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Foodie Flashback 2012 A look back at a year of fabulous food

Confessions of an Ex-vegetarian Why they went from green to red

Keep a lid on

these tasty recipes issue 42 // january 2013 // january 2013

in a jar


foodie panel Food-loving folk who've helped us this month: Jenny Siu Owner of Lab Made ice cream

new year, new foods

tells us about their liquid nitrogen-infused

flavours p. 14 Rhys Southan This former vegetarian tells us why he returned to meat p.32

Celine Ivanoff

The start of 2013 to many signifies cleaning up their closets, toning up their bodies and cleansing their insides with an almighty diet overhaul; for me, it is simply an opportunity to open the doors on a new world of food. This year my resolutions are to lunch at more local clay pot cooking stalls, try out snake soup for the first time, discover more dairy alternatives (just for research purposes, I adore milk), find a place that serves durian I can stomach and seeking out a good cup of kopi luwak coffee. What are your food resolutions? It’s January and a year of new food awaits!

Also an ex-veggie, Celine explains her carnivorous turn p.32

Alicia Walker, Editor.

Celia Hu The Food Nomad

in a ja r p.38

takes us on a trip to Bali p.38

the chewin' fat p.14

Publisher Simon Squibb. Editor Alicia Walker. Deputy Editor Stephanie Pliakas. Creative Director Helen Griffiths. Designer Miho Yawata. Photographer Josephine Rozman. Online Editor Grace Entry. Junior Web Editor Jen Paolini. Contributors Celia Hu, Cruz Macalister. Business Manager Elle Bradstock. Distribution & Club Executive Nicholas Poon. Published by Foodie Group, 3/F, Chao’s Building, 143-145 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong. Printed by Teams Printing Co., Ltd. If you'd like us to help you promote your brand, contact us at, 2721 2787.

Love food? Join the Foodie Community! foodie k flashbac 2012 p.33

@foodiehk foodiehk afoodieworld // january 2013

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. Foodie and the Foodie magazine logo are trademarks of Foodie Group Limited. All rights reserved.




Food War


Which butter is better? Four premium brands get greased up for a fight


Confessions of an ExVegetarian Former veggies explain why they broke their greenstreak


Foodie Flashback 2012 A look back on a year of eating


The Food Nomad Celia Hu takes us on a culinary journey to Bali

cover story In a Jar

Recipes that’ll make you want to keep a lid on ‘em!

Did You Know... St Hilary’s feast day on January 13th is known as the coldest day of the year because in 1205 The Thames in London froze over and ale and wine turned to solid ice. Since then, many cold spells have started on this date, so bundle up!

Jars typically used for home canning are named "Mason" after John L. Mason, the inventor of the first common canning jar. // january 2013

Jarring fact



for starters

for starters January detoxes, brunches, telly and more!

World’s Weirdest Restaurants

Great Dinners of the world

Culinary adventurer, chef and seven-time Guinness World Record holder Bob Blumer has spent a lifetime cooking and exploring the outer limits of the food world, but there are still a few surprises out there, even for him. He takes a wild ride around the globe to find the wackiest, craziest and downright strangest places to grab a bite. From monkeys that serve beer in a Japanese tavern to dining naked in New York and even eating curry out of mini toilet bowl in Taiwan, Bob seeks out the most eccentric and extreme dining experiences. Join Bob on his voyage of discovery that takes him to a host of “believe-it-or-not” dining subcultures and food adventures where the human imagination is the only limit. WORLD’S WEIRDEST RESTAURANTS premieres on Monday, 7 January at 9pm on TLC. HK Cable TV (channel 54), now TV (channel 213) and bbTV (channel 317).

Four rising stars on the Asian culinary scene are transported to culturally and historically rich Europe. In addition to visiting the most picturesque chateaux, mouth-watering breweries and enchanting castles in France and Scotland, these four culinary maestros will be torn out of their comfort zones and given the challenge of cooking up and delivering their signature Asian delights to their unsuspecting European guests of honour. Will they shock the foreign taste buds with Asia's exotic and spicy flavours or swiftly win over the hearts and palates of these overseas foodies? Tune in to nowTV channel 527 on AFC. Thursdays at 9:30pm, starting 10 January to find out!

HK chefs’ secrets

Trained pastry chef and journalist Susan Jung has compiled her favourite recipes from her column in Post magazine along with signature recipes from top chefs around Hong Kong for her new food volume A Celebration of Food. Contributions came from the likes of The Mandarin Grill, Cuisine Cuisine, The Chairman, Sushi Kuu and Caprice to name a few. Available from Dymocks and Bookazine stores around Hong Kong.


for starters

Genie in a bottle Just in time for your obligatory post-holiday January detox resolutions, Homegrown Foods has collaborated with Genie Concepts to launch a two-day All Organic Cleanse, available now for $1,300. This Genie detoxification comes in two pre-pressed, ready-to-drink, six-juice-a-day packs comprising all-organic, seasonal ingredients from Homegrown Foods. The ingredients are sourced locally and with integrity from Hong Kong organic farms. Not only are they totally free from the many chemicals often found in conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables, but they also contain the maximum nutrients by being harvested at their optimum ripeness immediately before being pressed, with minimal travel time and distance. 2803 0369

Titanic Meals Dining was of course an important part of the luxury travel experience that came along with a ticket aboard the world's most famous ship. Opulent four-course meals made with the finest ingredients available and no expense spared were served in the several dining room options on board the stunning White Star Line cruiser. The meals served to First Class passengers were influenced by one renowned chef, do you know who that chef was or which country he hailed from? If so, you could win a pair of tickets to Titanic The Exhibition at the Venetian Macao. Simply answer this question: what type of cuisine did First Class passengers enjoy aboard the Titanic? Email your answer to and you can get a first hand look at the magical reinvention of this magnificent ship.

Beyond Brunch // january 2013

From their lofty setting atop the ICC, Inakaya are now treating families to a whole new definition of Sunday brunch. Along with their jaw-dropping views, they are offering up free­‑flow sake and wines, teppanyaki delicacies, fresh sushi, sukiyaki, shabu shabu, tempura and many more traditional home-style delights. For children, they have a special origami workshop so the kidlets can learn to make a samurai hat and other fun shapes out of colourful paper to take home with them along with their full tummies. Every Sunday from 12 to 3pm, with adults paying $598 including free flow, children $298 and no charge for under six. Shop A, 101st Floor, ICC, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon 2972 2666


the best of the bloggers

Looking back on 2012, what was your best eating out experience? Ale Wilkinson I think it would have to be Liberty Private Works. I am constantly recommending this place to anyone and everyone for any special occasion they may have. Everything from watching the food being meticulously prepared, to the beautiful presentation and phenomenal taste of the food was absolutely perfect. I'm just waiting for the right occasion to go back! Jason Tse Without a doubt, my meal at Amber was the best. The quality of food was well prepared as always, but it was the attentive service during the meal that amazed me. Great service in Hong Kong is hard to find and I actually took the time to write an email to the restaurant on my experience. It was that good! Michelle Ng

Returning to London and stuffing my face with the best salt-beef bagel and doughnuts in Brick Lane, followed by an indulgent spot of afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason was my favourite experience of 2012 because it was food you can’t get in Hong Kong!

Sharon Maloney I've really enjoyed new local restaurants like The Salted Pig and 22 Ships, but local street food, hawker stalls and dai pai dongs still excite me and the food markets in Singapore were my idea of heaven. The idea of being around so many different types of cuisines appealed to my inner glutton!

Foodie Club Member Recipe

Vegetarian Japchae Minal Bharwaney shares a gluten free, dairy free recipe: *Items for this recipe can be bought in any Korean store in Hong Kong such as the Korean grocers available on Kimberly Street in TST.

