a more fragrant and crisp bite. The meat inside looks pulled instead of ground, giving the empanada a punchier meat flavour. The chimichurri sauce on the side also added an extra tang to the pastry, and this would have easily been the favourite among our testers if it weren’t for how scant the filling was. Given these were smaller to begin with, some of our testers had bites of just dough, leading us to question just how much beef we were getting.

This long-standing restaurant has been an institution on the slopes of SoHo before South American cuisine was even a thing in Hong Kong. While we were hoping that the empanadas would be one of the items that keep customers coming back, unfortunately, we were a little let down. A serving consists of three pastries. Plump and fried golden brown, Pampas’ version certainly was a vision to behold, but that was where the good feeling ended. The filling was under-seasoned and so bland we could barely tell it was beef. The outer crust may have looked good, but it too was flavourless, and while a side of chimichurri would’ve gone a long way with this one, alas, it didn’t come with any.

Verdict: Reasonably priced and tasty, but you might have to order two.

Verdict: This option is a bargain considering the price and the size, but you could also be getting a whole lot of nothing.

Foodie rating:

Foodie rating: 11

Food Fest

The four-day dining extravaganza, Taste of Hong Kong


presented by Standard Chartered, returns for its third year with new restaurants, new attractions and new prices Now in its third year, Taste of Hong Kong presented by Standard Chartered is revving up to deliver some of Hong Kong’s finest cuisine in a four-day food festival again set along the stunning promenade of Central harbourfront from March 22nd to March 25th. This prominent dining event provides the opportunity to try dishes from some of our city’s best restaurants and see if they entice you to book in for the full blown experience when you’re planning your next evening out. 2018 will see new restaurants, new vendors, new experiences and new bars as well as different ticketing packages. Also, motion graphics

Frantzén’s Kitchen

artist Frank Nitty has given the chefs an animated flair in their Taste portaits for 2018 to visually portray their individual expertise in a way that’s never been done before. Here’s the skinny on everything you need to know about this year’s festivities:

What’s New

A large set of the restaurant line up will be brand new, including three Michelin-starred Bo Innovation, Four Season’s two Michelin-starred Caprice, Blacksheep’s fun-infused New Punjab Club, Alvin Leung’s Forbidden Duck, fine Nordic from Frantzén’s Kitchen, Asian subcontinental flavours from BlackSalt, fine Chinese from One Harbour Road, fresh pasta from Pirata Group’s


Pici, Northern Thai from Chachawan, and Asia’s best female chef winners May Chow of Little Bao, and Vicky Lau, who will be bringing a pure dessert offering with Poem Patisserie. From the international restaurant scene, Bubbledogs of London and Black Star Pastry from Sydney will be showing off their celebrated cuisine on the backdrop of the Central harbourfront. This year, all restaurants will be creating a festival exclusive that’s never been seen on their menus before purely for the Hong Kong crowd.

Returning Favourites

Popular modern yakitori Yardbird will be back for more fun, having won multiple Taste of Hong Kong awards over the past two years; beloved izakaya Okra is back for


another run, as well as one of HK’s favourite Japanese restaurants Zuma, and the divine dim sum dishes from Duddell’s. The Gourmet Market is back with a new selection of artisanal products, natural gin, craft beer, Iberian ham and XTC Gelato will be serving a warm profiterole with their homemade sea salt caramella sauce that we’re looking forward to sampling along with a heap of other vendors. The Sound Stage is back to amp up the festival vibe with DJ’s and bands setting the soundtrack for the festival. The SHARP Taste Theatre will have its usual display of interactive cooking demos and there will also be a series of wine workshops.

12 Chefs of Taste of Hong Kong


The Drinks

New this year is the Singleton 360 degree whisky tasting experience and Johnnie Walker High Ball Bar. There will also be a Peroni pop up bar and a Seedlip bar for those who want something delicious to drink when they’re not drinking. La Cabane will return with their crowd-pleasing wine bar and Treasury Wine Estate will have a 90+ Club wine tasting experience.

Family Fun

The festival is adopting a family-friendly vibe this year with a special kid's zone on Saturday and Sunday by children’s club Maggie & Rose. There is also the addition of all kids under 16 entering free of charge.


