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The really useful magazine August 2017
4 Snapped! Life around Mid-Levels
16 A stroll down Hollywood Road Things to do along this 173-yearold road
6 Happening in August Events for your diary
22 Parkview International Pre-School Behind the scenes
NEWS 10 What’s going on? In your backyard
FIVE MINUTES WITH... 12 Paul Niel and Esther Roling The adventure-seeking Mid-Levels couple on coasteering Hong Kong Island LOCAL 14 No heave-ho for Soho Historic buildings saved from demolition
26 Around the world in 8 days Food from across the planet. Plus Nibbles HOME & LIVING 32 At home with...Elaine Lu Inside the stylish abode of a husband-and-wife interior design team
PICTURE THIS 36 Painting of the month A painting of Soho by Lantaubased artist Marie Pottiez HEALTH & BEAUTY 38 Smooth Operator How to tame frizzy hair HOROSCOPE 42 Signs from the stars Adam White predicts your future ZIM CITY 44 Paul Zimmerman on... Medical waste on beaches MY MID-LEVELS 45 Celia Hu Foodie’s editor-at-large on taking a chance on Hong Kong
“AND IN THIS MOMENT, LIKE A SWIFT INTAKE OF BREATH, THE RAIN CAME” - TRUMAN CAPOTE
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Paul Surtees fo r y in Mid-L evels but tl os m ed liv s a .h ... ils from Engla n d, 20 yea rs. He ha n hi m from O m a n to his work ha s ta ke T ha ila n d to Ca n a d a. e Hon g F in la n d a n d from cont ributor to th a n d ca n r a ul g re a is e H e C hi n a Da ily, K on g edition of that a rt g a lle ry ex hibition s ofte n be fou n d on a st roll a long in SoHo. Join hi m on pa g e 16. Hollywood R oa d
Andreas von Buddenbrock
...i s a fre el an ce ill ustra to wh o creat es art with r fro m St ockh ol m, m et icu lou s deta il. His wo rk m ai nly focu se s on in k pe ns an d digit al th e us e of Micron pa intin g. A pa rt fro m ill ustratin g, hi s ot he r pa ss ion s in cl ud e tra ve lin g th e wo rld an d A nd rea sâ€™ late st wo rk sin gi ng ka ra ok e. ca n be foun d on th e co ve r of this m onthâ€™s iss vis it, an drea svon bu dd ue. To fin d out m ore, en brock. co m
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people Mid-levels snaps
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have your say “What is your favourite place in Mid-Levels?”
The entire stretch from Robinson Road, especially the flyover that connects to Garden Road. I really like going there for jogs and walks, pretty much every other day.
The steps that lead to and from. Every day I see something new or meet someone new on the steps – that’s the coolest thing about Mid-Levels.
I really like Feather Boa for drinks, and eating in Chôm Chom.
I love Elephant Grounds cafe on Caine Road. It’s very baby friendly. The staff are friendly and when it’s packed they always help us find a table very quickly. They have organic food and a kids’ menu. A lot of families go there – it’s kind of like a community.
- Ida Probably Caine Road Park. My friends and I did a lot of our growing up there, playing there every day in the summer and after school. It’s the most memorable part of my childhood.
- Shailja MID-LEVELS.CO | 5
The 3rd HK International SUP Championship Join local and international stand up paddle boarders in a race around beautiful Sai Kung. Deadline for registration is August 22. 8am-4pm, Victoria Recreation Club, Tai Mong Tsai Road, Sai Kung. Visit hksupba.com for more information.
EVERY WED AND SAT Underwater Hockey A non-contact sport where two teams compete to score a puck in a swimming pool. Players are equipped with fins, snorkel masks, and mini hockey sticks in this dynamic game. The Hong Kong Underwater Hockey Association has meets twice a week in the Island School swimming pool. $150 for adults, $100 for students. Wednesdays 7.30-9.30pm; Saturdays 10am-12pm; Island School, 20 Borrett Road, Mid-levels. Contact email@example.com or facebook.com/HKUWHA for more details.
AUG 1-6 Slava’s SnowShow Part of the line up of productions for this year’s International Arts Carnival. This highly acclaimed musical tragicomedy has won top accolades across the globe including the Laurence Olivier Award in England and the Triumph Award in
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Russia. Recommended for families with children aged 8 and above. Tickets from $480-$880 available at hkticketing.com.hk. Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 1 Gloucester Rd, Wan Chai. For more information visit the Slava’s SnowShow facebook page. To find out more about events in this year’s International Arts Carnival, visit hkiac.gov.hk
and the Gang (WATG). $875 per person. You’ll need four balls of WATG’s DIY Tina Tape and a 6.5mm circular needle. You can purchase these items at the venue. Starts at 12pm. Yarn in the Works, 28 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
AUG 4-7 Eugene Baby Fair
The hotel is collaborating with a series of luxury brands to help couples prepare for their special day. A dedicated team of wedding planners will be on hand to provide couples with advice as they explore the fair sampling culinary creations and a variety of bridal and evening wear. Executive Pastry Chef, Yves Matthey, will talk wedding cakes while renowned Savile Row tailors Gieves and Hawkes will share their 245 years of experience, which includes tailoring for the British Royal Family. Registration for the fair is
This year’s expo will feature more than 800 booths and over 100,000 baby products. 10am7pm, HK Convention and Exhibition Centre Hall 1, Wan Chai. $25 for adults, $20 for children, free for children under 1 month.
AUG 5 WATG’s What’s Love Top Knit up a trendy hip-length woolen tank in this four-hour tutorial using DIY knitting brand Wool
AUG 5-6 Mandarin Oriental Wedding Fair
happening in August Mummy’s Day Out at Baumhaus
All mums of children aged 2 and under are invited to join the Baumhaus team for an afternoon of tender loving care. Bond with your little one in a Mummy Baby Yoga session led by Dee Cheung. Get tips on how to care for your baby’s sensitive skin from Catherine Cervasio of Aromababy. A selection of tasty treats will be available from Cafe Sausalito. $400 per ticket. First floor, Kar Yau Building, 36-44 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai. Visit baumhaus.com.hk/events/mummysday for further information.
AUG 14 Back to school Autumn term begins at ESF schools.
AUG 17-19 Hong Kong International Tea Fair Hosting over 200 exhibitors from across the world, this annual fair gives visitors an insight into the fascinating history and culture of tea. This year, visitors can witness the final of the International KamCha (Hong Kong Style Milk Tea) Competition. Different activities will be held each day, including tea tasting sessions, and international tea art performances. 10am-5pm. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. For more information go to hktdc.com
AUG 19 Become a Mermaid Learn to swim and pose using professional merfins and mermaid leggings with mermaid experts Aquacity. Fees range from $580 to $4,580. 12pm-4pm, Island School, 20 Borrett Road. Call 8106 6453 for more details.
highly recommended. Call 2825 4821 / 2825 4871, or email email@example.com
AUG 12 Food’s Future Summit Culinary change-makers and conscious consumers come together to discuss fine dining, sustainable eating, and the latest food innovations. A series of panels and plenaries will unravel the most pressing challenges currently facing the food industry. 9.30am-7.30pm, Eaton House, 5F, Champion Tower, 3 Garden Road, Central. Tickets and programme details available at foods-future.com
AUG 6, 13, 20, 27 Mix It Up summer workshop Reading and art sessions inspired by Hervé Tullet’s interactive children’s books. Each child leaves with a paint kit worth $100. $280 per child and parent. Every Sunday 3-5pm. Unit S513, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central. Register at putyourself.in. Call 2155 2282 for more details.
AUG 7-11 Woodland Pre-School programmes Choose from two summer camps this month. The Summer Fun programme is a comprehensive and diverse programme featuring musical, culinary, arts, drama and sports activities. Alternatively, focus on sport and fitness in the Summer Sports & Games programme. Prices start at $2,400 per week. On Fung Building, 110-118 Caine Road, Mid Levels. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2549 1211.
AUG 12-13 Salsa Summer Party Enjoy live performances by professional dancers from the World Salsa Championship and learn a few beginners’ steps in free workshops. Free admission. Lee Tung Avenue, 200 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai. Visit leetungavenue.com.hk for full details or call 3790 2304.
AUG 13 International Left-handers Day
AUG 19 Paws For Latin Brunch Held by Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation, this event hopes to raise funds for over 100 dogs in need. The location? Newly returned Latin restaurant PICADA. Guests will enjoy live performances, dog-themed cocktails, a ‘Poodle Pinata’, and a meet and greet with a few furry friends. $500 per person, which includes an appetiser buffet, your choice of mains and dessert and free flowing cava, beer, and cocktails. Get your tickets at despugito. eventbrite.hk. The first 50 tickets sold will be discounted by $50. All proceeds will go to Sai Kung Stray Friends Foundation. 2/F, LKF29, 29 Wyndham Street, Central.
UNTIL AUG 23 Home Kong As part of the city’s ongoing celebration of the HKSAR establishment day, YellowKorner is showcasing Hong Kong’s vibrant street life in a photographic tour of its most famous and most underappreciated spaces.The exhibition features internationally acclaimed artists such as Laurent Dequick and Jörg Dickmann, as
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planner well as local talent Andy Yeung. Free entry. Visit 58 Hollywood Road and PMQ at 35 Aberdeen Street to renew your love for the city.
AUG 25-27 International Design Furniture Fair Hong Kong: Redefining Luxury IDFF is returning this year at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. This upscale boutique exhibition aims to inspire designers by celebrating the world’s best brands and design talent. Tickets available at hkticketing.com. Visit idffhk.com for more details.
AUG 26 Endless Summer Hong Kong International Reggae Ska Festival
‘Les Étoiles du Ballet’ by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia The Royal Ballet of Cambodia is performing for the first time in Hong Kong. An official UNESCO Intangible Heritage, the royal ballet has over 1,000 of history and is known for its symbolism and delicacy. Although it practically ceased to exist under the Khmer Rouge, it is an emblem of Khmer culture. The Hong Kong debut will feature a professional troupe of 14 dancers, 5 musicians, and 3 singers who have been training in the artform since childhood. Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi and His Royal Highness Prince Sisowath Tesso will attend both performances. $200-300. 8pm. Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 0 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tickets available at urbtix.hk
at Duckie Swim-a-Long. For more details visit oceanpark.com.hk or call 3923 2323. The Park is open 10am-6pm and tickets available at the entrance, online, or at any 7-Eleven store in Hong Kong.