Serves 4 Cooking time: 45 minutes Ingredients: + half packet of Korean potato starch noodles + 1 onion, chopped lengthwise + 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped + 1 bunch, spring onions + 1 carrot, julienne + 1 red pepper, julienne + 1 bunch fresh spinach + 2 blocks firm tofu, cubed + 2 cups Shitake mushrooms 06

Method: 1 Soak mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes. 2 Cook noodles for 5 minutes in boiling water. Strain and add sesame oil. Set aside. 3 Blanch spinach for 1 minute and set aside. Sear tofu cubes until golden brown. 4 Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients in a bowl and toast sesame seeds. 5 Stir fry vegetables for 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic. Add vegetable oil. Add tofu, spinach, mushroom and noodles at the last minute. 6 Combine all ingredients in a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

sweet tweets

Sweet Tweets Funny food talk on Twitter we giggled over this month


I think PE should only be for people that want a career in sports, the rest of us just want food. @TheTumblrMemes

I need you. I want you. I love you....

FOOD. @bozzpod

I can't EAT anymore but I'm definitely gonna in like 10 minutes





I ate 20 times my body weight in food today, but yet here I am laying in bed – starving. What is wrong with my body and this constant hunger? @Leprechaun_Jump @JASMINEVILLEGAS

Yes FOOD I'm talking to you. @Brockway_LLC

Eat the whole


turkey, its powers: Awkward flight and


“Sleep until

you’re hungry,

eat until you sleep.”

Niall Horan


Even terrible pie is




If pigs really could fly I bet their wings would taste




Follow us on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook for exclusive offers, heaps of dining tips and regular giveaways. Twitter: @foodiehk Facebook: www.facebook. com/foodiehk // january 2013

It is illegal to eat raw bacon if there



foodie club

foodie club event

foodie club


Foodie Club is the must-have membership for anyone who considers themself a foodie. Not only is Foodie Club FREE to join, but once you’re in, you will benefit from all the exclusive Foodie Club Deals as well as VIP access to our Foodie Club Events. Become a member and see what all the hype is about!

Foodie Events Foodie Club members benefit from VIP access to all our Foodie Events. From chocolate making classes and wine and cheese nights, to gourmet dinners and cocktail mixers, bring a few friends along or come solo to meet fellow foodies in Hong Kong. If you love eating great food and meeting great people, Foodie Club is for you! Foodie Club members gain access to exclusive deals all over Hong Kong. More deals are added every month, so check the current issue of Foodie, or our website, for all the latest and greatest offers that Foodie Club brings!


Sign up to begin enjoying the benefits today!

Foodie Deals Here is a small sampling of the many deals that you can redeem with your Foodie Club card: + Pantry Magic: $100 off a purchase over $500 + Edible Arrangements: 10% off and free delivery in Central + SoHo Wines and Spirits: 10% off full priced items + Azure: 15 % discount For a list of all the current deals and to sign up to Foodie Club go to and start reaping the rewards!

Sassy's Xmas bash

sassy ch a very

Sweet Soirees party planners joined up with the Sassy girls to put on the cutest occasion of the festive season. Groups of girls huddled around roaring digital fires dressed head-to-toe in après-ski gear with colourful festive sweaters, furry scarves and festive headgear in the form of reindeer antlers and Santa hats. The uber-cool new California Vintage at Brim 28 in Wan Chai set the stage for the event with its large chalet-feel surrounded by a central wine bar that gave it a cosy, romantic and intimate vibe perfect for the Christmas cabin theme. The open bar serving mulled wine and other tantalising libations, Christmas canapÊs and wintry desserts made for an evening filled with delicious festive fun. The wintry goodie bag stuffed with gifts and the grand prize draw for luxury holidays by The Luxe

10 12

Sassy's Xmas bash

hristmas Nomad were the icing on the cake to a great evening filled with Christmas cheer, great chatter and most importantly, wonderful food and drink! For invites to more events like this one, join Foodie Club!

In association with: // january 2013

With thanks to our sponsors:



Foodie Club

SkyCity Marriott cooking class Foodies began preparing for the holiday season by whipping up dessert in a very hands -(and mouth) on cooking class at the SkyCity Marriott. With the guidance of expert chefs inside the hotel's Man Ho restaurant, Foodie Club members built holiday cake-logs to take home to show off their skills and treat their families. The chocolate and strawberry fillings were a bit too much for some Foodies to resist, as we saw more than a few fingers dip into the mixing bowls for a sneaky taste. To ensure that everyone didn’t eat their cakes right away, SkyCity Marriott also served up a high tea set after the class filled with savoury and sweet nibbles. With our sweet tooth satisfied, we relaxed in the lounge seats to chat about our holiday plans on the calendar and, most importantly, all of the great festive meals we were looking forward to. Did we mention it was all for free? Thank you, SkyCity Marriott!


foodie club members' mixer

XTC gelato mixer


Cooler weather didn't phase Foodie Clubbers as they gathered to meet us on a grey afternoon in SoHo for some of the best gelato in Hong Kong at XTC. Our tradition of chatting with our members at the beginning of every month to celebrate the latest issue of Foodie was another success. Our members got the new issue of Foodie hot off the presses and a big ol’ cone of cool-down gelato, along with some great food chat. XTC served up cone after cone filled with a choice of one of their eight new seasonal flavours like chestnut chocolate, baked apple cinnamon and frutti di bosco, just to name a few. Don’t you love eating your dessert before your dinner?


chewin' the fat

Chewin' The Fat with...

Two professional pharmacists turned ice-cream churners in their own liquid nitrogen lab, both Ronnie Cheng and Jenny Chiu have created a magically misty, airy land of ice cream wonder in the heart of Tai Hang. They tell us how they came up with this cool concept.

“We stumbled upon a liquid nitrogen ice cream parlour one summer in London. This concept was completely new to us then, and we were very impressed by the whole experience and product. After a spoonful or two, we both knew this could be a hit in Hong Kong. The nitrogen didn’t just add a wow factor, but it also greatly improved the texture of the ice cream and intensified the flavours. After a lot of research and experimenting, we decided to give it a go, and hence Lab Made was born. To be able to watch and eat ice cream being made right in front of you is pretty cool, and using liquid nitrogen allows us to do just that. Liquid nitrogen is extremely cold, measuring at -196°C. When added to a mixer with our home-made custard, it can churn out ice cream in just 30 seconds! The quicker the freezing process is, the smaller the ice crystals, giving our ice creams an extremely smooth texture. And since every scoop is made on order, unlike 14

traditional ice creams, any toppings that are crunchy will stay crunchy. We believe that when you enjoy what you do, creativity and inspiration comes naturally. And when you’re in Hong Kong, ideas are never far, as you’re always surrounded by food and drink. Sometimes ideas just come when we are eating out or going to other shops, mostly ideas that suit the local palates. For example, at a dim sum restaurant, we think, ‘What would also taste good as an ice cream? Custard bun filling? (we’ve done it!) Egg tart flavour? (maybe on our next list!)’ Perhaps being born and raised in the UK helps a little bit too. Memories of childhood comfort food have lead to us recreating flavours such as apple crumble custard, sticky toffee pudding and our super lemon meringue pie! And for us, flavour is always the most important. It’s got to be intense,

chewin' the fat

and it can be complicated as well…but not bizarre! The best flavour we came up with was a play on the classic mid-afternoon snack, HK crispy toast – a combination of light vanilla ice cream mixed with buttery, crispy croutons and topped with a swirl of home-made peanut butter and condensed milk. While the worst has to be when we experimented with some honeyed ham. Mellow, sweet meat paired with savoury cheddar and a dash of vodka to jazz things up. It was to be enjoyed with port and seemed do-able on paper, but it turned out to be like a cold cheese never made the cut! What’s the one thing you didn’t expect when opening this new concept in Hong Kong? We knew news travels fast in Hong Kong, but we didn’t expect that so many people would hear about Lab Made so quickly. We’re very honoured to be featured in so many magazines, and we’ve even been on TV.

