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good taste your guide to

sizzling summer The ultimate BBQ guide, from outdoor eating essentials to bespoke barbecue recipes

issue 23 // june 2011

01 intro

here is hot, beach is best. You’re probably reading this in a coffee shop or restaurant whilst taking respite from the unbearable humidity that is once again upon us. As you sip your iced mocha, take the time to read our suggestions for making this heat work for you. Whether you follow our guide to using Hong Kong’s plentiful outdoor beach barbecues, head to the beach bars we’ve picked out or cook up at home using our bespoke barbecue recipes, you’ll be far happier than sweating with the crowds on the city streets. This month the key to happiness lies not in fine dining, it’s all about food, friends, sun and sand. We also send a carnivore on a vegetarian challenge with fruitful results and of course bring you the best new restaurants, health tips and much more. See you at the beach, The Foodie Team

foodie panel Foodie-loving folks who've helped us this issue. James Fortier

Carla Trower

Nadine Rowe

Lee Chandra


We’re proud



James runs

to introduce


Graze executive

online prime

the first

imparts her

chef Lee is

cut supplier

ever Foodie

final words of

skilled in many

The Porterhouse after a

Club member to review

nutrition wisdom for Foodie

magnificent cuisines and has

lengthy stint at Morton’s The

a restaurant for us! Food

this month, exposing fad

worked with our Foodie chef

Steakhouse and more. He

fanatic Carla went to Twyst,

and quick fix diets. Don’t

Luis for ten years. Lee made

reveals how to master the

see what she thought on

do them! Find out why on

the magic happen on this

grill on page 34.

page 11.

page 22.

month’s barbecue recipes, page 33.

follow us t

Become our fan on Facebook for news, prizes and up to the minute HK dining tips Follow us on Twitter @foodiehk designed by

For advertising enquiries, please contact, T 2721 2787, F 2540 8390 Foodie is published monthly, 12 times a year. The contents of the magazine are fully protected by copyright and nothing may be reprinted without permission. The publisher and editors accept no responsibility in respect to any products, goods or services that may be advertised or referred to in this issue, or for any errors, omissions or mistakes in any such advertisements or references. // june 2011

become a fan f

Publisher Simon Squibb. Editorial Director Dominique Afacan. Editor Tom Cassidy. Deputy Editor Jeanne Cheung. Editorial Intern Cat Kiely. Creative Director Helen Griffiths. Senior Designer Michelle Kwan. Designer Kevin Lee. Photographer Fred Lam. Contributors Joe Gray, Lee Chandra Gurung, Benjamin Hall, Edwin Lee, Iolaire McKinnan, Martin Ng, Nadine Rowe, Ale Wilkinson, Phillip Wong. Published by Foodie Group, 3/F, Chao’s Building, 143-145 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Printed by Teams Printing Co., Ltd., 4/F, Prince Industrial Building, 5 Sun Yip Street, Chai Wan, Hong Kong


photography by joe gray

28 cover



The Grate Outdoors

The ultimate guide to Hong Kong’s beachside barbecue spots – we’ve found the best spots to hit and the essentials to take, guaranteeing fun in the sun.


for starters


tried and tasted


tried and tipsy


street view


meataholics anonymous


foodie check-up


food war




how to



The latest news and four big competitions

The newest restaurants and latest menus across the city

Beachfront bars and a big night in Macau

Eating and exploring in Quarry Bay

Jeanne Cheung’s foray into vegetarianism for a meat-free week

Reasons to forget fad diets and eat well for life, by Nadine Rowe

Finding the city’s best char siu (Chinese barbecued pork) lunchboxes

Bespoke barbecue dishes by Luis Porras

Master meat grilling with James Fortier // june 2011



for starters


for starters we June is a month for winners, as . offer up a bevy of fantastic prizes

1. Graze After Dark Sheung Wan’s all-in-one coffee shop, restaurant and bar Graze has introduced $128 dinner set specials. The menus change daily, the food on offer is a cut above and at $25 a glass for house wine, this cosy corner of Sheung Wan is now the place to be, whatever the time of the day. Available 6pm to 9pm, Monday to Friday. Graze 143 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan. T 2850 7766


To celebrate, Graze is giving away dinner for two. Not only that, present this page when ordering a dinner set throughout June and receive a 10% discount. To win the dinner for two, email, stating who your ideal dinner partner would be and why.

2. Brand New Pacific Gourmet Happy Valley welcomes the latest Pacific Gourmet store, which serves the same quality, fresh Australian and European produce that we know and love. Best of all, the imported produce isn’t frozen, ensuring it remains truly fresh. Pulling out all the stops with their free-range chickens and homemade sausages that are free from artificial flavours and colours, the natural flavours shine. They also carry grain fed Angus steaks and fresh Angus rump burgers, as well as lamb and fresh oysters, making them a great choice for this summer’s barbecues. Pacific Gourmet 23 Sing Woo Road, Happy Valley. T 2838 1212


Win a Grill Ready BBQ pack worth $2,480! Send in your inventive new ideas for new flavours of sausages and Pacific Gourmet will pick the best one to sell in their stores, with proceeds going to a charity of your choice. Send your entries to


3. Porterhouse

for starters

4. BBQ For Six, For Free!

win! Home delivery online meaties answered the burning question of how to cook char siu this month (page 41). In an upcoming issue of Foodie, that recipe spot could be yours, as well as a private barbecue meal for six people, specially prepared and cooked by’s crack team of experts.

win! Keeping our coals hot is The Porterhouse, the online supplier of prime aged steaks perfect for any grill. They’ve kindly offered up the chance for you to get the flames fired up too with a Porterhouse Starter Set up for grabs. It has everything you need to enjoy a Steakhouse Steak dinner at home, including two USDA prime aged steaks, The Porterhouse signature steaks seasoning, a cast iron grill pan, Lobel’s Meat Bible and to wash it down, a bottle of Peter Lehman ‘Weighbridge’ Cabernet.

Get creative - we’re looking forward to seeing the results! Visit for terms and conditions. // june 2011

To win simply turn to the How To section on page 34 and tell us how long steaks should be removed from the fridge before grilling. Entries to

All you need to do is register your favourite recipe on and the winner will have their creation published in the September issue of foodie and enjoy the prepared meal with five friends.

foodie online


foodie online


beach eats

t h e we b f o t s e th e b

By Ale Wilkinson www.






