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HK M AGA ZINE NO. 1091 FRIDAY, A pril 10, 2015 w w

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The perfect Hong Kong bod can be yours Hong Kong’s most confusing season is in full swing.

Spring Survival Tips

Here are HK Magazine’s foolproof tips to survive spring in the SAR. At least the environmentalist faction should be happy: It’s the one time of year when everything in Hong Kong turns green.

Go Skyclad.

Get Junk Fit.

A Hong Kong spring is a confusing combination: it’s boiling, freezing, humid and blustery all at once. There’s no one outfit that will keep you comfortable all the time. The only way to deal with the extremes in weather? Commit to constant and total nudity. Too hot? Pop into a 7-Eleven and siphon the AC. Too cold? Spoon with a fellow passenger on the MTR.

You’re going to want to train your body for junk season so it can cope with all those weekends spend downing beer on boats. Start easy with a six-pack of lager a day but work up to a full 12-pack of amber ale before lunchtime. Toss in a set of dubious mixed drinks (four reps of King Robert and coke) and you’re ready to hit the waves.

Avoid Vacation Chat. Be Prepared. It is guaranteed to rain on your lunch break. Ditch that sweaty raincoat for a bright yellow umbrella: A passing policeman will bundle you into a van and you can wait out the deluge from the dry comfort of a holding cell.

Spring is the time when everyone starts talking about their summer vacation plans. It is easy to avoid these irritating conversations. Each time they make a vague reference to how the new laws in Thailand are going to make it really difficult to reach their Koh Tao villa, punch ‘em in the face.

15 shopping

Outdoor gear for outdoor guys

Brace for Brunch. These brief few months are host to the SAR’s most fervent brunch crowds. Until June, avoid all hotel restaurants and do not venture outdoors on a Sunday, lest you be dragged into an unending hell of $800 eggs Benedict, free-flow prosecco and mind-numbing conversation about the relative merits of international schools.

Get Ready for Summer. Everyone always forgets that the inferno of spring is a mere appetizer for the raging hell that is a Hong Kong summer. Hope you like sweat, rain and a pervasive sense of mildew and misery. We’ll be in our Koh Tao villa.

17 escape routes

What’s a nice gorilla like you doing in a place like this?

18 Who’s in charge? Editor-in-Chief Luisa Tam Managing Editor Daniel Creffield Editor Adam White Features Editor Kate Springer Senior Associate Editor Adele Wong Online & Social Media Manager Katie Kenny Staff Writers Andrea Lo, Charlotte Mulliner,

Evelyn Lok, Isabelle Hon Contributing Photographer Kirk Kenny

dish Director of Sales Gary Wong Strategic Sales Director Jan Cheng Senior Sales Manager Joyce Wu Senior Advertising Manager Kent Ma Advertising Managers Dominic Lucien Brettell Advertising Executives Bonita Yung, Celia Wong,

Harriette Cheung, Lamy Lam Advertising & Marketing Coordinator Yan Man

Finance Manager Karen Tsang Senior Accountant Alex Fung, Freda Chau Internal Compliance Officer Lucy Wong Accountant Winson Yip Assistant Accountant Coa Wong, Edwin Lee Administrator Roy Lam I.T. Manager Derek Wong Web Developer Timothy Cheng Messenger Li Sau-king

Marketing & PR Manager James Gannaban Production Manager Blackie Hui Art Director Pierre Pang Senior Graphic Designer Mike Hung Graphic Designers Elaine Tang, Iris Mak,

Cover by Ryan Chan

The Tavern: half sports bar, half cocktail creators

Where to find us! 302 Hollywood Centre 233 Hollywood Road, Hong Kong Tel: 852-2850-5065 Fax: 852-2543-1880 E-mail: Before you decide to purchase or use the products and/or services that our magazine introduces, you should gather further information about the same in addition to the representations or advertising content in our magazine. The content in articles by guest authors are the author’s personal views only and do not represent the position of our magazine or our company. Please gather further information about the products and/or services before you decide to purchase or use the same.

25 open bar

Ryan Chan, Tammy Tan Production Supervisor Kelly Cheung

HK Magazine Media Ltd.

The best of Hong Kong’s artisan treats

HK Magazine is published 52 times a year by HK Magazine Media Ltd., GPO Box 12618, Hong Kong. Copyright 2015 HK Magazine Media Ltd. The title “HK Magazine,” its associated logos or devices, and the content of HK Magazine are the property of HK Magazine Media Ltd. Reproduction in whole or part without permission is strictly prohibited. Article reprints are available for HK$30 each. HK Magazine may not be distributed without the express written consent of HK Magazine Media Ltd. Contact the Advertising Director for ad rates and specifications. All advertising in HK Magazine must comply with the Publisher’s terms of business, copies of which are available upon request. Printed by Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, N.T.

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Robin Hwang of food charity Foodlink HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, April 10, 2015   3

mailbag Mr. Know-It-All’s Guide to Life Dear Mr. Know-It-All, What is this “wok hei” you keep talking about? What’s so good about it? – Wok the Line In its most romantic translation, wok hei

over the years, with oil and previously

means “the breath of the wok.” It may be

cooked flavor compounds all helping to

the greatest indicator of true Cantonese

develop wok hei. In the course of cooking,

cooking: that distinctively smoky, singed

moisture evaporates and the steam causes

flavor which permeates every stir-fried bite.

the oil coating the food to mist into droplets.

At the edge of every mouthful dances

When those droplets meet the fire licking

a real sense of the heat that’s gone into

up the edges of the pan, they blossom

every ingredient.

into flame—lending even more of that

To understand how wok hei comes

Our tablet app: Out Now!

distinctive wok hei edge.

about, you have to understand the wok

So, can you achieve this at home?

itself. Your common or garden wok is a

It’s not likely, sadly. True wok hei has to

shallow parabola made of lightweight

be developed at the tremendous

carbon steel, beaten thin so that it transfers

temperatures of a professional Cantonese

heat easily—and loses it easily too.

kitchen. A home gas burner will struggle

In restaurants, woks are used over

to reach those heights, and you can forget

huge, incredibly powerful gas burners.

about an electric or induction ring. Their

The curved bottom of the wok concentrates

flat surfaces are totally incompatible with

all of that heat into a small point at the

the rounded bottom a wok needs to be

base of the pan. Wok hei comes from the

truly effective. The flat-bottomed wok,

sheer heat of that cooking process:

meanwhile, is an abomination unworthy

The searingly hot base cooks food at such

of the term “wok” at all.

high temperatures that what are known

Know your reps

If you’re really looking for wok hei,

Your traits of wrath:

“That’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!! What journalism is that?”

as “Maillard reactions” take place—the

there’s only one place you’re guaranteed

same reactions that make a well-seared

to find it. For in the kitchens of Hong Kong

steak so fantastic.

restaurants every chef wields his wok like

The Wild West

Dough Nuts

the fine instrument it is, breathing heat

To get ready for the Sai Ying Pun MTR opening,

Were you at the Sevens?

and life into your food.

we explored Sai Ying Pun, Shek Tong Tsui and

You may have noticed

moving food around the wok. The higher

Kennedy Town in our “Wild Western” cover story

Max (right), a deflated

up the sides it’s sitting, the less it’s cooking.

[March 20, issue 1008]. Our readers shared their

“Pillsbury Doughboy”

By keeping the food moving all the time—

take on the development.

whom we featured in

Chefs regulate temperature in the wok not by altering the gas supply, but by

our #hksevenspeople

stir-frying, if you will—chefs can evenly cook food with just a flick of the wrist. This

What was an “awesome little hood” is sadly now

social media spotlights.

even stir-fry process means that Maillard

just another homogenized area of west Hong

To our horror, we made

reactions suffuse the whole of the dish,

Kong, full of overpriced, average restaurants and

an unforgivable mistake.

imparting that elusive smoky flavor all over.

bars that are pushing out local family businesses that have been there for generations. RIP SYP.

A well-seasoned wok builds up a patina

Nic Tinworth Mr. Know-It-All answers your questions and quells your urban concerns. Send queries, troubles or problems to

Pillsbury Doughboy???!! That’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!! What journalism is that? THIS is the Pillsbury Doughboy:

Sevens Minutes in Heaven Our satirical article about the Seven People You Meet in the South Stand [“Page 3,” March 27,


issue 1089] was met with raging disapproval from a Facebook fan. Boring Daily Mail quality journalism. The HK mag should be ashamed of themselves. Georgina Everest

Nicky Tsang-Cheung Via Facebook

Write in and Win!

En route

Photo by Tricia Darling (@triciadarlingphotography)


FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

Got something to say? Write us! Our letter of the week gets an HK Magazine notebook, umbrella (pictured) and copy of “Historical Hong Kong Hikes,” total value $470.

THE WEEK sun 4/12

sat 4/11

fri 4/17

Friday 4/10

Monday 4/13

The Tanz Too Noise Musik Festival brings tons of techno, trance, hip-hop, house and EDM musicians together for a twoday extravaganza at Macpherson Stadium. Tonight, see Japanese singer-songwriter Sugizo; local rap group 24Herbs hits the stage tomorrow. Apr 10, 8-10pm; Apr 11, 7:30-9:30pm. 38 Nelson St., Mong Kok. $480-780 from

Did you have more work to do because of the two short weeks we’ve had? Take it easy tonight.

Make Some Noise

Saturday 4/11

London Calling

London’s iconic Portobello Road Market is being transplanted to the SAR this weekend… although it’s taking place indoors at Sheung Wan venue Lightspace. You know the drill: shop local designers and sample British cuisine. Apr 11-12, noon-8pm. 218 Hollywood Rd., Sheung Wan.

Sunday 4/12

Beaches Love Yoga

Calling all basic bitches health-conscious yogis: The Yoga Room is hosting a class right on the beach. Perfect your downward dog while the sun sets for maximum Insta-likes. 5-6pm. Repulse Bay Beach. $100 from www.eventbrite. com. Bring your own mat.

Thursday 4/16

Take a Break Tuesday 4/14


Brand new Korean-American gastropub Edition has a great happy hour. Get beers, wines and soju cocktails for $38. They’ll go great with its fusion dishes—think bulgogi sliders and kimchi fries. On Mondays, it’s $5 per chicken wing with every drink purchase. How could you say no? Mon-Fri, noon-9pm; Sat, 6-9pm. 37 Peel St., Central.

Wednesday 4/15

Chicks with Lit

Do you have what it takes to be the next Marian Keyes? The Hong Kong Writers Circle is hosting a chick-lit workshop at coworking space Wynd. Who knows—maybe you’ll pen the next “Fifty Shades,” and then all your friends will hate you. 7-9pm. Room 1003, 43-55 Wyndham St., Central. $140 from

Eat Well

The Urban Health Pop-Up Kitchen hosts “A Trip From Africa to Asia” at Opendoor with guest chef Seema Bhatia, showcasing healthy and tasty vegetarian dishes while educating you on the stories behind the recipes. Eating and learning? Count us in. 7:30-10:30pm. Opendoor Café, 120 Connaught Rd. West, Sai Ying Pun. $400 from

Friday 4/17

We Jammin’

Backstage Live joins forces with events website Timable to host another jam session, Jumbojam. This time, it’s after people who want to show off their pop song skills. Only do it if you can actually sing, please. 10pm. 1/F, Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington St., Central. $200 at the door, including two drinks.

Saturday 4/18

Move Over, Tinder

Dating app Grouvly is launching at a secret location in Central. The app matches a group of three guys with three girls, so you’ll have wingmen and -women around you when the conversation falls flat. Sign up on the app for a chance to be invited. Free drinks, nibbles and singles guaranteed. 7-9pm. RSVP on

do this

From Russia, With Vodka Borge moy! New social events organizer We Club is hosting a dinner this month at Ivan the Kozak, where you’ll get to learn more about Russian culture while gobbling up dishes like borscht and traditional pancakes… and downing lots of vodka. Host Ivan Stepanov (no relation to the Kozak) will talk you through the stories behind each dish, as well as the history and culture of Russia. Apr 16, 7:30pm. Ivan the Kozak, 46-48 Cochrane St., Central. $200 from

HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, April 10, 2015   5

NEWS Last Week In Reality

Talking Points We read the news, so you don’t have to. Photo: Dickson Lee/SCMP

Sat 28 Gilf Scam A 46-year-old woman is arrested for

stealing a total of $23,700 from elderly men in the Yau Ma Tei area. Pretending to offer sexual services, she tricked a 71-year-old man into going to a love hotel with her. Once he was in the shower, she stole cash from his wallet and left. She employs the same tactic 10 days later on a 70-year-old man but is arrested.

Sun 29 Toy Story A 15-year-old girl, her 22-year-old boyfriend and a 33-year-old man are

arrested for running a drugs operation in which they packed $1 million worth of

Hawker Markets Back on the Menu, Apparently

methamphetamine into toys before mailing them to recipients. Police raid their flat in

Despite the government cracking down on the hugely popular Kweilin Street Night Market

Ngau Tau Kok, where they find 20 bags of toys with 2.4kg of the drug packed inside.

over Chinese New Year, it now appears to be encouraging districts to establish outdoor cooked food bazaars and night markets. Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said the government will encourage the city’s 18 district councils to suggest potential locations for new cooked food bazaars. Accused of U-turning, Ko replied that “the hawker policy reflects an

Mon 30 Ghost Ride the Whip The driver of a

shuttle bus outside the Yuen Yuen Institute Taoist temple leaves the vehicle to use the

inevitable contradiction in society. The government is trying to strike a balance, but it’s not our policies that are contradictory—it’s society.” Our take: A government official blaming divisions in society? Say it ain’t so!

bathroom. He leaves the bus, which has nine passengers in it, in neutral gear and it starts to slide down the hill. A male passenger in the car dashes forward and wrenches the wheel to the right to avoid crashing into a crowd on the left. The bus crashes into an incoming taxi and comes to a stop when it rams a tree. The passengers suffer minor injuries. Police question the driver.