AUG 27 AWSEC Club Sunday Market
The city’s largest celebration of Jamaican music is now in its third year and claims to have the biggest and most diverse line-up yet. Featuring the biggest Reggae and Ska acts from across Asia, including Japan’s Bagdad Cafe, Korea’s Kingston Rudieska, and Hong Kong’s own Sensi Lion, this is not to be missed by reggae, ska, rocksteady, dub and dancehall junkies. PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St, Central. Tickets available at ticketflap.com and on the door.
Indulge your taste buds in this taste-testing extravaganza. Try over 80 types of wines and sake, paired with delicious bites from the city’s best food and vegetable caterers, and learn more about culinary art. Don’t forget to try out the lucky draw. $100 for Asia Wine Service & Education Centre Club Members, $120 for NonMembers, $600 for groups of 10 people. Room 1503-08, 15/F, Kai Tak Commercial Building, 317-319 Des Voeux Road Central. Tickets available at awsec.com
UNTIL AUG 27 Ocean Park Summer Splash
AUG 28 Seven Sisters Festival
Ocean Park’s annual summer celebration returns as the theme park transforms into a beachy wonderland. This year the park is showcasing Guinness World record-holder Ray Villafane’s giant sand sculptures. Families can take photos with the artist and his team. Kids can build their own sand sculptures in the sand play zone or cool down in the Super Spray Tunnel in the Applause Pavilion. Whiskers Harbour is hosting a giant Duckie Family with over 6500 rubber LT Ducks ready for your photo-taking needs. Kids can direct oversized remote-control duckies
Sometimes informally referred to as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’, the Seven Sisters Festival originates in a Chinese legend about the stars
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Sketch Town IFC mall is collaborating with Japanese art collective teamLab to present an interactive digital installation. Watch your drawings instantly come to life from 2D sketches to movable 3D digital installations in this groundbreaking artistic project. Visitors can co-create their own fantasy town and physically interact with their created townscapes. Shoppers who have spent over a certain amount may redeem two admissions tickets. Suitable for all ages. Sessions have to be reserved at the Sketch Town ticket counter. Further details on ifc.com.hk/sketchtown
Altair and Vega. It is said that they are really two lovers, a mortal and a goddess, who were tragically separated on either side of the Milky Way. It is said that on this day each year the world’s magpies form a bridge to temporarily unite the star-crossed lovers. Young romantics in Hong Kong are known to make offerings to the lovesick couple at Lover’s Rock (Bowen Road, Wan Chai).
UNTIL SEPT 29 On Sharks and Humanity Parkview Arts Action and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum are bringing together 34 international and local artists to raise awareness about the state of our oceans and to take a stance against shark finning. Visit the Hong Kong Maritime Museum to view paintings, sculptures, film, and photography by a mixture of internationally renowned and up-and-coming talent. Central Ferry Pier No. 8, Man Kwong Street, Central. All ages welcome. Tickets range from $15-30. Group discounts available. For more information, visit hkmaritimemuseum.org
UNT Aug 2IL 8
happening in August
BOOK NOW SEPT 2 Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball Help support mental health, battle substance abuse, and promote wellness programmes for young people by attending this charity ball at the Hong Kong Football Club. The evening is being hosted by the Hong Kong rugby community. Expect live music, a delicious dinner, and great community-orientated company. All proceeds go to batyr and KELY Support Group. Tickets available at ticketflap. com. $1,000 for a single ticket.
SEPT 9-11 YAANA Bike Challenge The first ever YAANA Bike Challenge is scheduled to take place in Vietnam this September. The project invites communityminded corporate managers to come together to promote sustainable living and to raise funds for Operation Smile. Operation Smile is an international medical charity that provides thousands of young people free surgery for facial deformities such as cleft lip. The three-
day 226 km bike ride from Quy Nhon to Hoi An is a chance to enjoy breathtaking scenery and to challenge yourself mentally and physically in a friendly non-race environment. For details, visit yaana-ventures.com
OCT 28-29 ABBA Mania This show recreates the last live concert of the internationally loved Swedish pop group ABBA as a tribute to their enduring appeal. Tickets start at $395, available at hkticketing.com. Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
NOV 4-5 Ed Sheeran Live in Hong Kong The internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is bringing his much anticipated World Tour to Hong Kong for two nights only. Right off the bat of his recent album ‘Divide’, the tour will feature this year’s breakout hits including hit singles ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Castle on a Hill’. Asia World Expo. Tickets at hkticketing.com
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7.2 tons of ivory seized in biggest bust in 30 years
Perfect scores for IB students 25 Hong Kong students have received perfect scores in this year’s International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations. Of the 159,400 students worldwide who took the exams, only 218 achieved the maximum 45 points. Fifteen of the 25 students came from ESF international schools, six were from St Paul’s Co-Educational College, and there was one student each from German Swiss International School, Canadian International School, Diocesan Boys’ School and Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School. The IB diploma, recognised by universities across the world, requires students to undertake six academic subjects, a 4,000-word research paper and other projects, including community service and sporting activities.
Last month, the Customs and Excise Department seized 7.2 tons of elephant tusks with an estimated value of $72 million, the largest ivory haul in 30 years. On July 4, officers searched a container from Malaysia declared as frozen fish, and found the tusks hidden under the fish. The ensuing investigation tracked the smuggling to a trading company in Tuen Mun, where the proprietor and two staffers were arrested. With reason to suspect that the tusks were part of a larger smuggling ring, these arrests may only be the beginning. Hong Kong has long been an epicentre of the ivory trade, even as the practice attracts increasing global condemnation. In 2015, China
set into motion a ban on all ivory trade and processing by the end of 2017, and Hong Kong has similarly announced a three-part plan to end the ivory trade by 2021. However, many point out that in that five-year gap, smugglers unable to trade in China could flood into Hong Kong, driving up demand and ivory prices. Under Hong Kong’s current laws, any person guilty of importing or exploring undeclared goods could be fined $2 million and imprisoned for seven years; any unlicensed traders importing or exporting endangered species could be fined $5 million and imprisoned for two years. Call 2545 6182 to report any suspected smuggling to the customs department.
Dates announced for International Reggae Ska Festival 2017
Hong Kong rugby community to host charity ball Live out your Gatsby dream and support a good cause at the first Hong Kong Charity Blue Tie Ball, to be held on September 2. The ball was conceived by Hong Kong’s rugby community in the face of teammate suicides and will be held at the Hong Kong Football Club, in aid of mental health awareness. 100 per cent of funds raised will be donated to non-profit organisations KELY Support Group and batyr. KELY offers peer support, leadership development and mentorship to Hong Kong youths, and Australian-based batyr works to increase dialogue and societal acceptance about mental health. Ball-goers will enjoy a sumptuous dinner, paired with an open bar package, live music and a silent auction. Dress code is black tie
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with a touch of blue, and tickets are $1,000, available on ticketflap.com. Hong Kong Football Club, 3 Sports Road, Happy Valley.
Fans of Bob Marley or Sublime are in luck, because the Hong Kong International Reggae Ska Festival brings the best of the genre to PMQ on August 26. This celebration of Jamaican music boasts a lineup of artists around the world, including headliner Neville Staple of The Specials, who was instrumental in the ska revival movement. Other performers and bands include PAPA U-Gee and Bagdad Café the Trenchtown from Japan, Bulletproof and Sensi Lion from Hong Kong, and Kingston Rudieska from South Korea. Organized by Trenchtown Music HK, this annual festival launched in 2015 to bring a welcome new sound to Hong Kong’s music scene. Tickets start at $380 on ticketflap. Find out more at hkirsf.com
in your backyard
Peninsula mooncakes go on sale
To celebrate the approaching Mid-Autumn Festival, The Peninsula’s Cantonese fine-dining restaurant Spring Moon has announced the upcoming release of their mini egg custard mooncakes – probably the most sought-after mooncakes in the city. Available for only three days, the delicate treats are available to buy online from August 21-23. Although traditional mooncakes are made of lotus or sesame paste, alternative flavours
Hong Kong gets first ever female police deputy chief Last month, Winnie Chiu Wai-yin became Hong Kong’s first-ever female police deputy commissioner, and is now the highest-ranking woman in the police force, a traditionally maledominated field. Chiu began as a police inspector in 1983 and took on many roles in the following decades, joining the fields of criminal intelligence, international liaisons, and narcotics investigations. She became the first female senior assistant police chief in 2014. Three more women are also about to occupy high-ranking positions in the force: Irene Ho Yuen-ha will become assistant commissioner in September; Ada Chan Ka-yi will lead Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s protection unit; and another female officer will step up as Lam’s aide-de-camp.
have popped up over the years, including black truffle and rose. The Peninsula’s egg custard mooncakes wrap Eastern and Western flavours in a light pastry. They sell out every year and have even been known to spawn a resale market, with prices reaching almost $2,000 per box. The mooncakes come in boxes of eight priced at $520, and each order is limited to 20 boxes. Online sales begin at 8:00 each morning, available at mooncake.peninsula.com
Registration opens for “Immortals Race” Feeling invincible? Enjoy trail running? Care about the environment? If the answer to all three is yes, the “Immortals Race” might be just for you. To be held on September 16, the event is organised by The Green Race, a trail running and racing organisation which hosts personal training, run clubs, family runs, retreats and trail races all with the goal of creating Zero Waste events. To this end, it provides sustainably sourced materials at races, including biodegradable leaf wrapping on foods, reusable bamboo utensils, and t-shirts made from natural fibres. Runners can choose to join the 5km-, 15km-, or 30km-races, and can also choose to run solo, with a partner, or with a family. Although routes vary, they all start and finish at the Kong Ha Au Barbecue Site on Bride’s Pool Road, Plover Cove Country Park. As runners huff and puff through the winding trails, they can enjoy panoramic views of Plover Cove Reservoir and rugged mountains. Registration fees begin at $300, which include food, drinks, and a finisher’s tee. Find out more at thegreenrace.hk
Sammy’s Kitchen faces closure after 48 years After 48 years of business, Wan Chai’s beloved steakhouse Sammy’s Kitchen is facing possible closure after the rent was increased nearly twofold. Created in 1969 by hotel chef Yip Luen (or, to his loyal customers, Uncle Sammy), Sammy’s Kitchen is now run by members of the Yip family. It has enjoyed widespread popularity for decades; just a few famous customers include former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and local filmmaking legend Stephen Chow. As with most restaurants, it has had its fair share of troubles – they once had a second location, which has since closed, and their famous neon cow sign was removed in 2015 as per government orders. However, the biggest threat thus far began in June, when the shop space changed ownership. A new landlord hiked up the rent to $140,000-160,000 a month, and unless Sammy’s Kitchen can find another venue for relocation, they may be closed come September.