1 Parma ham pizza at Pizza Express, Central. 2 Fishball noodles at Sun King Kee, SoHo. 3 Anchovy ceviche & honey caipirinha at Just A Restaurant, SoHo. 4 Spicy tofu soup at Lee Fa Yuen Korean Restaurant, Sheung Wan.

app of the month

BBQ Pro – iGrill

(US$0.99 – free version available) A game this month; a fun-packed virtual barbecue sim that you can sit back and enjoy while someone else slaves over the grill. In this simple but highly addictive app your aim is to load the BBQ with meats and get them to your guests unburned. Frantic fun for summer sun.

become a fan f follow us t

get involved!

Follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook for exclusive offers, heaps of dining tips and regular giveaways. Twitter: @foodiehk Facebook:

With the humidity rising and the temperature soaring, it’s that time of year again when everyone wants to escape the heat of the city in search of some tranquillity. For me, this search is always combined with a search for good food, and what better food for hot weather than a delicious barbecue on the beach? The Stoep on Cheung Sha beach in Lantau has been serving up delicious, fairly-priced South African food such as boerewors and grilled spring chicken for as long as I can remember. It’s worth making a day of it, particularly as they don’t win top marks for speedy service, so why not go early and catch some rays on the beautiful beach before (and after) a long lunch. Sharing’s the way to go; make sure you order the seeded bread with eggplant dip and hummus followed by rainbow trout, grilled pumpkin and mussels with chorizo, coupled with a jug of refreshing Pimms. For around $200 a head you will eat enough food to send you into a comfortable food coma perfect for the afternoon sun. The Stoep 32 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau Island. T 2980 2699 // june 2011

tried and tasted


t n e w re s

al d speci n a s t n a aur


Cantopop What is it? A modern style cha chaan teng in the heart of Central, serving classic dishes with a twist and using locally sourced ingredients. The eggs come from a local farm that plays music to their chickens to keep them happy, giving the egg yolks a rich yellow colour. The vegetables are organic and the noodles are freshly made in the open kitchen. Why go now? It is situated in Central's new L Place, which is fast filling up. Enjoy it before the building is a throbbing throng of stampeding shoppers and diners. Best for: The busy but food- and health-conscious diner. It’s inexpensive and quick, yet also healthy and appetising. All ingredients are sans MSG and other nasty chemicals. Not for: Those looking for a quiet, leisurely meal. Staying true to Hong Kong style dining, this restaurant is a buzzing, lively place.

We recommend: The lionhead – a sizzling ball of meaty, flavourful deliciousness that goes nicely with steamed rice, or their impressive Canto Scotch egg. Finish off with the ginger crème brûlée. CK Cantopop L Place, 139 Queen's Road Central, Central. T 2857 2608



What is it? A restaurant that incorporates barbecue into traditional Japanese dishes (Yakiniku describes Japanese style grilled meat).

What is it? A 'light refreshment' cafĂŠ - the food is up to restaurant standard while the layout has the relaxed atmosphere of a quiet coffee shop.

Best for: Those who revel in cheap thrills! You get to grill the meat yourself right there at the table, adding a nice sense of childlike excitement not unlike the kind we used to get at the prospect of pushing the buttons in an elevator or playing with slap wrist bracelets for hours on end.

Best for: Those looking for an altered take on traditional tastes. Milk tea is served with a dollop of wasabi on the surface, for example. When mixed in it gives an invigorating kick to an otherwise conventional drink.

Not for: Vegetarians. The menu has a mammoth variety of different meats and seafood. We recommend: The Morihachi style short ribs. This is one of the recommended dishes on the menu and we soon found out why! The ribs erupt with flavour when dipped in one of the three homemade sauces available, soy, rock salt and lemon. CK Morihachi Yakiniku 3/F, Ying Kong Mansion, 2-6 Yee Wo Street, Causeway Bay. T 3106 0183

tried and tasted

Morihachi Yakiniku

Not for: Those with habitual taste buds. Most of the items on the menu are cultural melting pot renditions of tried and tested classics. The mochi tiramisu fuses Italian indulgence with the sweet Japanese rice treat. We recommend: Meatballs in a spicy basil tomato sauce. The sauce is a creamy mixture of ambrosial goodness that can be scooped up with a hunk of succulent meatball on a piece of the crunchy bread served on the side. On the drink front, the strawberry syrup mixed with black tea soda is a refreshing and tasty side order to sip away at whilst demolishing this scrumptious dish. Why is it different? It is simple, quiet and relaxed with a very welcome understated decor. The twist given to traditional ingredients and dishes give an enjoyable new lease of life and a fresh dining experience. Who eats there? It’s a place for everyone, handily situated to suit both suits and shoppers, with a wallet-friendly priced menu to boot. CK SohoWay Shop 2, G/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central. T 3153 4291 // june 2011

tried and tasted


My Pantry My Pantry: part burger joint, part computer shop. Bizarre, but the owner says store space is too big for his computer business, so adding burgers to the product list is a logical choice. Their signature burger is massive: a six-ounce patty with your usual trimmings sandwiched between a fresh burger bun. The delicious patty is so juicy you have to watch out for squelchy leakage. Best burger we’ve had in a while. JC My Pantry 16 Wo On Lane, Central. T 8102 2244

Basement Restaurant

The Globe

The brains behind quirky furniture store Homeless created this cosy restaurant. Naturally the interior design is ace, with unique but comfortable furniture mixed and matched to create a stylish dining setting. The food menu is consistently good – a random jab at the pasta and risotto section will reward a satisfying dish. As for drinks, order anything out of the bottle as their own concoctions taste eccentric, and not necessarily in a good way. JC

The staple pie and ale pub has a new chef and with him comes a new angle to the menu – light, fresh and oh-so tasty best of British. Old favourites remain but with added taste explosions like the tomato, tapenade and goat’s cheese tart and beetroot and feta salad with orange (not to mention the wonderful runny scotch egg). All this along with hundreds of beers including excellent local ale “T8” and a Japanese espresso stout – a close to perfect blend, makes the revamped Globe a treat. TC

Basement Restaurant UG, 29 Gough Street, SoHo. T 2854 0010

The Globe 45-53 Graham Street, SoHo. T 2543 1941

11 tried and tasted

Light A new peaceful oasis in Sai Ying Pun is marked by Light vegetarian restaurant’s inviting, plant-lined entrance on the corner of Eastern Street and Second Street. The organic and meat-free restaurant’s aim is to let people forget their troubles and enjoy good food in peaceful surroundings. They hit every mark and the food’s great. We tried the $78 daily set lunch and loved the delicious organic penne with artichoke and sage main. It’s all fresh, homemade and organic and you can really taste the difference. TC Light 1 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun. T 2559 9098