Transgender Inmates Not Treated Equally A study commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission and carried out by the Transgender Resource Center has revealed that police, immigration and correctional facility officers are severely underinformed about transgendered people. Stories in the study include a male police officer performing a strip search on a trans woman, and correctional services officers allegedly asking trans inmates for sexual services. The Correctional Services Department is also said to have ignored the needs of transgender individuals, such as rejecting requests for hormone medication. The police have stated that from now on

Tue 31

they will perform searches according to the sex stated on the HKID.

Pot Luck Dozens of people line up overnight outside Sogo for a chance to

Our take: If it was easy to change sex on your HKID, that might be a valid response.

purchase a limited edition Le Creuset “Coastal Blue” pot, of which only 60 are available. When doors open at 10am, chaos ensues as the crowd rushes into the shop, knocking each other over. A woman who arrived at 4am complains to reporters that the crowd was not managed properly, and that she found it “hard to accept” that she missed out on a pot.

Yet Another Restaurant Family Feud Fondly remembered soy sauce Russian diner Czarina closed its longstanding Bonham Road shop two years ago, after 50 years of operation. Its founder, Wong Tien-hwa, had passed on the brand to his two sons in 2005. The younger son has since opened a new outlet, Czarina 1964, in Sai Ying Pun. But the restaurant was established without the elder brother’s blessing, and so was

Wed 1

unable to adopt the original name: A contract mandates that the original Czarina name

A Bone to Pick Construction workers at Wan

cannot be used unless the brothers work together. The elder Wang is suing for trademark

Chai Development Phase II find 19cm-long

infringement and damage to the original company’s interests, and is seeking an injunction to

bones and bullets on the seabed near the

stop his brother from further using the name. Czarina 1964 bears many resemblances to

old Wan Chai Pier. The discovery follows an

the original shop, from the decor to the dishes, which are cooked by the original team of chefs.

incident last week where the remains of a ship—which some historians speculate to be

Our take: Fook Lam Moon, Mak An Kee, Lin Heung… family restaurant drama is a Hong Kong

the HMS Tamar—were found nearby. The bones

staple. Next step: the elder brother opens his own spot as well.

and bullets have been removed for testing.

Quote of the Week Thu 2

Thu 2

Lasting Public Affection A video of

Swim Sentence A 50-year-old swimming

a couple having sex at a bus stop in Ho

instructor is sentenced to eight months in jail

Man Tin opposite Hong Kong Polytechnic

for indecent assault. After finding out a student

University goes viral. The video, which

had injured her back during swim class, he took

lasts for 1 minute and 37 seconds, first

her to a love hotel under the guise of giving her

shows the woman on her knees in front

a massage, but ended up assaulting her. His

of the man; he is then seen putting on a

request for an appeal is denied.

also shows passersby hurrying past the

Former ATV executive James Shing Pan-yu illustrates the cost of running

removed from his post in 2013 after the Communications Authority ruled

lasted 45 minutes before campus

FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

most successful entrepreneur would go mad.”

revenue could not cover salaries of $14 million per month. Shing was

scene. Witnesses say that the encounter


Mercedes Benz into the sea, every day. Even the

the station. Speaking on Commercial Radio, he said that ATV’s advertising

condom and lying on top of her. The video

security called the police.

“Almost $500,000 daily. That’s pushing a

Illustrations: Ryan Chan

he had allowed investor Wong Ching to exercise control over the station.

UPFront HongKabulary

Street Talk

Telefail (tɛlɛfeɪl), n. Getting a cold call from a telesales firm and saying “HELLO? HELLO?” in English until they say “Sorry, wrong number” and hang up. “You speak Cantonese. Why’d you switch to English on that call?” “It was a telemarketer.” “Ha! Classic telefail.”

Caption This HONG KONG—A statue in the new Li Ka-shing-funded Tsz Shan Monastery in Tai Po. (Franke Tsang/SCMP)

Chung King-lam is the second-generation owner of Chung Pui Photo Supplies in Central. He tells Isabelle Hon about the family’s camera business in the old days and the difficulties that traditional shops face today. HK Magazine: How did you come to own a camera shop? Chung King-lam: It was my father‘s shop. In the 70s there were lots of photo supply stores in Central, especially on Stanley Street, which we still call “Camera Street.” Our family is from Xinhui, in Guangdong, and most of the big camera shops in Central were owned by immigrants. If you are my age, you will probably have heard of camera shops like “Gwong Dai” [廣大] and “Dai Chong” [大中]. They are closed now, but used to be run by my family, the Chungs. My father and uncles started the business, and I turned into a second generation owner. Ever since I was 10 years old, I came here to help every day after school. Now I’m older than 50, so I have witnessed the shop’s progress for almost half a century.

Sassy Statue Has Had Enough of Your Self-Pitying Crap

to Be Left Hanging s For High Five; Displeased Buddhist Guardian Deity Goe

Crossfit Instructor Frozen in Carbonite

Fast Facts When the Levy Breaks What are we having to hand-carry out of the shop, thanks to the extended plastic bag levy?

➢ The hopes and dreams of our parents and our parents’ parents before them.

➢ Milk, cupped in our palms. ➢ 1 pack condoms, 1 bottle baby oil, 1 butternut squash (half). ➢ Still twitching grass carp, rapidly reaching room temperature between our fingers.

Big ol’ handful of bees.

HK: How have digital cameras affected your industry? CKL: We used to sell wholesale—not only cameras, but also the equipment and accessories. We developed film too, though of course it was black and white back in the day. During the old days people would have their family portraits taken every Chinese New Year, and we would wholesale the developing chemicals to those studios. After things went digital, film was no longer needed—now you just need a memory card. Business has been falling in the past decade. Before we would develop more than 100 film rolls a day during the holidays. Now 20 would be considered a lot. HK: Have you ever thought about switching careers? CKL: When I was still in primary school I was already here helping. If you ask me to change jobs now, what can I do? I know nothing besides cameras. I’ve

got a wife and children, and my daughter is still in school. Also, what about my staff? HK: How do you stay in business, then? CKL: We have survived for many years. We had our golden age. Our expenditure and revenue is hardly balanced now— we are losing money every month, but we imported a huge amount of film and equipment in the old days and now just live on selling that. Old shops keep shutting down: before there were more than 10 shops on Stanley Street. Just today, I heard that another older one [Kinefoto Limited] is shutting down. People think shops in Central can always make big money, but we don’t. Do you know how much the rent is in Central? It’s just gone up another 30 percent in the past year. HK: Why would someone come to you, instead of shopping online? CKL: Our shop has survived ‘til now, but it’s because we are professional. In the old days you had to have specific skills and knowledge to sell a camera. Now in this digital world, it’s more self-explanatory. But if you want something special, you still have to come to our shop. For example, if you’re looking for a tripod, we have 40 different kinds. HK: What’s one of the biggest changes you’ve noticed? CKL: Many years ago, old men would come here and develop films. But nowadays, it’s the old people coming in to buy digital cameras while the young people are coming in and looking for film. See, the world is changing. Visit Chung’s camera shop: Chung Pui Photo Supplies, 44 Stanley St., Central, 2868-4135.


’ Lets Get

Physical Want the body of your dreams? From ripped rugby players to junk goddesses, you’ve gotta do some heavy lifting to attain physical perfection. By Kate Springer.

So, you wanna look like… Ross Pollack via Flickr

a ripped delivery guy? You see these delivery guys on the street all the time—shirts off, biceps out. If you want to look like you lift stuff for a living, then you’re just going to have to recreate those conditions…

852 and You Looking to pack on the power? Sessions at CrossFit 852 combine functional movements, body weight exercises, Olympic-style weightlifting and gymnastics for a varied program that hits all your major muscle groups. Good news for all you couch potatoes: you don’t have to already be in great shape to take on CrossFit. “Whether an athlete is new to fitness, is recovering from an injury or just feeling less energetic that day, all the weights and even movements in our workouts can be scaled down to suit the athlete’s capabilities,” says director Teddy Lo. Right, no pressure then. Membership from $2,300 per month.13/F, Li Dong Building, 9 Li Yuen St. East, Central, 2205-0338,

Bear it All

Take a Hit

Typhoon 8

Started in 2014 by Dr. Justin Gregory and Gary Manwaring, Doctor Urso’s Fitness & Wellbeing offers training regimes as well as diet plans, sports performance technology and DNA tests. “We see too often in the fitness and sports performance industry this onesize-fits-all approach, but that doesn’t work,” says Gregory. Instead, they take an individualized approach with a range of classes like Bear Camp, an interval-based workout with multi-directional speed work and compound lifts using unconventional objects—think beer kegs and tractor tires. It’s just like you’re lugging stuff around town all day.

Lantau loafers may want to hit up The HIT Room, two studios in Discovery Bay that offer a spin on high-intensity workouts with a mix of functional training, TRX, Bulgarian bag lifts, boxing, agility ladders, medicine balls and kettlebells. Try new high intensity interval training class “GRIT Plyo,” which is all about “dynamic, explosive strength,” says Wesley Reid, who co-founded The HIT Room with his wife Cindy. “The best way to ‘get ripped’ is simply to keep the variety high, and these are functional devices so the body is using multiple muscle groups to burn even more calories.”

“Some of us want to get strong, some of us want to get fast, some of us want to live better for longer, and others just want to look hot with no clothes on!” says Steve Wilson, head coach of CrossFit Typhoon. “Whatever the reasons for training, the good news is that you can cover all those bases by building muscle mass.” But temper your expectations: CrossFit doesn’t automatically translate to a Schwarzeneggeresque physique. “Not everyone can, or wants, to build mountain-sized traps [neck and shoulder muscles] but it will take your existing muscles and make them stronger and denser, which then speeds up your metabolism.” Still sounds promising to us.

Classes from $155; sign up online for a free trial. 96 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay North Plaza, 6621-7410,

From $250 per class. Training sites include Lamma Island, Central and Cyberport.

Become a bear of a man


FRIDAY, April 10, 2015

Unlimited monthly membership from $2,200. 38-40 Third St., Sai Ying Pun, 2858-8864,

Just For Fun Sup Yoga: Why do yoga on the ground when you could do it on a paddleboard? Sup Yoga Hong Kong hosts 90-minute classes at Stanley Beach. Just try not to fall in the water. Classes from $500, www.

Neon bubble soccer: get fit AND fabulous

Ultimate Frisbee: The quirky game has been catching wind in Hong Kong. Join the Hong Kong Ultimate Players Association for a pick-up session. $100-200 per season, Hyperspace: This new venue has a lineup of awesome sports—like hoverboard quidditch (go Gryffindor!), bubble soccer and archery tag (which we’re sure is totally safe). $2,500 per team for first hour, 5/F, Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Rd., Aberdeen, 3106-3789, The Ultimate life

Muay workouts, muay muscles

So, you wanna look like…

Bruce freakin’ Lee, bro? From tai chi to Muay Thai, these workouts should kick your ass.

Tai Thai If you’re going for more of a Manny Pacquiao look, then get in the ring at Warrior Muay Thai. The champion trainers here cover everything from beginner boxing to advanced group sparring. “Many Muay Thai fighters have the same type of body: strong and defined backs, legs and abs,” explains co-owner Billy Tam. “This is due to the highly explosive and powerful training. If you train hard every day, expect to have a seriously toned body with abs that will make anyone jealous!” Sounds like a plan. Trial classes from $150. 3/F, Block C, Sea View Estate, 8 Watson Rd., North Point, 2512-2262,

Don’t Krav In

Life of Chi

Founded back in 2008 by Yugoslavia-born martial artist Zorica King, Krav Maga Hong Kong focuses on this Israeli-originated style that’s not technically considered a martial art, as there are no real rules. It’s about cut-throat self-defense tactics—anything goes when it’s life or death—that employ strength, endurance, speed and agility. And, as you might imagine, regular practitioners develop a seriously intimidating physique.

Sometimes the oldest traditions have lasted for a reason: tai chi, an ancient Chinese martial art, can be done anywhere. Despite relatively slow movements, the flow of tai chi takes considerable mental and physical coordination, resulting in better focus and control over external forces. It’s all very deep: don’t know where to start? Get a taste at California Fitness, which holds group classes several times a week.

$300 per class, at Impakt, 2/F, Wing’s Building, 110-116 Queen’s Rd. Central, 9525-4756,

Yearlong memberships from $600. Several locations, including 6/F, L Place, 139 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2522-5229, www.hongkong.

Enter the Warrior

HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, April 10, 2015   9

So, you wanna look like…

a junk goddess? Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but who doesn’t want to rock the next junk trip? Joining a women’s fitness program or trying a “virtual” cycling class could do the trick.

Teeny Weeny Bikini

Epic Gains

Despite its name, Bikini Fit is not just about looking good in a swimsuit. The holistic program runs for 12 weeks at a time, and includes six-day-a-week training sessions, as well as nutrition consultations, instructional videos, private Q&As and travel support. Every week, women partake in weight training, yoga, and a choice of Saturday activity—be it boxing, yoga or an outdoor adventure. “These are the kinds of workouts where ropes are being slammed and barbells are being thrown around all over the place,” says founder Alex De Fina. “We rely on both ‘athletic’ and ‘aesthetic’ training to ensure that we not only build strong, balanced, functional machines—but also target muscles in varied ways to sculpt a physique which projects confidence!”