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five minutes with
Mid-levels Paul Niel and Esther Röling magazine
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The couple who coasteered Hong Kong Island talk to Trisha Harjani about tackling pollution, changing career and why they hate beach holidays
Editor-in-Chief Shreena Patel email@example.com Contributing Editor Carolynne Dear firstname.lastname@example.org Acting Editor Eric Ho email@example.com Editorial Assistant Trisha Harjani firstname.lastname@example.org
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Adam White Andreas von Buddenbrock Jai Rane Jennifer Lien Jessie Yeung Kate Davies Mehul Dhakka Paul Surtees Paul Zimmerman Rory Mackay Viola Gaskell
Hong Kong Living Ltd. Floor LG1, 222 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Illustrated by Andreas von Buddenbrock
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(Paul) I’m Austrian. I worked in finance in London and New York, before landing in Hong Kong with Goldman Sachs in 2011. Two years later, I decided to do something more exploratory. (Esther) I’m from the Netherlands. I lived in London too, for six years in the same area as Paul - but we never met! At 18, I travelled through Asia and Africa and absolutely loved it. After that, I studied economics which I thought was super boring so I opened my own lunch place at 21. I worked in fashion, stock trading and then enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu and opened my own kitchen business in London. I am a food consultant. I help companies to change their menu or products. (Paul) I do a lot of public, keynote speaking. There’s no full-time, nineto-six job. We’re entrepreneurs so we focus on lots of different things. Our latest project was to coasteer Hong Kong Island. Coasteering is a combination of rock climbing, swimming and hiking.
We got a certification before doing it because although we climbed rocks as kids, we never did it professionally. It’s a dangerous sport especially if there’s a big swell. It’s easy to get dragged over. High traverses can also be dangerous because nothing is secured when you climb. We decided to map the pollution along the route. There was a lot of interest from Global Alert, an app that maps pollution levels globally, The Royal Geographical Society and the Open University, who were very keen to collect water samples. We took fifty-one water samples and now the Open University is analysing the algae, level of chemical pollution, salinity, pH, etc. The results will be ready in a month. We also mapped 163 spots around the island where people have been dumping rubbish. We documented and photographed every trash spot and uploaded it on Google maps. A few NGOs are thinking about how to solve the trash problem. It’s great
to see our adventure moving into something bigger. We found some obscure things. Fridges, boats, hats, styrofoam, box TVs, big plastic tanks, you name it. What surprised us the most was how close rubbish was to certain trash points. We found plates of styrofoam 30 metres away from hole no.4 of the Shek O Golf Course. No one can tell me that you can’t throw that away if you wanted to. The east was worst, from Big Wave Bay down to Lap Sa Gwan in D’aguilar. Everything between Pok Fu Lam and Kennedy Town - around the sulphur channel - was pretty bad too. We’re not in a position to comment on the water samples just yet, but swimming through Aberdeen Harbour wasn’t cool. On the exploration, we had a support team provided by the Open University who would come with us on a boat and then go home at night. We would then camp out.
it takes two The more we explore our environment, the more we realise the severity of the situation. Ignoring low levels of air quality and irresponsibly dumping waste are shortsighted actions - it all goes back into our food chain.
Bouldering on the coastline
The most frightening part was during a black rainstorm. We were sitting with lightning left and right. The night was wet, humid, mosquitoinfested—that was day one. By the end of the storm, we didn’t have a single dry thing. Our trip lasted six days. But we’re still married! The weirdest thing were these barber chairs. There’s a guy who lives in Tai Tam bay. He collects rubbish and puts all his cool finds around his property. It’s a museum of weird things - he calls it “international friends club”. He’s got three barber chairs. We want to identify where the garbage is coming from. The idea is to collect data and test our hypothesis, i.e. that it all comes from China. The way to do this is by using barcodes, scanning them and tracing them back.
The night was wet, humid, mosquito infested—that was day one.
(Esther) In Europe, separating your garbage is basic. If I’m at my mum’s and I throw something in the wrong bin, she comes after me! It’s different here. Even if you do separate your rubbish - I’m sure it goes to the same place. Now we have a third expedition member Zaia, our little girl. Travelling is trickier with a baby but our daughter has been to twenty-three countries and she’s only one and a half. That beats a lot of other passports. Zaia will start learning to snorkel after eighteen months and ski in December. She also has her own rock climbing wall at home.
(Paul) The best travel destination, I would say is Iran. We were there for four weeks, climbing and exploring. We loved Japan - it’s an amazing place to be outdoors and the food is fantastic. We really like going to the remote Pacific Islands too - it’s always an adventure. We’re not the kind of people that sit on the beach and read a book. That’s cool for a day but any longer and we’d get divorced. We love going to mountainous places, hiking, soaking up culture and interacting with local people. We do a lot more in Hong Kong now because of Zaia. We’re thinking of circling Cheung Chau next. Kowloon has too many urban difficulties and too many people who don’t like you going wherever you please. Lantau could be interesting but the north side is a bit boring. M
The trash map
MID-LEVELS.CO | 13
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No heave-ho for Soho Conservationists celebrate as the URA decides to withdraw its controversial application to demolish historic buildings. Jai Rane reports
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he Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has withdrawn its application to demolish a collection of World War Two-era buildings in Soho. The buildings in question are a series of three-to-five story shophouses (“tong lau”) located in the Staunton Street, Shing Wong Street, and Wing Lee Street neighbourhood. The URA’s decision comes in response to months of opposition from conservationists, residents, and Central and Western District Council members. The application (A/H3/435) encountered particular controversy because it contradicted a previous pledge to renovate and preserve the tong lau at Nos. 88-90 Staunton Street. Released in April, it proposed taking down the low-rise Staunton Street tenements and replacing them with two high-rise residential towers. The Central and Western Concern Group argued that the high-rise residences would destroy the historic character of the neighbourhood and unnecessarily
increase congestion around Aberdeen Street and Staunton Street.
This time public opposition was able to stop a really bad scheme but this area is still under threat
The URA withdrew its application shortly after the Planning Department (PD) released a statement indicating it too did not support the proposal. The PD stated that the authority failed to prove “that the proposed development would be compatible in terms of design and disposition with the surrounding developments”.
It added that development would “detract from the visual openness of Staunton Street” and from the “stepped building height concept that is commensurate with the steps along Shing Wong Street”. The PD concluded that the proposed design did not “justify the substantial increase in development intensity”. The withdrawal may appear to be a call for celebration for the activists and residents who fought to protect the tong lau. But conservationists warn that it is only a temporary victory and the historic site is still up for gentrification. “What they withdrew was a very bad planning application, one that aimed to increase the density of the streets, ” says Katty Law, convener of the Central and Western Concern Group. “This time public opposition was able to stop a really bad scheme but this area is still under threat. What we really want is for this whole area to be conserved as a historic neighbourhood.” Law says that the Central and Western Concern
Tenement buildings on 88-90 Staunton Street
Group plans on continuing to raise public awareness about the historic significance of the area as it has previously for the Former Police Married Quarters and Graham Street Market. Dare Koslow who owns several tong lau properties in Hong Kong says he is “pleased but cautious”. “There is no way the URA would
just give up on the idea,” he explains. “They are just rethinking their plan and will attack in a different way. It is is only a matter of time and until then I will continue to fight to keep my property.” The URA has been buying properties within the site of its Staunton Street/Wing Lee
Street “H19” Reconstruction Project since 2008, however it has admitted that the rate of property acquisition has not been satisfactory. The authority needs to obtain the approval of 80 per cent of affected landowners to implement any project. It says it has not yet decided whether to send in a new proposal. M
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Gorgeous Arts and Crafts, No. 49 Square Street
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avenue of arts
A stroll down Hollywood Road Paul Surtees goes for an afternoon amble and finds a trove of arts and antiques in Mid-Levels
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Hollywood Road Park
he famous and ever-interesting Hollywood Road stretches for a kilometre from nearby Lan Kwai Fong, all the way down to Sheung Wan at the far end. Art galleries and antique shops mingle with trendy bars, coffee shops and restaurants in this varied locale. This is an area that I always take visitors to, as there is something to be found for everyone along this route. Hollywood Road was the second road to be built after the colony of Hong Kong was founded. It was completed in 1844, one year after Queen’s Road Central. That was long before the morefamous Hollywood in America was ever settled. There’s a theory that ours was named after the holly bushes then growing there. Our proposed stroll begins at the Eastern start of the road – which is really a continuation of Wyndham Street. At 1 Hollywood Road is the excellent Yan Gallery, which arranges ever-changing exhibitions of paintings and sculptures by famous Chinese artists. It has been operating since 2001, and has staged many temporary exhibitions since then. Leave your card to join their mailing list.