Do you have any tips for avoiding brain-freeze? A few tips include sipping on something warm between each spoonful and to basically not let your mouth get too cold. You could use your tongue to warm up the roof of your mouth. But that’s not the way to enjoy ice cream; no pleasure is really worth it without some pain!

Jenny Chiu describes her diet for a day: “I’m trying to eat healthier and have just started a low-carb diet. I do snack on anything with a combo of dark chocolate, nuts and dried cranberries.” Breakfast: Grapefruit juice with chopped soft-boiled eggs, sweetcorn and frankfurters. Very filling! Lunch: Fish. I pan-fried mackerel fillets marinated in teriyaki sauce and had it with pak choi. Dinner: Carrying on with the lowcarb theme, I bought Indian paneer (cheese) masala curry and tried to make it healthier by adding runner beans, cauliflower and chopped avocado. // january 2013

Your favourite ice cream flavour is? Jenny: Butter pecan, chocolate hazelnut, sea salt caramel…they make a great flavour combination. Ronnie: Hong Kong crispy toast (our very own original invention).

What I Ate Today


tried & tasted

tried &tasted new restaurants and special menus

Sal Curioso 2/F, 32 Wyndham Street, Central 2537 7555 Okay, I’m a curious epicurean. Now, what is it? Sister resto (or actually, more of a brother) to Madam Sixty Ate in Wanchai is this cool new eatery at the top of LKF. Spanish-style sharing plates with a whimsical menu filled with fun and flavourful fare. Who is behind these crazy names and décor? Chris Woodyard and Bronwyn Cheung are the husband and wife duo in the back of and front of house respectively. Spinning on the success of their opening last year of acclaimed Madam Sixty Ate, they’ve used their penchant for stylish cuisine and interiors and spun out a rad new restaurant in a coveted spot on the Wyndham strip. Lots of space

in this urban layout makes it perfect for big groups sharing a night of feasting. How is this fanciful food? Take some friends and try as much as you can. Latin-American flavours a-plenty, with succulent lamb meatballs, buttermilk fried chicken, jambalaya and molasses suckling pig all delicious options. Next on our tasting list are, the duck ceviche, roast monkfish, Wagyu cheeks and Tunisian spiced lamb. We also didn’t get a try at the dessert menu yet that’s filled with mouthwatering wonders like the Chilli Chocolate Pops, Strawberry Spider and Peanut Butter is the Pâté of My Childhood! What could that be but rum bananas, smoked peanut butter pâté and coffee crumble – yum! Veggie options? We took a solid vegetarian along to dine, and although the menu isn’t immediately veggie-rific, she got treated like a rock star. Thoroughly catered for with chickpeas, blue cheese manchego, beer bread, avocado mousse, eggplant dips and roasted beets, she was one happy herbivore.


tried & tasted

Ming Court Langham Place, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok 3552 3300 What's new? This two-Michelin-starred Cantonese stalwart has two new private dining rooms that ooze authenticity with hand-painted wallpaper and marbled table spinners. This is the way to entertain a group of guests in luxurious style. The menu: Everything gold if you want it. We started with gold leaf crispy pork loin and black truffle and silk bean curd, followed by gold caviar with golden sea urchin. We also sampled an exquisitely presented teapot chicken consommé and butter-soft boxed Wagyu beef. Did we mention the dessert that was floating on a soft cloud of liquid nitrogen for the ultimate wow-factor? This menu is carefully thought out, uses only the highest-quality ingredients and is executed with military precision. The mesh of classical Cantonese food with a touch of molecular gastronomy thrown in is captivating as well as delectable. The Wine Guy: Langham Place has its own “Wine Guy” who has the complicated job of pairing Canto cuisine with appropriate wines; his depth of knowledge on the subject makes you wonder why wine hasn’t always been consumed with it. Perfectly complementary pairings, with tea on the side, make for a modern touch to traditional dining. The décor: A collection of replica Ming Dynasty pottery and Chinese landscape paintings immediately transport you into old-world China fused with a feeling of modern luxury. The exclusivity of the new private dining rooms decorated in gold, ivory and rich wood hues sets a decadent tone for a spectacular meal.

G/F, The Piazza, Grand Millennium Plaza, 181 Queen's Road Central, Sheung Wan 2167 8200 What's new? They’ve had a facelift. Revamping the interior, removing stairs, adding a bit of sparkle and generally overhauling their insides with a new sheen that’s as pleasant as the cuisine. The menu: They’ve added dishes such as the sumptuous oxtail ravioli, but kept the people’s favourites like the antipasti buffet, homemade pasta with rabbit ragout and saffron risotto cakes. How is it? Fantastic. Quite light for Italian cuisine, which makes three courses, even at lunch, completely doable. And believe us, you will want to have three courses of this flavourful food. Each dish impressed us and delighted our taste buds. The service: Wonderfully attentive. Gaia means “happy” in Italian, and the staff all come across as just this. It must be a lovely place to work with all those smiling faces around all the time. The chef seems to put the same cheer into his dishes, and this has a positively charming after-effect on its diners. To sum up: This buzzing Italian is the perfect spot for a quick (or lengthy) lunch or an opulent yet affordable supper. With its ideal location in Grand Millennium Plaza and great people-watching terrace, warm days are best spent out here enjoying tasty food while watching the vibrancy of the city streets, while cooler days will usher you inside to enjoy the restaurant's fabulously refurbished décor. // january 2013

Final note: If you want to impress, this is the place to do it.



tried & tasted

cake was, quite literally, intoxicatingly delicious. It also came with a small cup of Grand Marnier granita, which you could sip while enjoying your piece of decadent cake. Stars of the show: “N-I” (Vanilla Napoleon) has a layer of gorgeously caramelised puff pastry to break up the soft textures of the crème Chantilly, vanilla custard and chocolate sponge. The Salted Caramel Mousse Crumble is another dessert made in heaven, with sweet, sensuous white chocolate complementing the creamy Himalayan pink salted caramel mousse and the crunch of coffee and almond crumble enhancing the dessert’s textures. Foodie review by Stephanie Ko

Tamarind Black n White

Unit B & D, 88 102 Ivy Street, Tai Kok Tsui 2789 1330 What is it? A dessert emporium serving everything from cakes and macarons to gelato and chocolate figurines. There is also a small pasta selection if you are in for a proper meal. The chocolate: Using only the finest Venezuelan chocolate in their desserts, these exquisite delicacies leave a sensuous aftertaste. A must-try is the Dark Chocolate 72%, a cup of divine cocoa goodness, with layers of velvety dark chocolate mousse with a mélange of rich flavours. The guy behind the chocolate: Co-owner Chef Jeffrey Koo is the host of the TVB series “Sweet Corner”, in which he teaches local celebrities how to prepare various chocolate desserts. He also runs his own culinary school in Kwun Tong, called Chefs (Chocolate & Culinary School). For the drinkers: Try the Grand Marnier Opera Dessert Set. Layered with orange-zest buttercream, Grand Marnier chocolate ganache, blood orange jelly, vanilla sponge and chocolate sponge, the opera 18

2/F, Sun Hung Kai Centre, 30 Harbour Road, Wanchai 2827 7777 What is it? Part pan-Asian restaurant, part al fresco dining and lounge area with sweeping harbour views, Tamarind occupies the space formerly home to Indian-Italian fusion restaurant (not a typo!) Duetto. The food: It’s a nice mix of Thai, Vietnamese and Indian. Chef Amoo, from Thailand, heads up the Thai and Vietnamese side of the kitchen, sharing a space with Chef Ravilal Bhandari – who takes care of the Indian side. The highlights from the menu all featured – what else? – tamarind as their main ingredient: the crisp pani poori puffs filled with spiced potatoes and accompanied by a trio of gorgeous jewel-toned beetroot, mint and tamarind

tried & tasted

sauces; the succulent roasted black cod marinated in a mixture of sweet-and-sour tamarind, fish sauce and coconut sugar; and the grilled pork neck served with divine spicy tamarind sauce (the not-so-secret ingredient in the sauce is sticky rice!). There was only one daily dessert on offer when we visited – and ours was a rather humdrum (and non-Asian) brownie – but we’re told that a full dessert menu should be in place by the time we go to press. The space: The large, open main dining room is decorated in calm brown tones. We liked the wellspaced tables interspersed with comfy stand-alone sofas. The real draw, though, is the ample outdoor terrace with tables for eating and more sofas for sprawling. There’s also a smaller indoor dining area that can be booked for private events – apparently, it’s already quite popular with Indian wedding parties, and we can see why. Final thoughts: With more than 130 dishes on the menu, it’s fun to mix and match the three different Asian cuisines. We also love the outdoor terrace – a great place to keep in mind for either parties or romantic evenings à deux.