The eight-week Epic Body Fit women’s program at Epic MMA & Fitness is designed to help you shape up with a six-day-a-weektraining regime that combines cardio Muay Thai, AntiGravity aerial yoga and fitness, weightlifting and cardio MMA. The key to looking and feeling better? “It’s 80 percent diet,” says weight trainer Darrel Erxleben. “You have to cut down on sugar and carbs, which up your insulin levels.” On top of a clean diet, you’ll also want to lift weights. “To achieve a healthy, curvy look you need to load the body and improve range of motion with squats and deadlifts, which will define your arms and make your upper body leaner,” says Erxleben. Hello, J Lo.

$795 per week. Next cycle Apr 20-Jul 11, at Hong Kong Park, Sun Yat Sen Park and Kowloon Park.

Pure Perfection Hong Kong’s fitness empire is doing it again: Pure Fitness has just launched a new cycling and fitness studio that’s set to wow you. The 270-degree Immersive Fitness studio in the new California Tower location will be offering Les Mills classes boosted by cinema-quality video and music for workouts that sound more than a little bit trippy—think cycling crossed with video games crossed with Ibiza. The first program to launch will be “The Trip,” an intense biking workout that should feel like you’re actually climbing hills and cutting around corners. If only you could just virtually break a sweat… Opening rates TBD. 18/F California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar St., Central, 8200-0032,

Epic Body Fit raises and lifts

$4,000 per eight-week session. Next program starts May 4. 1/F, 29 Queen’s Rd. Central, 2525-2833, Get bikini ready in 12 weeks

The world is spinning at Pure Fitness

So, you wanna look like…

a Beefy rugby player? So you went to the Sevens and got envious of all those incredible derrieres on the pitch. Joining a team sport may be just what you need for your own sculpted assets.

Playing Footsie Rugby and soccer may steal the show, but there’s also a growing American football scene in Hong Kong that’s as much about tossing the ol’ pigskin as it is about socializing. Look up the Hong Kong American Football League, which started up in 2011 with a couple of flag-football teams and has grown to include 10 teams that compete over the season, from September to April. Rather just watch? Join in for the Monday Night Football parties during the NFL season. $650 per season, includes personalized jersey and flag belt.

Pitch Perfect

Ball Out

Even if you don’t know a conversion from your elbow, you can still get your foot in the door at Typhoons RFC, a rugby club that welcomes all-comers. The team practices every Monday and Thursday around town and follows most training sessions with beers at a nearby pub. If you have a knack for the sport (or just simply enjoy a good the social side of the games), then you might get to join The Tequila Mockingbirds traveling team, who tour regularly around Asia.

If you’re keen for a pick-up soccer game, lace up your cleats and get in touch with the Casual Football Network. The group posts upcoming games on the website, and you can simply sign up and show up. With more than 200 people in the league and about three games a week, it’s a great way to kick it off with new friends.

Rump and Rumble Why do rugby players have such gorgeous glutes? Nathan Stewart, the head of athlete performance at the HKRFU, says that the rugby team training regime actually includes a lot less running than you’d think. “Running breaks the body down, whereas weightlifting builds the body up,” says Stewart. “We focus on a lot of power cleans, power snatches, jerks and what you call compound lifts.” So, in English: squats, lots of squats.

$30-60 per game.

$800 for the season, includes kit, access to Sevens and a whole lot of beer.

Photos: Power Sport Images for HKRFU


FRIDAY, April 10, 2015

So, you wanna look like…

Wham Bam

a sexy pretzel? What comes first: the yoga or the lean, limber yogi? These challenging yoga and Pilates sessions should get to the core of the question.

One of the quirkiest yoga studios in Hong Kong, Yoga Bam Bam gets top marks when it comes to creative classes. Look for personality-packed practices like AcroYoga, in which everybody gets to fly and support each other in airborne poses, as well as Aerial Yoga or Yoga with Basic Cantonese for Expats. So what’s up with all the slender yogis? “When practiced correctly, yoga helps strip away both our fat as well as our excess emotional baggage, which often leads to overeating,” says owner Melanie B. “Yoga produces beautiful people, firstly from the inside, and that permeates to the outside.” Spoken like a true yogi. $150 for first-time classes. 28 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan, 5511-8141,

Get to Work

from flab to fit in 30 minutes!

A personal trainer at Epic MMA & Fitness, Darrel Erxleben says that the fastest way to look better is to work your posterior chain: aka your back, butt and hamstrings. “You have to target your biggest muscle groups with squats, deadlifts and lunges.” Here’s how to spend those precious 30 minutes at the gym. 1. Deadlift x 10 reps

3. Walking Lunge x 40 reps each leg

Get H-Kore

Art of Yoga

The first thing you’ll notice at H-Kore are the torturous-looking contraptions. And they are indeed tough: the Lagree Fitness Megaformer machines require slow and controlled movements to strengthen and tone the body. The resistance causes a constant tension as you work through twisting, pulling and some Pilates-esque motions, so it’s doubly difficult— sometimes working over 600 muscles all at one time. Apparently, you have 640 muscles in your body. Who knew?

Aerial Arts Academy turns traditional yoga on its head, literally, with its Flyoga program. Classes utilize a fabric hammock suspended from the ceiling that allows deeper stretches and longer poses thanks to extra support. The suspension practice also works in elements of acrobatics, dance and gymnastics so you can expect some whimsical strength-building exercises as an added bonus.

$350 per class. 39 Des Voeux Rd. Central, 2441-9000,

2. Glute Bridge Raise x 20 reps

4. 400m Sprint

$300 per class. 16/F, Parkview Commercial Building, 9-11 Shelter St., Causeway Bay, 2375-8088,

5. two minute rest 6. repeat x4

Free private training trial available ‘til May 10. Call 2525-2833 or email to book.

Jonathan Holloway's Performed in English 英語演出

Get aerial at Yoga Bam Bam…


…or fly away at Aerial Arts Academy

from Robert Louis Stevenson

"Clever, creepily melodramatic and beautifully realised" THE TIMES (London)

“Highly Recommended” BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE

"Strangely brilliant!" THE SCOTSMAN

1-2, 7-9/5/2015 8pm

2-3, 10/5/2015 3pm

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, HKAPA $420, 340, 260, 160*

Tickets Available at Internet Ticketing Service Ticketing Enquiries / Telephone Credit Card Bookings 31 288 288 Programme Enquiry 8106 8338

*restricted view

Parental guidance is advised, the production contains adult dialogue, stage action and themes. Suitable for ages 14 or above. With English and Chinese surtitles. The programme runs for 2 hours and 10 minutes with an interval.

The presenter reserves the right to change the programme and substitute artists should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary. Chung Ying Theatre Company is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


FRIDAY, April 10, 2015




1:52 PM

PERKS Martin 2 Smoove April 17th at FLY The Ministry of Sound DJ from London is making his was to Hong Kong. Martin 2 Smoove takes hip hop and R’n’B tracks then turns them into funky dance floor beats. With old school flowing into the new, Hong Kong can learn a thing or two about hip hop from this talent. Catch him Friday, April 17th at FLY HONG KONG!

Sponsored Feature

Oyster Extravaganza Dinner Buffet Café 8 Degrees Quality oysters as freshly shucked French and US oysters, Oyster Kilpatrick, Deep-fried Oyster and more, all deliver the best taste of oyster. Other delicacies include King Crab Leg, New Zealand Mussel, Sea Whelk, Sashimi, Sushi, Grilled Lamb Chop with Rosemary Jus, Roasted Rib Eye of Beef, Almond Tea with Bird Nest and Fresh Papaya, signature Mango Napoleon … Available from Apr to Jun. Enjoy up to 20% discount with selected credit cards or purchase at hotel online eShop.

G/F, 24-30 Ice House Street

199 Kowloon City Road, Tokwawan

Central, Hong Kong, 2810 9902

2126 1960

Venchi Chocolate Limited Tin Collection

Stanley Plaza Bazaar

Venchi, the Italian fine chocolatier since 1878, has always engaged distinguished illustrations to reveal the strong link between Venchi creations, design and its Italian roots. Over the years, renowned Italian illustrators such as Cappiello, Depero, Dudovich and Pozzati, has translated the goodness of its chocolates through its tin boxes. Works of yesterday yet today also project Venchi into an international dimension, bearing witness to the sophistication of its typical chocolates, as if to remind us that cocoa is no more than a little seed destined to conquer the world.

Integrated a group of creative artists, Stanley Plaza Bazaar showcases a wide variety of handicrafts including chic accessories, handmade soap, organic skincare product and much more. In addition to a spectacular sea view, it is a shopping experience not to be missed during weekend.

Venue : Shop 2, G/F, Murray House, Stanley Plaza NO.21 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong

Date : 7 Mar - 31 May 2015 (every Sat & Sun)

2868 0336

Time : 12:00noon to 8:00pm

First in Asia: Britain’s Got Talent Season 9

The Happiest Hours at Vibes

The dream judging panel of Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams is back on a mission to unearth the most entertaining and original talent around. Expect to be amazed by an incredible line up of acts competing to be crowned this year’s winner, from comedians and contortionists through to singers and spoon players!

Get more fun out of the weekdays at Vibes, the secret open-air lounge bar at The Mira Hong Kong! Unwind after a day of hard work with special prices on selected drinks and original snacks perfect for sharing. Lotus-shaped open fires, running waterways and spacious outdoor setting creates an exclusive haven in the midst of the city. Sunday - Thursday; Opening Hours – 9pm

Premieres April 12, AS LIVE at 10:30am.

5/F , The Mira Hong Kong,

Primetime at 9pm.

118 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui,

On RTL CBS Entertainment HD (now TV Ch 517)


KOLOMBO at VOLAR April 17th

Whiskers N Paws Launches Cat-Homing Station

KOLOMBO is renowned the world over for his talent in producing tracks spanning many genres, working to create some of the best dance music in the European scene. Hailing from Belgium, he has been a staple of house music for years and will surely be a show not to miss at VOLAR on April 17th.

We are extremely proud to announce that Whiskers N Paws, is launching the first ever Cat Homing Station within a pet store in Hong Kong in Jan 2015! Given the success of cat adoption days and the numerous happy stories we have received, we decided that “every day should be adoption day at Whiskers N Paws”!

Basement, 38-44 D’Aguilar Street Central, Hong Kong, 2810 1510

For more details -

Get more out of HK | SHOPPING + TRAVEL + DINING

Nice Package Outdoorsy people have got it pretty good in Hong Kong. There are camping and trekking opportunities right here in our own backyard, plus loads of awesome adventure holidays just a plane hop away. Off on an adventure? You’ll need a rucksack that won’t fall apart the second it hits salt water… and that means paying for the privilege. Osprey Atmos 65, $1,855. Available from Re:echo Outdoor Specialist Store’s two locations including Shop UG51, Citywalk, 1 Yeung Uk Rd., Tsuen Wan, New Territories, 2838-1176.


Shopping LOOKbook

with Katie Kenny

Back in November I joined an amazing week-long boat trip which journeyed from the northern islands of Palawan to El Nido. Having all of the adventure equipment made it easy for me to fully enjoy what turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. So if you’re planning a wet and wild adventure anytime soon you’ll definitely want to look into this gear.

Anzac Day

Tangle Teezer, $130, Urban Outfitters

Saturday, 25 April 2015

6:15 am, The Cenotaph, Chater Road, Central

Members of the public may lay a wreath according to the order of service,,

To be followed by Gunfire Breakfast Grappa’s Cellar - $180/$100 (2-11 years old) +10% Cash Only Bookings Essential: 2521 2322 LG/F, Jardine House, 1 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong Dot Cod Restaurant - $218/$148 (3-11 years old) + 10% Bookings: 2810 6988 Clipper Lounge (Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong) - $318/$208 (3-11 years old) + 10% Bookings: 2825 4007 Café Causette (Mandarin Oriental) - a la carte. Bookings: 2825 4005

Headlamp, $195, Black Diamond @ Racing the Planet Rash guard, $379, O’Neill

Drypack, $1,090, Exped @ Re:Echo

LOOKBOO K LOVES Aura AG 65 rucksack, $2,250, Osprey @ Re:Echo

Water bottle and mist spray, $99, O2Cool @ Re:Echo

Large microfiber towel, $269, Sea to Summit @ Action X

Re:Echo 1/F, Tung Pik Building, 50-56 Pitt St., Yau Ma Tei, 2385-1822.

O’Neill Shop 5, 52-60 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 3579-4612.

Action X 28 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 3102-2977.

Racing the Planet 22/F, 148 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, 8102-8113.

Urban Outfitters Lab Concept, Queensway Plaza, 93 Queensway, Admiralty, 2118-2585.

Email me at, tweet me @Katie_Kenny or tag me on Instagram @katekatiekatharine.


FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

travel Escape Routes with Kate Springer


View from the AWF's Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge

BBC Music Magazine

“A stroke of genius!” Die Zeit

“A perceptive Schumann interpreter.” The Guardian Inside the AWF's Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge...