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The previous location of the old Central Police Station is a large compound, just opposite here, that is still undergoing major re-building works which have already been going on for several years. Apparently, it will eventually reemerge as a centre for art galleries and shops, probably along the lines of the nearby PMQ, (off Aberdeen Street, further along Hollywood Road) which now houses numerous designer boutiques, pop ups and stylish restaurants. If antique Asian maps, prints or photographs are your thing, then you could do no better than to visit Wattis Fine Art, where Vicky and Jonathan Wattis offer a wide range of them. The official address of this long-established gallery is the 2nd floor of 20 Hollywood Road, but the entrance is actually just up the steps, around the corner on Old Bailey Street. They take pride in relating full details about the antique images they
sell and are very knowledgeable in this specialist field. Mr. Wattis explained to me that nowadays, they have many more customers from mainland China, so their stock has expanded over recent years to include more old images and antique maps of Shanghai and Beijing.
Ancient tomb figure from Oi Ling
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A place to buy modern vases
The Central Escalator link, the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator, crosses Hollywood Road by a footbridge in this area. If you take the nearby escalator link up Shelly Street from Hollywood Road here, you’ll soon reach Marks & Spencer Food, where you could stop off for a light snack or a cup of coffee. Or the Central Escalator will rapidly transport you higher up to the nearby Staunton Street or Elgin Street: both of which are lined with all manner of different restaurants and bars; many of which offer very good deals on set lunches on weekdays. For example, Nepal restaurant at 14, Staunton Street offers an excellent set lunch of delicious Nepalese dishes and is decorated with Nepalese handicrafts. Higher up the hill, at the upper ground floor of 51 Elgin Street, is the longestablished Sole Mio Italian restaurant, which also offers an excellent and reasonably-priced set lunch. Returning to Hollywood Road, you can find the fairly new Dacha Eastern European restaurant at numbers 38-40. Their delicious Siberian dumplings are well worth a try. Or you might want to fortify yourself for the rest of your stroll by trying a shot of one of their wide range of imported fruit-flavoured vodkas. A short distance away, at 37 Lyndhurst Terrace (near HSBC) children will be delighted to be taken on a buying expedition to Mr. Simm’s Olde Sweet Shoppe, purveyors of traditional European-style sweets of many types, which I remember from my school days in England. At no. 72 Hollywood Road is Oi Ling Antiques, which sells a wide range of fine Chinese antiques, including elegant furniture and
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A converted lamp base and shade from Soong
Antique hats for children at Georgeous Arts & Crafts
also ancient pottery animal figures from Chinese tombs. Friendship Trading, located a bit further along at no. 105-7, is a good place to pick up reasonably-priced modern reproductions of traditional Chinese vases. Their prices reflect the high quality and rarity of the lovely antique items they sell. Further along the road can be found the Karin Weber Gallery, situated just a few steps off Hollywood Road at no. 20, Aberdeen Street. They have been exhibiting and selling paintings and drawings by contemporary Burmese, Chinese and other artists since 1999. PMQ, mentioned above, is located a little further up the steep Aberdeen Street. You
could visit there for a drink or a meal, or browse the interesting independent boutique household and clothes shops. One of Hong Kong’s earliest and most famous Chinese temples is located from 124 to 130 Hollywood Road. The Man Mo Temple (1847) is a major tourist sight in its own right; as you may guess from the many tourist coaches parked nearby. It is devoted to the worship of the Gods of Literature (Man) and War (Mo), and is well worth a visit. Running just to the side of the temple compound is Square Street, which is itself well worth making a short excursion around. Nearby are traditional shops where you can choose your own coffin! More cheerfully, to be found at
avenue of arts
Cat Street, filled with antique shops and stalls selling memorabilia and reproductions
The old temple
no. 6 is Soong Arts Lampshades. This Returning to Hollywood Road, specialist shop can convert a beautiful where there are several nice coffee vase or candlestick into an electric shops in this immediate area, you table lamp for you, and also makes could descend the steps to visit lampshades to order. They’ve Cat Street, a whole alley filled with made many for me, and a very fine antique shops and stalls selling job they’ve made of them. traditional Chinese antiques and Further along Square Street much cheaper modern decorative you could visit the well-named items such as jade coasters and Gorgeous Arts & Crafts, at no. 49. wooden figures of the Chinese tiny embroidered This is a treasure-trove of a shop, horoscope animals. Don’t forget to shoes for filled to the brim with modestlybound feet, at bargain at these street stalls. priced smaller antique Chinese items, At this end of Hollywood Road Georgeous Arts including a wide selection of old are also situated dozens of little and Crafts Court embroideries. It had as its most shops selling Chinese antiques and famous customer Chris Patten, when he was reproductions, though it is not always easy to tell Governor of Hong Kong leading up to 1997. You the one from the other! Those of us who would can see here such exotica as tiny embroidered like to see elephants protected from extinction shoes, 100 to 150 years old, which Chinese will not be pleased to observe hereabouts several ladies with bound feet used to wear. shops selling many intricately-carved ivory items,
Antique Chinese hair pins from Georgeous Arts and Crafts
some of them antiques. There are several more art galleries located in this part of the street, which all put on changing temporary exhibitions of contemporary paintings. Located here also is the charming Hollywood Road Park, a tranquil downtown breathing space laid out in traditional Chinese garden style, complete with ornamental ponds containing brightly-coloured fish and terrapins. All-in-all, Hollywood Road presents a wide variety of places for art-viewing, windowshopping, antique-buying, eating and drinking, and many of us return to it regularly to enjoy all that it offers. You may like to do the same. M
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Inside the colourful world of PIPS Kate Davies takes a tour of Parkview International Pre-School
f you’ve ever driven into the Parkview complex at the top of Tai Tam Reservoir Road, you may have seen the double doors immediately on your right. If you peek through them, there’s not a lot to see apart from a rather pedestrian looking lift lobby, but if you take the lift one floor down you enter Parkview’s International Pre-School (PIPS) – and it’s certainly a long way from ordinary. The walls and floors are painted in vibrant colours, student’s artwork and projects are proudly displayed around the rooms and the sound of young children laughing and playing fills the air. This is clearly a happy place. The principal, Mary Scarborough, greets me with a warm smile. She looks completely at ease with being in charge of the Parkview and Kowloon campuses of PIPS, but that may be due to having more than three decades of Early Learning experience under her belt. (There is another branch called Rhine Garden in the New Territories that falls
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under the PIPS umbrella of schools but I am told it operates quite independently from its two more urban sisters). Scarborough tells me that PIPs began in this very spot 28 years ago. Aptly named after its location, its Kowloon counterpart was created in 2007. Both are authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools that follow the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children from one to six years old. And that includes playgroup through K1 to K3. Classes are taught in English and Putonghua in both schools with the option also of Cantonese at the Kowloon campus. According to Scarborough, this tri-lingual option is to cater for those students who will continue their studies in local schools, although there are change and some students who were perhaps headed into the local system often carry on with their classmates into international schools. “The parents seem to like the playbased teaching system that we use,”
says Scarborough. “We don’t have a lot of homework and we don’t have that kind of pressurized kind of set-up that some kindergartens do have. So I think the parents like that and then they think, ‘Well, I really want this to continue.’” In keeping with the IB ideology, the school’s aim according to its mission
a colourful world
Principal Mary Scarborough with the kids at PIPS Kowloon campus
statement is to: encourage responsible, respectful, reflective practices along with intercultural understanding to promote compassionate, global citizens. This, Scarborough tells me, is mirrored not just in what they teach but in the way they teach it. She tells me the teachers listen to, respect and encourage the children to be chatty. “People are usually struck when they come here. They say the children seem really confident, curious and want to talk to the people who visit.” This conversational outlook is very much a welcome product of the inquiry based curriculum. At the beginning of a unit of inquiry children are asked to speak up and contribute what they know about a subject so teachers can build on that knowledge and, as Scarborough explains, challenge the children on the right level. “I’m always amazed at what the children can do, what they’re interested in and what they produce,” she says. On the tour of the Parkview campus, children’s projects were displayed everywhere, from paintings of animal habitats, to collages of leaves and things found in nature. In the library amongst the English and
Chinese books were also books that some of the students had made as part of a unit of inquiry titled, ‘Imagination and learning can be inspired by books’. The school also places emphasis on educating the children about being eco-friendly. There are appointed ‘Green Ambassadors’ who are in charge of making
sure the lights are turned off when a classroom is not in use. Part of this environmental learning is also played out in the garden where children find out about plants and even have a go at some gardening themselves – you can never grow green fingers too young. The garden is situated in the large outdoor area to the back of the school, alongside a play
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space, sandpit and climbing gym. There is also an intriguingly named “exploratorium” where the play equipment changes every week. The Parkview campus also boasts an indoor play area, a dedicated music room, a cookery room and animal corner where their most famous resident, Pancake the guinea pig, lives during the week. She spends her weekends hanging out at various student’s houses. “It’s part of an effort to offer the kids the broadest experience we can with the resources we have,” says Scarborough. This point is echoed in her ‘Principal’s Message’ on the PIPS website where she writes: our
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principal aims are to provide a safe and caring environment with rich and varied educational experiences so that the children in our school can flourish, grow, learn and fulfill their potential in every way. This is again underlined with the option of extra-curricular activities on top of regular classes. These include Kung Fu, phonics, drama, piano, Chinese writing, sport and cooking. Scarborough also tells me there are English and Putonghua enhancement classes for those who may need them. As my tour wraps up and I hand my visitor’s badge back, I think of all the times I’ve driven into Parkview and not thought
Established: 1989 Number of students: 200 (pre-nursery to preparatory), 48 playgroup Class size: playgroup: 8; others: 12-18 Curriculum: 2-6 years: inquiry and play based : IBPYP authorised Bilingual (English and Putonghua) or English classes Fees 2017/2018: Playgroup $41,800-$49,800; Pre-nursery and Nursery $99,000; Lower Kindergarten and Preparatory $198,000 Address: Tower 18, Hong Kong Parkview, 88 Tai Tam Reservoir Road Tel: 2812 6023
much about what was behind those double doors. It turns out there is a vibrant, colourful world of learning happening just one floor down.