As media partner for Taste of Hong Kong by Standard Chartered, our own Food's Future by Foodie pavilion will be featuring an exciting pitch competition for food innovators, as well as interactive exhibits on the future of food. If you attended our food trends, technologies and innovations conference last year and have been thinking of how to make the world a better place, or if you're just curious to know more about what our foodie future holds — this is your moment. Head to or to find out more, and join us in

making an impact on our dietary destinies!


Taste sessions are divided into lunch and dinner services. A session lasts for 4-5 hours. •

Thursday 22 March 2018: 6pm–10pm

Friday 23rd March 2018: 12.30pm–4.30pm and 6pm–10pm

Saturday 24th March 2018: 12.30pm–4.30pm and 6pm–10pm

Sunday 25th March 2018: 12.30pm–5.30pm

The price of individual dishes vary from each restaurant; this year, over 70% of the dishes available will be priced at under $100, with icon dishes available at $210. This year, all kids under 16 get free entry! General entry tickets are $120 in advance, $150 on the door, and $96 for Standard Chartered cardholders. Ticket packages that include food and drink are also available. Group booking discounts available at 13

The Chefs

Because they asked me! I think it’s great for people in HK to get a quick idea of what’s available. I’ve done Taste of Toronto and it’s a fun event that allows us to mingle with a much larger amount of the public. We get to talk with and see a wider scope of people and they get to taste a lot of different cuisines. Our restaurant is small and we’ll see the same volume we see in a month in one day and we hope they feel it’s worthwhile to come and visit Bo afterwards. It’s fine dining but it’s casual and the prices will be more reasonable. And it’s a fun atmosphere with the other chefs; we like to compete with each other. Cooking in a new environment, the weather, I enjoy that kind of challenge. And always expect the unexpected from the Demon Chef! 14

Three-Michelin starred chef Alvin Leung of Bo Innovation had a very candid response for why he decided to do Taste this year:

Guillaume Galliot of two Michelin-starred restaurant Caprice says: I have long been familiar with the Taste concept as it has existed elsewhere in the world. While working in Macao, I have watched the growth of Taste Hong Kong. It is wonderful to see the high calibre of chefs the event has attracted and the enthusiasm of Hong Kongers for trying out new cuisine. This is a fantastic opportunity for many types of people from hard-core foodies, industry friends and aspiring chefs, or those who are just curious to taste my cuisine who have never tried it before. It is a terrific opportunity to interact with all walks of life in Hong Kong. First and foremost, I hope that everyone who tastes our dishes comes away thinking it was delicious. I hope they enjoy the play of flavour and textures in my dishes and it inspires them to come to Caprice for a complete dining experience.


Head chef, Jim Löfdahl, hopes Taste will help elevate Frantzén's Kitchen’s visibility with the wider public: I think there are many people in HK who don’t know that we even exist, so therefore I see Taste as a great forum for us to be at and showcase some of our food. To cook in an outdoor environment shouldn’t be the biggest issue, rather the quantity that I’m worried about; we normally cook for 45 costumers per day, now we will be facing much more. Therefore, we took the decision to only be at Taste for two days, and not four.

It’s fitting that in the Year of the Dog, Taste will feature the gourmet hot dogs from London, Bubbledogs. Sandia Chang, the woman behind the famed dogs, tells us what made her come to our shores for this four-day food fest:

After year on year success at Taste of London summer and festive editions, we knew this would be a great opportunity to expand our horizons, learn from chefs out in Hong Kong, and share with people what we do here in London. We love to make new friends and look forward to meeting our industry colleagues in Hong Kong and seeing what our Hong Kong guests enjoy eating from our menu and learning their taste palate. The last time I was in Hong Kong was 1994! Having participated in Taste London, we know what to expect and how to service high volume quickly. Our booth will be a close replica of our restaurant interior, along with plenty of Champagne corks so the ToHK guests know what we do! We will be showcasing our creative hot dogs that we have on our menu in London, as well as a hot dog designed especially for Taste of Hong Kong.