Exhibitionist A Appreciate art? How about the human form? You might want to head down to the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra, which recently held a series of after-hours naked art tours from April 1-3 to view the gallery’s ongoing exhibition: “James Turrell: A Retrospective.” Nope, it isn't a collection of nude portraits—the retrospective chronicles 50 years of the American artist’s drawings, photography and prints. So how'd the whole naked tour thing come to be? According to the Canberra Times, Turrell argued that the nude form is essential to art history and that guests should be able to view his works in the buff. So there you have it: art viewing with a view. Parkes Place, Canberra, Australia, (+61) 2-6240-6411,

Ask an Expert

Craig Sholley, longtime gorilla conservationist and Vice President for Philanthropy and Marketing at the Africa Wildlife Foundation, was in town last week to discuss threats to African wildlife and sustainable tourism. We caught up with to hear about the challenges facing Africa’s animals and how to travel responsibly. HK: Which species in Africa are most endangered? Craig Sholley: If you take a look at endangered species that are in trouble at this point, elephants are at the top of the list. We have an existing herd on the planet that is only 470,000 animals. We have lost 100,000 in the past three years to poaching. We are also quite concerned about rhinos—there are only 25,000 left on the continent—and as for lions, there are no more than 23,000. I am deeply involved with gorilla conservation: there are only 900 mountain gorillas left in the world.

...And outside

“Focused and clear, expressive and virtuosic superior.” Stuttgarter Nachrichten

HK: What is the AWF doing to curb the demand for items like ivory?


Florian Uhlig

CS: We have designed an awareness campaign, with our partner WildAid, to curb interest in ivory and educate consumers about how elephants are killed. Jackie Chan and Li Bing Bing are our ambassadors, and they’re trying to help us shift cultural sentiments. HK: How can we travel responsibly? CS: Look for hotels and lodges that have set up a conservancy—often they might be aligned with elephant or rhino conservation. For example, we run the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge—it was conceived and constructed by the AWF but is now owned by the local community. The lodge is a major source of income, so the community has an incentive to take care of the wildlife and the habitat, which tourists are coming to see. HK: What’s a major misconception about traveling in Africa?


Beethoven Schumann Sibelius

CS: When you talk about tented safaris, a lot of people picture tents and sleeping bags, but some of the most luxurious places I’ve been were tented camps: the cuisine, wine cellars and accommodations are incredible. You’ve got wildlife in your backyard and it’s magical. There are some phenomenal places in the Okavango Delta in Botswana—you’ve got tented camps run by groups like Wilderness Safaris and Great Plains Conservation that have really reputable facilities. I was at a lovely camp in Kenya recently, Satao Elerai Lodge, which has an AWF connection.

25.4.2015 (Sat) 8pm

Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall $320 $220 $140 Conductor

Roberto Forés Veses • Chief Conductor and Artistic Director, Orchestre d’Auvergne, France • Winner and Special Prize of Jury, Luigi Mancinelli Opera Conductors’ Competition, Italy

HK: Any advice for once-in-a-lifetime Africa experiences? CS: There’s nothing like going out into a field and being surrounded by a family of gorillas. It’s incredible—it’s not usually on the first-time trip itinerary but it’s a very special experience. Want to donate to the cause, or book a room in one of the AWF’s eco lodges? Visit for more info. Have a query you need answered or a travel tip you’re keen to share? Email me at or tweet @KateSpringer and #hktravels.

Leonore Overture No 3, Op 72b Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 54 Symphony No 4 in A minor, Op 63

Tickets at URBTIX 2111 5999 | Programme Enquiries: 2836 3336 For ages 6+ Hong Kong Sinfonietta reserves the right to change the programme and artists

Hong Kong Sinfonietta is financially supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Hong Kong Sinfonietta is the Venue Partner of the Hong Kong City Hall



Sweet Cheats

Who says dessert can’t be healthy? Kate Springer forages for a few artisan treats that should sate those sugar cravings without (totally) sabotaging your diet.

Cherry on top at Lily & Rand

Ready to Raiz The Bar?

Pop into Sote

Lola’s Ice Pops playin’ it cool

Churned, sealed, delivered

Pop and Lock

Sugar & Sote

Go Nuts

For frozen treats without all the unnatural junk, Lola’s Ice Pops is where it’s at. The handmade pops are made with all-natural ingredients and are free of preservatives, artificial coloring and chemicals. Plus they come in fun flavors, including watermelon basil and mango red chili. Need ‘em dairy-free, low-sugar, or filled with booze? Ask Lola’s about custom orders.

For a sweet and salty fix, give Sote a try. The locally made artisan popcorn producer uses all-natural whole grain kernels and organic virgin coconut oil in its products. And the flavors are unique: try the Hong Kong milk tea, honey with cinnamon, or salted caramel. Traditionalists can just go classic with sea salt— simple as it is, it’s still pretty delicious.

$30-35 per pop. Available at various locations including Citysuper,

$30-65 per package. 21 Robinson Rd., Mid-Levels,

Tired of paying through the roof for unprocessed almond and nut butters—which pack lots of protein, fiber, healthy fats and vitamins—Heather Barlow started up Churned last year. Specializing in made-to-order artisanal nut butters, Churned makes decadent flavors, including the likes of dark chocolate and cherry almond, or pumpkin spice pecan. Though the variations change depending on the season, Churned’s selections are safe for those with dietary restrictions including gluten intolerance. Have a special request? Order a bespoke butter with extra crunch or less sugar—it’s up to you.

IFC Mall, 8 Finance St., Central,

Lily Pure

Bar None One of the newest additions to the artisan foodie scene is Raiz The Bar from chef Priscilla Soligo of Rawthentic Foods, a familyowned Hong Kong company that’s all about eating plant-based food. This April, Soligo is taking a sweet turn with small-batch, handcrafted raw chocolate made with organic, unroasted winnowed cacao beans sourced directly from an Indonesian farm co-op. Packed with health-happy ingredients such as nuts and berries, each batch takes four days to make—and they’re completely free of sugar, gluten, soy, peanuts, additives and dairy. The compostable packaging is a nice added touch for those who like their chocolate completely guilt-free.

A new venture from the folks at Lola’s Ice Pops, Lily & Ran is an American-style ice cream company. Named after the two founders’ children, the artisan ice creams are all made from scratch and come in delicious-sounding flavors including Earl Grey caramel, chocolate espresso, and smoked cardamom with caramel. Plus, there’s a 1950s Hong Kong-inspired flavor: vanilla ice cream with homemade pound cake. The ethos is all about high-quality ingredients and keeping things natural: so you can expect three types of single-origin vanilla from Mexico, Uganda and Madagascar, as well as zero artificial additives. Great for your waistline? Probably not. But at least you can feel great about the quality ingredients.

$70 per bar.

$85 per pint.

Find Churned at Discovery Bay’s Handmade Hong Kong markets through May, or order online,

Have a Cow These locally produced dairy-free and gluten-free ice creams are made with coconut cream and coconut-tree flower sugar, making them perfect for vegans as well as those watching their diets. Despite whipping up ice cream flavors such as cherry almond fudge and piña colada, Happy Cow ice creams are actually relatively good for you: coconut oil injects good cholesterol, while the calorie count is approximately 30 percent less than your average pint of Ben & Jerry’s. So, eating a whole pint is fine, right? $32-88. Available at various locations including Just Green, 52 Graham St., Central, 2801-5611,


FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

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Cultivated in Volcanic Soil from New Zealand

Jamie Oliver in Hong Kong

Second Time’s the Charm

Jamie Oliver swooped in and out of Hong Kong two weeks ago to announce the opening of his second restaurant at Harbour City, coming this May/June. A press conference was held at the existing Jamie’s Italian in Causeway Bay, and at the end there was a brief Q&A session for us F&B “journalists” (and I put this in quotes because really, who are we kidding?) to throw a few questions at the charming Mr. Oliver. I went ill-prepared but wanted to hear my own voice anyway, so I put up my hand. “What do your kids eat for lunch?” I asked. Then, to cover up the

fact that that was a pretty stupid question, I followed with, “What took so long for you to get here? Even Gordon Ramsay took a dig at you when he came to open Bread Street Kitchen last year.” (See this for background: Jamie was unflappable—although I did notice him smiling a bit less while replying to my question. “I think it’s fair to say that I run more consistent and efficient restaurants than Mr. Ramsay,” he said. “[Ramsay’s] the type of guy who will turn up at the launch, do the jazz hands, and disappear. I’m much more honest. “I always try to get there for a launch,


From the rolling hills of Pukekohe, Auckland, Fresh Grower

British. 62 Johnston Rd., Wan Chai, 2836-3444.

adapts Integrated Pest and Disease Management Programs to

pretty petals. We’re glad we plumped for the Baked Alaska ($140): a tableside flambé provided a spectacle that matched the flavors of the fruity, booze-soaked sponge and the sweet, chewy meringue.

ensure production of crops with minimal pesticide residues. At the optimal point when it’s young and sweet and then hand-packed in the field, bringing you only the best quality premium products. • Flown directly to Hong Kong, delivery to your home with minimum purchase of HKD$300 • Your fuss-free solution to get the healthiest groceries at home Place your order at 2185 7825 or on our website. The revamp of The Pawn caused a bit of a storm last year. Does the new look and fancified menu hold up? For other queries, please contact us at


ds S

Kennedy Town, Sai Wan


FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

Open daily, noon-2:30pm; 6:30-10pm. $$$

re e St



e lch Be

Ratings ★ Don’t go ★★ Disappointing ★★★ We’ll be back ★★★★ We’ll be back—with friends ★★★★★ You MUST go


9:30am – 8:00pm


Tel: 2185 7825 Business Hours:

th S Nor

Address: No 41. Belcher’s Street,


BOTTOM LINE A pleasant experience, but boring mains don’t stack up next to well-executed starters and desserts.



HIT The French-influenced starters and desserts were essentially food porn: the confit salmon starter ($150) was art on a plate, beautifully arranged with grapefruit served every which way—in ravioli, cubed, pureed, powdered—and all decorated with

MISS The design changes to the upstairs dining room are subtle and inoffensive, but the bar area really took a turn for the worse when it went all Pottery Barn. The seemingly inventive duck Bolognese pie ($225) turned out to be a disappointingly bland shepherd’s pie-style dish with mash that disguised the duck entirely. The special—duck fillet with mango ($195)—was slightly overdone and a bit dry.

Price Guide $ Less than $200

$$ $200-$399

$$$ $400-$599

$$$$ $600-$799

$$$$$ $800 and up

Test Kitchen

Kwame Onwuachi

of course,” he said. “But in fact it’s very not useful—all it does is put extra pressure on the team when they need to focus. I’d really like to act more like an owner than pretend to be a celebrity chef.” So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Check out my video coercing Jamie to profess his love for HK Mag here:

Taste Test

Test Kitchen is taking the concept of the pop-up restaurant to a whole new level. Based loosely on LA’s Dinner Lab series, TK is all about putting an up-and-coming or talented-but-lesser-known chef in the spotlight, via a one-time dinner at a secret location. The inaugural meal in Hong Kong featured American chef Kwame Onwuachi, who was the winner of the Dinner Lab’s “9 Chefs, 10 Cities” competition last year. It was a very fitting start, since chef Kwame’s former sous-chef Vincent Mui is the guy behind Hong Kong’s own Test Kitchen. The dinner, held at Man Mo Cafe,

featured plenty of tasty locally influenced dishes—like fresh abalone, pompano with lapsang souchong cream, wagyu beef paired with quail egg and shimeji mushroom—and at the end of each course diners rated the dishes, giving them a mark out of five for creativity and flavors. The scoring concept is all in good fun, but they presumably do allow the chef to take on constructive feedback and criticism. Wanna be in on the next meal? Sign up at to get all the updates.

Gaga for Ga Gi Nang

Tuck into sang choy bau filled with corn and ceviche at Ga Gi Nang (G/F, 15 Po Tuck St., Shek Tong Tsui, 3565-6641), a Mexican Asian joint in newly MTRaccessible Shek Tong Tsui. Sounds scary but it does look awfully cool.

Email me at or follow me on Twitter: @adelewong_hk.

All of our reviews are independent and anonymous!

Woo Tung Yakiniku Dining Bar ★★★★★ Yakiniku. Shop F, G/F, Fu Fai Commercial Centre, 27 Hillier St., Sheung Wan, 2623-0028.

the final vegetable dish when they saw our grill was empty. Our dishes, from boneless chicken with garlic butter ($79) to beef brisket slices ($89) were all of great quality. Somehow, you magically leave the restaurant without the stench of BBQ smoke in everything you wear.

This mezzanine space on the corner of Hillier Street is a small spot to down Asahis and snack on barbecued meat. HIT The service at Woo Tung was exceptional for a BBQ do-it-yourselfer. Not only did the servers come and flip our meat for us, but they also brought our dishes in order of how flavorsome they would be, and automatically brought

MISS The meat may be great, but everything came in dainty morsels. After six dishes for three people, we were still hungry. Either the menu wasn’t versatile enough or the marinades could have been kicked up a notch: everything was either meaty or garlicky. Maybe the missing ingredient was more alcohol… BOTTOM LINE While food is generally good here, you’d better make like the typical salaryman and let the booze fill you up. Open Mon-Sat noon-11pm, Sun 6-11pm. $$-$$$

Our Policy Reviews are based on actual visits to the establishments listed by our super-sneaky team of hungry reviewers, without the knowledge of the restaurants. Reviews are included at the discretion of the editors and are not paid for by the restaurants. Menus, opening hours and prices change and should be checked. New restaurants are not reviewed within one month of their opening. Reviews are written from a typical diner’s perspective. Ratings are awarded in accordance with the type of restaurant reviewed, so the city’s best wonton noodle stall could earn five stars while a fancy French restaurant could be a one-star disaster.