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Around the world in 80 days 8 restaurants
Let your tastebuds travel the globe without stepping a foot outside Hong Kong. By Shreena Patel
Picada Fans of former Elgin Street based restaurant Picada will Latin America be pleased to hear it is back and in a bigger location. The lively pan-Latin restaurant has moved to Wyndham Street, with a cosy terrace overlooking the nightlife below. Acclaimed Peruvian chef Abel Ortiz Alvarez, formerly of Chicha and Mayta, heads up the new kitchen team and brings together a selection of iconic favourites: think Peruvian ceviche, Argentinian steak, Venezuelan arepas, Colombian empanadas, Mexican tacos and more. After all, “picada” is a type of sharing platter. The Peruvian ceviche ($148) is my favourite dish on the menu – fresh and packed with flavour. I also highly recommend the hot scallops ($98 for two pieces). I much prefer the beef arepa ($78) to the empanadas ($98-108 for three: choose chicken, beef or mushroom), though both are made using corn flour. For something filling, the Argentine Ribeye ($378 for 12oz) is a classic and comes with three sauces (chimichurri, pico de gallo and aji limo). For dessert, try the Tres Leches ($75), a sweet sponge cake which uses three different types of milk – evaporated, condensed and coconut. The restaurant is open for lunch, brunch and dinner. Later on the evenings, Picada opens up its polished oak dance floor to regular live music, dance performances and guest DJs. It is definitely worth staying for this, but if you don’t fancy it, you can always head upstairs to the terrace lounge on the third floor. 2/F & 3/F LKF29, 29 Wyndham Street, Central, 3425 4037.
Robatayaki One for barbecue lovers. Japan This Michelin-recommended restaurant has been serving authentic robatayaki cuisine for the last 21 years – a big achievement in Hong Kong. Robatayaki (literally “fireside-cooking”) is a method of cooking whereby skewers of food are slowgrilled over hot charcoal. Also known more simply as robata, it originated centuries ago with Japanese fishermen off the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido. The fishermen would encase binchotan coals in a stone box, and gather round it on the boat. The box acted as a cooking area and portable source of heat, while the stone protected the boat from the intense heat. Nowadays, robata can be found much more widely. At the Harbour Grand, diners eat side by side around a U-shaped table, under solid oak beams taken from old fishing boats. The chef stands at the centre of the “U”, behind an array of fresh meat and vegetables, grilling everything to perfection. Choose from the menu, ask the chef for recommendations or order whatever takes your fancy. Standout dishes include the Hida beef sirloin steak ($1,480), the cod ($240) and the dried blowfish ($150). There’s a good
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sake selection and it’s not uncommon to buy a round of sake for your group and the chef. The communal atmosphere is great fun, especially for groups, and by the end of the evening (and several toasts) our chef’s face is rather red. Dinner runs from 6-10:30pm. A private VIP room seats 20. For the best value, the “Sumo’s Choice” Japanese brunch runs on weekends and public holidays from noon until 2:30pm and is priced at $458 per adult ($358 per child) - it includes one set of assorted sashimi and grilled cod per person, as well as unlimited servings of grilled seafood, meat and vegetables, sushi, tempura, desserts and more. Buy three, get the fourth free throughout August. Prices above are subject to a 10 per cent service charge. For reservations, call 2996 8438, harbourgrand.com
global gastronomy Olé Spanish Restaurant Another oldie but a goodie. This Spain restaurant has stood in the heart of the city for over 18 years, but its tinted windows and understated entrance mean you might easily pass it by. The weekend brunch is the highlight here. Introduced in April, it includes 12 of the restaurant’s signature tapas (classic Spanish omelette, deep-fried padron peppers, sautéed chorizo, clams, octopus, garlic prawns…) served at the table, followed by roasted suckling pig “Segovia Style”, traditional Spanish seafood paella and a paella of the day (chicken, chorizo, squid ink or Valenciana). Discerning diners can even upgrade their ham to the Joselito Gran Reserva, known for its snow white marbling and rich aroma. Finally, each person can pick his or her dessert from four options: Fried Milk with Toffee Reduction, Traditional Caramel Pudding, Spanish Churros with Hot Chocolate and Pears Confit in Red & Port Wine. The restaurant has a cosy, slightly dated feel, which I love. The brick walls, low ceilings and cluttered walls provide a true escape from the shininess of Central and, best of all, diners are serenaded with live music, courtesy of a duo of guitar-vocalists who are open to song requests. As for the food, it’s top notch and no wonder. Before arriving joining Olé in 2010, executive chef Jesus Pascual worked at an array of one-,
Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao China After three years in Hong Kong, this is still my favourite place for xiao long bao (Shanghai style soupy dumplings). Yes, Crystal Jade is a chain and yes, it’s now majority owned by the LVMH group, but the food remains delicious – from the thin-skinned, juicy dumplings it is so famous for, to the hot,
two- and three- Michelin starred restaurants in Spain, including Fogony, Les Cols and Arzak. He also worked as executive chef at Zure Exea and Cent Divuit during his time in Barcelona. Available Saturdays and public holidays, noon to 3pm. $380 per adult; $228 per child (ages 4-9). 10% service charge applies. Free flow packages are also available. 1/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24-30 Ice House Street, Central, 2523 8624, olespanishrestaurant.com.hk
crispy scallion pancakes, and all the dan dan noodles in between. Specialising in Shanghainese food, the restaurant was founded by a Hongkonger and originally Singaporean-owned. It now has 100 branches across the world, from the USA, to India to Cambodia. This month, the restaurant has introduced
a new “Eat for Good” menu in collaboration with nutritionist and columnist Cynthia Wong. The dishes have been designed to use less sugar, salt and oil, with more options for vegetarians. I recommend the Sour Cucumber Skin Roll and the chilled Black Fungus Tossed in Aged Vinegar, but after that I find it difficult to resist old favourites. On my last visit, I also tried the black truffle xiao long bao (delicious but the original is still my favourite), the crispy beancurd sheets wrapped with mushrooms, and the deep-fried Mandarin fish with sweet and sour sauce – all of which I would recommend. The restaurant also serves its own special beer, created by Young Master Ales for Crystal Jade Hong Kong’s 15th anniversary last year. Packed with goji berries, red dates and more, it goes particularly well with the spicier dishes. Locations throughout the city, including IFC. Call 2305 9990, hk.crystaljade.com. Be warned, the IFC branch is always busy so get there before 7pm if you can and be prepared to get a ticket and queue.
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eating La Crêperie The place to go for traditional Brittany inspired delicacies: think France oysters, fish soup, sweet crêpes and savoury galettes. You may be familiar with the traditional, sweet crêpe, but the Breton galette is a pancake made with buckwheat flour and typically served with a savoury filling such as cheese, ham, eggs or vegetables. The restaurant, founded by Breton expat Philippe Ricard, celebrated its “permanent residency” in April, seven years since it opened its first branch in Wan Chai. It now has eight outlets across Asia, including Hong Kong, Shanghai (the original), Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh. The majority of ingredients found at La Crêperie are imported from France, including Brittany’s famous Val de Rance and Kerné artisanal apple ciders – a refreshing accompaniment to traditional Breton food. Don’t be deceived – the galettes are super filling. We order one per person and a delicious lobster salad ($152) to share, which is plenty. The galettes with potato are particularly filling but for me, a little too heavy for summer. My favourites are Les Pierres Noires (fresh tomatoes, egg, camembert cheese, French smoked ham, salad) and La Super Complete
Potatohead The famous Indonesian lifestyle and hospitality brand opened its Indonesia Hong Kong location last year. It’s not just about the food here – as well as Indonesian restaurant Kaum, the large space houses a bar (Eksotika), lifestyle boutique
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(French cooked ham, emmental cheese, camembert cheese, blue cheese, egg, salad), $128 each. For dessert, I’m a sucker for anything with Nutella so I wolf down Le Phare ($68, Nutella, fresh banana and strawberry), but more refined palates might wish to try one of the many other combinations, such as La Poulie ($78, pistachio ice-cream, honey, grilled
(Canaan) and even an “audiophile music room”, acoustically designed and kitted out with specialist gear, including vintage JBL 4355 speakers (used in the heyday of disco in the ‘70s and early ‘80s), Klipschorns and classic McIntosh amps and preamps. The space is also home to an 8,000-piece vinyl library with sounds from jazz, disco, rock, ambient house, New
almonds). GF, 69 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, 2679 4666 (locations also in Causeway Bay and Wan Chai), facebook.com/lacreperiehk
Age, dub, house, techno, afro and everything in between. The space often hosts DJs, who play all night, selecting tracks only from the library. On our rainy Sunday afternoon visit, Kaum was filled with families and groups of friends enjoying the weekend brunch ($398 per person). Its large wooden benches and tables are perfect for groups and the atmosphere is warm and cosy. The brunch menu starts with six appetisers, all of which may be re-ordered as many times as you like (I recommend the tuna and the dumplings). For mains, each person can choose one dish (my favourite was the barramundi), which comes with vegetables to share. For dessert, there are two options to choose from (I recommend the mud cake). The food is good – I would have liked it to have more of a kick, but I would recommend it for those who don’t want too much heat. Freeflow packages are also available (from $195 for two hours). G/F, 100 Third Street, Sai Ying Pun, 2858 6066, kaum.com
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Björn Frantzén (left) and Jïm Löfdahl
Frantzén’s Kitchen Who is Frantzén, I hear you ask, and what’s so good about his scandinavia kitchen? Football player-turned-chef Björn Frantzén opened his first restaurant, Restaurant Frantzén/ Lindeberg, in Sweden in 2008 with pastry chef Daniel Lindeberg. Specialising in fine dining, by 2010 it had been awarded two Michelin stars. For the last year and a half, the restaurant (known as Restaurant Frantzén following Lindeberg’s departure in 2013) has been under renovation. In the meantime, Frantzén and his team have been busy doing pop ups across the
