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August 2017


For Thought

How did food blogger Christine Wong get 80,000 followers?

BACK TO SCHOOL What’s on our shopping list

the d n u o Ar in world nts ura 8 resta

At home with Tracy Fitzpatrick

We chat to Indigo Living’s CEO


The really useful magazine August 2017



44 12

8 PEOPLE 4 Snapped! Southside’s social life HONG KONG ADVENTURES 6 Stella So heads to… Aberdeen THE PLANNER 8 Happening in August What’s on FAMILY 12 Back to school essentials Stationery, notebooks, planners and more NEWS 14 What’s going on? In your backyard GIVEAWAYS 18 Free stuff Fab things to win

53 FIVE MINUTES WITH... 20 Christine Wong Instagram-famous NYC-based food blogger LOCAL 22 Pink dolphins seeing red? Wildlife threatened by development projects COVER STORY 24 Home truths Inside the homes of three interior designers EDUCATION 36 Parkview International Pre-School Behind the scenes ARTS & CULTURE 40 Collector profiles: George Wong We tour one of the city’s largest private art collections

26 EATING 44 Around the world in 8 days Food from all corners of the world. Plus Nibbles BIG DAY OUT 50 Aberdeen Fish Market Take a tour of seafood central

ZIM CITY 66 Paul Zimmerman on... Medical waste on beaches SOUTHSIDE SECRETS 72 The Ghost of Eucliffe Repulse Bay’s spooky demolished castle

TRAVEL 52 Cambodia From Angkor Wat to Tonlé Sap PETS 62 Ask Dr. Pauline Food, toilet training, and barking explained HOROSCOPE 64 You will meet a tall, dark stranger... Adam White predicts your future



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Want to write for Southside Magazine? Contact editorial@hongkongliving.com



people Snaps from Southside


have your say Sheko Challenge

“What Hong Kong issue would you like to see addressed?”

They should give us free ice cream every day!

- Saya

I wish they wouldn’t hassle us about flying drones. They’ve made everywhere a no-fly zone.

- Ash

I’d really like to have outdoor seating - proper tables and outdoor umbrellas, not just stools.

- Agathe There should be more dog-friendly places. We can’t bring dogs to the beach, or even to many parks.

- Jane

More outdoor dining. It would be lovely to have restaurants on the beach, but everything is so government-owned right now.

- Katie We need more places for sports and relaxing. The city is so fastpaced, but there aren’t any big parks or green spaces to calm down. It would be nice to take care of the environment as well as the big buildings.

- Yuval SOUTHSIDE.HK | 5

HK adventures h, mont Each artist local explores So of e t S lla corner w e n y a it t he c





AUG 26–27

Stanley Plaza Beer and Fitness Party

Link’s Stanley Plaza is bringing the first outdoor beer and fitness party to Hong Kong on 26 and 27 August. Take the heat off with a series of fun and relaxing fitness classes, including popular Beer Yoga and Hong Kong’s first ever juice yoga along Stanley Plaza’s waterfront promenade. Don’t miss the live music and game booths, as well as beer sampling. 2-7pm.

EVERY THU AND FRI Hong Kong Beach Water Polo Beat the heat this summer with Hong Kong Beach Water Polo. Founded by Doug Woo in 2010, the volunteer-led club is made up of men and women of different sporting abilities. The group trains twice a week: once at Island School and once at different local beaches. The club run the annual International Hong Kong Beach Water Polo Tournament which is scheduled to take place on October 28 and 29 this year. The price per session is $50 for adults and $20 for students. Thursdays 7.30-9pm (Island School); Saturdays 3pm-5pm (beaches). Further details on facebook.com/HongKongBeachWaterPolo

AUG 4-5 Ink Global The Young Artists Development Foundation is showcasing 500 of the best ink paintings in the world. The exhibition hopes to foster an appreciation for the beautiful art form and enhance its position in the international art scene. The Hong Kong Convention and


Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai. Free Admission. To find out more go inkglobal.org or call 2885 0172.