Black Star Pastry became famous around the globe for one distinctive item, their Strawberry Watermelon Cake, which will be making its way to Hong Kong for Taste. Founder Christopher Thé tells us about his renowned cake and why he’s bringing it to Hong Kong:

Last year we visited a number of new places in Hong Kong and were met with a lot of love and excitement for our products. When we heard about the Taste of Hong Kong, we just had to join in. People come from all over the world to try our desserts in Sydney, so we are trying to bring it to the world. We can’t wait to meet all our Hong Kong fans, share our desserts and get feedback. We will be serving our “insta” famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake. The true original. 15

r 1 e 0 Be 1 Celia Hu takes a crash course in the complexities of the world's favourite casual beverage Brewskies, suds, pints — no matter the slang, it’s undeniable that nothing quite hits the spot like a frothy cold one. Beer has been friend and foe to man for thousands of years — the bringer of joy, hangovers, liquid courage, and sometimes, bad decisions. It’s also perhaps the world’s oldest recorded recipe, with scrolls dating back to 5,000 B.C. from ancient Egypt on brewing techniques. Malted barley in clay pots found in archaeological digs suggests that beermaking may have began even earlier in ancient Mesopotamia, so it could be that the pharaohs weren’t actually the first to stir the pot. Modern beer as we know it today made its debut around the Middle Ages when German monks discovered that wild hops counterbalanced the sweet maltiness of fermented barley and gave the brews a thirst-quenching bitterness, while at the same time acting as a natural preservative. It also made those long days of Bible studies more enjoyable. In fact, almost every monastery had a brewery, making them sacred houses of God as well as good times. 16

With fancy microbreweries popping up like mushrooms, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the shop talk. There’s only two categories of beer: ales and lagers, divided based on the Herbs, spices, and fermentation process dried flowers were used. Ales are brewed used to counter the with yeast on top of sweetness of malted the fermentation tank barley for centuries while lagers have before the popular yeasts working at adoption of hops. the bottom. All other terms like pale ales, porters, stouts and pilsners are subcategories within these two. With hundreds of years of development, it’s no surprise that the world of beer is as complex and full of flavour as the drink itself. There are literally hundreds of varieties, but we’ve narrowed it down to the main categories to serve up a hefty dose of education along with that frosty pint.

BEER 10 1

Beer in


British colonialism is credited for bringing modern beer brewing to Asia in the early 1800s, with Lion brand beer heralded as the first beer to be produced on the continent. The brewery offered British Tommies a taste of home, and a welcome relief from the heat of India.

Today, Asia is the world’s largest beer producing region, with China crowned as the biggest beer producer since 2001. The most populated nation is also quickly becoming the world’s largest craft beer market, with multi-fold profits seen as the growing middle-class demands more curated beers from smaller breweries. Japan comes in second, tailed by Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea and India as major Asian beer producers.

Photo Credit: Jason Cooper / Unsplash

Following closely behind, the Russian, German, and Dutch envoys established breweries in China, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines, while the French set up shop in Laos. Brands like Tsingtao, Tiger, Bintang, Angkor, Asahi, Sapporo, Kirin, Chang, and San Miguel are just some of the hundreds of breweries in Asia that drew from the modern beer brewing techniques brought by these European colonists.


Brewed with yeast fermentation at the bottom of the tank, lagers have a lighter body and a very clean, crisp taste when compared to ale. It ferments at a colder temperature and is best served very cold.

pilsner pale Developed in Czech Republic back when it was part of the German-speaking Austrian Empire, this style is perhaps the most commercially viable beer thanks to its crisp, smooth and clean taste, with a medium-body and more hop than a traditional lager.

To keep up morale, the British Empire rationed beers to soldiers. Popular styles like India Pale Ale were developed with higher alcohol and extra hops to keep on long journeys to far-away posts.

A relatively new style of beer, this lager is light in colour and body, with a crisp finish and a mild hoppy taste. It’s best served well carbonated.



Brown to deep black in colour, this medium to heavy-bodied beer has flavourful maltiness yet isn’t very hoppy.

Darker than pale lager yet not very heavy. A lightly hopped beer.

In 1516, the Reinheitsgebot purity laws in Bavaria made it illegal to use any ingredients other than water, barley and hops in the brewing of beer (they didn’t include yeast since its existence was yet to be discovered).

What happens when yeast and hops are added to milk? Well…“bilk”! The fruity low-malt beer was created in Japan to use up the surplus milk produced at local dairies in Hokkaido.