world, from Dubai to Macau. Last November, they opened their first permanent restaurant outside of Sweden: Frantzén’s Kitchen in trendy Tai Ping Shan. The opening created quite a buzz and reservations were hard to come by. Eight months on, the restaurant’s 36 seats still get booked up quickly, though a few seats are always reserved for drop-in guests. The restaurant is headed up by Jïm Löfdahl, the first chef hired by Frantzén and Lindeberg back in 2008, and backed by Hong Kong based Swedish entrepreneurs Arne and Helen Lindman (the owners of Nosh café, which used to occupy the same spot). The cuisine is modern Nordic with Asian
Maison Libanaise Located just off the Mid-Levels escalator, this is a great choice Lebanon throughout the year for fresh, tasty food that won’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated. It’s part of the Black Sheep Restaurants Group, which also owns La Vache!, Carbone, Chôm Chôm, Ho Lee Fook and others. Inspired by 1960s Beirut, the colours of the building are beautiful - my favourite part is the staircase leading up to the first floor. The ground floor is for take aways only and has a slightly different menu with a couple of benches out front; the first floor is dine-in and there’s also a roof terrace. Reservations are not accepted, so expect queues at lunchtime. The weekday lunch set ($128 plus 10 per cent service) is not a bad deal: choose the roasted
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influences and the setting is stylish but relaxed. Diners can choose to sit at the kitchen counter for the full experience or at a table in the dining room. The food is brilliant. It’s not cheap at all (bite size snacks start at $55; dishes range from $120245; the restaurant recommends 3-4 dishes per person), but the ingredients are of the highest quality and each plate is prepared meticulously. Of the snacks, the Swedish sushi (crispy white moss, fallow deer, cep mayonnaise and frozen foie gras) and the French toast (with summer truffle, balsamic vinegar and aged cheese) are both an absolute joy to eat, but gone in a mouthful. For the dishes, I recommend the veal cheeks (a classic Scandinavian dish, cooked for 24 hours with sweetbreads “Kalv i dill”, creamy and sweet and sour sauce with Swedish ättika, dill, glazed carrot and crispy onions), the pan-fried chicken, the North Atlantic cod and the pan-fried Hokkaido scallop. For dessert, the smoked ice cream (toasted nuts, tar syrup and salted fudge with cloves) is a favourite. If you’re drinking, there’s a great selection of wines and also a really nice pear cider - ask the friendly and knowledgeable sommelier for recommendations (just look for the guy with the fantastic moustache). Open for dinner Tuesday to Saturday (5:30 until midnight). Closed for the summer until August 7. Call 2559 8508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, frantzenskitchen.com French toast with summer truffle
cauliflower, chicken shish taouk or grilled lamb kofta (one skewer only; I recommend the chicken) with either rice pilaf or salad, a dollop of hummus and of baba ganoush, a few homemade pickles and pita bread. You can add on dessert OR tea for an extra $28 (the olive oil cake is good and a much better deal than the tea in my opinion, though it would be nice if the price included both). If ordering a la carte for two, we usually get the hummus ($48) and baba ganoush ($48; a smokey aubergine dip), tabbouleh ($88; a parsley based side dish which I think is overpriced, but balances the other dips well) and pita bread ($38 for two). For mains, we share a chicken shish taouk ($118; two chicken skewers packed with flavour on a cool mint sauce) and lamb kibbeh ($118; four tasty lamb patties with pomegranate seeds and yoghurt). I’m not a big fan of rice but the pilaf rice here is delicious, with lentils, spice and fried almonds ($68). If you fancy a drink, the walls are lined with a selection of Lebanese wines and the friendly staff are happy to make recommendations. 10 Shelley Street, Soho, 2111 2284, maisonlibanaise.com.hk M
What not to miss this month Chinese fine dining restaurant for Central After closing restaurants My Tai Tai and Ee Da Le earlier this year, ZS Hospitality Group is back with a new restaurant in Central. Opening in mid-August, Ying Jee Club on Connaught Road will offer Cantonese fine dining, with Michelin star-winning executive chef Siu Hin Chi at the helm. Meanwhile, fans of Japanese cuisine should keep their eyes peeled for another of the group’s new restaurants set to open on Lyndhurst Terrace later in the Autumn. Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for fusion food, last month ZS Hospitality transformed their Mexican restaurant Mamasita’s Cantina into MEXUS, now with an American twist. This cross-cuisine makeover boasts new dishes such as mushroom flatbread pizzas and cheese steak tacos for the culinarily adventurous. zshospitality.com French bistro Terroir Parisien opens first Hong Kong location Celebrated chef Yannick Alléno has brought his culinary skills to Hong Kong with new bar and bistro Terroir Parisien. Alléno has two three-Michelin star restaurants in his home country of France. The flagship Terroir Parisien opened in Paris to critical acclaim, and the new Hong Kong location has created much excitement. With an emphasis on French produce and familiar comfort foods, Terroir Parisien showcases ingredients from the Île-de-France region with Parisian dishes such as lamb and vegetable stew, escargot-stuffed mushrooms and “Nanterre” brioche French toast. Daily specials are decided based on fresh ingredients available at market, and the menu evolves with the seasons. The bistro also features a grocery counter for takeaway products, perfect for perpetually rushing Hongkongers. M/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central.
Casa Lisboa reopens After a six-month hiatus, Portuguese restaurant Casa Lisboa is back. The new location on Wyndham Street sports a new decor and reinvented menu which celebrates contemporary Portuguese cuisine. Standout dishes from new executive chef Fábio Pombo include Portuguese Octopus Confit ($280), infused with Moscatel wine through steam cooking, and the fisherman’s dish Algarve Red Prawn ($280) made with an assortment of tomatoes of different origins. Loyal patrons will be glad to hear that old favourites such as Suckling Pig Slow Roasted “À Bairrada” ($260), Duck Rice Lisboa Style ($180), Portuguese Brown Crab “Sapateira” ($155) and Codfish Cakes with Parsley & Garlic Mayonnaise ($95) are still available to order. As for drinks, choose from over 70 wines or try one of the newly created cocktails - we highly recommend the Truffenia ($98, made with coriander), for something moreish, refreshing and not too sweet. 2/F, Parekh House, 63 Wyndham Street, Central, 2905 1168, casalisboa.com.hk Cadenza The Greater China Club’s contemporary European restaurant welcomes a new chef this summer, Mr Kwan Wai-Chung. Chef Chung’s tasting menu available throughout August - is an ideal way to try his creations; highlights include the prawn carpaccio, clams linguine and forest mushroom risotto. The dessert is left a surprise (usually code for “disappointment” in our experience), but we were very pleased to be proved wrong on this occasion – the molten chocolate pudding was absolutely delicious. The tasting menu is priced at $480 or $580 for non-members (depending on course selection). Members of the Greater China Club get $100 off. Enjoy live jazz from Thursday to Saturday, 9pm until midnight. 10/F, D2 Place, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok (right across the road from Exit D1, Lai Chi Kok MTR Station), 2743 8055, greaterchinaclub.com
everything from seafood to customized omelets and desserts. Customers can also choose from a diverse a la carte menu, with iconic dishes like Eggs Benedict ($180) and a berry-topped Pecan Crusted French Toast ($120). Of course, no brunch is complete without cocktails, and Head Mixologist John Nugent has concocted a few signature drinks with flavours of chili, chamomile, bourbon, and more. 33 Wyndham Street, Central, 2810 6166, lily-bloom.com
Burger Circus launches ice cream cake American-style diner Burger Circus is embracing the season with its newly-launched Circus Ice Cream Cake ($58). Available throughout the summer, the vanilla ice cream is freshly churned and sits atop a sumptuous chocolate cake, topped with whipped cream and cherries. 22 Hollywood Road, Central, 2878 7787, burgercircus.com.hk New Kappo style kitchen opens in TST East meets West at the newly-opened HAKU, the brainchild of Chef Hideaki Matsuo of Osaka’s 3-Michelin starred Kashiwaya and Agustin Balbi, Hong Kong Tatler’s Best New Chef 2016. In true Kappo fashion, the open kitchen encourages conversation between customers and chefs. The seasonal menu includes Japanese tomatoes with barracuda and Iberian ham ($148) and Wagyu beef with Eringi mushrooms ($488), to name a few. Though prepared with traditional Japanese techniques, the dishes have a subtle European twist, a reflection of Matsuo and Balbi’s Eastmeets-West partnership. Shop OT G04B, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2115 9965, facebook.com/hakuhongkong M
Lily & Bloom launches new weekend brunch Classic American restaurant Lily & Bloom has introduced a new weekend brunch package sure to delight. The All-American Brunch ($495 per person) includes an appetizer buffet, a main course and free flow drinks. The package offers
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home & living
At home with...Elaine Lu
Elaine Lu, one half of power couple and design firm Lim + Lu, shows Jessie Yeung around her Happy Valley home. Tell me about yourself. I was born in Guangzhou and moved to Atlanta when I was twelve. Vince grew up here in Hong Kong. We met at Cornell University. How did Lim + Lu begin? We moved to Hong Kong to officially launch Lim + Lu at the end of 2015, but we had already started it as a hobby in New York. We were both working full time, and designed some furniture pieces in our spare time. We exhibited them at the ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York in 2014 and received really good feedback, so we thought why not do it full time?
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Industrial-chic is popular in Hong Kong now, but I think it’s way too overdone
Why did you move to Hong Kong? Vince’s family is from here, so we came back to be closer to them. I guess there was a bit of a culture shock when I moved, but there are a lot of opportunities here so I like it and I’m getting used to it.
Is there a characteristic Hong Kong style? Industrial-chic is popular Hong Kong now, but I think it’s way too overdone. We can’t completely avoid it since so many clients want it, but it’s good to inject your own flavour so it doesn’t look like every other restaurant or retail space. How did you get into design? My parents are both artists and I grew up in a very artistic environment. I was also really into maths and science, so I thought, what’s a good profession that will bring the two together? Vincent’s dad is the well-known architect William Lim, so he’s always known that he wanted to be an architect.
What is your favourite colour? I’m really into emerald green and teal at the moment. It’s just a such a timeless colour that you can’t get sick of. What was your goal for this apartment? Mainly we wanted to bring light into the space. For example, the bathroom was completely enclosed so you had to use indoor lighting, but we wanted sunlight to penetrate every corner of the space.