Ms B’s Cakery Ms B is none other than HK superstar style icon turned restaurateur Bonnie Gokson, who has followed up SEVVA with a new cake shop, making NoHo ten times sweeter. Specialising in exquisite cake creations such as the dark, moist chocolate, caramel and salted toffee Better Than Sex and the mouth-watering multi-layered Madame Butterfly, this store is ideal for the luxury loving sweet toothed. Coupled with stylish butterfly designs throughout, Ms B’s is a sweet success. TC Ms B's Cakery 39 Gough Street, Central. T 2815 8303

Twyst Of the four course dinner set at this spacious Italian restaurant with a twist, the appetisers and desserts outshone the entrées thanks to the standout homemade smoked salmon with scrambled egg and moluga caviar, and the delectable dark choco truffle cake with glazed orange and orange sabayon. Affordable, smart dining with helpful staff, attractive dishes and a relaxed atmosphere – just remember your pashmina, the aircon’s on high! Carla Trower Twyst 8/F, The Pemberton, 22-26 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan. T 2815 2367 // june 2011

tried and tipsy


tried and tipsy Summer has arrived so get out of town and head to the beach. Or even better, a beach with a bar. Text by Dominique Afacan

Bauhinia, Middle Bay So you’ve done South Bay to death, you’ve mourned the closing of Coco Thai. What next? Try Bauhinia on for size and you’ll likely be impressed. Situated on Middle Bay, HK’s most famous gay beach, the bar boasts sunset views over Repulse Bay, cool crowds and a pizza oven imported from Italy for the ultimate bar snack. We love. Bauhinia Middle Bay Beach kiosk, 55 South Bay Road, Repulse Bay. T 2812 6055

China Beach Hed Kandi Club, Lantau at The Island Venetian, Macau With a freshly repainted rooftop, the China Beach Club is ready for summer! The shabby chic restaurant and bar looks out over Silvermine Beach in Mui Wo and feels a world away from chaotic Central. Drinkswise, 2-for-1 cocktails all day and all night are not be sniffed at – and there is Warsteiner German Pilsner on tap too. The homemade fries with garlic mayo proved utterly unhealthy but absolutely necessary. China Beach Club 18 Tung Wan Tau Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island. T 2983 8931

It’s not the beach, and yes, you’ll have a schlep to Macau – but hey, it’s Hed Kandi. If you really want to do things in style reserve a deluxe cabana ($5,000) so you can listen to the house party classics in comfort. True house fans will likely embrace the chance to get up and dance (or jump in and dance) to Hed Kandi DJ Stuart Oielay on the 11th of June.

13 promotion

ooh la la!

Up close and personal with the Boudoir Collins, a devilishly seductive cocktail with a refreshing and fruity lemongrass and elderflower kick.

boudoir collins The best Collins in town can be found in SoHo’s seductive haunt La Boudoir. Evoking the chic, sultry feel of a Parisian lounge, the laid-back atmosphere and silk drapes invite a night of relaxation and indulgence with a Boudoir Collins in hand, of course. SERVES PREPARATION TIME 5 minutes

+ fresh lemon juice + fresh mint + soda

METHOD In a cocktail shaker add the gin, elderflower, lemon juice and mint, then shake. Once that’s shaken, pour into a tall glass, top up with soda, sit back and relax. Le Boudoir Basement, 65 Wyndham Street, Central. T 2530 3870 // june 2011

INGREDIENTS + Lemongrass infused Beefeater 24 + elderflower syrup

street view


Street View

Ho i




k Ro

's Ro

St re et






Hoi Wan Street

's Ro

This little cake shop is a firm favourite among ladies working in Quarry Bay. Their cakes are a bit sugar-heavy for some but the napoleons are immaculate and must be tried. While the array of cakes in the fridge dazzle you, don’t forget to take home some of their amazing cookies.

iT ai

Hoi Kwong Street


Shop 5B, 7-9 Hoi Kwong Street. T 2565 1368

Hoi Hong Street

e ni Fin

Text by Jeanne Cheung

Teresa Festival

Hoi Wan Street


As more businesses relocate here to escape Central’s ever-rising rent, more restaurants are opening to feed the migrating office workers, making the already eatery-concentrated neighbourhood even tastier.

quarry bay

Tong Chong Street


Pan Hoi Stre

East End Brewery 23-27 Tong Chong Street. T 2811 1907 Gentlemen in the area love this place – what’s better than watching football whilst enjoying a pint of draft beer and free peanuts (and not having to clean up the mess)? The bar and restaurant is a great meet-up place for afterwork drinks, burgers and even fish and chips.


g 's




Shop G&H, 26-28 Finnie Street. T 2562 9600

Shop C1 & C2, 20 Hoi Tai Street. T 2811 1361

From the outside Sho Bu looks like another localised Japanese restaurant but it’s actually an izakaya, meaning it serves wine or beer and the food that goes with it – essentially a Japanese pub. The result is delicious home-style Japanese cooking to accompany your sake and one of the best tamagoyakis (Japanese omelette) in town.

street view

Sho Bu Japanese Restaurant

When Pumpernickel first opened in Tin Hau about 10 years ago, café dwellers swore to keep this cosy little place a secret. Seeing that they’ve expanded to five cafés and a restaurant in a decade, someone obviously broke their oath. This branch has retained their charming ambience, delightful bakery and their promise of using only natural ingredients.

The Codfather Oyster and Seafood Bar Hoi Ta

Look no further if you’re craving some shelled goodies. It’s pokey with just a handful of tables inside but don’t judge a restaurant by its size. Apart from freshly shucked oysters with different origins depending on the season, they also have excellent al dente pastas, all on a reasonably priced menu.

Westlands Road


23 Hoi Wan Street. T 2856 5000

i Stree t


Shop D, 1/F, Taikoo Place Devon House. T 2284 4878 Shipyard Lane

Agnès b. adds another of its classy cafés to Taikoo Place, much to the delight of local workforce and no doubt prompting busy bees to take a well-deserved afternoon break to enjoy French snacks with a fancy cup of coffee or tea.

d King's Road // june 2011


Agnès b. Café L.P.G

word on the street


This month we took to the streets to see how you lovely lot diet. Turns out you’re an astute and pragmatic bunch…

Connie, 30

Cheryl, 23

Bernard, 27

Favourite restaurant: The Chairman (Chinese), Sheung Wan

Favourite restaurant: North Garden Restaurant (Chinese), Sheung Wan

Favourite restaurant: Tsui Wah (Chinese), Citywide

Diet tip: Eat in moderation.