BEER 10 1

Fermentation from the top gives ales more complex, fuller body flavours that are also maltier with greater aromas.



A wide spread ranging from light and refreshing to heavy, pale ales are characterised by their light colour and trademark bitterness. The Indian Pale Ale (IPA) is a notable offshoot, with intense hoppiness and aroma, plus a higher alcohol content.

This style can be either light or medium-bodied and is very versatile for adding flavours and ingredients. The Hefeweizen-style is a popular offshoot that features a cloudy beer with prominent yeast flavour.




Stouts are dark, heavy, with pronounced roasted undertones and drink like a meal. Coffee and chocolate notes are often associated with this style.

Originated in the UK, this style is well-known for its dark colour and light toasted flavour with a hint of molasseslike sweetness.

Almost yoghurt-like in tartness, this style uses various yeast strains that exposes the beer to various souring elements.




A mild malt flavour and medium hoppiness characterises this light, bitter beer.

Getting its distinct flavour from Belgian yeast, this style of beer can be either dark or light, with rich and complex flavours.

Dark coloured and nutty, this medium-bodied beer has plenty of maltiness yet not much hoppiness. It’s often described as caramel or toffee-like. 19

As the world in general becomes more interested in artisanal, small-scale, local businesses – and social media has made it that much easier for these modest craftspeople to find a fan base for their goods — it has opened up thriving industries, particularly within F&B. One in particular has been extremely notable in Hong Kong, having grown exponentially over the past decade, it is of course, craft beer. Craft beer can be a subjective term, but it is generally accepted to be beer made by small, independent breweries on a much more limited scale than the big macrobreweries. From the launch of several craft brew bars to complement The Globe’s long-running stalwart status, along with the help of beer festival Beertopia, craft brew fever has frothed itself into many a pint glass across the city. We tapped a few local kegs to discover the origins of the amber nectar within.

YOUNG MASTER BREWERY The local brewery that started it all, Young Master began as 2013 ended, with a simple mission: to craft distinctive beers. In this, they’ve undoubtedly succeeded with their renowned beers found all over Hong Kong. Deemed a fine fit for premium hotels like the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental, and a host of collaborations on exclusive lagers for several of them, including Dockyard, a beer designed for the Kerry Hotel’s new dining space. Their eclectic mix of beers ranges from classical to more off-piste concoctions — like their salted-lime brew Cha Chaan Teng Gose — and experimental flavours set by the seasons. 20



Director Kingson Kok tells us what keeps Young Master chugging along: “When the founder, Rohit Dugar, moved to Hong Kong six years ago, he realised that there was no good, fresh, local craft options at the time. Being an avid home brewer himself, he decided to quit his day job and take on this challenge to pioneer the local craft brewing scene by opening a production brewery. The rise has come from a mixture of things, one being that this is something new and trendy and, of course, tastes good. The large number of expats here has also helped to boost this trend as they are often more familiar with craft from their home countries. There is much less of a travel time and carbon footprint from grain to glass for us local breweries as compared to the imported beers, which means the beers should also taste fresher. Being the pioneer on the market, we like to brew styles and flavours for the local market that are either new to them or that they have had in a similar style abroad and want to try a Hong Kongmade one. We were the first to brew a sour-style beer, also a barrel-aged beer, as well as a mixedfermentation beer. [With names and artwork] we try and draw inspiration from many places, either from old Hong Kong movies or the beer-style or just something quirky but with some serious meaning to it. We try and work with local artists and graphic designers as much as we can. Our core illustrations are by a local feng shui artist.” Tell us something we might not know about craft beer. “Craft beer is usually brewed with 100% malt, as opposed to commercial breweries who will substitute with adjuncts like rice or corn.”