Culture + nightlife + film

Cool Runnings Throughout his 308-day expedition across Iceland in 2013, visual artist Kenneth Tsang was taken by the colors and lights shining through the glaciers all around him. The purity of the blues and whites reminded him of the clarity of the soul, whereas glaciers tainted with volcanic ash were like souls that had gradually lost their light. See the results of this introspective journey in “Reflection of Glacier,” his pop-up exhibition at PMQ. Question: if you stare into the glacier, does it stare back at you? Through Apr 19. Unit S401, Block A, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St., Central,


FRIDAY, April 10, 2015


Need to Know

Theater & Arts

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Edited by Evelyn Lok

2111-5999 2734-9009 3128-8288 2582-0200 2521-7251 2734-2009

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HK Phil: Zhang Xian’s Roman Festivals

HK Picks

One of China’s top conductors, Zhang Xian, will be illustrating the city of Rome with one of composer Ottorino Respighi’s famed love letters to the city, “Roman Festivals.” You’ll also get to hear Zhang further flex her skills (and baton) with a world premiere of a new piece by Chen Qigang, and Tchaikovsky’s “Little Russian.” Apr 17-18, 8pm. Concert Hall, Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui. $120-320 from

TakeOut Comedy Presents: Steve McGrew

The Piano Guys Four Utah dads banded together in 2011 to form classical-pop group “The Piano Guys.” They soon became an internet sensation with over 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube, garnering fans thanks to their quirky covers of songs such as One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful”—with all five players plucking the strings of a single piano. Their latest video is “I Want You Bach”—a showdown between wig-wearing, harpsichord-playing dudes and a groovy Jackson 5-esque band. Get your tickets quick—and ladies, back off: they’re married. Apr 18, 8pm. AsiaWorld-Expo, Chek Lap Kok. $680-1,080 from

Music Festivals


TakeOut Comedy is about to be hit by a Southern storm. Steve McGrew began his comedic journey as a cartoonist in Houston, but soon decided that the stage was a more expressive outlet for his stories. He’s a masterteller of lowbrow funnies, from ex-wife nightmares to drinking stories to cringey tales of his dogs throwing up. Note that opening night on Apr 15 starts at 8pm, at Champs Bar (Champs, 209-219 Wan Chai Rd., Wan Chai, 2892-3386). Apr 15, 8pm; Apr 17-18, 9pm. TakeOut Comedy, B/F, 34 Elgin St., Central, 6220-4436. $250-300 from or at the door.

Improvengers Like Marvel comics? These local improv heroes—who may or may not have been inspired by the crime-busting collaborative— are taking to the stage with a mission to take viewers through “a marvelous universe of audience-inspired hilarity.” With luck, they’re not just the same drunk guys in costume you see in Lan Kwai Fong every Halloween. Apr 24-25, 8pm. Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Rd., Central, 25217251. $120-150 from

HKCO: Kuan Nai-chung and His Classics The illustrious Kuan Nai-chung has penned many classics in the modern Chinese music canon, and the artist himself hits the stage to conduct this concert with the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra. They’re playing two separate programs across two evenings, ranging from “Journey to Lhasa” to “Guinea Dance Music.” Three solo virtuosi will join in: Huqin player Song Fei, Suona master Kot Kai-lik, and Chu Yi-bing on the cello. Apr 24-25, 8pm. Concert Hall, Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui. $100-380 from


Arts Festivals Shakespeare in the Port 2015

Intimacy of Creativity 2015

Something wicked this way comes: Sweet and Sour Productions presents the Scottish play, but it won’t be all neck frills and poncy costumes. With a cast of six local actors, the production will take an updated approach influenced by Hitchcock and film noir. Sounds pretty awesome. Apr 16-25, 7:30pm. Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Rd., Central, 2521-7251. $250 from Fringe Club.

Helmed by composer and artistic director Bright Sheng, this annual chamber music festival turns five this year and continues to offer closer dialogue between composer and performer. Sheng has once again handpicked six young composer fellows to present an eclectic musical program, which will be interpreted, revised and finally performed by a team of leading international artists. Pieces this year range from an energetic ode to New York to an interpretation of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” and more. Also don’t miss Hong Kong-born talent Ian Ng’s piece, “Igual,” originally written for ballet. Open discussions (where you’ll catch first glimpses of the dialogue process) will be held at HKUST from Apr 20 onwards. World premiere concerts will be held on April 26 and May 3. Apr 26, 4pm; May 3, 4pm. Theatre, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central. $200-300 from

Photo: Cavalia


Cavalia The circus rolls into town this spring. Created in Montreal in 2003 by Cirque du Soleil co-founder Norman Latourelle, “Cavalia” coincides with the Jockey Club’s 130th anniversary, bringing its signature mix of stunning aerial acrobatics and equestrian stunts to the SAR. They’re really not horsing around: 50 beasts will be performing with a range of artists against a 60-meter-wide multimedia backdrop, staged under the largest touring tent in the world. Through Apr 26. The New Central Harbourfront, Central. $395-1,195 from; VIP packages with after-show stable visits available from $1,495.

Comedy ComedyHK Presents Open Mic Night Got a yuk or two to share? ComedyHK hosts a weekly open mic at Wan Chai’s Bar 109, giving local comics and fresh faces with nerves of steel a chance to jump on stage and try their new material for a willing (and slightly sauced) audience. Get there at 8pm to sign up. Need an extra push? Three minutes in the spotlight earns a performer a free drink. Otherwise, it’s always free entry to watch. Come out and catch the next stars of of the Hong Kong comedy scene. Apr 13, 8pm. Bar 109, 109 Lockhart Rd., Wan Chai. Call 9709-7744 for more info.

Following a successful debut run last year, the homegrown arts festival Shakespeare in the Port is back, bringing affordable, down-to-earth adaptations of the bard’s works to the open-air space at Cyberport. Featuring all-local talents, it will be a multi-lingual event this year: highlights include a bilingual production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and a Cantonese version of “The Tempest.” For more Bardolatry, check in for a 24-hour play that showcases new writing plus an outdoor film screening. Check the program online for more. Apr 16-May 3. Cyberport Podium, 100 Cyberport Rd., Pok Fu Lam. $150-300 from

Classical Bach 330 In celebration of Bach’s 330th birthday this year, the CUHK Chorus and charity organization SingFest team up with German tenor Richard Resch and Hong Kong baritone Albert Lim to put together a program of four famous cantatas. You’ll hear Bach’s early piece “Christ lay in death’s bonds;” “God, as Your name is, so is also Your praise,” written for New Year’s Day; his motet “Come, Jesus come;” and “Praise the Lord, all ye heathen.” Apr 17, 8:30pm. Chung Chi College Chapel, Chung Chi College, CUHK, Tai Po Rd., Sha Tin, 3943-7000. $140-240 from

Cellistra Annual Concert 2015 Local cello ensemble Cellistra has handpicked the top musicians across the city’s orchestras to join its club: and this crème de la crème presents a long-awaited annual concert. This April, the event features a performance by the Cellistra quartet, consisting of Professor Ray Wang, Dr. Letty Poon, Karey Ho and Juanita Wong. Expect a mixed bill, with tunes by Rachel New, Gruetzmacher, Gershwin and more. Apr 12, 8pm. Theatre, City Hall, 5 Edinburgh Place, Central. $180-250 from

A Gala of Russian Dance Part of this month’s Festival of Russian Culture, M. Godenko’s Krasnoyarsk State Academic Dance Company of Siberia (what a mouthful) will be bringing a treasure trove of Russian folk dance to the Hong Kong stage. Performing a range of classically choreographed pieces, you’ll get a taster of the Russian essentials: from Cossack-style cavorting to traditional dances in the round. Apr 11-12, 8pm. Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall, 1 Yuen Wo Rd., Sha Tin. $140-240 from

On & On & Turn Turn Turn Victor Ma and Mandy Yim make up one of Hong Kong’s longest-established contemporary dance groups, Y-Space, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year. Never seen any of their shows? Catch this dizzying retrospective of the past two decades, all in one go—from its inaugural 1995 classic, “None of Your Business,” to several improvised pieces throughout the years to their latest choreographies, all blended with video and installation art. May 2, 8pm; May 3, 3pm. Kwai Tsing Theatre, 12 Hing Ning Rd., Kwai Fong. $120-200 from HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015   23

ARTS Exhibitions Photo: Vincent Tsang @JR-ART.NET; Courtesy Galerie Perrotin

JR: Ghosts of Ellis Island The mysterious French photographer-slash-street artist JR recently overtook the sunny locale of The Pulse with a solo survey exhibition. With this show at Galerie Perrotin, you’ll see a much darker and moodier set of works. Taking on a role as “ghost-seer” so to speak, JR has recently resurrected the forgotten history of Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, which peaked during the American immigration waves of the 20s and 30s. As part of his latest “Unframed” project in New York, JR took large-scale portraits of the island’s former inmates and recontextualized them on the hospital’s now-abandoned walls. As a preview to this project, four images taken from the island will be on show. Through Apr 25. Galerie Perrotin, 17/F, 50 Connaught Rd. Central, 3758-2180.

Annie Leibovitz and Hiroshi Senju: Forces of Nature Sundaram Tagore’s latest exhibition showcases works by two masters of the contemporary art world: American photographer Annie Leibovitz and Japanese painter Hiroshi Senju. Ten black-and-white pieces by the storied portrait photographer—of subjects such as Jack Nicholson, the Dalai Lama and the Queen—will take over the first floor of the gallery, while Senju will fill the second with six of his sublime paintings of waterfalls. Two of them have been painted with fluorescent paint: you should definitely see the phenomenal glowing atmosphere it generates in person. Through May 10. Sundaram Tagore Gallery, 57-59 Hollywood Rd., Central, 2581-9672.

Erwin Olaf Dutch contemporary photography icon Erwin Olaf will be showing three of his latest series at Art Statements Gallery. At the same time, there’s also a complete 20-year retrospective of his works shown in Macau (through Apr 27. Oriente Foundation, 13 Praça Luís de Camões, Macau, (+853) 2855-4699, Blending photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf’s works are often elaborately stylized, conveying subtle, overlooked emotions and stories in a fantastical and provocative fashion. His latest pieces in the “Waiting” series capture young women in a state of doubt and limbo. Through May 30. Art Statements Gallery, Factory D, 8/F Gee Chang Hong Centre, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Rd., Wong Chuk Hang, 2696-2300.

Dance As one of the associated events of this year’s Le French May arts fest, Agnès B.’s Librairie Galerie brings to Hong Kong a series of works by photographer and ex-ballet dancer Eugenia Grandchamp des Raux. Capturing dancers at the Opéra de Paris in what she terms “mondeflou,” or “world of blur,” the artist aims to immortalize her own passion and capture the essence of movement at the moment of its creation. Or maybe someone just needs to talk to her about shutter speed? Through Jun 27. Agnès B. Librairie Galerie, 118 Hollywood Rd., Central, 2869-5505.


FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015


Edited by Andrea Lo Twitter: @andreas_lo

Open Bar The Tavern The drinks: We here at HK Magazine hate when bars refuse to serve you water. Imagine our surprise, then, when we found that everyone gets a glass as soon as they sit down. Focusing on “cocktail portraits,” ($150) this is how the personalized drink concept works: on a piece of paper, you select your spirit of choice, as well as how frothy, sweet, sour, spicy or strong you like your drinks—plus how much you enjoy fruity flavors. After you make your selections, general manager Genevieve Nelles and her team get to work on creating your very own cocktail. That’s not all—you get to name the drink, and staff will take a Polaroid for the wall of fame. Why you’ll be back: If you like the idea of

The buzz: SoHo bar The Tavern has changed

hands, transforming into a space that’s half sporty watering hole, half personalized cocktail bar. It might seem a strange combination, but it works. There’s nothing pretentious about this spot—a family-run joint that’s all about showing people a good time.

The décor: The Tavern sits on Elgin, with crowds pouring onto the street. Inside the bar, it’s dark but lively, jam-packed with a mixed crowd. Grab a seat right by the bar to watch the bartenders make your very own signature drink—or, if you’re here for a sports game, sit front and center by the two big screens.

having your own signature cocktail, The Tavern is the place to be. Not into the personalized cocktail thing? Kick back with a “sports bucket” (six bottles of beers for $260) and catch a game. There’s also a newly launched happy hour that’s actually good value: $20 for selected beers and wines from 5-8pm, Mondays to Fridays. Munch on classic bar foods like nachos and shoestring fries, and go to town. Andrea Lo

2 Chainz in Macau When it comes to anniversary parties, Club Cubic doesn’t disappoint—at least not the hip-hop fans, anyway. The guest of honor at the Macau nightclub’s 4th birthday bash? Rapper 2 Chainz. One of the biggest names in the dirty south rap game, 2 Chainz made his start in a college dorm room before hitting the big time after being signed to rapper Ludacris’s label. Recent hits include “Birthday Song” ft. Kanye West and “F**kin’ Problems” with A$AP Rocky. Twerk team, assemble! There’s a private VIP party until 1am (which you’re almost certainly not invited to), after which the doors open. Apr 18, 1am. Club Cubic, 2/F, Hard Rock Hotel, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, (+853) 6638-4999. $450 at the door.


16A Elgin St., Central, 2526-7737.

hk picks

Sidney Samson Dutch DJ Sidney Samson, best known for his 2009 monster hit “Riverside,” is set to spin the night away at Club Cubic in Macau. Only know that one song? Check out “Bang it to the Curb” from 2014, a joint effort with Far East Movement. Apr 11, 11:30pm. Club Cubic, 2/F, Hard Rock Hotel, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, (+853) 6638-4999. $250 at the door.