Diet Tip: Eat salad!

Diet tip: I don't diet…

17 word on the street

Laurent, 33

Ed, 51

Jenna, 28

Favourite restaurant: Chuen Kee (Seafood), Sai Kung

Favourite restaurant: Shanghai Lane (Shanghainese), Sheung Wan

Favourite restaurant: Bacar (Tapas) and Le Blanc (French cuisine), Soho and Wanchai

Diet tip: Exercise and halve all the portions you're given!

Diet tip: Eat more Asian food.

Diet tip: You can't really diet in Hong Kong, just walk instead of using the escalator.

Get diet tips from our professional nutritionist on page 22.


meataholic’s anonymous




























meataholic’s anonymous


How many times have you tried to give up on meat and didn't make it past the seven day mark? Too many? Bonafide carnivore Jeanne Cheung had never lived a day without consuming some kind of flesh but being an adventurous foodie, she decided to experiment.



19 meataholic’s anonymous

At some point you may have pondered the possibility of becoming vegetarian. Be it for religion, health, or the fact that you simply don't think it necessary to eat meat, you have, maybe more than once, told yourself that it's time you act. And maybe you did, but for some reason you broke fast. You tried again, failed again; then you gave up on the idea. "It cannot be done," you tell yourself.

the goal:

Not true, according to 40% of the Indian population and the vegetarians I know personally. There is no reason why I can't get rid of my meat addiction, at least temporarily. There must be plenty of secret meataholic support groups in existence.

They say the beginning is the hardest – believe them. On day one, my first challenge was breakfast, which usually consists of a kiwi and a bowl of cereal or noodles, nothing really meaty at all. But that particular day, passing by McDonald's on my way to work, I had a new-found realisation of a full English breakfast’s beauty. The thought lingered till lunch, when I was attacked by a sudden onset of sushi obsession. I managed to cheer myself up with an entire bar of chocolate in the afternoon so dinner was uneventful, as I tucked in at the family table, consuming half a plate of stir-fried aubergine and ignoring everything else.

"Hi. I am Jeanne and I'm a meataholic. No oversharing please. I don't care why you all decide to give up on meat, I just want to try your 12-step programme." No MA meeting is going to welcome me with open arms if I show up and spread that kind of negativity, so I decided to invent my own programme.

Stay out of meat's way for a week. Properly. Nothing wishy-washy like some vegetarians who neglect the fact that fish is scientifically classified under the Animalia kingdom.

the process: day


From day two my cravings became much more specific, which only made matters worse. When you crave one thing and one thing only, everything else seems to taste bland. Caesar salad is one of my favourite veggie foods and I would happily have it for lunch any other day – just not on the day when all I could think about was sausage. On (editor and vegetarian) Tom's suggestion, I ventured to a vegetarian restaurant for some veggie chow mein. Like the previous day, before dinner I had plenty of honey Dijon crisps to sate my lust for flesh. day

2 // june 2011

meataholic’s anonymous

20 Days three and four proceeded in similar fashion – I developed a craving for something meaty and overcompensated with a vegetarian treat or two. I also found a new side effect – I seemed to get hungry more easily. My stomach was constantly growling and it became quite embarrassing. The solution was simple – I started to eat a larger-than-usual portion at every meal. The real test, however, was dining out with friends on the fourth day after an intense workout at the gym. As I watched my friends enjoying their pizza, I was tempted, more than once, to cheat or simply give up on the experiment. In the end, it was either my steadfast determination or plenty of beer and chips that saved me from the disgrace. day




"My stomach was constantly growling and it became quite embarrassing. " On day five, light began to appear at the other end of the tunnel as my craving of the day appeared to be one of my usuals – ice-cream (I have a sweet tooth first, a meat addiction second), which I adequately sated by finishing nearly half a tub of Häagen-Dazs. True victory came on day six, however, when my body had truly adjusted to the diet – no more urges to consume any food in an inappropriate amount. I was able to pass up on meat at lunch without much difficulty and fully appreciate my delicious tomato and basil pizza. As I pen this on day seven, I hope the rest of the day goes as smoothly. day






why try meat free? Whether you’re going vege for life or taking a week off every so often, here are the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. Happy Heart


Vegetarian diets are low in salt, meaning reduced blood pressure and hypertension. Also, cholesterol is greatly increased by meat (especially red meat) so cutting it out makes for a happier heart.

Most meat is processed, so a large amount of additives and preservatives are ingested when it’s eaten. This causes a build-up of toxins in the body - something alleviated by consuming fresh produce.

Beat Diabetes The high-fibre intake of legumes, vegetables, fruits and grains results in lower blood sugar, making it the most effective way to combat the disease.

Digestion Meat is a ‘heavy’ food, meaning the human body has a hard time digesting it. This retention of waste can lead to stomach and intestinal cancer.


If you are planning to abstain from meat for life, our experiences are going to be a little different. My determination was partly built on the fact that I can go back to eating whatever I want after the experiment. Whereas for you, whatever the reason you are doing this for, it’s a lifelong commitment. These guidelines aren’t exactly a programme, but hopeful they would help you as much as they helped me. + Admit that you have had meat in your diet your entire life and it cannot be changed overnight. + Follow a goal ladder – set up a series of realistic goals over a reasonable period of time. Reduce your meat consumption bit by bit, and adhere to the plan. + When faced with cravings or temptations, think about why you want to become a vegetarian in the first place. Reinforce that belief. + When faced with more cravings or temptations, sate it with suitable compensation. + When you feel hungry, eat. Remember you are on a vegetarian diet, not a hunger strike. + In the beginning, avoid having food that has a meaty version. For example, have garden salad

and pumpkin soup, not vegetarian lasagna and Caesar salad (which you used to have with grilled chicken or salmon).

meataholic’s anonymous

so, what’s the programme?