Wild Grass 1/F, 4–8 Arbuthnot Road, Central

2810 1189

What is it? A new nose-to-tail restaurant that ticks all the right eco-conscious boxes, from its menu focus of organic, seasonal and sustainable meat and local produce to its use of reclaimed-wood floors and furniture.

The ambience: The space is a breath of fresh air, with a lovely, laid-back home-away-from-home vibe. We were impressed as soon as we got a glimpse of the colourfully patterned staircase leading up to the restaurant, and once inside, we were immediately drawn in by how bright and welcoming it is. We also loved the communal tables and charming mismatched chairs. Polish artist XYZ was there while we were lunching, putting his flourish onto the restaurant’s walls, and we’re told the artwork will be constantly changing as the restaurant itself evolves. We’ve got no beef with Wild Grass: Wild Grass heads to the top of Foodie’s “must eats” list – we’re huge fans of the organic approach, relaxed atmosphere and delicious grub. The whole concept just feels right. // january 2013

The food: In a word – delish. Let’s start with the meat, which is all slow-cooked. The Australian OBE Organic grass-fed beef – whether it’s a rump with basil peppercorn relish or beef shin stewed with cloves and steamed goat’s cheese dumplings – is tender and extremely flavourful: earthy and robust. The suckling pig (cooked sous vide for 16 hours, then roasted) was our top pick, perfectly complemented with a dollop (or three) of the house-made coarsegrained mustard. We normally turn our noses up at offal (read: awful), but we found ourselves reaching for seconds of Wild Grass’ bacon-y, vinegar-y

stewed kidneys starter (and the accompanying celeriac purée was a creamy delight). Non-meateaters, don’t fear – the moist and flaky halibut roasted with a whole head of fermented garlic was just as lush. And, oh the desserts – comfort food to the tenth degree. We couldn’t get enough of the tangy rhubarb crumble or crème brûlée, uniquely served in tart form. The prices may seem on the high end (for instance, our adored suckling pig clocked in at $288), but the portions are plentiful and optimal for sharing. In addition, there are good-value threecourse set lunches ($220) and dinners ($390).


tried and tipsy

tried & tipsy

tried &tipsy

Naughty and Nice Since it’s January and we’re trying to keep to our New Year’s resolutions for at least the first month of the year, we’ve decided that instead of giving up on alcohol completely, we’ll just drink the healthy ones – that is, ones that have some loosely nutritious ingredients in them but still contain a good dose of liquor. Here are three of our tops picks:



Madam Sixty Ate Socialito

Shop 8, 1/F, The Podium, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Wanchai 2890 3182

Shop 8, 1/F, The Podium, J Senses, 60 Johnston Road, Wanchai 2527 2558

Overlooking the busy streets of Causeway Bay from its three different levels, Mamoz has been a favourite spot for both locals and expats for a long time. The ‘Rumsy’ cocktail knocked us over with its cranberry juice, ginger, apricot, lemon juice and of course, rum, concoction. The flavours are wonderfully balanced, with the zesty taste of ginger just lingering long enough in the mouth to warm us up. It’s yin and yang in a cocktail.

MSA’s talented Aussie bartender informs us that this aptly called ‘Spring in Your Step’ cocktail is made with plenty of cucumber and lemon juice, elderflower liquor, rhubarb bitters, gin and a spiced pineapple foam. With vegetables, herbs and fruits all in one, we’re thinking this could even work as a before noon, weekend pick-me-up.

G/F, 2 The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central 3167 7380 It’s called ‘The Mayan’ with Latin flavours that are light and refreshing, ideal for when we’re hanging out in this hot and hip establishment and need to cool down. The cocktail is a mixture of fresh watermelon juice, lime juice and cilantro leaves, plus a dash of their house ‘summer shrub’ – a combination of mango, celery and yellow bell pepper steeped in sweetened vinegar – and a shot of Patron Silver Tequila. We hear the house mix is a potent one… but we choose to believe it’s also good for us. // january 2013


food war

food WAR Butter up! Four salted bricks take a swing at the title President – $39.40/200g International Around Hong Kong This is the brand most of our tasters opt for in the supermarket during their weekly shop. Surprisingly, during the blind tasting it was deemed to be artificial and plasticky, and we found it left an oily film over our teeth. On the plus side, the texture was creamy and smooth, and there was a lingering aftertaste that was not at all unpleasant. FOODIE RATING

Challenge – $29.90/227g International Around Hong Kong With picturesque packaging and a disconcerting caveat of “From Cow Not Treated with the Growth Hormone rbST”, this variety is churned from pasteurised sweet cream. We didn’t know how we would feel about this very pale California brick, and once we got it on our tongues, we found it had a very milky flavour that wasn’t quite buttery enough for our liking, with a thin, almost watery consistency that reminded us a bit too much of lard. FOODIE RATING

Don Lerman holds the stomach-churning world record for butter eating. How many bricks of the spread did he have to ingest to win this salty title? In five minutes, he consumed seven quarter-pound sticks. 22

food war

Paysan Breton – $39/250g Il Bel Paese 85 Caine Road, Mid-Levels 2549 8893 This French beurre almost resembled a cheese, with the coarse flakes of sea salt giving it a superior textured appearance. This palatable spread had a natural taste that was clean and didn’t line the roof of the mouth, but left a moreish saltiness on the tongue that kept us returning our knife to the butter dish. Unanimously the favourite, we might even switch brands for this better butter, though it could be a tad too salty for toast all on its own. FOODIE RATING

Westgold – $26.90/250g International Around Hong Kong The vibrant yellow colour of this Kiwi brand looked a bit on the artificial side and tasted similar. More like a margarine than the others, this cheaper option was obviously a supermarket brand, with an absence of taste and depth. It had a smooth texture that was easily spreadable and, as it was the cheapest, could nicely be used for baking. FOODIE RATING // january 2013

Join the debate and tell us which is your favourite on our Facebook page.


street view

Here are some places on

street view

Jaffe Road, Wanchai,

that we've found interesting and worth stopping by

Gloucester Rd Lockhart Road Playground




jaffe road



Hennessy Rd



Queen’s Rd East

This diminutive Japanese newcomer serves yummy takeaway bento boxes. SubstantialThird St Comfort pieces of sushi and sashimi are presented atop Court a mound of rice alongside wasabi and pickled ginger and daikon. Be sure to check out the enormous wooden tub holding the cooked rice in the back of the shop. Shop D2, G/F, Kam Sing Mansion, 151–161 Jaffe Road, Wanchai 2813 1111

Island Crest Podium


Sabah It wouldn’t win any prizes in the looks department, but cheap and cheerful Sabah is a good option for tasty Malaysian food. The roti canai and beef rendang are particularly recommended, as are the well-priced set lunch deals. 98–102 Jaffe Road, Wanchai


2143 6626

Marsh Rd

Tonnochy Rd

Stewart Rd

Lockhart Rd

Fleming Rd

Luard Rd

Fenwick St

Arsenal St

Jaffe Rd

street view


The Wanch

Open daily till very late, Dumpling Pro should be your first port of call to satisfy your dumpling cravings – but besides freshly cooked dumplings made by hand with all manner of fillings, there are also comforting noodles and stick-to-your-ribs meat and veggie dishes. 243 Jaffe Road, Wanchai

54 Jaffe Road

2586 1621

2827 9287 Nuclear Rose photo credit:

Spicy Fingers Although it might look slightly sketchy from the outside, Spicy Fingers packs in punters night after night – it’s well known for its late-night cover bands, especially classic rock. The food hits the spot when you’re craving pub grub: chicken wings and burgers ‘n’ fries washed down with bottled beer. 78–82 Jaffe Road, Wanchai

2861 3588 // january 2013


@ Music Surve illance

Dumpling Pro

Great name, huh? Classic pub The Wanch has been around since the late 1980s, and its no-cover live music sessions are still rockin’ night after night. The décor can best be described as HK eclectic: original tram seats and old film posters and photographs.

photo credit: Vic Shing



word on the street

What did you do for New Year's Eve?