Charli XCX Charli XCX owned the pop scene in 2014. After collaborating with rapper Iggy Azalea on massive hit “Fancy,” she also dropped feel-good song “Boom Clap”—which featured on the soundtrack of teen hit “The Fault in Our Stars.” More proof that Queen Charli can do no wrong? The hitmaker is also behind Icona Pop’s 2012 single, “I Love It.” See her slay at KITEC in April. Apr 20, 7:30pm. Musiczone, KITEC, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay. $490 from

Clubs Mendo and Yvan Genkins DJ Mendo is the head of Clarisse Records and makes music with European club regulars. He’ll join hands with Swiss DJ Yvan Genkins to bring bass-heavy techno and house sounds to Volar. Apr 10, 10pm. Volar, B/F, 38-44 D’Aguilar St., Central, 2810-1510. Price TBA.

Bamboo Soldier, Joseph Asc and Lucas Luraka Looking for a night with thumping deep house and techno—but too cheap to pay for drinks at nightclubs? Premium has your back. See Bamboo Soldier, Joseph Asc and Lucas Luraka on the decks. B lots of YOB. Apr 10, 11:50pm. Premium, B/F, 212-216 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan. $100 at the door; BYOB.

Andrew Rayel Hailing from Moldova, DJ Andrew Rayel has been in the music biz since he was 13 years old—which actually wasn’t that long ago, considering he’s 22. Are Moldovan child labor laws considerably more lenient? See him spin trance beats at new California Tower club Zentral. Apr 16, 10pm. Zentral, 4-5/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar St., Central, 2111-8110. $290 from Mr. Mike and Mister P Jamaican-born, UK-raised DJ Mr. Mike has a career spanning more than two decades in the European dance music scene. He’s produced global hits such as “Put Your Hands Up in the Air” and “Pump It Up” and is back in Hong Kong, joining house DJ Mister P behind the turntables. Apr 18, 10pm. Ozone, 118/F, The Ritz-Carlton, 1 Austin Rd. West, West Kowloon, 2263-2263. $250 at the door, including a drink.

Blixa Bargeld and Teho Teardo A collaborative effort between Hidden Agenda and the Goethe-Institut Hongkong, this gig brings us the kind of avant-garde artists who are certain to attract bearded hipsters in droves. The performers are experimental musician Blixa Bargeld of German industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, and composer Teho Teardo (pictured) of Italian rock band Meathead. Never heard of them? THAT’S THE POINT. Apr 10, 8pm. Hidden Agenda, Unit 2A, Wing Fu Industrial Building, 15-17 Tai Yip St., Ngau Tau Kok. $280 at the door. Girugamesh Any visual kei fans in the house? Japanese band Girugämesh, whose name derives (via Mesopotamian legend) from a character in “Final Fantasy,” is set to hit Hidden Agenda. Expect nu metal headbangers. Apr 11, 8pm. Hidden Agenda, Unit 2A, Wing Fu Industrial Building, 15-17 Tai Yip St., Ngau Tau Kok. $350 from; $400 at the door. Then You Suffer This week’s Sunday gig at Full Cup features acoustic blues band Then You Suffer. Kick back with a beer and chill out to the four-piece’s covers of Freddie King and Muddy Waters. Apr 12, 3pm. Full Cup Café, 3-7/F, Hanway Commercial Centre, 36 Dundas St., Mong Kok, 2771-7775. $120 at the door. Lifers—Liege Creepy Crawlers Belgian five-piece Lifers—Liege Creepy Crawlers bring their headbanging metal to Hidden Agenda. Bring waffles. Apr 17, 8pm. Hidden Agenda, Unit 2A, Wing Fu Industrial Building, 15-17 Tai Yip St., Ngau Tau Kok. Price TBA. Diggin’ in White Noise Are CDs dead? White Noise Records doesn’t think so. The OG indie record store is hosting a market, selling loads of hardto-come-by secondhand CDs. From 5pm onwards, live DJs hit the decks. The lineup? Gee, K-Melo, Snoblind and Arthur Urquiola. Apr 18, 1pm. 1/F, 720 Shanghai St., Prince Edward, 2591-0499. Free entry; BYOB. HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015   25

nightlife hk picks

Henry Chung and The Spontaneous Combustion: A Night of Chicago Blues Despite being a lawyer by trade, Hong Kong-born harmonica player Henry Chung garnered quite a name for himself when he worked in Washington DC—performing with names such as BB King and Muddy Waters collaborator Bob Margolin. Since returning to Hong Kong in 2007, Chung has carved out a niche as one of the city’s best bluesmen. Show up for a night of slow-groove Chicago blues at Backstage Live. Apr 18, 9pm. Backstage Live, 1/F, Somptueux Central, 52-54 Wellington St., Central, 2167-8985. $250 from; $280 at the door.

Love Da & Deja Vu Present: Spinnin’ Best of 2015 Release Party Dutch music label Spinnin’ Records launches of its “Best of 2015” EDM album, which is strange since we’re only in the first half of the year. Maybe it means we can stop thinking about music through December? The party is at new LKF nightclub Déjà Vu—go check it out. Apr 17, 9:30pm. Déjà Vu, 1/F, 17 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, 2810-1100. $200 at the door, including a drink. The Word Alive American metalheads The Word Alive are in Hong Kong to perform, and where else would they be except Hidden Agenda? Apr 21, 8:30pm. Hidden Agenda, Unit 2A, Wing Fu Industrial Building, 15-17 Tai Yip St., Ngau Tau Kok. $280 from www.ticketflap. com; $320 at the door.

Agnès b. Rue de Marseille Live Fashion brand Agnès b. is bringing back Rue De Marseille Live, a series of gigs set up to encourage the local indie music scene. On April 25, it’s guitar-swinging 90s-inspired group Teenage Riot and singer-songwriter Subyub Lee. Wrapping things up on May 30 are mathfolk four-piece GDJYB (pictured) and indie pop band Salad Kowloon. Apr 25, May 30, 4pm. Agnès B. Rue De Marseille, Shop G26, K11 Mall, 18 Hanoi Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui. Free.

Nightlife Events Pick Your Pink 9— Rooftop After-Work Party Who says rosé’s a summer drink? Azure is hosting Pick Your Pink 9, a fiesta of all things rosé. There’s two-for-one drinks until 8pm, a huge selection of wines from Rosé Wine Cellar, a tapas buffet and even... rosé pong. Hmm. Apr 24, 6pm. Azure, 29/F, LKF Hotel, 33 Wyndham St., Central, 3518-9688. Free entry.

Backstreet Boys In a world where kids don’t even know who Missy Elliott is, the Backstreet Boys are basically dinosaurs. But for those who do remember—get your dose of 90s throwback with Nick, Kevin, AJ, Howie and Brian for their two-night concert in April. Backstreet’s back, alright! Apr 22-23, 8pm. Star Hall, KITEC, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay. $888-988 from Suffocation NYC-based heavy metal outfit Suffocation is doing a set, supported by Australia’s Truth Corroded and local band Dismembered. A lot of gruesome names being thrown around here... Apr 24, 8:30pm. Hidden Agenda, Unit 2A, Wing Fu Industrial Building, 15-17 Tai Yip St., Ngau Tau Kok. $300 from; $380 at the door.


FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2015

Queen’s Road East Discovery Walk Like wine? Like charity? You’ll love our charity wine crawl, Queen’s Road East Discovery Walk. Explore Wan Chai’s heritage while stopping by more than 20 shops along the way, sampling wines and nibbles in each. Don’t miss a whisky tasting session from 4-5pm at new resto The Grand Buffet (62/F, Hopewell Centre). Don your best fancy dress outfits—the best costumed Winewalker will win an uber-fancy Vinvautz 24-bottle wine cellar, worth $3,498. Proceeds go to Hong Kong charity Foodlink, which is dedicated to reducing food wastage. Apr 18, 2:30pm. $199 from


Edited by

Charley Mulliner charlotte.mulliner@


Pakeong: Experiencing. Fortes To celebrate its third birthday, the Rui Cunha Foundation Gallery has invited prominent Macanese artist Fortes Pakeong Sequeira to exhibit some of his portfolio—a collection of improvised, stark paintings that have been created using the simplest materials. Catch Pakeong himself at the gallery through the month of April with a series of live demonstrations of his work. Apr 13-18; Closed on Sundays. Rui Cunha Foundation Gallery, 749 Avenida da Praia Grande, Macau Peninsula, (+853) 2892 3288. Free.



The Ugly One Hong Kong theater company On & On presents “The Ugly One,” a black comedy written by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg. It’s a moralistic lesson in beauty when butt-faced Lette decides to undergo facial reconstruction in the hopes of boosting his career and his confidence. Is this finally a show rooting for the ugly man? Let’s hope there’s at least a little bit of totty to keep us entertained. Don’t miss the onehour pre-performance talk hosted by the theater’s members. In Cantonese only. Apr 18, 8pm. Macao Cultural Centre, Avenida Xian Xing Hai, Macau Peninsula, (+853) 2840-0555. $180.

Club Cubic 4th Anniversary Club Cubic is celebrating four years of epic nights out this month with a roster of big-name DJs. Catch Belgian producer and DJ Yves V perform his infectious electro, big-room beats on April 10 ahead of his third Tomorrowland debut this summer. The big birthday party rocks the club on April 18, with American hip hop artist 2 Chainz headlining: see p.29 for details. To cement Cubic’s reputation as Macau’s go-to club, it’s also going to be open on Sundays as of April 12—so now you can party all week long. Apr 11, 11:30pm; $250. Apr 18, 1am; $450 at the door. Club Cubic, 2/F, Hard Rock Hotel, City of Dreams, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, (+853) 6638-4999.

Start This debut art exhibition from digital art studio 2 UP ponders the influences of video game culture on the younger generation. The studio represents life in the city as a series of pixels—a patchwork of blocks that make up Macau’s east-meets-west cityscape. The humor should strike a chord for anyone familiar with our sister SAR, or just really obsessed with Minecraft. Through Apr 19. Ox Warehouse, Avenida do Coronel Mequita, Macau Peninsula, (+853) 2853-0026. Free.

Valkyrie Octopus Contemporary textile artist Joana Vasconcelos brings the Valkyrie Octopus to Macau: a 35-meter-long, 20-meter-high sculpture that weighs in at 1,200 kilos and took 50 experts nearly 10 months to create. Made of more than 4,000 meters of patterned fabric that encompasses traditional Portuguese crochet elements, the Valkyrie is embellished with thousands of beads and LED lights. Vasconcelos first achieved international recognition in 2005 with her sculpture The Bride, a 5-meter-high chandelier made of tampons (!), and was then the first woman to have a solo exhibition at the Chateau de Versailles, in 2012. You go, girl. Through Oct 31. MGM Macau, Avenida Dr Sun Yat Sen, Macau Peninsula, (+853) 8802-1888. Free.

Theater & Dance Beauty and the Beast Macau is welcoming all the big-name musicals this season—next up is the heartwarming Disney fairytale “Beauty and the Beast.” To celebrate its 20th anniversary on the stage, the original Broadway creative team is bringing Belle and her lyrical pals to the Venetian Theatre for a six-week run as part of a world tour. As one of the longest running and highest grossing Broadway shows of all time, you’d better snap up tickets quick. Before the petals drop off the rose or whatever. Jun 13-Jul 26. Venetian Theatre, The Venetian, Estrada do Istmo, Cotai, $280-680 from

Concerts Katy Perry in Macau Your prayers have been answered: the reigning queen of pop herself will be gracing the stage at The Venetian Macao’s Cotai Arena in May. From humble beginnings as a gospel singer, Katy Perry hit the big time with 2008 single “I Kissed a Girl.” Since then, she’s dropped more mega hits than you can count: think “Teenage Dream,” “California Gurls” and “Roar.” Fresh from her Superbowl halftime show she’s hitting up Macau. It really does seem like Perry can’t possibly put a foot wrong. Except for marrying Russell Brand, of course. May 1-2, 8pm. The Venetian Macao Estrada do Istmo, Cotai. $380-1,680 from HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, April 10, 2015   27


Edited by Evelyn Lok

Hill of Freedom (South Korea) Auteur Hong Sang-soo is known for his heavily autobiographical works, which have gained a following on the festival circuit. In this new short-but-sweet offering (at only 66 minutes), we follow Mori’s story: He’s a Japanese man who flies to Seoul to see Kwon, the Korean woman he still pines for. Just missing her, the story is told through Kwon’s eyes as she sorts through the letters Mori leaves, to make sense of what has happened. Opens Apr 16.


The Immigrant


(USA) Directed by Tim Johnson. Starring Rihanna, Jim Parsons, Jennifer Lopez, Steve Martin. Category I. 94 minutes. Opened April 2.