For Mak’s, it all began as a family affair. Two cousins, Po Mak and Ho Lun Mak, together with good mate Tak Chi Lo, were such beer lovers that they began to brew it themselves. This was the beginning of Mak’s Beer, which produces some provocative craft beers such as their dried longan pale ale, black sugar cane stout and a brand-new beer that they’ve just launched as part of an avant-garde music pairing in Wanchai’s San Ka La. Po Mak helps us to us separate the wheat from the chaff on why music and craft beer work so well together: “It doesn’t seem to be common in Hong Kong, the concept of beer pairing with music. Therefore we wish to promote local culture by leveraging on local beer and music. Because O.U.R. beer is easy-going, any type of Cantonese music that is locally made will be a perfect match. We believe in an East-meets-West culture. Beer is a Western beverage, but Mak’s Beer wishes to create a dynamic and unique beer that can fit this international city. We use a lot of ingredients from Asia, such as longan and lemongrass, to express the taste of Asia in beer. There are a lot of English-style beers in Hong Kong that usually only focus on the taste of malt. We find that the taste of malt is very smooth and clean, so with O.U.R. we added in some tropical hops from America to enhance the freshness and layered in a strong aroma of tropical fruits like lychee and pineapple and floral flavours.” What have you learned about the process since you began? “Stout produces a heavier texture, stronger malt and a more bitter flavour. It’s essential for unique local beer to have a balanced taste that is easy to drink. So we thought of using sugar cane, which is a classic Hong Kong refreshment, to balance out the bitter flavour.” 21

YARDLEY BROTHERS Yardley Brothers is another family-run business, aptly comprised of siblings Duncan and Luke, who actually started out brewing their first batch in Luke’s living room on Lamma Island using self-made equipment. Their beers proved so popular that they quit their jobs and set up a proper brewery that, by the time it opened, had already won them the Best IPA and Best in Show awards at Beertopia. They now brew their beers in Kwai Hing and serve them up themselves from a little stall on the walk from Yung Shue Wan to Hung Shing Yeh beach on Lamma. Luke tells us what makes their beers so brewtiful: “Local beer is better for three reasons: there’s a unique local culture — and this is reflected in the local beer — local beer is fresher, with no filtration, no stabilisers and no artificial chemical additives, and drinking local beer is better for the environment. The word ‘craft’ gets thrown around a lot these days, but we are dedicated to developing real craft in Hong Kong. That’s why we won two international beer awards in 2017 and were awarded the Best in Show at Beertopia 2016. Each beer has a story and a reason. Lamma IPA is the birthplace of our brewery and a place we love. Hong Kong Bastard tells the story of an imaginary corporate company trying to figure out how to sell watered-down ‘craft beer’ to the Hong Kong market. Machine Men is a reference to the late, great Charlie Chaplin and his speech in the film The Great Dictator — it’s about thinking for yourself and not following trends. Quit Your Job is a reference to the history of saison-style beer, where indentured farm labourers were traditionally paid in saison in the days when clean water wasn’t readily available. Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time developing and enjoying our single-batch series of limited-edition brews that are created to push the boundaries of craft — from The Beast, a 25% ice-distilled IPA, to 22

our white and red wine barrel-aged sours and Belgian beers. Singlebatch is where we push the boundaries, experimenting with new ideas, historical techniques and taste combinations to excite and arouse the senses. The science and art of brewing come together to make pure craft.” Where can we find Yardley Brothers beers? “In all the best specialist craft beer bars: The Globe, 65Peel, Momentai, Second Draft, Kowloon Taproom, The American Club, 99 Bottles, HK Island Taphouse. A few good restaurants: Candela, Lamma Grill, The Blue Goose Tavern, el Born. Some shops — HK Brewcraft, Craftissimo — and at Ztore.”

HEROES BEER CO. This ultra-unorthodox brewery is made up of a collaboration of craft beer aficionados, started by Christopher Wong along with best friends Jason Lowe and Angus Ip. In Chris’s own words, he tells us how they got their enviable six-packs: “Once upon a time, three socially-awkward and unattractive beer lovers wanted to start a brewery to brew great beers but worried that their ugly faces


would not be well received by the rest of the world. They thought of creating fictitious ‘heroes’ for themselves so that they could bring all their beer fantasies to life. Heroes Beer Co is a beer hero-creation platform, enabling beer lovers around town to step up as ‘creators’. We conduct deep and intensive Photo Credit: Ztore interviews to learn about each of our heroes. Their experience, passion, tastes and fantasies with beer are all inspirations to every beer we create, carrying its own unique story, label and flavours. You can find us in craft beer stores like HK Brewcraft, Craftissimo and The Bottle Shop, at craft beer bars like TAP – The Ale Project, Second Draft and Kowloon Taproom and at city’super or direct from our website.” Share some insider knowledge with us. “Bottled beers are not superior to canned beers. Draught beers are not always fresher than bottled or canned beers. The proper serving temperature of beers can range from 2°C to 17°C depending on the style. Higher ABV beers don’t always taste stronger than lower ABV beers.”