I was in London, and we did the countdown at Millennium Bridge!

a, Helen British

I celebrated it with my dragon boat teammates here in Hong Kong. It was great to get all the fun partying done and out of our systems before we got back in training again this month, for the upcoming dragon boat racing season.

We’re sisters and we spent NYE the year before away from home. So for this year we went back to Sydney for the holidays and spent NYE with our friends and family sailing on a yacht out on the harbour and watched the fireworks.

Caitlin & Emma


Wendy, American/HK I was with friends and family, and we took a boat out to Victoria Harbour where we ushered in the new year…with lots of champagne, of course!

, Esther HK an/ Americ


, Nicolas French

I had a nice New Year’s Eve lunch in Caprice, followed by a great home party at a friend’s place. I always try not to organise plans for New Year’s Eve, and to just go with whatever’s happening on the night.

on this month Where Hong Kong's food-loving folk come to dine, devour and dish up all things Foodie

Web Features: Top 5 Places to Get Your Coffee Fix! We’ve willingly had caffeine pumping through our veins so that we could come up with five of our top coffee spots; places we love not only for their potent cups of coffee, but also for their overall vibe…and occasional hipsters.

Web Exclusive:

Sniffing and Swirling Tea Check out our web exclusive with owner of MingCha teas, Vivian Mak – a passionate tea drinker and producer who aims to change the way we drink tea in Hong Kong one cuppa at a time.

Fuss-Free Recipe Ideas Want to impress your dining guests without even having to light the stove? Take a look at our Tired Chef’s Lunch recipe. Endless possibilities in a minimum amount of time.

Cooking Tips

Missed the last issue? Read it online

Daily Updated Foodie News Find out what’s happening in the dining scene and keep up to date with our daily news fare – new restaurant and bar openings, seasonal menu changes and special promotions!

All this and more on // january 2013

Pick up some cooking tips, new recipes and fun facts from our website featuring one of our fave sandwich meats, ham! Fresh, cured, baked or smoked, there’s a reason why we always have some in the fridge.


foodie flashback 2012

foodie flashback


We ate, we photographed, we mmm’ed, we ahhh’ed and nom-nomnom’ed our way through a year’s worth of food fit for a king. Alicia Walker takes a look back at Hong Kong’s best Foodie offerings

What We Ate A year’s worth of restaurant openings could fill a whole magazine, but here are some of the most notable eateries on the Hong Kong block:

Brickhouse Taco Platter with venison, ribeye, pork and fish

Salted Pig starter platter

Se Sa Me opened and then shut soon after, much to our chagrin, but left us with a new reliable favourite in The Salted Pig, which quickly returned the grins to our greedy faces. We discovered the birdcall of Piyo Piyo and dined on some seriously succulent yakitori, while Yardbird continued its hipster reign over top-to-tail chicken. Chom Chom gave us an awesome Nha Trang rival along with the MSG-, gluten- and wheat-free Noodle Mi, a favourite new lunch spot for us Sheung Waners and a successor to Sông, our previously frequented Vietnamese spot.

Se sa me interior


We hoarded the marinated olives at F.A.B., sat in quirky chairs at Heirloom while dining on homecooked chilli and coq au vin and found the secret scrumptiousness of Robata Zawazawa, where we exercised our palate’s adventurous side and experienced crocodile for the first time. A new go-to breakfast was introducted at Linguini Fini that had us waking up earlier than usual for a first light bite, and we enjoyed the cheap and cheerful comforts of moules frites at Brasserie de L’ile.

Jang, bibimbap

foodie flashback 2012

The Monogamous Chinese opened to delight palates everywhere with its kitschy, cool Sichuan food, and we tasted modern Shanghainese cuisine at The Dining Room, were awestruck by the beautiful interiors at AMMO, experienced the ups and downs of service at Greyhound Café's two locations, ate gumbo and fried chicken at the charming New Orlean’s eatery Restoration and dined at prolific Mario Batali’s LUPA trattoria and his sexy steakhouse, Carnevino. Blue Butcher gave us a meat locker for carnivorous window-shopping, and we rode the Mexican wave with Socialito, Taco Chaca and Brickhouse, before checking out the Peruvian flavours at Chicha. Amo Eno gave us a great new date place with its

rk fried po ese, pan ous Chin Monogam gs dumplin

Linguini Fini

22 Ships, suc kling pig, roa sted pineapp piquillo pepp le with spices er ,

interactive wine exploration, and we did some serious people watching at Nico’s Spuntino. We dined privately at Eclectic, discovered our love of a sandwich at ‘Wich in Wanchai, did Korean minus the barbecue at the delicious Jang, went Nordic at the always amazing FINDS, had the meal of our lives at Sushi Yoshitake and were blown away by the cuisine at the newly refurbished Shang Palace. A taste of Barcelona came to Hong Kong in the form of Boqueria and BCN, and we devoured more Spanish tapas at cosy Latitude 22 and teeny, tiny, full-of-flavour 22 Ships. Many different cuisines from all over the world, in all different areas of Hong Kong, made for a fully satiating 2012!

Nico's tortelloni di carne // january 2013

Deep fried crocodile

AMMO interior


looking back at 2012

Recipes Recap If you are looking for kitchen inspiration in 2013, Foodie will have plenty to test your culinary skills. But if you want to revisit some old hits, here are the types of recipes we cooked up in our Foodie kitchen last year: January seemed like an under-the-duvet month, and hence Breakfast in Bed was born. Romantic Meals for Lovers was the quintessential February theme, we moved on to Picnic Food in March, then had a whole issue in April dedicated to chocolate (that was a favourite for everyone involved!). Easy Weeknight Meals for One was a popular May section, and we set sail in June with Junk Food. When it came to July, we ate ourselves green with Super Foods, Resurrected the Classics in August, called on a local wok star chef to show us some authentic Chinese recipes for September, did our first-ever kids issue in October with everything cute shaped for the little ones and then whipped up some festive feasts using a whole lotta pumpkin in November. Finally, for the last month of the year, we went for New Year’s Eve party food that was all thoughtfully skewered so that eaters could both hold a drink and down some fab food.


looking back at 2012

What We Learnt We covered a lot of ground last year, but a few of the most memorable food topics are too good to be forgotten: Food trends came up more than once for us, with current fads (think molecular gastronomy), food predictions (farm-to-table) and past crazes like ramen. Private kitchens exploded on the scene and were the trendiest way to spend an evening, with TBLS, Liberty Private Works and Magnolia buzzing on Foodie's lips. We discovered that you could truly decorate your walls with food and found ourselves in galleries

drooling over food art. We turned Japanese in May and learnt everything from the different types of cuisine from Japan to the etiquette expected when eating sushi. We named our favourites and our readers' favourite restos in the June Foodie Awards, which has become a bit of a go-to guide to Hong Kong’s best restaurants, and we delved into the local cha chaan tengs, dai pai dongs and dim sum dives, and even went deep into the dried food scene to find out what was what. We also tried dipping the strangest things we could find into chocolate to find out if it really does go with everything. (Smoked-cheese-dipped choc is fantastic and so is a good old dipped dry instant noodle. Who knew?)