+ Have good food. Being a vegetarian doesn’t mean your food should be bland and tasteless for the rest of your life. Hunt down the great vegetarian restaurants near you. + Get a vegetarian recipe book and start learning more dishes. + Ignore the naysayers. There are bound to be friends and family who question your judgment. If you can’t make them understand, just eat your mushroom and pay no attention to their nagging. + Have a sponsor or talk to someone who’s been through the process. It helps. + Don’t give up because you have cheated once. Very few succeed on their first try. Start from the beginning all over again. When one day you see a seemingly delicious meat dish in front of you and feel no longing, congratulations! You have won this battle. Award yourself with a chocolate cake and go celebrate!

my enlightenment after the experiment: // june 2011

I’m not entirely sure why, but I seemed to have developed a more acute sense of taste during my experiment. I also feel healthier. On reflection, before the experiment my flesheating days were a bit out of control really – a meal with no veggie was never a problem but I frowned every time I saw an absence of meat on my plate. From now on, I am going to reduce my meat consumption to a more reasonable level, and hopefully the benefits of my seven-day meataholic anonymous programme is going to stay.

foodie check-up


foodie check-up

Our reader wants to lose weight for a wedding but as our nutritionist Nadine reveals, you should forget fads - it’s a change for life you need. Nadine Rowe is a UK Registered Dietitian based in Hong Kong. She is passionate about food and nutrition and helping people achieve optimal nutrition and wellbeing. Nadine believes in a no ‘diet’ philosophy, instead encouraging healthy eating to be a balance of nutritious, satisfying and delicious foods, because at the end of the day — eating is to be enjoyed!

Veronica Meyers, 33


I am desperately trying to lose weight for a wedding in three weeks. Is it good to do a drastic diet (if so, which one) for something so short-term?

nadine’s advice:

I am sorry to say drastic, fad, and short terms diets are definitely not the answer! Here’s why…


One of the problems of rapid weight loss attempts is the ‘yo-yo’ effect: people lose weight and then regain the weight plus a little more. This is easily done if a fad diet is very restrictive and hard to follow. Once stopped, people tend to overeat all the foods that were restricted while on the ‘diet’. The real problem comes when this pattern continues and gradually a person’s weight starts creeping up following each weight loss attempt. The increase in weight comes with health risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.  The key to losing weight is to make small and sustainable changes to your diet and lifestyle for a lifelong solution. That way you will see your

foodie check-up

Fad diets are exactly that – fads! They get packaged in different ways to appeal to the masses and are often celebrity endorsed, promising quick fixes but beware! While you may notice a reduction in your weight following one of these drastic diets it may be water or lean muscle that you are losing, not fat. 

weight reduce over time and keep it off, rather than yo-yoing around. A healthy rate of weight loss to aim for is 0.5-1kg per week. With the wedding only a few weeks away I would advise you to make healthy food choices and ensure you are doing regular physical activity to help you look and feel great. You are likely to lose some weight but probably not as much as you hope. You need to be realistic. However, by making sustainable changes to your eating and lifestyle you are looking at a long-term solution which will have you looking and feeling great for all the weddings to come!

Want to have your own personal nutrition advice and appear in Foodie magazine? Email your questions to

top tips for weight loss 1. WATCH YOUR PORTION SIZE. Keep an eye on how much you are eating and make sure your portion sizes are appropriate.

3. CHOOSE LOW FAT OPTIONS. Make smart swaps by trading high fat food for lower fat options and save on the calories.

5. BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and will help burn off the calories. // june 2011

2. BOOST YOUR VEGETABLE INTAKE. Make sure half of your plate is nonstarchy vegetables.

4. DRINK SUFFICIENT FLUID. Often hunger is confused with thirst. Ensure you are hydrated and reach for water or low calorie drinks.



essential assistance Diets:

When you’re watching your weight, creeping hunger is always around the corner. Thankfully the natural acai berry can help keep the rumbles at bay and your diet on track. Anybody who has adopted a diet will be painfully aware of the efforts to stave off hunger and fight through those first few weeks of disciplined dining. Regulating your body to the correct hunger cycles for a fit and healthy life can be a pain but Life Nutrition’s Organic Acai Berry and Antioxidant Essentials ranges can provide all the support you need. Here comes the science part. Antioxidant Essentials boasts 10 strong antioxidants, including green tea, a powerful booster of thermogenesis and inhibitor of fat digestion and absorption, promoting fat burning and increasing exercise capacity. Taking both products beforehand is a great way to increase a workout’s efficiency thanks to the thermogenic acceleration. In other areas, Acai berries naturally contain a lot of dietary fibres. These assist another essential area of weight loss, digestion and bowel movements. The all-round benefits of these products are another way to boost your mood and self-image during the dieting process. Both are rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals at the cellular level, resulting in tighter, radiant skin and a reduction in acne, and giving you the appearance and confidence you deserve after all your hard work dieting! Acai berries also have an appetite suppressing effect, putting an end to the hunger pangs and cravings that have ended one too many diets.

About Life Nutrition Life Nutrition supplies the finest products in assisting a healthy lifestyle. The aim of the USA-produced supplements is to make nutrition simple for the customer, providing all their needs as easily as possible. Life Nutrition products are available at Watsons stores and Throughout June, readers can enjoy the exclusive Foodie offer of 20% off online orders over $300 by entering the promotional code: FOODIE.

food war




If you want barbecued goodness without lighting your own fire, these sub-$40 char siu (Chinese barbecued pork) lunchboxes are the answer. We chewed the fat and found the best of the bunch.


YUNG KEE RESTAURANT ($33) 32-40 Wellington Street, Central.

Barbecue pork expert Tai Hing has won numerous awards for its signature char siu. Its lunchbox is partitioned, separating the meat and choi sum (Chinese cabbage) from the rice. Dark in colour, the meat comes in big chunks and looks dry. Biting into it reveals it’s quite tender but bland, a factor not helped by the poor seasoning. Either this box slipped the all seeing eye of the QC staff or Tai Hing submits an entirely different cut of meat for award judging.

Sitting in the heart of LKF, Yung Kee attained Michelin stardom for its delicious roast meat. Its char siu lunchbox does not look impressive, with small pieces of meat scattered all over and a pathetic piece of choi sum lurking somewhere on the side. Luckily on taste the char siu has a unique, distinctive and excellent smoky flavour. The seasoning is the best of the four but the texture of the meat is disappointing: some pieces are composed entirely of fat and others are dry. The irrelevant piece of choi sum is soggy and overcooked, rendering the lunchbox the second best of the bunch.



27 food war

Char siu? Chashu? Their Chinese pronunciation is completely the same and in English they sound similar, but these are actually two different things. Both are made out of pork but char siu is a Cantonese barbecued speciality while Japanese chashu is braised, not roasted, and is often accompanied by ramen. Now go forth and order.

the winner is

yau wun!