Sometimes, it’s perfectly fine to be a grown-ass adult going to see a kid’s movie. There are usually enough jokes for adults slipped in, enough borderline ambiguity and “Wait, was that a dirty joke?” moments that it’s fun for grown-ups too (I fully expect this in “Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water,” in theaters April 2.) “Home,” unfortunately, isn’t that at all. Like an after school-special, it sneaks in moral teachings whenever it can. It’s a film full of weird, colorful and exceedingly twee alien action: A hungover grownup’s nightmare, but a perfect excursion for the little humans in your life. Given an innocently established alien-human friendship and with the sheer amount of PC, borderline-annoying humor it’s easy to show up cynical, but “Home” is genuine enough to be pleasantly surprising. It begins with a thoroughly sanitized and cheerful opening sequence in which an invading alien race—the cuddly, purple Boov—take over Earth. Instead of terrifying killer laser beams as per the norm, we see benign warp pipes that vacuum up all the humans and relocate them to new “Happy Humans Towns” in the uninhabited corners of the globe. The Boov are a cowardly, ignorant, and largely sheeplike race, and our main purple extraterrestrial, Oh (Jim Parsons, TV’s “Big Bang Theory”), stands out from the crowd thanks to his social awkwardness, which often lands him in trouble. Soon after settling on Earth, Oh is already running from the authorities after making a huge mistake: he has just invited the whole universe to his housewarming party—including the Gorg, lifelong enemies of the Boov. This leads him to meet Tip (Rihanna), a human girl who has managed to escape the relocation. The two end up working together in search for safety, and he in turn helps Tip to search for her captured mother. Both misfits in their own worlds, Tip—a new immigrant to America from Barbados (duh, Rihanna)— and Oh, new to the planet, strike up a unique and sweet friendship despite their differences. Their journey to find Tip’s mom is a touching, worthwhile story. Although the oblivious Oh is annoying to begin with, as he learns more about the complexity of the human race, he begins to grow on you. Not in the chest-bursting kind of way, either. As a story predominantly aimed at children, “Home” is full of cheesy, utterly non-threatening jokes, although the alien perspective on human life makes for some fun observational touches. The aliens are designed to speak differently: fair enough, but for kids’ entertainment, the dialogue is worryingly chockfull of bad grammar. “Home” is a genuine film suffused with adorable characterization and created with Dreamworks’ standard dazzling animation. It’s so unabashedly childlike and simple that somewhere along the way, it wins over even the most cynical grown-up. But unless you have a gaggle of kids to entertain for an afternoon, it’s not exactly the perfect date-night movie. Evelyn Lok

Angel Whispers

Child 44

(Hong Kong) Despite having a title that sounds somewhat like an air-freshener product, this Hong Kong indie heavyweight won funding at 2014’s Asia Film Financing Forum and finally comes to fruition this spring. The revenge-thriller is brought to screen by actress-slash-debutdirector Carrie Ng Ka-lai (“Naked Killer”), about a group of prostitutes and their landlady in Sham Shui Po battling a mystery killer who just claimed the life of one of their sworn sisters. Opens Apr 16.

(USA) Who’s behind a devastating series of child murders popping up all across Russia? MGB agent Leo Demidov (Tom Hardy) is on the case in this film based on the thriller by Tom Rob Smith. Boasting Ridley Scott on the production team, it’s a chase against time to find the infamous “Rostov Ripper,” a real-life case in which 52 women and children were mutilated or killed in an unforgiving Soviet Russia. But with a cast of British and Scottish actors, what’s going to be more hard-hitting, the cheesy accented English or the action itself? Opens Apr 16.

FRIDAY, april 10, 2015

Kabukicho Love Hotel (Japan) Director Ryuichi Hiroki is one of the best-known auteurs in the softcore “pink” film genre and often praised as one of the most intelligent story-crafters in the industry. He brings us into the throes of seedy Kabukicho, Tokyo’s red-light district, where love hotel manager Toru (Shota Sometani) sees through a day and a night’s activities: watching the evening’s characters sift in and out, never seeming to stay long. Opens Apr 16.

Maps to the Stars (USA) “Body horror” legend David Cronenberg brings us this savage deconstruction of Hollywood’s messed-up, perfect elite. Julianne Moore plays a fast-fading actress; Mia Wasikowska her disfigured PA; Evan Bird is a child star looking back on the ghosts of his past; John Cusack plays his overbearing shrink father while Robert Pattinson is a limo driver with much bigger dreams. Sounds like the recipe for a deliciously poisonous drama. Opened Apr 9.

Ode to My Father (South Korea) Looking to be the second highest-grossing Korean film of all time, this film is an important milestone for the industry but also a rare, succinct story of Korean history from the 50s to present day. Directed by the ambitious Yoon Je-kyoon (“Haeundae”—deemed South Korea’s first proper disaster film), it tells of a child separated from his family during the 1951 refugee evacuation from the North to the South, and his journey to find his sister and father again. Opened Apr 9.

The Rewrite (UK) Hugh Grant plays a washed-up screenwriter who returns to teaching in order to pay his bills. Messing about and barely educating anyone, least of all himself, it’s only when he meets single mother Holly (Marissa Tomei) that his life begins to turn around. Yaaawn. Opened Apr 9.

Continuing Furious 7 The Loft (USA) James Marsden, Wentworth Miller, Karl Urban, Eric Stonestreet, and Matthias Schoenaerts. These five studs decide to share a New York loft where they can bring their mistresses for secret trysts—no more of that shady hotel business. But when they find a dead woman in the house, suddenly their secrets aren’t so safe after all. They totally deserve it. Opens Apr 16.

The Water Diviner (Australia/Turkey) Russell Crowe mans his own ship this time in his directorial debut. Playing a grieving father, he journeys across oceans to Turkey in the aftermath of WWI’s Gallipoli Campaign as he searches for his two lost sons. History factoid: the Gallipoli Campaign saw some of the most significant casualties for Australian and New Zealand forces, and the day they landed on Turkish shores is what is known today as Anzac Day. Yep: it’s officially the most Aussie film ever. Opens Apr 16.

Coming Soon


(USA) This 2013 film finally reaches Hong Kong screens. Marion Cotillard plays Ewa Cybulski, a Polish immigrant new to 1930s New York who is tricked into working for a burlesque dancing troupe owned by one Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix). Meanwhile, she meets a dashing magician who offers to rescue her and help her reunite with her sister, who is quarantined in Ellis Island. Opens Apr 16.


(USA) Will the franchise ever end? Returning with presumably even more muscles and even more muscular cars, the seventh installment in the action series takes place after 2013’s “Fast & Furious 6.” The brother of the last film’s baddie (Jason Statham) emerges to take his revenge on the crew led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel). This is the late Paul Walker’s final film appearance.

Home (USA) See review, opposite.

Insurgent (USA) Time for the next installment in the “Divergent” series. After learning that she’s Divergent (aka special), Beatrice Prior (Shailene Woodley, “The Fault in Our Stars”) runs away with Four (Theo James) to discover why the state regards her kind as enemies. In terms of action and sleek CGI, “Insurgent” is much better than its predecessor—turning from a clean-cut teeny-bopper first film into a darker and more adult sequel—although the talented actors seem wasted here. PPP

Wild Tales (Argentina) This anthology of madcap drama and adventure from Damián Szifron was hyped all the way to the recent Oscars. Six short stories pick apart the themes of violence and vengeance through everyday shenanigans: a conversation between strangers on a plane, a waitress who adds a “special ingredient” to a dish and a man who gets his car towed one time too many. Strap in for a funny, dark ride. Opens Apr 16.

Lost and Love (China) This missing child/road trip drama packs on the star power. Andy Lau plays Lei, a forlorn father who embarks on a 14-year-long search for his 2-year-old child, helped by the Weibo blogging community along the way. He meets Zeng (Jing Boran), a young car mechanic who was also kidnapped as a child. The two develop a father-son bond as they work together to find the missing kid.

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Predestination (Australia) Ethan Hawke stars in this adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s 1958 sci-fi short story, “All You Zombies.” Hawke is a “temporal agent” tasked with traveling back in time to prevent major crimes, but his work results in a web of paradoxes. Confusing Aussie time-travel romp, yeah!

Two Thumbs Up

Song One (USA) Anne Hathaway plays a struggling graduate student who learns that her brother is in a coma. In predictable indie rom-com fashion, she roams through the places in Brooklyn that he frequented and accidentally gets involved with his folkrock idol. Whoops! It’s entirely as one-note as expected. P

(Hong Kong) Written and directed by firsttime director Lau Ho-leung, “Two Thumbs Up” debuts at the Hong Kong International Film Fest this year. A team of hapless gangsters led by Lucifer (Francis Ng) dress up a minibus as a police car and, toy guns in hand, head to the New Territories for a robbery or two. Little do they know another gang of more murderous police imposters is roaming the roads.

When Marnie Was There (Japan) Studio Ghibli’s latest heartbreaker is the second feature by its new resident director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (“The Secret World of Arrietty”). Based on Joan G. Robinson’s novel, it’s a sleepy story of a peculiar friendship between the withdrawn Anna and the lovely, unjudgemental Marnie—a blonde girl whom only Anna can see.

Wolf Totem

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (USA) The world’s favorite underwater pineapple-dweller and his geeky friends embark on another wild adventure. This time the nefarious pirate Burger Beard (Antonio Banderas) has stolen the secret Krabby Patty burger recipe. SpongeBob and his arch-nemesis Plankton must team up to get it back—on land.

Film Festivals Courtesy Hibiscus Films

Special Screenings

(China/France) Based on Jiang Rong’s semi-autobiographical novel, “Wolf Totem” is a cautionary tale about rapid modernization. A young student is sent to Inner Mongolia during the height of the Cultural Revolution to learn how to rear sheep. But instead, he ends up adopting a wolf cub—unknowingly wreaking havoc across the land. Directed by Oscar award-winning Jean-Jacques Annaud (“Seven Years in Tibet”), it’s brimming with captivating cinematography, heart-stopping action and tension, and a memorably epic title theme. PPPP

BC Sundays: Tortured Musician Edition Sunday screenings at Yau Ma Tei’s Broadway Cinematheque tend to follow a monthly theme, and this month it seems to be tortured musicians all round. This weekend lands on our favorite Dublin musical wanderers in “Once” (Apr 12)—featuring the hauntingly beautiful Oscar-winning tune “Falling Slowly.” April 19’s show is the recent poppy anti rom-com, “Begin Again,” starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo in singing/music-producing roles. Finally, April wraps up with—what else?—“On the Road” (Apr 26) based on Jack Kerouac’s boozy, jazzy, fucked-up journey across America’s heartland. Apr 5-26, Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St., Yau Ma Tei. $65 from

National Theatre Live: Skylight See National Theatre productions on the big screen at AMC (Festival Walk, Pacific Place) and Broadway (The One, Palace IFC) cinemas. This spring, it’s David Hare’s 1995 play “Skylight” filmed straight from London’s West End, a story of hesitatingly rekindled old flames. Bill Nighy takes on the role of a restaurateur whose wife has just died. He reaches out to a former lover, a school teacher played by Carey Mulligan. Through May 18. Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St., Yau Ma Tei. $200 from AMC or Broadway cinemas citywide.

Mobile M+: Moving Images Following several yearly “nomadic” exhibitions held by the West Kowloon Cultural District peeps, this year the bureau is presenting a comprehensive thematic film program and a two-part exhibition showcasing the burgeoning collection of moving images at upcoming visual arts museum M+. Over 32 films explore different meanings of the word “moving” with an array of poignant social topics. On April 17, check out “Song of the Exile”—director Ann Hui’s film starring Maggie Cheung about a daughter’s return to Hong Kong, and redefining the meaning of home. Thematic exhibitions also take place at Midtown Pop in Causeway Bay and Cattle Depot Artist Village, To Kwa Wan. Through Apr 26. Broadway Cinematheque, Prosperous Garden, 3 Public Square St., Yau Ma Tei. $80 from

HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, april 10, 2015   29

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ARIES (Mar 21-Apr 19): Uitwaaien is a Dutch word that means to go out for a stroll in windy weather simply because it’s exhilarating. I don’t know any language that has parallel terms for running in the rain for the dizzy joy of it, or dancing through a meadow in the dark because it’s such nonsensical fun, or singing at full volume while riding alone in an elevator in the mad-happy quest to purge your tension. But in the coming weeks, you don’t need to describe or explain experiences like this; you just need to do them. Experiment with giving your instinctive need for exuberance lots of room to play. TAURUS (Apr 20-May 20): Your nasty, nagging little demon isn’t nasty or nagging any more. It’s not doing what demons are supposed to do. It’s confused, haggard, and ineffective. I almost feel sorry for the thing. It is barely even keeping you awake at night, and its ability to motivate you through fear is at an all-time low. Here’s what I suggest: Now, when the demon’s strength is waning and its hold on you is weak, you should break up with it for good. Perform an ultimate, non-reversible exorcism. Buy it a one-way bus ticket to the wasteland and say goodbye forever. GEMINI (May 21-Jun 20): When he was in his fifties, French painter Claude Monet finally achieved financial success. He used his new riches to buy a house and land, then hired gardeners to help him make a pond full of water lilies. For the first time in his life, he began to paint water lilies. During the next 30 years, they were his obsession and his specialty. He made them a central feature of 250 canvases, which now serve as one of his signature contributions to art history. “I planted my water lilies for pleasure,” he said. “I cultivated them without thinking of painting them. And then suddenly, I had the revelation of the magic of my pond.” I regard the imminent future as a good time for you to do something similar, Gemini: Create or find a source of beauty that will stimulate your sense of wonder and fuel your to express for a long time. WNP-Kitten & Cat Adoption-HK Mag Print Ad-v1-output-150401.pdf 1 passion 1/4/15 10:10 yourself AM CANCER (Jun 21-Jul 22): “Everything we do in life is based on fear, especially love,” said Cancerian comedian Mel Brooks. Although he was joking, he was also quite serious. More often than we like to admit, desperation infects our quest to be cared for. Our decisions about love may be motivated by a dread of loneliness. We worry about whether we are worthy of getting the help and support we need. It’s a fundamental human problem, so there’s no reason to be ashamed if you have this tendency yourself. Having said that, I’m happy to report that you now have the necessary power to overcome this tendency. You will be able to summon tremendous courage as you revise and refine your relationship with love. It’s time to disappear the fear.


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LEO (Jul 23-Aug 22): Do you ever feel reverence and awe, Leo? Are there times when you spontaneously yearn to engage in acts of worship? Is there anyone or anything that evokes your admiration, humility, and gratitude? The coming weeks will be a good time to seek out experiences like these. According to my reading of the astrological omens, you will get tender jolts of transformational inspiration if you blend yourself with a sublime force that you trust and respect.