Who We Met

2012 was a great year to be a Foodie in Hong Kong, and by the looks of this mouth-watering issue, 2013 is already off to a delicious start! // january 2013

Pierre Gagnaire graced our cover, as did Bobby Chinn and Alvin Leung, we met beer lovers at Oktoberfest and wine drinkers at the Wine and Dine Festival and we repeatedly caught up with our Foodie Club members at our regular monthly mixers to celebrate each issue. Whether it was over wine, sake, Nespresso, free Red Mango froyo or XTC ice cream, we chatted all about food, food, food! We celebrated our third foodfilled year with Foodie’s birthday bash, in true style with a gang of fellow food lovers, chefs, restaurateurs and friends.




confessions of an ex-vegetarian food charity

Confessions of an ex-vegetarian Have you ever changed your mind, not just about what you want to eat for breakfast, but about your entire food ethos? Grace Entry hunted down three former vegetarians who showed us their inner carnivore

The Rise of Vegetarianism

Mary Pagones, a vegetarian for 14 years, also says it was the grizzly details of factory farming that turned her into a vegetarian in the 80s,

The Seeds of Change In June 2011, a Western Carolina University professor published an article stating that up to an amazing 75 per cent of vegetarians eventually give up their plant-based diets for a taste of the carnivorous ones they left behind. After following a vegan lifestyle for almost a decade, Rhys says his body felt terrible; he was depressed and constantly tired, both mentally and physically.

“I got into veganism for ethical reasons, but had also come to think that it was the healthiest way to live.”

To make matters worse, his meat-eating housemate // january 2013

Vegetarianism was all the rage in the 20th century; it gained momentum as a new food trend, due to its numerous reported health benefits from various publications. It was around this same time that more and more people became exposed to the unpleasant reality of livestock factory farming, with organizations like PETA and books such as Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma bringing guilt to meat eaters’ tables. Rhys Southan, blogger of Let Them Eat Meat and an ex-vegetarian, chose to become a vegetarian in 1997 (and later a vegan) for this exact reason. He says, “I started to feel a bit evil whenever I ate meat. I remember mumbling ‘meat is murder’ to myself before biting into a pork chop and over a long period of time, this was too much cognitive dissonance to deal with, so I became a vegetarian to resolve it.”

parcelled along with wanting to emulate a cool and alternative role model who was leading a vegetarian lifestyle. Whether it was to follow the current food trend, for ethical reasons or health benefits, plenty of people began throwing out their meat-based diets for vegetarian ones.


confessions of an ex-vegetarian

was always vibrant and energetic, and this struck a chord with Rhys. “I was feeling miserable as a vegan and thought animal products might change that – and they did! It’s almost unbelievable how quickly (ex-vegetarians and ex-vegans) feel better right after eating meat again.” Rhys notes that some vegan dietitians stated that a deficiency in vitamin B12 accounted for the overall tiredness he experienced and, if vegetarians follow specific guidelines, they can maintain a healthy vegan diet. However, Rhys is not completely convinced by this, as he was previously supplementing his diet daily with B12. Mary puts her change partly down to the “selfrighteous tone of many vegan animal activists” she encountered in her yoga classes. “As a vegetarian, I was never militant and acknowledged that certain creatures need meat to survive. I simply wanted to reduce the need for factory farming, since I personally did not like or require meat, but I never tried to make my dog vegan. My views began to change due to my own personal needs.” She also doesn’t believe vegetarianism should be “rigorously imposed on every single body like a cookie-cutter.”

The Meat Encounter For some, the reason for change was purely by accident. Celine Ivanoff, a French expat living in Hong Kong, was a vegetarian for 16 years, and says it was a mistaken encounter with a Nepalese meat dumpling that triggered her yearning for meat. “My boyfriend and

Carnivorous Child

I love Nepalese food, and we always order the same things: vegetarian momo (steamed dumplings) for me and a chicken version for him. On this particular night, I noticed how delicious it was. I thought that maybe they had changed the recipe. Instead, my boyfriend told me that I had eaten one of his chicken dumplings whilst laughing the whole time.” While we don’t encourage meat-lovers to trick their vegetarian pals with disguised meaty dishes, we’ve heard of this story happening more than once and it can sometimes kick-start a chemical reaction in the body. Celine felt sick for several hours after that one chicken momo, but says she “realized it was all just in my head” and quickly felt better. It can be quite a challenge living in Hong Kong as an expat on a vegetarian diet, especially when going out with groups of friends for a meal – in particular, Celine informs, at dim sum restaurants. Not being able to determine what’s inside each different bamboo steamer can be limiting to a vegetarian’s diet, and there’s only so many plates of blanched kai lan or pak choi with oyster sauce that a diner can go through in one sitting. For Rhys, it was a serving of sushi in Tokyo that tempted his palate back into an omnivore’s diet. He was amazed at how great it tasted and how good he felt immediately afterwards, though it took him several more months before deciding to completely quit vegetarianism. Surprisingly enough, all three of our ex-veggies say that there was never a time when their bodies craved meat while they were on a vegan or

Nisha Dadlani raised her children on a strictly vegetarian diet, but had faced a carnivorous turn in her two-and-a-half-year-old son when he had his first bite of chicken and never looked back. Why did you choose to start your children on a vegetarian diet? My husband is a vegetarian, and although I’m a non-vegetarian, I truly do believe a vegetarian diet is a healthier choice, especially with the different hormones and chemicals found in so many foods these days. Is it hard maintaining a vegetarian diet for your children? Not really, as they have grown up without eating meat from the start, and all their meals are pre-planned. They also don’t eat out a lot, so


confessions of an ex-vegetarian

vegetarian diet; but now that they are back in the carnivorous spirit, they all crave animal products, and just a whiff of meat can get their appetites going.

The Body Takes Charge Once adding the consumption of meat, seafood and dairy products back into their diets, our three former vegetarians noticed that, after a time, their bodies felt better and healthier. Mary observed her body had more endurance and felt stronger, especially when she was physically active with her various yoga, horseback riding and running exercises in her daily fitness regime. She acknowledges, “Although I was conditioned to running, I wasn’t getting any faster. I would babble on about the health benefits of vegetarianism to anyone who would listen, but I didn’t feel that healthy or fit. It suddenly occurred to me that I could be an omnivore, eat a healthier diet and maybe even feel better than I did at present – which wasn’t very good. I could barely lift more than a five-pound weight or run a ten-minute mile when I was vegetarian.”

vegetarian options or not.

An Omnivore’s Delight With growing interest in the development of food production, there has been a steady bloom of knowledge and support in eco-friendly and sustainable farming practices. For most recently converted ex-vegetarians, this is their new form of activism – purchasing and supporting smallscale or organic food producers that raise livestock in an ethical manner or the old-fashioned way, without the use of hormone injections or genetically modified feed to plump up the meat.

they don’t come across meaty foods very often.

meat, I would respect it.

What was your son’s first encounter with meat?

How does it work when it comes to mealtimes at home with the two different diets?