LAN FONG YUEN ($38) Shop 304D, 3/F, Shun Tak Centre, 168-200 Connaught Road Central, Sheung Wan.


Across the streets from Foodie HQ sits a tiny eatery called Yau Wun. Packed in a Styrofoam box, the lunchbox’s presentation is minimal to say the least. The char siu looks dark but tastes simply fantastic. Every piece is a perfect balance between fat and flesh and the texture is tender and juicy. With great seasoning the meat is also packed full of flavours. The only drawback is the lack of a vegetable accompaniment – but at this price you can order on the side and the package would still be both the best and the cheapest. FOODIE RATING // june 2011

At first glance, with leafy greens arranged neatly beside the char siu, this lunch box looks promising but it’s all downhill from here - the meat is impossibly dry and as hard as a brick. With some effort, a few pieces manage to get chewed but tasted gamy with undetectable seasoning, leading us to the conclusion that it had been sitting around for quite some time. The only redeeming factor of this lunch box is the crunchy, cooked to perfection veggies. This competitor is the best illustration of how looks can be deceiving.

YAU WUN SIUMEI RESTAURANT ($23) 378 Queen's Road West, Sheung Wan.

the grate Cooking by the sea made simple.

photography by joe gray

the grate outdoors


29 the grate outdoors

The beauty of Hong Kong is that whatever builtup, smoggy concrete conurbation you live in, you’re never usually more than thirty minutes from the beach. There’s nowhere better to show off your grilling skills that you learned in this issue than at one of the many beachside public barbecue pits where the cloying humidity is blown away by the sea breeze, leaving you cool, happy, surrounded by friends, cooking and care-free.

photography by martin ng

Hello summer, hello humidity. Hello restaurant, hello arctic aircon. Dining becomes a lot more complicated as you brave the sizzling heat; eating out comes with the familiar feeling of your summer dress drenched in sweat en route to the restaurant then getting the cardy out your bag to stave off the icy blasts from above when you arrive. If only there were a solution…

big wave bay

top picks Wherever you head you’re going to find three ingredients that guarantee good times – sun, the beach and cooking facilities. Here are some choice picks.


big wave bay

pit protocol The outdoor barbecue sites have a completely different feel from your standard American-style home affair, where one man is the master of the meat and closely guards his fiery kingdom, dishing out food to his guests. No, Hong Kong style is every man or woman for themselves – sit in a circle, jab something on the end of your fork and wait for it to cook.

A Foodie favourite, Big Wave Bay is a popular Hong Kong surf spot and boasts a quality beach. Supermarkets and barbecue-friendly markets are nearby the bus station and boxed barbecue packages are available for those looking for convenience. Lamps are also available for hire for when the sun goes down.

photography by philip wong

Getting there: Take the MTR Island Line to Shau Kei Wan station. Once you’re outside you can catch the number 7 minibus direct to Big Wave Bay from outside Wellcome. Alternatively you could have the BBQ as your reward for walking the Dragon’s Back hiking trail if it’s not too hot a day.


Getting there: Stanley is 20 minutes away from Central by taxi or you can take the 6, 6A, 6X or 260 buses from Exchange Square bus terminal. // june 2011

One of the most convenient spots to reach, what Stanley makes up for in ease of access it lacks in facilities. There are no lights (nor lamp rental options) and no shops nearby, but if you prepare beforehand a good time can be had by all.

photography by iolaire mckinnon

the grate outdoors


shek o

shek o This popular beachfront has the novelty of both public barbecue pits and private ones that you can book for a few hundred dollars, with charcoal thrown in (bear in mind that the private ones close at 11pm). It’s also convenient to get to and has a nice beach to boot. Getting there: Take the MTR Island Line to Shau Kei Wan and then the (admittedly carsickinducing) number 7 minibus from the bus terminal.

deep water bay


sai kung - tai long wan Arguably Hong Kong’s best beach also offers nice all-in-one barbecue packages from the local store (which have to be ordered a day in advance) or you can get provisions from the nearby supermarket. Due to its out of the way location this idyllic spot is predominantly popular among hikers and campers. Getting there: After reaching Sai Kung town centre, ride the 94 or 96R bus to Pak Tam Au or take a taxi to Sai Wan. Then begin the hike…


mui wo – silvermine bay beach The genteel expat homestead is a haven for sunset watching barbecuers. The excellent cooking facilities are plentiful and there are a number of well-stocked shops nearby that cater to the openair eater. Getting there: The ferry from Central Pier 6 takes you straight there; alternatively there is the 3M bus from Tung Chung. photography by edwin lee

This spot is another that is easy to get to but lacks shopping facilities, meaning if you’ve not stocked up at home you’ll have to visit the closest shops at Repulse Bay to buy provisions. Getting there: From the Exchange Square bus station take the 6, 6A or 260.

turtle cove beach This hidden gem is out of the way, east of Stanley, making it another perfect spot for avoiding the crowds (there are only seven pits though so get there early). There’s a supermarket just 15 minutes away so it’s not too out of the way should resources run low. Getting there: Take the Island Line to Sai Wan Ho and then hop on the number 14 bus at exit A. Alternatively you can catch the 16X red minibus from Chai Wan.

silvermine bay beach

31 the grate outdoors

essentials food Anything goes! Follow our recipes on page 33 or browse the shops with an ‘I wonder if that’ll cook’ attitude. Experiment and have fun, seeking out fun desserts too. Be sure to pack some easy-to-cook standards though; sausages, fish balls, burgers, chicken, seafood, peppers, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and corn on the cob are all sure-fire fodder. Starting a fire takes about half an hour and by the time it’s ready, everyone is starving. Get straight on with the sausages and balls, which take about five minutes, whereas wings and steaks can take up to another half an hour. Bananas, marshmallows and white bread are three things that need no cooking but taste wonderful when toasted over a flame.

charcoal The pits are there but you’ll need to fill them.

firelighters and old newspapers / magazines Because it can get mighty windy by the beach.

aluminium foil Wrap up the veggies and put them near (not in) the fire.

water It may feel cooler than in the city but you’re still baking in the sun and sitting next to a fire to boot. Keep your fluids up, especially when drinking alcohol.

drink! A few bottles of wine, some pre-made cocktails and some beers should suffice.

a cooler Because nobody’s ever asked for a refreshing warm beer.

wire mesh To be placed directly on top and beneath the fire. The bottom one saves any charcoal from falling into the pit and the top one's a perfect for fork rest.

plates, bowls are even better Paper ones if you don’t mind your food being blown onto the floor, washable plastic ones that you can reuse if you’re feeling eco-friendly.

a barbecue fork


a bin bag

Without it by 6pm your planned tan will be nothing but bright red, peeling, blistered skin, which in turn will put everybody off their food.