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VIRGO (Aug 23-Sep 22): A lot has happened since you were… uh… indisposed. You’ve missed out on several plot twists. The circle has been broken, repaired, broken again, and partially repaired. Rumors have been flying, allegiances have been shifting, and riddles have been deepening. So are you ready yet to return to the heated action? Have you learned as much as you can from the commotion that provoked your retreat? Don’t try to return too early. Make sure you are at least 70 percent healed. LIBRA (Sep 23-Oct 22): Rent, but don’t buy yet. That’s my $250-per-hour advice. Keep rehearsing, but don’t start performing the actual show. OK? Flirt, but don’t fall in love. Can you handle that much impulse control? Are you strong enough to explore the deeper mysteries of patience? I swear to you that your burning questions will ultimately be answered if you don’t try to force the answers

to arrive according to a set timetable. I guarantee that you will make the necessary connections as long as you don’t insist that they satisfy every single one of your criteria. SCORPIO (Oct 23-Nov 21): The Guerrilla Girls are a group of prankster activists who use humor to expose sexism and racism in the art world. Every so often they take a “weenie count” at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. During their first survey in 1989, they found that five percent of the artists who had work hanging in the galleries were women, while 85 percent of the nudes depicted in the paintings were women. More recently, in 2012, their weenie count revealed that four percent of the artists were female, but 76 percent of the naked people in the paintings were female. The coming week would be a good time for you to take a weenie count in your own sphere, Scorpio. Conditions are more favorable than usual to call attention to gender disparities, and to initiate corrective action. SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22-Dec 21): The English term “engine” refers primarily to a machine that transforms energy into mechanical power. But its roots are in the Old French word engin, which meant skill or wit, and in the Latin word ingenium, defined as “inborn talent.” I’d like to borrow the original meanings to devise your horoscope this week. According to my reading of the astrological omens, your “engine” is unusually strong right now, which means that your cultivated skills and innate talents are functioning at peak levels. I suggest you make intensive use of them to produce maximum amounts of energy and gather more of the clout you’d love to wield. CAPRICORN (Dec 22-Jan 19): What I’m about to say is not a hard scientific fact, but it is a rigorous poetic fable. You don’t need to go to the mountain, because the mountain is willing and able to come to you. But will it actually come to you? Yes, but only if you meet two conditions. The mountain will pick itself up and move all the way to where you are if you make a lot of room for it and if you are prepared to work with the changes its arrival will bring. AQUARIUS (Jan 20-Feb 18): If you were a fouryear-old, cookies might be a valuable treasure to you. Given a choice between a bowl of stir-fried organic vegetables and a plate full of chocolate coconut macaroons, you’d probably choose the macaroons. For that matter, if you were four years old and were asked to decide between getting a pile of macaroons and a free vacation to Bali or an original painting by Matisse or a personal horoscope reading from the world’s greatest astrologer, you’d also opt for the cookies. But since you’re a grownup, your list of priorities is screwed on straight, right? You would never get distracted by a sugary, transitory treat that would cause you to ignore a more nourishing and long-lasting pleasure. Right? PISCES (Feb 19-Mar 20): On June 23, 1917, Babe Ruth was the starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in a Major League Baseball game against the Washington Senators. After the first batter drew a walk, Ruth got upset with the home plate umpire and punched him in the head. Ejected! Banished! The Babe had to be dragged off the field by the cops. The new pitcher was Ernie Shore. He proceeded to pitch a perfect game, allowing no further Washington player to reach base in all nine innings. In the coming weeks, Pisces, I see you as having the potential to duplicate Ernie Shore’s performance in your own sphere. Coming in as a replacement, you will excel. Chosen as a substitute, you will outdo the original.

Homework: What’s the best question you could ask life right now? Tell me by going to and clicking on “Email Rob.” HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, April 10, 2015   31

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DATING SERVICE / EVERYTHING ELSE SAVAGE LOVE Dan Savage I’m a young, straight feminist male, and I’ve been dating my feminist girlfriend monogamously for almost two years. Recently, I’ve been coming to terms with the fact that I am turned on by rape fantasies. Of course, I find the idea of actual rape repugnant, and this is probably, of course, an important reason why fantasizing about it turns me on. I sent out some feelers with my girlfriend by initiating a conversation about kinks and asking about what types of kinks she would hypothetically be comfortable accommodating. I asked her to imagine that I fantasized about feeling up women on the subway and wanted her to simulate and help realize that fantasy scenario with me. Her response was that I needed to be “cured” of my desires, and that she would help me figure out and work through the psychological gender-power issues behind it, and to that end she would try to show me how enjoyable consensual sex could be. My first thought was, “Well that’s not GGG…” but then I reconsidered: Would indulging that fantasy only reinforce patriarchal patterns of thought that I’ve worked to expunge from my brain? How much of a point does she have? – Feminist Rape Fantasist DTMFA. I’m not telling you to dump your girlfriend because she won’t let you feel her up on the subway, FRF. She isn’t obligated to help you realize your consensual-rape-lite fantasies. If that shit squicks her out, that shit squicks her out. But you can’t have a mutually fulfilling sexual or romantic relationship with a woman—feminist or not, squicked out by simulated nonconsensuality or not—whose first impulse when presented with a run-of-the-mill, completely consensual role-play scenario is to pathologize her partner, declare him sick, and accuse him of not being aroused by consensual sex when consensual sex was precisely what he proposed. There’s nothing wrong with you, FRF, nothing that needs curing. The only thing you need to expunge is a girlfriend who regards you as a sicko and a rapist. DTMFA. This is going to sound incredibly naive, but here we go: How does one get better at sex? I’m a 24-year-old female, I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years, and the sex is just… meh. He had a couple sex partners before me, but he is my first and only. We’ve been sexual for almost all of our years together, so it’s not like we’re wanting for practice. We often ask each other, “What else can I do for you?” I’ve shared a couple ideas, which we’ve explored to my minimal comfort, but he always says “Nothing” when asked if there’s anything he wants to do or try. We have discovered that neither of us particularly cares if we, ourselves, reach orgasm, but we both care very deeply that the other is satisfied. In this light: while I don’t care much if the sex is mediocre for me, I do want it to be better for him. Do you have any suggestions? Are we doomed? – Still A Noob Apparently

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This is going to sound incredibly unhelpful, SANA, but I don’t have any suggestions. There are just too many potential unknown unknowns here for me to offer any concrete advice. It’s possible that your boyfriend isn’t attracted to you (or that you’re not attracted to him), it’s possible that your boyfriend isn’t attracted to anyone (or that you’re not attracted to anyone), it’s possible that he has dark and terrible sexual desires that he’s too terrified to share with you (or that you have dark and terrible etc. that you may not even be aware of). The only thing I know for sure, SANA, is this: One of you is going to have to nut/ovum up and get selfish. You’re both so giving, so unconcerned

with your own pleasure, so invested in pleasing your partner. And all of that sounds wonderful in theory—who doesn’t want a completely selfless sex partner?—but in practice, selfless sex partners make lousy lays. Giving is great, but in every truly great sexual encounter, someone is taking: taking charge, taking over, taking control, giving pleasure to their partner by taking pleasure from their partner. And if it’s not going to be him, SANA, it’ll have to be you. So what do you want? Besides seeing him “satisfied.” Take a look at where your concern for his satisfaction has gotten you, SANA, and repeat after me: “Fuck him and fuck his satisfaction.” Then ask yourself these questions: What do I want? What turns me on? What do I want to experience and explore? You’re not doomed if you can come up with the answers to those questions, SANA, but if you can’t, well, then I’m afraid you are doomed. Doomed to lousy sex in this relationship, for as long as it lasts, and doomed to lousy sex in your next relationship if you wind up with another guy who’s as “giving” as you are. I’m a single, 22-year-old, adorable lesbian living in Chicago. I use a dating website, but I’d like to increase my chances of meeting someone at the concerts and improv shows I enjoy. These events aren’t gay-specific, and I don’t look stereotypically queer, so this scenario seems unlikely. I want to get a fitted, understated (light text, no rainbows) T-shirt that says something like “Single. Lesbian. Interested?” and wear it out. Will this increase the chances that the girl of my dreams will tap me on the shoulder? Will it make me an easier target for hateful assholes? Both? Neither? – Looking For Lesbifriends Both, of course, and you may not like the kind of lesbians that a come-and-lick-me T-shirt attracts. But when you’re single and feeling frustrated, and your pool of potential partners is drawn from roughly 2.5 percent of the population, it helps to move on all fronts, e.g., websites, bars, T-shirts. Your T-shirt might attract the attention of some jerks, lesbian or otherwise, but that’s why God gave us Mace. Regarding [a previous reply] to NORTH: Sure, it’s fucked-up that this woman is doing escort work without telling her boyfriend. But you let him off the hook entirely, even though he snooped through her email! What you have here are two people who are both untrustworthy—they sound like a good fit to me! Because if snooping is okay, who knows what else he’s doing behind her back? – JB I knew that not including a little standard-issue snooping-is-always-wrong boilerplate in my response to NORTH—a woman who neglected to inform her boyfriend that she was sitting on other men’s cocks for money—would get me in trouble with some readers. But I didn’t include it because I don’t believe it. A confession: I’ve looked through my boyfriend’s email; I assume he’s looked through mine. I’ve scrolled through his text messages; I assume he’s scrolled through mine. Expecting your partner not to snoop is like expecting your partner not to fart or fantasize about other people. It’s a nice thought, JB, but knowing what we know about human nature—and knowing that we ourselves snoop, fart, and fantasize about other people—it’s a little unrealistic. And I’m sorry, but when someone goes snooping and discovers that their partner is doing sex work—or is secretly gay or is sleeping with or visiting lesbian-bondage-themed nightclubs with Michael Steele—then the snooping is retroactively justified.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at

HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, April 10, 2015   35


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FRIDAY, April 10, 2015

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HK MAGAZINE FRIDAY, April 10, 2015   37

First Person Photo: Kirk Kenny

“If one child has breakfast to eat before school, that’s all the difference I need to make for today.” Robin Hwang is the executive director of the Foodlink Foundation, a Hong Kong charity dedicated to reducing food wastage and fighting poverty. She tells Andrea Lo what drives her to stay committed, and imparts her vision for the charity.

I was born in Hong Kong in the 80s. My family is originally from Taiwan. After I was born, we went back to Taiwan for a few years. We went to Hawaii after that. We moved back to Hong Kong. I was here from primary 3 all the way to year 9. I was sent off to boarding school against my will—but it turned out to be great. I was a bit of a rebel, but I always used my studies to make up for that. When I was younger, I wanted to work for the UN, or the FBI. I wanted to be a spy. I’ve dabbled around in different fields, but my family is in real estate, so I eventually decided to go in that direction. My mom started the charity in 2001. I started as fundraising director. I slowly took on more responsibilities. That’s how I became executive director [in 2011]. The timing was right. Hong Kong was ready for changes in the community. People were talking about food waste and landfills. Growing up in Hong Kong, you live in a little bubble. I’ve been very sheltered. It wasn’t until Foodlink that I really saw [poverty]. For me, that’s my driving force.


FRIDAY, april 10, 2015

You see things that break your heart. Until you experience that, it’s difficult to want to give back and be engaged in it. We went to see an 87-year-old lady. She lived in a subdivided flat. Her husband had passed away and her only son is in Canada. Part of our program is to give out bread. I told her to remember to eat it before it went bad. She gave it back to me. She said, “I don’t need it. I’m just waiting to die.” I was shattered. I left her flat and cried in the hallway. The work we do is not just to provide food. It’s to provide that connection with the community, to show people we care about them and that they’re not alone. Obviously, we have happier stories. We work with kids who save up to go to dance school. But the stories that break your heart will continue to motivate you. When we were rebranding the charity, our slogan became “replace hunger with a smile.” The reason we came up with this was because issues like hunger, poverty, disease and illness—these are things that unfortunately cannot be eradicated, but they can be alleviated.

Part of my frustration now is seeing the poverty level in Hong Kong remain static.

I haven’t found a city where I would feel as comfortable.

It can be discouraging. You think: “Am I really making a difference?”

It’s very difficult for me to leave my comfort zone and my family, but the older I get, the less fearful I am of pushing the boundaries and trying out new things.

But then, you think: “If one child has breakfast to eat before school, that’s all the difference I need to make for today.” It’s hard to work with volunteers who stay committed to the cause. Volunteers think, “I want to feel good about giving back.” But sometimes, giving back is about providing the skill set that you have. It’s not about that onetime feel good factor, but committing over a long period of time. In my family, even since we were young children, the giving culture has always been very strong. When my grandfather passed away, a lot of strangers showed up at his funeral. They were all around my age, so I started thinking: Who are they? Are we related? It turns out, they were people in the community who couldn’t afford tuition, and my grandfather paid for them to go to school. We didn’t even know about it. If I could give my 21-year-old self advice, I would say take more risks, and that it’s OK to fail. I’ve been asking myself if I would leave Hong Kong for good for the past five years.

I think Hong Kong has a permanence to it. There are avenues for exploration, but there are basic comforts that you’re used to. For me, the best thing about running a charity is being able to give back to the community that I grew up in. There are so many great charities in the world, but if one in five Hongkongers are living in poverty and not able to have three meals a day, then you need to start at home. Want to help? Join HK Mag’s charity wine crawl, the Queen’s Road East Discovery Walk, which benefits Foodlink. Apr 18, 2:30-6pm. $199 from

Need to Know… The Foodlink Foundation was founded by Vanessa Hwang in 2001. The NGO works to fight hunger in Hong Kong by collecting surplus food from hotels and restaurants and distributing it to people in need. Find out more at

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HK Magazine #1091, Apr 10 2015  

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