One afternoon I was having lunch with him. His was a vegetarian meal, while I was having grilled chicken. I received a work call, and before I knew it, I saw him holding the whole fillet in his hand and biting into it. I literally panicked and tried to get him to spit it out, but he kept saying it was “yummy”. Then I reminded myself that I had always said if my kids ever made the choice to eat

My son’s diet is still predominantly vegetarian, but he constantly ends up picking bits of my nonvegetarian meals. He now eats chicken and likes trying other meats like mutton and fish as well. On the other hand, my daughter is repulsed at the thought of eating meat and constantly telling her younger brother off! // january 2013

Rhys backs up Mary’s statement, expressing that his muscles had somewhat atrophied while he was a vegan. Once he started consuming meat again, his muscles bulked up and he was able to better maintain his muscle mass. Similarly, Celine also felt she had more energy on an omnivore’s diet. And as a PR representative for restaurants, there was a certain new freedom she felt in being able to take clients out for meals and choose anything from the menu without having to worry if a restaurant had

Nowadays, all three of our interviewed exvegetarians eat some form of meat as part of their daily diets and even cook it at home on a regular basis. Mary’s favourite home-cooked dish is roasted chicken thighs seasoned with chilli pepper and dried thyme. “Both affordable and tasty,” she says, while Celine says she makes a mean beef bourguignon, although she feels she still has “kind of a weird relationship with meat”. She won’t have big pieces of beefy steak, and any consumed meat has to be well cooked, without any bloody traces. Rhys, however, has taken on a much more carnivorous route. He cooks organ meats like liver, heart and sweetbreads in addition to seafood and shellfish. He explains, “I almost never eat muscle meats, in part because I eat meat for health reasons and I think fish and organ meats are the healthiest.” The other reason is that he likes “to use the parts that are less popular because it feels less wasteful. Ideally I’d like to cook insects, but you have to grow your own to make sure they’re safe, and I haven’t gotten around to trying that yet.”


food for thought


food for thought

Food for thought Tomayto, tomahto. Alicia Walker tries to wrap her tongue around this ubiquitous red fruit Does it rhyme with potato? Why, then, don’t we say avocaydo? Well, it quite simply doesn’t matter. The phrase “tomayto, tomahto” has in itself come to refer to an unimportant difference, so let's not debate the pronunciation, but talk about the juicy details instead.

In the past, tomatoes have been

Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in your fruit salad. Miles Kington When it comes to health, the redder the better, with cooked being more beneficial than raw, as heating breaks down the fruit's cell walls and releases lycopene, the most powerful of all the natural antioxidants in the land, and thought to be good for the heart and for keeping cancers of the prostrate, lung and stomach at bay. Vitamins A and C and fibre are positively beaming from the skins of this fruit, and these tasty toms have the added advantage of being cholesterol free. And they're not only good for our insides, but also for our adornments; tomato sauce is a perfect natural cleaner for everything made of copper, from jewellery to cooking pots. Oh, and

if you happen to get sprayed by a skunk, it's not just an old wives’ tale, but a bath in tomato juice really will have you smelling sweet as a ripe tomato berry in no time. But this shiny red veg/fruit/ berry’s real claim to fame is its celebrity status as the world’s most popular fruit. With more than 60 million tonnes produced annually, a distant contender is the banana at a meagre 44 million tonnes for the world’s second-most-popular title. With over 10,000 varieties, you’ll find no shortage of options when it comes to filling your fridge. Heirloom is the current flavour of the month, and the moniker refers to tomatoes that have been handed down farmer to farmer before hybridisation began growing dependably uniform crops with, arguably, less taste. That’s not to say heirlooms are ugly but they are an open-pollinated, non-hybrid breed that come in all different sizes, flavours and colour options, ranging from green, yellow, orange and pink to black, brown, white and purple. So, there you have a quick study of this fair fruit. We may still not know all there is to know about the tomato, but don’t worry, we’ll ketchup! // january 2013

Thought to originate in Peru, with the Aztecs being the first to cultivate this fine fruit, they also gave it the name tomatl, aptly meaning “plump thing with navel”. It's technically considered a fruit, and botanically actually classified as a berry, because its flesh is produced from a single ovary. In culinary terms, it is deemed a vegetable because of its much lower sugar content than other fruits, and therefore it is consistently used in savoury recipes. The leaves of the tomato plant are poisonous and belong to the deadly nightshade family, originally carrying the name “wolf peach”, coined to portray the dangerous nature of its latin name, Lycopersicon esculentum. Thanks to this name, tomatoes weren’t actually eaten in Britain until the 1700s, due to the misconception that the entire orb was thought to kill those that ate it; but the actual fruit (minus the leaves) is of course very edible indeed.

very popular as an uninjurious weapon for throwing during mass protests, and performers often bore a good rotten tomato pelting if their performance wasn’t up to scratch. To this day, in Spain every year they celebrate La Tomatina. Everyone in the town of Buñol participates in a massive tomato fight. What a contentious piece of produce!


the food nomad

the food nomad

Celia Hu finds food magic in the Island of the Gods Bali is a magical place, where an unexpected turn from the bustling streets can take you into the quiet solitude of a secluded temple. It is often called the Island of the Gods, and it's easy to see why, with its diverse religious population of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Buddhists. But there is one god that all Balinese worship, and that is the god of rice. Recently, I journeyed to this fascinating island to explore its unique cuisine - all served, of course, with a generous helping of rice.

Deus CafĂŠ. Deus Ex Machina Jalan Batu Mejan No. 8, Canggu, Bali The Canggu Deus CafĂŠ was started by a group of surfers and motorcycle enthusiasts, and is a motorcycle workshop, art gallery, surfboardshaping shop, bar and restaurant all rolled into one.

Ibu Oka Jalan Suweta/Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud, Bali When my contemptuous food hero Anthony Bourdain proclaimed this joint as the best roast pig shop in town, I knew I had to try it. Babi guling is roasted in the wee morning hours to satiate the hungry breakfast and lunch crowds.

Bumbu Bali Jalan Pratama, Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua, Bali Bumbu Bali is a restaurant plus guesthouse with a lively, friendly atmosphere. All the tables are tucked into quiet corners of the courtyard, and lanterns hang from tree branches to provide romantic illumination. The menu is extensive, and the open kitchen, with its large charcoal grill, is exciting to watch. 38

the food nomad

Dirty Duck Diner Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu, Bali Their cooking class takes place in an open-air kitchen studio, and includes an early market visit to choose ingredients. We mashed and ground herbs and spices for most part of the lesson and sat down to enjoy the spoils of our labour.

Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali Apparently the name of the restaurant came about when a flock of muddy ducks blew in from the neighbouring rice fields before its official opening, and since then, they've been turning out crispy-skinned ducks as their specialty.


Tugu Hotel's Cooking Class

My favourite Bali food highlights this trip were the very peculiar snakeskin fruit, which really does look like that of a snake but tastes like a sweet strawberry, and kopi luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world, and comes out of the feces of a civet cat! To see the extended version of The Food Nomad in Bali, go to



I n a Ja r

L i n e yo u r f r i d g e a n d s h e l ve s w i th g l o r i o u s g l a s s to show off yo ur kitchen efforts and keep th e i r c o n te n ts stored safely for serious snacking



GREEK SALAD in a bottle Greens have never looked better than those in this layered Mediterranean salad For 1 person Prep time: 20 minutes Ingredients: + 100g feta cheese + 200g olives + 1 large cucumber + 2 large tomatoes + 1 head romaine lettuce + extra virgin olive oil + lemon juice + oregano (optional) Method: 1 Wash all vegetables. Cut feta cheese into small cubes. 2 Dice cucumber and tomatoes and chop lettuce. 3 Arrange salad in jars by layers. Start with the heaviest ingredients at the bottom: feta, olives, cucumber, tomato, lettuce. 4 Seal jars and chill until ready to serve. 5 Once ready to serve, pour the desired amount of olive oil, and lemon juice and oregano over the top and shake well.

Cooped-up curd of lemon A tart and tasty addition to your morning toast Multiple servings Prep time: 30 minutes Ingredients: + 5 egg yolks + 1 cup sugar + 4 lemons, juiced and zested + 140g butter, cold

chunk until incorporated. Place in a jar and chill. Served on toast with ricotta or cream cheese.