Collect up your litter and pop it into a bin, leaving the area as you’d like to find it.

wet wipes // june 2011

And lots of them. It’s a very hands-on experience.

This will be an extension of your arm, your metal fingers that hold your food over the fire. (These sometimes wash up on the beach, take heed of the next point…)

33 recipes


bespoke barbecue This month our chef extraordinaire has left the kitchen for the great outdoors and cooked up a special barbecue menu just in time for the start of summer. You know how to broil burgers and make sausages sizzle, instead here are five simple but oh-so effective recipes guaranteed to make your barbecue the most memorable one of the season. Recipes by Luis Porras // june 2011

how to


how to... By James Fortier from The Porterhouse.

steak the daddy of the bbq Thickness


Steaks at least 1" to 1½" thick are best and the marbling and thickness of Ribeye, Sirloin Strip and the Porterhouse make them ideal. Thick cuts sear without being overdone inside, while anything under an inch is likely to dry out.

Steaks should be at room temperature before grilling so remove from the fridge at least 45 minutes beforehand.

Lightly oil the grilling rack to keep the meat from sticking and tearing on the grill.

Pre-heat the grill to 200-300°C for 30-45 minutes before grilling. It's during the first few minutes that the high temperature sears the meat, forming the coating that seals in the tasty juices.

Once on the grill, don't turn them for least five minutes. Turning too soon prevents searing and if they stick they need longer.

Keep your lid on! By keeping the lid closed during grilling, you increase the broiling temperature and decrease the cooking time.

Before serving, let the steaks rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to re-distribute back to the outer edges of the steak. This also prevents excessive bleeding when sliced.


Season the steak just before placing on the grill. It’s better to undercook than to overcook overcooking causes moisture to evaporate, making the meat tougher and less juicy.

Use tongs or a spatula to turn over steaks - forks pierce the meat and let the juices seep out.

35 how to

People are over, the pressure's on. Alleviate the strain by following this simple guide to grilling the top four essential meats for any barbecue: shrimp, pork, chicken and the mighty steak.

rare, medium or well done? However your like your steak, here's how to tell by touch when it's just right. Rare: Squeeze the pad at the base of your thumb. It should feel spongy and offer very little resistance. Medium-rare: Press with the palm of your hand. The steak should feel firm and snap back quickly. Well-done: Squeeze the base of your small finger. It should feel very firm, with almost no give.

shrimp When grilling shrimp, large and jumbo sizes are the only ones to use. Shrimp is thoroughly cooked when it is opaque in the centre while the sides turn reddish-pink. Over direct heat, it takes about 2-4 minutes for jumbo shrimp.

pork All cuts of pork are perfect for grilling but keep it juicy – pork is bred so lean today that you should incorporate brines and marinades to add moisture.

boneless chicken breasts Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Season and lightly brush with olive oil. Grill over medium heat until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink in the center; usually 8 – 10 minutes, turning once halfway through.



a Porterhouse starter pack, see page 5 for details. // june 2011

Chef James has a long history in all things meaty so starting The Porterhouse in 2009 was the next logical step. Supplying the best cuts direct to your door, The Porterhouse is an indispensible barbecue partner this summer. T 2533 3765



37 recipes

baked potato salad grilled raddichio with parma ham SERVES x4 PREPARATION TIME 30 minutes COOKING TIME 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS + 4 large potatoes, baked and cooled + ½ cup sour cream + 2 tbsp mayonnaise + ½ cup chives, chopped + ½ cup bacon, chopped + salt and pepper to taste

INGREDIENTS + 2 heads radicchio lettuce + 8 large slices Parma ham + olive oil + balsamic vinegar + goat’s cheese METHOD 1 Cut lettuce heads into quarters, keeping stems intact so they don’t fall apart. 2 Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper between leaves and wrap in a large slice of ham. 3 Grill at low flame until the ham’s slightly crisp. 4 Set on a platter, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and crumbled goat's cheese. // june 2011

METHOD 1 Peel cooled baked potatoes and cut into chunks. 2 In a large bowl, combine all ingredients gently, refrigerate until ready to use. 3 Serve in a large platter or bowl.




sautéed wild mushrooms with asparagus SERVES x4 PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes COOKING TIME 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS + 10 white button mushrooms + 10 Chinese mushrooms + 100g Japanese mushrooms + 12 baby asparagus, chopped into large pieces + 100g butter

+ ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped + 3 shallots, chopped + 3 garlic cloves, chopped + ¼ cup sherry + salt and pepper to taste

METHOD 1 Clean mushrooms by hand, cut stems out and slice. 2 In a large frying pan, heat the butter on high heat. As it browns, add garlic, shallots and asparagus sauté for 3 minutes, then add mushrooms and sherry. 3 Lower heat, add parsley and season with salt and pepper. 4 Serve in a large bowl. pan and tea towel from pantry magic,

39 recipes

small bowl for butter from pantry magic,

steak butter SERVES x6 PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes // june 2011

INGREDIENTS + 200g salted butter, softened + 1 tsp paprika + 1 tsp Dijon mustard + 1 clove garlic, finely chopped + 2 tsp parsley, finely chopped + black pepper

METHOD 1 In a bowl, whisk the softened butter. 2 Add all ingredients and mix well. 3 On a flat surface, place a sheet of plastic wrap, spread butter along one side. 4 Roll tightly to form a tube and twist both ends, ensuring there are no air bubbles inside. 5 Wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to use. Cut slices about 1cm thick and place over warm grilled steaks, seafood or other meats.



grilled peaches with mascarpone cream and honey SERVES x4 PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes COOKING TIME 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS + 4 peaches + 200g mascarpone

+ 50g caster sugar + honey

METHOD 1 Slice peaches in half, remove pits. 2 In a bowl, whisk caster sugar with mascarpone, refrigerate. 3 Grill peaches on lightly oiled barbecue grill (or oven), and set aside. 4 Arrange grilled peaches on a platter, served with mascarpone cream and drizzle with honey.