We asked a local beer appreciator, Glen Watson, who started Craft Beer Leaders HK, to help to demystify craft brew: “Hong Kong people enjoy new things and follow overseas trends. This happened with food, then wine, then craft beer, and the next big thing is likely craft spirits. People seem to be drinking less, but drinking better. I helped import and sell Canadian craft beer before the whole scene really took off here. Craft Beer Leaders HK amalgamates a lot of the websites and Facebook posts by Hong Kong brewers, pubs, and retailers, and does tours to visit the breweries to learn about the process and enjoy their tasting rooms. There’s a certain pride that comes from knowing the beer you’re drinking was made in Hong Kong.” Advice for craft beer newbies? “Don’t be intimidated when you walk into a pub and see dozens of options. Have a few tasters or a beer flight before you buy a pint. Chat with the bartender about what they like or can suggest. And remember that you can buy directly from breweries at much better prices than at pubs or retailers.” 23

little hong kong kitchen Recipe blogger and home-cook extraordinaire Laura Williams sticks to the theme and incorporates beer as an ingredient in her delicious dishes this month



WELSH RAREBIT Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 3 mins Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

40g flour 40g butter 200ml ale 100ml milk 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 150g grated cheddar Salt and pepper to season 4-6 large slices wholewheat bread Chopped chives

Method: 1.

Place the butter into a saucepan and melt. Next add in the flour and whisk into a paste. Cook on a medium heat for 30 seconds to cook out the flour taste and create a roux.





Slowly add in the ale and whisk continually to avoid lumps and create a smooth creamy sauce. Add in the milk and whisk again. Cook gently for a minute. To flavour the sauce, add a good pinch of salt and pepper, then mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Finally, whisk in the grated cheese and turn off the heat. Allow the cheese to melt into the sauce. Lightly toast the bread on both sides before placing the slices into a baking tray. Top each slice with a few spoonfuls of the cheese sauce mix so they are covered completely. Place the rarebits under the grill for 2–3 minutes. Make sure to keep one eye on them so they do not burn. Once golden and bubbly, top the rarebits with a sprinkling of chopped chives and a twist of black pepper. 25



BEEF & GUINNESS STEW Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 3 hrs Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

500g stewing steak 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp butter 1 large onion 2 garlic cloves 4 medium carrots 2 sticks celery 400g crushed tomatoes 2 tsp tomato puree 500ml Guinness 500ml chicken stock 4 sprigs thyme 3 bay leaves Salt and pepper to season

Method: 1.

Cut the steak into 1 inch chunks. In a heavy-bottomed stewing pot, place 1 tablespoon oil and brown the chunks of beef for a minute or two. Pour the meat into a bowl and set aside.





Add the remaining oil and butter to the same pan and allow to warm. Thinly slice the onion and add the pan along with the chopped garlic. Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes until the onions are softened and browning. Add in the thyme and bay leaves and stir through. Peel the carrots and celery and chop into 1 inch chunks. Add to the pan, along with the browned beef, and mix into the onions. Next, add in the chopped tomatoes, puree, stock and Guinness. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to a boil before reducing to a low heat. Place the lid on the pan and simmer the stew for 2 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent sticking. After two hours, remove the lid and allow to cook for a remaining 30-40 minutes until the meat is easily pulled apart and is sitting in a rich brown gravy. Remove the bay leaves before eating and serve the stew on top of a creamy pile of mashed potatoes. 27

meatless monthly Cindy Lam of Olive Oly Kitchen cooks delicious vegetarian recipes that support local farms and promote good old home cooking. Try out her method for traditional Italian canederli at home



SPINACH CANEDERLI WITH AGED CHEESE Serves: 2 | Prep time: 1 hr 15 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • • •

100-120g stale white bread, cut into small cubes 1 egg 1 ½ – 2 cups milk ½ white onion, thinly sliced 1 cup cooked spinach 1 medium size carrot, cut into small tiny cubes 1 cup cooked sweetcorn 1 stalk spring onion, finely chopped 1 cup formaggio grigio (or other aged cheese) ½ cup grated Parmesan 3–4 tbsp chickpea flour or all-purpose flour 500ml vegetable soup broth Extra-virgin olive oil

Method: 1.