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home & living
How does the home reflect your personality and lifestyle? We get bored easily, so we like to have versatility. A lot of our furniture can be reconfigured; our study can be completely closed as a guest bedroom, it can be semiopen, or open all the way. How would you describe your style? We just want to make things that are different. We always look for inspiration in everyday objects, then try to rethink it in a different way. Favourite place in the apartment? My favourite area is the bathroom. At first, I was shocked because it’s a lot smaller than what I was used to in the States. I take a lot of baths, so I put a lot of effort into making it a nice area that I can spend a lot of time in. Did you and Vince clash about designing your home? When it comes to details, I like having an airy feeling, and he’s more about mass and volume, but the two complement each other. For example, we have a furniture collection with heavy blocks of brass, whereas our frame table has thin legs and looks like it’s floating. But put together, they make the space work.
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Is it hard to keep your home and work lives separate? It’s hard because it’s our passion, and when you’re passionate about something you’re always thinking and talking about it. So at home, even when we’re having dinner, we’re always talking about what cool project we’ve seen, or what new ideas we have. What should every home have? Private space. Even with a really small apartment, you should be able to have friends over but it should be designed so that they don’t intrude on your private space. Where do you get inspiration? A lot of our inspiration comes from our Asian backgrounds, infused with European styles we like. We look up to Jaime Hayon, Patricia Urquiola, the Bouroullec brothers – for every project, we kind of channel their influences.
What’s the best part of your job? We’re doing a lot of residential projects at the moment, and it’s really special because these people completely rely on you to make their dream home come true. A home is such an intimate space, so you feel like an important part of your client’s life. M
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Painting of the month by Hong Kong-based artist Marie Pottiez
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a sketchy business 60 seconds with the artist.
Describe yourself if three words. Creative. Passionate. Curious. Where do you live? I live in a small village in South Lantau, and I love it! It’s the perfect place to live as a freelancer. The atmosphere is laid-back and the only traffic we have here is cows and buffalos on the road. The beach is never far and every morning I am woken by singing birds. How long have you been painting? It’s hard to tell. I guess I’ve always been painting. I studied art for six years, but it was only once I started to work as a freelancer that I had more time to do what I love most: travel sketching. How would you describe your style?
Spontaneous, crooked, loose, sketchy, with big splashes of colour... What’s the story behind this picture?
Where would you like to paint next in Hong Kong? I want to make a series of painting about life in South Lantau. With the cows, the snakes, the jungle and the beaches, it’s a whole different world within Hong Kong.
I live in a small village...The only traffic we have here is cows and buffalos
Where can we find more of your work? On my portfolio mariepottiez.com and on my travel blog, milesofhappiness.com. There, you can find travel sketches I have made on the road and browse my e-shop. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to have a customised illustration. I’m always happy to work on new projects! M
It represents what inspires me most in Hong Kong streets. The mess, the colors, the signs, the old mixed with the new, the nature in the urban jungle... I love the stairs in Soho! Does the picture have a name? I don’t name my pictures. I have loads of notebooks full of sketches and souvenirs. I want to give a new look on these places that are part of our daily life. After a few years in Hong Kong, we don’t even see how special and unique this city is.
Have you painted Hong Kong? Each month we feature a painting of Hong Kong and a 60-second interview with the artist who created it. If you’d like to be featured, email email@example.com
Photo by Ju Redondo
Tell me about yourself. I’m French and passionate about art and travelling. I’ve been on the road for the past five years, but have finally settled down in Hong Kong. I work as a Creative Freelancer (travel blogging, illustration, copywriting, translation) and whenever I get the opportunity, I love to hop on a flight and explore Asia.
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health & beauty
On the hunt for a solution to frizzy hair, Shreena Patel puts the Bhave Smoothe Keratin Therapy treatment to the test
ach year, like snowdrops signalling the start of spring, my hair rises up to declare the arrival of summer. Except, unlike the snowdrops, it isn’t pretty. I have lots of long, black, fine, wavyish hair which is frizzest around the hairline. When I was younger I longed for the smooth tresses swished about by girls on shampoo adverts. Eventually I learned to embrace my hair: like my mum says, “everyone wants what they don’t have”. But the humidity of a Hong Kong summer has taken my frizz to new heights, literally, and I don’t want to embrace this particular look. I’ve experimented with all manner of serums and mousses to no avail. I’ve used straightening irons, but upon leaving the apartment find my work undone in a matter of minutes. I’ve also tried the notorious “Brazilian blowdry”, but health concerns over the ingredients often released during these treatments (namely, formaldehyde) have put me off. Short of carrying around a dehumidifier on my back, I’m running out of ideas. So when I
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heard about Bhave Smoothe Keratin Therapy (SKT), which claims to reduce frizz, I decided to give it a go. And whilst I was at it, I thought I’d add a bit of colour too for a new look.
to take the leap and open a salon of my own to help me detox chemicals out of my life as much as possible”, she says. She opened Love Hair in 2016.
The salon I tried both treatments at eco salon Love Hair. Eco because it specialises in healthier, more natural products. This appeals to me because even if just one person in a salon is having a treatment that’s releasing harmful chemicals into the air, many more are breathing it in. Love Hair also tries to minimise its carbon footprint by recycling, using eco flooring, reclaimed wood shelving and screens and locally filtered (as opposed to bottled) water. Founder and head stylist Toni SuttonMarcus was working at Hipp.Fish Hair (now closed) on Staunton Street when she was diagnosed with high levels of metals in her blood. “I wanted to take control of what I was exposing myself to on a daily basis. Since I spend most of my time at work, it made sense
I wanted to take control of what I was exposing myself to on a daily basis
The studio is bright and airy with a beautiful little terrace, conveniently located on Wellington Street. The team, which is comprised of stylists from England, New Zealand, Wales and Hong Kong, is friendly and there are plenty of magazines around to while away your time in the chair.
a hairy situation Treatment 1 - Bhave Smoothe Keratin Therapy (SKT) Bhave is actually a collection of hair products, developed in Australia, chief amongst which is SKT. SKT is one of a number of smoothing treatments which have arisen in response to the aforementioned health and safety concerns about Brazilian blowdrys. In general, they work by filling in the porosity of your hair and smoothing the cuticle, as overly-porous hair causes tangles, frizz and breakage. Note, smoothing treatments do not claim to remove the curl pattern entirely but will help to reduce frizz. Others include Goldwell Kerasilk (also available at Love Hair, and recommended if you want a straighter effect). Both treatments are free of formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing ingredients. Both, I am advised, may be used while pregnant (though you should always check with your doctor first).
On the list of ingredients is a keratin protein, naturally derived and extracted from the wool of New Zealand sheep Toni and a client in the salon
SKT claims to improve hair health, and manageability. On its list of ingredients is a keratin protein, naturally derived and extracted from the wool of New Zealand sheep (the sheep are not harmed in the shearing process). Keratin is a protein found naturally in hair, nails, teeth and skin – in fact, 88 percent of your hair is keratin, but it wears out with ageing, environmental factors and styling. Many hair products claim to contain keratin to replenish hair and reduce frizz (keratin does not make your hair straight), but not all keratins are created equal. The keratin in SKT is extracted while keeping critical amino acids and proteins intact. This means it can better bind to damaged hair. First, the hair is cleaned with a special shampoo that removes all oil, product, dirt and pollution to allow the hair to absorb better the subsequent treatment. It feels a bit knotty afterwards but it’s not too bad. The hair is dried and the product is applied in sections and left for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the hair type. The excess product is then rinsed with a couple of bowls of warm water. Finally, the hair is dried and flat ironed so that it is poker straight. Hair cannot be washed for 48 hours after the treatment as the keratin requires time to set in - it must be kept absolutely dry during this time (a good excuse for avoiding the gym). I
How to prolong the results
won’t lie, it’s not a good look, but – as I explain to my colleagues, who are unsure whether to congratulate me on my new style or tell me the truth – it’s only for a couple of days. After washing, my hair is softer, less frizzy and looks healthier, but it definitely isn’t poker straight. This isn’t a wash-and-go treatment – heat is required to activate the smoothing effect. I find a quick blast with the blow-drier is sufficient to calm the frizz and leave some wave. For the best results, I blow dry in sections with a round brush, but either way it’s much quicker to style than before.
1. Only use sodium chloride and sulfate free shampoos and conditioners. bhave makes its own shampoo and conditioner which you can buy in the salon. 2. If hair gets wet prior to the first wash, blow dry immediately and go over lightly with a flat iron on a low heat setting. 3. Do not use any styling products until after the first proper shampoo. bhave makes its own “riot control oil” which smoothes flyaways and acts as a heat protectant before styling. 4. Wait between 7-10 days before colouring your hair. 5. Sea or pool water may reduce the treatment’s lifespan. Before going into the sea or pool, use a leave-in product (bhave makes a leave-in crème and oil) and rinse hair with fresh water to eliminate any salt and/or chlorine build up immediately after swimming.
The treatment claims to last between two to five months (my hairdresser Kirsty says it’s usually around three in Hong Kong), though some virgin hair may require an application after just four weeks.
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health & beauty
Immediately after both treatments
One month later
Treatment 2 - Balayage Now for the colour. It’s recommended to do this seven to 10 days after the SKT. If you do it earlier, the colour may lift; if you do it too soon after, the SKT won’t have had time to sink in. First, Toni and I look through photos to see what I like and what I don’t. I want something noticeable and to avoid red tones. Since my hair is black, this means the colour needs to be lifted past a certain level (colour lift goes from black to red to brown). First, Toni mixes the colour and applies to my hair in sections freehand, using gentle brushstrokes. This bespoke technique, known as “balayage”, takes longer than a normal colouring treatment as it is more technical, but produces a more natural effect, grows out better and is lower maintenance. Each section is wrapped in foil until I look like a paranoid conspiracy theorist. After a thirty-minute wait, the foil is removed and the hair is rinsed. A toner is applied and left for a short time. Finally, the hair is washed and styled. I’m really pleased with the colour. It’s noticeable but natural, breaks up the black and adds texture and warmth. I was worried that colouring my hair would affect the SKT
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The essentials Bhave: $2,400-$2,600 (3 hours) Kerasilk: $2,000 short hair; $2,500 long hair (2.5 hours) Balayage starts from $1,700 (3 hours) Love Hair recommends a free 15-minute consultation first.
but it hasn’t. I’m particularly happy with how low maintenance it is: I don’t plan to have it retouched for at least six months. As for the salon, I’ll definitely be going back. M
Love Hair 1F, 99F Wellington Street, Central, 2458 0190, firstname.lastname@example.org, lovehairhk.com For more information on the bhave SKT treatment, visit bhavehair.com
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hong kong horoscopes
AQUARIUS Jan 21–Feb 19
PISCES Feb 20–Mar 20
ARIES Mar 21–Apr 20
TAURUS Apr 21–May 21
What a beautiful place Tai O is. This fishing village at the end of Lantau has continued in its own sleepy existence for years, weekend tourists notwithstanding. Now, Aquarius, I don’t expect you to discover Nirvana – but I would like you to find a personal Tai O, a part of you that can remain at peace, occasional interruptions notwithstanding.