41 promotion

homemade bbq char siu pork SERVES x4 PREPARATION TIME 15 minutes MARINATING TIME 4 hours (overnight will give the best result) COOKING TIME 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS + 400-500g whole pork fillet + 2 tbsp honey + 100ml hoi sin sauce + 1 tbsp dark soy sauce + 2 tbsp Chinese rice wine

Meat Hotline: 8135 1394 Website: Email:

MEATMARKET.HK SHOPPING LIST + 400-500g whole pork fillet // june 2011

METHOD 1 Make the marinade by mixing together all ingredients except the meat, then pour into a zip-lock bag or large shallow dish. 2 Place a whole pork fillet in the bag or dish then roll it over in the marinade until it is completely coated. 3 Set aside for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. 4 Pour a shallow layer of water in the bottom of a roasting tin. Place a roasting rack or wire cooling rack in the tin and put the meat on top, reserving the marinade. 5 Roast at 220째C / gas mark 7 for 15 minutes then turn the heat down to 180째C / gas mark 4 and continue cooking for 15 minutes more, brushing over a little marinade as you go. 6 Remove from the oven, slice into thick pieces and serve hot with noodles or rice.

+ 1 tbsp crushed yellow bean curd (or red bean curd paste) + olive oil + 1 tsp sesame oil

dinner and a movie


dinner and a movie:

Lost In Translation Text by Benjamin Hall Sofia Coppola’s 2003 drama brings together Charlotte, a young, recent Yale graduate (Scarlett Johansson) and Bob, a tired middle-aged movie star (Bill Murray) as they endure a series of jetlagged, sleepless nights in a Tokyo hotel. An understated story of friendship, romance and self-discovery; a series of brief encounters between Charlotte and Bob spark a relationship that begins whimsically but swiftly deepens, shifting into something unexpected and poignant. Often touching, occasionally silly and in places challenging, Lost In Translation is a subtle triumph, a small story expertly told with a great deal of heart.

mushroom udon The perfect addition to a night in Tokyo with Mr Murray.

SERVES PREPARATION TIME 10 minutes COOKING TIME 15 minutes INGREDIENTS + 2 shitake mushrooms + shichimi (Japanese mixed chilli powder) to taste + 1 medium-sized packet of udon + ½ white onion, long thin slices + 2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped + 3 tsp mushroom flavoured soy sauce + 2 tsp vegetable stock powder + a handful of nori (Japanese seaweed) slices

METHOD 1 Fill a large saucepan with water until it’s only a couple of inches below the rim, bring to the boil and cook noodles according to the packet directions. 2 Heat oil in a saucepan and add the shitake mushrooms, sliced onions and garlic, cooking gently for 5-minutes. 3 Pour the water from the cooked udon to the second saucepan, adding soy sauce, vegetable stock and chilli powder. 4 Simmer for 10 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. 5 Add the noodles to the broth, allow them to warm thoroughly and stir. 6 Add nori on top as garnish and serve.

43 promotion

secrets Satin

Decorating with fondant is easier than it looks…

When whipping up colourful fondant cakes, rather than wrestle with rolling regular icing, take this top inside tip from Complete Deelite. Satin Ice Fondant is the professional’s choice the world over, making decorating with fondant far easier than it looks, thanks to its vast range of premade colour varieties and super elasticity. Complete Deelite use it in all their classes, showing its diversity and suitability for beginners and experts alike. Satin Ice Fondant comes in such a range of colours that it also removes the hard-to-master colouring process from your decorating, allowing your creativity to run free. The satin-smooth finish allows for the simplest of cakes to shine, with a smooth, creamy and mellow taste that professionals swear by. It’s also incredibly durable and is loved for its ability to be rolled super thin. Applicable for covering all manner of cakes, it is also just as good for all types of modelling, from characters and figures to drapes and swags.

Complete Deelite’s Jacinta Yu hosts a june video on the Satin Ice website - see her using Satin Ice Fondant with ease to make a wonderful purse cake here www.satinfinefoods. com/how.htm or experience it yourself at one of Complete Deelite’s monthly classes. It is also available for purchase in-store. For class schedules, product info, the blog and more, visit // june 2011

As well as looking and tasting great, it also has a handy practical purpose. As a covering it seals the cake, keeping it moist and extending the shelf life. With zero trans fat and cholesterol, as well as being gluten, dairy and nut free as well as vegan and kosher, Satin ice is perfect for everybody!


eating my words


Waking the Waddle The fall was noticeably less exhilarating than you’d imagine. That should’ve been trigger enough, but as I plummeted toward the choppy waters beneath, my attention found its way to back to the rocky crag above. I couldn’t recall leaping, diving or any such wilful act. Neither could I call to mind a single moment before whatever had possessed me to fling myself out. Tumbling toward the ocean at rate enough to vaporise on impact, rear-ending raindrops and clawing like a mad thing; this was not the correct occasion for memory scouring. Shifting feet downward, craning my neck and heaving my torso as if carrying out some torturous mid-air sit-up, I began putting a great deal of energy into improving my up-ended viewpoint. The worst aerial dance in the world came to an end as I centred myself into a generally agreeable falling orientation. Drawing limbs together and straightening my back, I became convinced that I might pierce the water like a surgical needle. Where one might expect butterflies I felt only a sense of duty, to see this fall or whatever it was through.

eating my words with benjamin hall

Hitting the water changed everything, it was warmer than I’d expected, less choppy than I’d noted and populated, to my amusement, by a waddle of penguins. Visibility thereunder was unexpectedly decent, and my lungful of night air seemed to last for a comfortable eternity. The penguins, fat shimmering torpedoes, darted around me, curious about the cumbersome oaf gently bobbing in the swell. As I ascended to take a breath, the largest of the penguins surfaced with me. The casual manner with which he flicked water from his face was fairly unexpected, as was his English accent. “You’re fighting Dan Ryan after school at the Elgar statue, perhaps you’d forgotten?” His diction was pleasing, nonetheless, panic washed

over me causing me to become aware of my surroundings. Slipping underwater, this time struggling, gasping, tossing and… ..turning in bed. Groggily peering out from beneath the duvet, trying to piece together words uttered by a flightless bird. Within minutes I was lucid and evidence of the culprit sprang to mind. An ashamedly late session with a slab of Roquefort and a decidedly pungent wash rind. Roquefort is to dreams what David Lynch is to film. Naysayers will likely assert that cheese no more influences dreams than carrots do night vision. I’ve little evidence to argue with that assertion, but I know at least one well-spoken penguin that would beg to differ.

Benjamin Hall doesn’t boast qualifications relevant to gastronomy, nutrition or a food publication. He does, however, write a lot and is often found eating whilst doing so.

Foodie Issue 23 : June 2011  

Hong Kong's guide to good taste.