In a large mixing bowl, mix together bread, milk, egg, and season. Let sit for 5–10 minutes to allow the bread mixture to soften. Use your hands to bind everything together. Preheat a frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat. Cook onion for a minute or two before adding carrots, corn, and spinach. Reduce heat if needed to avoid burning. Season and cook for about 10 minutes until all moisture is gone. Set the vegetables aside to cool. Mix together the vegetables, bread mixture, formaggio grigio, and ¼ cup grated Parmesan. Compact the mixture into one large ball. Let rest for about 50–60 minutes with a towel covering the bowl. Add flour to the dough and mix again with your hands. Wet your hands then form about 6 fist-sized dumplings by rolling each with the palm of your hands. Cook these dumplings in a big pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes. Remove the dumplings from the boiling water and transfer to a serving plate. Heat a pot of vegetable stock for serving. Serve the dumplings with a ladle of vegetable stock and garnish with some grated Parmesan, spring onion, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. 29


MEATS Rhoda’s Founder, Chef Nate Green, dispels meat myths and advises on making mindful meaty decisions

Last month, Chef Nate walked us through the various terminology that often mystifies as much as it informs when it comes to meat. This month he spells out what meat products we should not be eating and how we can make better decisions in the supermarket when cooking in our own homes.

AT THE SUPERMARKET When it comes to buying meat in a supermarket, I’d make sure they have a good butcher counter. The first thing I look out for is the country of origin; personally I like meat from Europe, as the EU farming standards are very high. I also like Australian and New Zealand meat. Next, I look and see if the farm is named on the piece of meat I’m buying. If it is, I do a quick check on Google and see if I can find some more info there. I also look out for labelling stating whether what I’m buying is grass or grain-fed. Don’t be fooled by labelling like USDA or organic — all organic certification is done by the country of origin and the standards vary across the world. You can lock a cow in a shed and feed it organic grain and it can be certified as organic beef.

IN A RESTAURANT If a menu just stipulates the country of origin, I would ask about the breed, what it’s fed, and also where it is raised. If a restaurant is passionate about its sourcing, then the staff should be able to tell you pretty much everything you need to know. But as we all know, service can be a bit sketchy in HK so if they can’t answer knowledgeably, ask a manager, or even the chef.



AT THE BUTCHER It’s good to tell the butcher what you are planning on making and then they can give various options of cuts you could use for your dish. I’d always ask where the meat comes from and how the animal was raised. It’s a little harder to do in Hong Kong, but ask if they have been to the farm and seen the animals. If it’s a grass-fed animal, ask about how long it’s been aged for, and the aging method used; you are always looking for dry-aged meat as wet-aging is a load of nonsense. Personally, I would ask about the breed of the animal and what are its characteristics. I like to eat pure-breed animals as it helps to sustain older blood lines — a lot of meat out there is crossbred for commercial purposes. As a chef, I normally ask how old the animal was when it was killed as, in my opinion, older animals have better flavour, but require more skill to cook.

MEATS TO SAY NO TO Anything that is endangered, or killed for a singular part. Things like turtle soup, chimpanzee or gorilla, the Chinese giant salamander. It seems odd to say these, but it’s exactly the kind of things people eat when they go off exploring on holidays as they think they are eating a cool, local food. I’d also say definitely no to foie gras, although I do respect the fact that it is part of France’s heritage and I also know that the French use the whole animal, in most cases, once it’s produced. But the fact is that most foie gras consumed is the cheap Hungarian foie, where you have factory lines of birds just to be stuffed with grain and then the bodies get turned into dog food after. I’d only use foie gras now if I knew it could be done ethically. I also tend to stay clear of veal. I’ll only use veal if I’ve been to the farm myself to see how it is produced. Any animal in the commercial system is going to have a pretty crappy life. We need to stop buying cheap meat from countries like Brazil and China and we need to stop supporting fast food chains as our lust for this cheap fast food drives the demand for cheap meat in mass quantities.