Do you remember Bus Uncle? The middle-aged man became a viral hit in 2006 when he berated a fellow passenger. “You have pressure, I have pressure, we all have pressure,” he yelled at his largely silent target. Truth is, Bus Uncle was right – it’s just that his method of releasing that pressure wasn’t ideal. Find a better way to release your pressure, Pisces. May I suggest tai chi classes?
Did you know that Ap Lei Chau is the second-most densely populated island in the world? Once a lowly fishing village, the development of four large estates has made it rather busier. Hong Kong island itself comes in at number 17 on the planet. What unexpected records do you hold, Aries? They don’t have to be world beaters. But what can you do better than anyone else you know, no matter how big or small? I bet there’s an Ap Lei Chau in you.
Garden Bakery was one of the first in the city to make bread for a local audience. Say what you like about its bread, but for me Garden’s spring onion Pop Pan biscuits are wonderful. They’re my Proustian madeleines, able to summon me straight back to my childhood. What takes you straight to your happy place, Taurus? Get some today.
LEO Jul 23–Aug 22
VIRGO Aug 23–Sep 23
LIBRA Sep 24–Oct 23
SCORPIO Oct 24–Nov 22
The Hong KongSingapore rivalry is well established. Hongkongers think that they’re better in every way, and Singaporeans are… well, they’re just wrong. I have to say that – I’m a Hongkonger, born and raised. But I’m willing to admit that there are some areas where my assumptions blind me to the positives. You might have these blind spots too.
The best-named road in Hong Kong is Route Twisk – doesn’t it sound like it should be paved with gold bricks, or lined with merry elves? The name actually came about because of a typo: it was originally termed Route TW/SK, because it runs between Tsuen Wan and Shek Kong. What a wonderful mistake. Sometimes, it’s mistakes that lead to the best circumstances. Your next error could actually be a Route Twisk.
Did you watch the movie “Ghost in the Shell” when it was released in March? Or perhaps you have seen the original, better Japanese animation? You should see one or both, if only because they were inspired by our city. They deliver a beautifully futuristic cityscape that’s nonetheless full of recognizably Hong Kong elements. What inspires you in Hong Kong, Libra? I think you should explore it more.
“Silk stocking milk tea” is a potent drink, strained through a long, fine filter said to resemble a silk stocking. It’s a Hong Kong classic, smooth and rich. To make the drink, the tea is simmered repeatedly, which intensifies the flavor, before it’s painstakingly filtered. There’s a lot of work that goes into such a seemingly simple beverage. Others may not appreciate the work you put into your milk tea, Scorpio: It’s OK to let them know.
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GEMINI May 22–Jun 21
CANCER Jun 22–Jul 22
My favourite Wong Karwai movie is the gorgeous “In the Mood for Love” – a film set in the 1960s, a time when main characters Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung can’t say what’s in their hearts, thanks to societal pressures. But you don’t have to be like Tony and Maggie, Gemini. Discover what you need to say – and then say it! If you’re wearing an achingly beautiful qipao at the same time, that’s just a bonus.
Internet shopping isn’t very good in Hong Kong. Overseas brands charge the earth to deliver here, and Taobao is more hit-andmiss than a kung-fu novice. Besides, we don’t really like buying sight unseen in Hong Kong. From fruit to fish to clothes, we like to see the real thing, to weigh it in our hands, to examine the quality. Getting the measure of something – or someone – is best done in real life, wouldn’t you agree?
SAGITTARIUS Nov 23–Dec 21
CAPRICORN Dec 22–Jan 20
I used to open my wardrobe to find mould growing on my clothes. Then I bit the bullet and bought a dehumidifier, and my life immediately got better: no more mould! What simple change can you make that will change your life immeasurably for the better? Identify it, then make that change. Oh, and if you don’t have a dehumidifier – get one at once.
Summer in Hong Kong means leading an airconditioned life. We move from covered walkway to shopping mall, from shop to shop. But can you blame us? It’s sweltering out there! Find your equivalent of the air-con life: after all, sometimes the path of least resistance is the wisest (and coolest) path to tread.
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The latest green issues affecting our city.
nce a day, Moran Zukerman walks out onto a small beach – Sam Pak Wan – on Lantau. Every day he finds medical waste: medicine bottles, ampoules, discarded medicine bags with the names of Hong Kong doctors and their patients, and syringes – many of which contain blood residue and have a needle attached. Three times, over a period of 12 months, we have collected these items and delivered them to the Environmental Protection Department (EPD). The last delivery was made on June 29. In the weeks prior to the event, we received calls from the EPD reminding us to be careful when handling medical waste on beaches! When challenged, the officer defended the government and explained that she herself had been on site to supervise cleaning by the Food and Hygiene Department’s contractors. And therein lies the problem. Calling in the cleaners is like tampering with a crime scene. Instead, we need a full forensic investigation into potential source points. One possible strategy is for government to urge doctors for help from their patients – knowing when and where they have disposed their medicine bags might help. Another strategy is to test the residue in the syringes to determine the drugs involved. One thing is clear. Government officials sitting at their desks calling in the cleaners is an easy but completely useless solution. I proved this when tackling the ongoing dumping of waste along the side of Victoria Road in Pok Fu Lam after midnight. Every time it happened, I would get a proud call from FEHD mid-morning to explain that their contractors had quickly cleared the waste. Each time I got angrier that they had again failed to investigate the source of the waste. I assumed it was the same collector who decided to empty his truck when he missed the 11:30pm deadline of the West Island Transfer Station. One morning, after another report, I
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biked over quickly and ripped open the bags before the contractors cleared it. A bank envelope led me to an address along Des Voeux Road West. There, residents and shopkeepers explained how they put their waste bags on the side of the road for collection, apparently, by a private sub-contractor of the government. After submitting the evidence, the dumping stopped. The only reason it took five years to solve the riddle, was because the crime scene was cleared every time without proper investigation. The same applies to the problem of hazardous medical waste. The government has yet to commit to getting its hands dirty and investigating. A large portion of the waste is obviously from Hong Kong. With our last delivery, we asked the government for one action: to facilitate a Hong Kong “take-back” program for medicine and syringes. Private medical clinics and public health facilities could be made to provide easily accessible sharps bins for used syringes and secure containers for accepting unwanted medicine from the public. As some of the medicine looks to be originating from China, the HKSAR government will have to collaborate with its Guangdong counterparts to find the sources on the mainland.
Paul Zimmerman is the CEO of Designing Hong Kong, a Southern District Councillor and the co-convenor of Save Our Country Parks alliance.
To advertise, email email@example.com or call 2776 2772.
To advertise, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2776 2772
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To advertise, email email@example.com or call 2776 2772
To advertise, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2776 2772
MID-LEVELS.CO | 47
The Editor-at-Large of Foodie tells Jennifer Lien about how she took a chance on Hong Kong in her twenties and has never looked back
busses allowed. In my older apartment complex and there are bigger flats and more families. It feels like people are here for a longer stay – you get to build deeper roots. ow well do you know your neighbours? H I know all the neighbours on my floor. It’s a very family friendly building. My son, Emile, has playdates with other kids in our building and the other towers. Where are you most likely to be found on a Sunday? Hiking. I love Mount Austin, hiking and picnicking out there, meditating and chilling. That’s where I recharge.
Why did you decide to move to Hong Kong? I moved here on a whim, thinking I’d be back home in Canada in six months. I didn’t even sell my car. My only preparation was watching Jackie Chan movies and reading the Hong Kong Lonely Planet guide on the plane ride over. I didn’t know anyone when I landed. What was your first job in Hong Kong? My first job was in event planning, a really fun job for someone in their early twenties because you get to see different parts of Hong Kong society. It was exciting to work with clients like Vivienne Westwood, Joyce, and Lane Crawford. Tell me about your job now. As a young mum, working at Foodie keeps me connected to society. It’s a fun, flexible job and everyone is really down to earth. All of us in the Editorial team are mums, so we understand scheduling limitations and try to cover for each other. What do you like about living in Mid-Levels? Living in Mid-Levels is about convenience. If I didn’t have that, I might consider moving back to Canada. I live on Conduit Road which is really nice because there are no
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Where do you like to eat? As Conduit Road is very residential, I usually go to Sheung Wan or Central to eat. I like the noodle shops such as Kau Kee. The line always looks scary, but if you wait five minutes you’ll get in. The curry beef brisket is better than the original in my opinion. In the evenings, Foxglove is a really cool bar and I like the lobster rolls there (full disclosure: I am investor in Foxglove). Toritama is one of my favourite yakitori restaurants. The chicken neck skewers are very good. Ronin by the Yardbird people is a great spot for date night and really underhyped. The mackerel sashimi with persimmon is a favourite. hat is the best thing about Mid-Levels? W The convenience. I think it’s the best place to live in Hong Kong for what I want: a convenient lifestyle close to food, shopping and work. But it’s also quiet. What advice do you have for those new to the city? Hong Kong is all about who you meet along the way. Here, people are really open – you get opportunities just by going out there and meeting people. I think most of what I have in life is because of who I met. It was never like, “I want to do this,” I just fell into things. To keep up with Celia’s foodie adventures, visit girlmeetscooking.com
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