PLUM PRESERVE in a pot Making jam in January is just the thing to do! Multiple servings Prep time: 2 hours Ingredients: + 1kg ripe plums + 300g sugar + 3 cloves + 1 cinnamon stick + 1 tsp dark rum, + 1 tsp orange peel Method: 1 Wash, remove stones and quarter the plums. 2 Mix with the rest of the ingredients and let them soak for 1 hour. 3 Boil the mass under constant stirring until it begins to thicken, then remove the spices. 4 Pour the hot jam into a glass jar and seal. // january 2013

Method: 1 Set up a double boiler (bain-marie) and mix yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest. 2 Stir constantly with a wooden spoon at low temperature until smooth and thick, about 20 minutes. The mixture should cover the back of a spoon. 3 Set aside and slowly add cold butter chunk by




Capsule Cod Ceviche Ceviche at home. What a catch! For 4 people Prep time: 20 minutes Chilling time: 1 hour


Ingredients: + 200g cod + 100g prawns, shelled + 1 tomato + 1 small cucumber + 2 small green onions, chopped + 4 sprigs fresh coriander + 4 large limes + salt to taste + Tabasco (optional)

Method: 1 Cut fish and prawns in small chunks. Place in a large bowl and add the juice of four limes. Set aside. 2 Dice tomatoes, green onions and cucumber and chop coriander. Add all to the marinating fish and prawns. 3 Season with salt (a dash of Tabasco is optional) and seal in a jar. Chill before serving, at least one hour. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.


Chalice of cherry CHEESECAKE A posh name for a dessert that is like a spoonful of decadence 2 Simmer until mixture starts to thicken, set aside and let cool completely.

Ingredients: + 200g shortbread biscuits + 250g cream cheese + ½ tin condensed milk + juice of 1 lemon + 1 packet frozen cherries + ½ cup sugar + ½ tsp cornstarch

For the cheesecake: 1 Select four medium-sized jars with wide openings. Crumble biscuits and evenly cover the bottom of the jars. 2 In a bowl, using a hand-held mixer, combine cream cheese, condensed milk and the rest of the lemon juice. Mix until well incorporated and creamy. 3 Pour cheese mixture evenly across jars, spread carefully so there are no air bubbles and pour the cool cherry mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Method: Cherry topping: 1 In a small saucepan, heat frozen cherries, sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and cornstarch. // january 2013

For 4 people Prep time: 20 minutes




potted pork rilletes, olive marinate, vegetables "in a pickle"


Potted PORK RILLETES Although this delightful dish can be kept in the cool box for up to a month, it won’t last long…trust us! Multiple servings Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 3 hours Ingredients: + 1 kg pork, with approximately 30% fat + 1 litre chicken or pork stock + 5 shallots, chopped finely + 2 bay leaves + salt and black pepper Method: 1 Cut the pork, together with the fat, in 1-inch cubes. The secret of good pork rilletes is to have enough fat for the meat to cook and then store in a jar. You can always ask your butcher for extra pork fat. Pork neck works quite well. 2 In a large, non-stick pot, place all the cubed meat. Season with plenty of salt, black pepper, and shallots. Top with stock until the meat is just covered. Add bay leaves and simmer in low heat until the meat is very tender, for about 3 hours. DO NOT REMOVE THE FAT. If the stock evaporates and the meat is not tender, add more stock or water as necessary. 3 Once the meat is tender and the stock has evaporated, remove from the heat and tear meat into a mushy paste. Store meat and fat in a clean jar and keep refrigerated for up to a month. 4 Serve cold on toast, with marinated olives and pickled vegetables.

Do-it-yourself with olives to die for Multiple servings Prep time: 10 minutes Ingredients: + 1 jar olives, stuffed with anchovies + white wine + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method: 1 Drain olives. Place in a glass jar, add dried mixed herbs and chilli, salt, black pepper and olive oil and top with white wine. 2 Close jar and shake well. Marinate overnight. No need to refrigerate.

Vegetables “In a pickle” Such an easy way to inject your veggies with flavour Multiple servings Prep time: 30 minutes Ingredients: + ½ cup carrots, diced + ½ cup whole garlic cloves, peeled + ½ cup cauliflower florets + 1 bay leaf + 5 black peppercorns + ½ tsp sugar + white wine vinegar + 2 tbsp olive oil Method: 1 Set a small pot with salted water to boil. 2 Blanch each of the vegetables for 3 minutes, then remove. Vegetables must be CRUNCHY. 3 Place all blanched vegetables in a jar and add sugar, peppercorns and bay leaf. 4 Add olive oil and top with vinegar. Close jar and shake well.

MORE RECIPES ONLINE S’MOREish Secrets Check out our web-exclusive recipes, including these S’MOREish Secrets at // january 2013

OLIVE Marinate

+ 1 tsp dried mixed herbs + 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes + salt and black pepper to taste + white wine


how to

how to...


Butter Knife Jars are under a vacuum; if you break the vacuum and let air in, they are much easier to open. So, if the jar is new, use the tip of a butter knife and wedge it between the lid and the jar, applying force like a lever, moving the knife around the lid. The seal should break, and you may hear a “pop”.

Topsy-Turvy One way to break the vacuum seal is to turn the jar upside down and hit the lid flat on a hard surface. Or you can also hold the jar horizontally and slap the bottom of the jar with the centre of your palm. This causes a water-hammer effect, raising the pressure near the lid and breaking the vacuum.

The Grip Grab a pair of dishwashing rubber gloves in which to grip the jar and lid. Place your palm on the top of the lid and apply pressure, then twist it round with your whole hand.

StrongMan Find a man with big arms and even bigger bravado to huff and puff over it. Once he opens the jar with his He-Man-like strength, he’ll most likely proceed to brag about it for hours afterwards, so this one is recommended only as a last resort.

Hot Water Running the top of the jar under hot water for one minute will cause the metal to expand and help the lid to come off more easily.

For more How To tips, visit 46

foodiegrams Because a picture

U caffe HABIT


Yonge Piggies

is worth a thousand calories

Above & Beyond

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Nic Poon

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HABITU caffe

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afoodieworld Tiramisu

afoodieworld Egg & tomato dumpling




afoodieworld Chocolate sundae


afoodieworld Kimchi dumpling hotpot




afoodieworld Millefeuille

Calling all food-loving Instagrammers! Send us your best food ‘grams and we’ll print them right here. // january 2013

Ming Court

afoodieworld Tartufo Pizza


eating my words

Flushed out With the indulgence of Christmas out of the way and the new year upon us, I can hear the collective cries of anguish, guilt and shame as naked bodies around the world step from the shower to cringe at the sight of their extra pinch of festive blubber.

eating my words with Cruz Macalister

Who really cares, though; Christmas is a time for loved ones – and one would assume they were right next to you throughout the season, also eyeing up Christmas pud seconds. I know that the new year should herald a transition from lashings of gravy-drunk turkey to thin slices of celery with a handful of blueberries, but the hype of detoxing has always been lost on me. There’s one key reason I’ve never started a new year with a diet of lemons and cayenne pepper or watery veggie broth, and it’s my faith in one big floppy, spongy miracle: The Human Liver. Your liver carries out more than 200 different functions. It has so far been impossible to fully recreate artificially, and we are lucky enough to carry around one of these remarkable things for as long as we breathe on this earth. The liver stores energy for when we need it, removes more pollutants than we’re aware even aware of, and it never, ever stops. Over the silly season, we probably didn’t show our appreciation for our livers in a conventional sense, instead choosing to boost its workload ten-fold with very little recovery time between toxic sessions. So! Rather than starting your new year with some new hip, slim-down fad that involves only dripping lemon juice into your eyes and spinning a piece of broccoli around your head. Think of your liver, chugging away, its little toolbox rusted and disorganised from too many tipples, sugar, fat and all those other delicious things, and give it back some of the goodies it needs to get you working at peak performance.


Don’t think of detoxing via deprivation – remember, your lovely liver still needs clean energy to help to flush out all your toxins. It doesn’t mind; it’s what it was designed to do. But show a little gratitude; start your year the right way by thinking less about what’s happening on your (slightly wobbly) outside – and be more concerned about your insides. You’ll look and feel better for it.

Cruz Macalister is a writer, comedian and omnivore with a conscience who sometimes tweets @cruziemac // january 2013

Foodie Issue 42: January 2013  

Hong Kong's guide to good taste