COUNTRIES MAKING PROGRESS Europe, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Australia are pushing forwards with regards to ethical farming. That’s not to say though that there aren’t incredible producers in the US, because there are. On recent trips to Thailand and Taiwan, I had some fantastic produce that was all grown and raised properly with no pesticides, just lots of love and hard work. A Thai friend was telling me that the farmers are so poor, they can’t afford to buy pesticides, but this in turn is making their produce better as a result. 31

the zero waste diaries Hannah Chung is on a zero waste challenge. She seeks eco alternatives and green solutions for everyday living and aims to achieve a zero waste life. Follow her journey on Instagram @thezerowastechallenge. My crusade into a life less wasteful has led me to rethink everything I own and invest in sturdy and long-lasting products. In the kitchen, not only do I look for items that won’t break easily, but are also toxic-free and easy to maintain:

Stainless steel saucepans with aluminum inner core Aluminium pans are light in weight, conduct heat well and cool quickly, which prevents food from sticking during cooking. The problem with just aluminium is that it reacts with acid and can leach into food. Stainless steel is the ideal partner in crime, as it is non-reactive and super easy to clean. Alone, stainless steel is a poor conductor of heat so it is better to get a stainless steel pan with a strong core of either copper or aluminium. There is a great range from All-Clad, or you can even find reasonably-priced pans from Ikea. (OUMBÄRLIG for $99.90).

Le Creuset casserole dish With all the benefits of a cast iron skillet, Le Creuset pots are made of cast iron but coated with porcelain enamel to ensure they are incredibly easy to clean with none of the fuss of seasoning. You can wash with soap and a good soaking will help get those hard-to-clean bits off. With their pretty exteriors, it’s hard not to be a proud owner. At $2,368 per pot, they are a pricey yet worth-it investment.



Cast iron skillet Fraught with anxiety, I delayed buying a skillet because I was too hung up on it being hard to maintain. Turns out, with a bit of TLC, a sturdy skillet can be your best friend in the kitchen. Cast iron distributes heat evenly and retains it while cooking so your food will cook faster. You can take it from hob to oven, it’s surprisingly easy to clean, and adds a little iron to your diet too. I found a small-sized skillet from FrancFranc for $90. How to season: When you first buy a skillet, or have found an old one with a bit of rust on it, you will have to go through this process to make it nonstick. 1.

Wash it down with hot soapy water and a scourer, and make sure it’s entirely clean. Towel dry and place on a hot stove to make sure all the moisture has gone.


Coat the pan with a layer of oil (any type with a high smoking point; I use canola). Make sure the entire pan, including bottom and handle, is coated. Also be careful not to make the layer too thick; you want to take your paper (or unpaper) towel and really buff it up.


Place in an oven on the highest temperature (230°C) for 30 minutes. Open some windows as the oil will heat past its smoking point. Repeat the process 3–4 times until you have a wonderful sheen on the skillet.

The skillet will now be nonstick and you won’t have to bother with it until it becomes dull, grey, splotchy or rusty, which won’t be for years if you maintain it well. It’s perfect for one-pan wonders, pies and even pizzas. How to clean: Never clean your skillet with soap as that will take the seasoning off. When you’ve finished cooking, and ideally when it’s still warm, wash with water and course salt. I use a rough cloth that is dedicated to cleaning my skillet to ensure it’s not soapy. Dry with a towel and heat over a hob to make sure it’s completely dry before you store it.

Mortar and pestle An old school classic that makes any kitchen countertop classy. I loathe those plastic pepper grinders from supermarkets; have you ever tried to crack one open to refill? Impossible. Instead, I buy quality black and white peppercorns from Yuan Heng Spice Company in Sheung Wan and store in glass jars for when I need to crush in a mortar. Pestle and mortars are also great for making curry pastes, sauces, and generally for taking your stress out on after a hard day. They come in marble, metal, wood, or granite. I prefer granite for its reasonable price and sturdy base. Get one from most old HK-style ‘have-it-all stores’ for around $100.

For more zero waste tips and green solutions to try at home, visit

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Foodie Issue 95: March/April 2018  

Foodie Issue 95: March/April 2018  

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