AUG 4-7 Eugene Baby Fair

experience, which includes tailoring for the British Royal Family. Registration for the fair is highly recommended. Call 2825 4821 / 2825 4871, or email mohkg-catering@mohg.com

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 5-6 Mandarin Oriental Wedding 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

AUG 6 Human-dog speed dating & dog adoption Spend your Sunday afternoon with a couple of furry ‘dates’. Online registration has now passed but walk-ins for dog adoption are welcome. 3-6pm, 3/3rds, Unit D, 22/F, Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang.

SUP Yoga Express your love for the water by doing yoga while stand up paddle surfing. Certified instructors Nadine Bubner and Diana Cheung will be on hand to help you keep afloat. 2.30pm-4pm on the 5th, 10-11.30am on the 20th. Stanley Bay. Email supyogahongkong@gmail.com to book your session.

AUG 5 & 20

happening in August in a photographic tour of its most famous and most underappreciated spaces. Free entry. Visit 58 Hollywood Road and PMQ at 35 Aberdeen Street to renew your love for the city.

AUG 24 Curry & Comedy evening A night of entertainment with five comedians in aid of Free to Run, a charity which uses power of sports to help women and girls overcome the harmful effects of conflict and discrimination. Tickets are $500 per person including semibuffet and a drink. To book, email grace.lee@wifasia.org. 6:30pm, CHAMPS, The Charterhouse, Causeway Bay.

AUG 25-26 ‘Les Étoiles du Ballet’ by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia AUG 6 Mummy’s Day Out at Baumhaus

AUG 12-13 Salsa Summer Party

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 some 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.

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 Lefthanders Day AUG 13 Southern District X-Country Race

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. $200300. 8pm. Studio Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tickets available at urbtix.hk

8.30am, Aberdeen Country Park. The registration deadline has now passed but the event is open to the public.

AUG 14 Back to school Autumn term begins at ESF schools.

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

AUG 7-11 Woodland Pre-School programmes Repulse Bay Montessori, Beachside Repulse Bay, Woodlands Pokfulam, and Woodlands Kennedy Town are all hosting summer camps this month. Enroll your child in the Summer Fun programme, a comprehensive and diverse programme featuring musical, culinary, arts, drama and sports activities. Alternatively, focus on fitness in the Summer Sports & Games programme. Visit woodlandschools.com

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


planner 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

Endless Summer Ice Cream Festival

Try out various flavours of icecream and a series of family-friendly and dog-friendly ice-cream related activities. There will be interactive workshops, a rooftop cinema, and a live Turkish icecream performance. Free admission. Every Saturday and Sunday, 12pm-7pm. Level 2, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road.

AUG 26 Endless Summer Hong Kong International Reggae Ska Festival The city’s largest celebration of Jamaican music is now in its third year and claims to have the 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.

UNTIL AUG 27 Ocean Park Summer Splash 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. 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 28 Seven Sisters Festival Sometimes informally referred to as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day’, the Seven Sisters Festivals originates in a Chinese legend about the stars 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).

happening in August

BOOK NOW SEPT 2 Hong Kong Blue Tie Ball

SEPT 9-11 YAANA Bike Challenge

This charity ball raises awareness of mental health and substance abuse, and supports wellness programs for young people. Held at the Hong Kong Football Club and hosted by Hong Kong’s rugby community. Expect live music, a delicious dinner, and great company. All proceeds go to batyr and KELY Support Group. $1,000 for a single ticket, book online at at ticketflap.com

The first ever YAANA Bike Challenge is scheduled to take place in Vietnam. The project invites community-minded corporate managers to come together to promote sustainable living and to raise funds for Operation Smile. Operation Smile is an international medical charity organisation that provides hundreds and thousands of young people free surgery for facial deformities such as cleft lip. The threeday 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 more details about the event including individual and company packages visit yaana-ventures.com

OCT 28-29 ABBA Mania The show recreates the last live concert of the internationally loved Swedish pop group ABBA as a tribute to their enduring appeal today. Come to the Hong Kong Academy for

Performing Arts’ Lyric Theatre to enjoy the show. Tickets start at $395. Visit hkticketing.com for more details.

NOV 4-5 Ed Sheeran Live in Hong Kong Ed Sheeran is bringing his much anticipated World Tour to Hong Kong’s AsiaWorld Expo for two nights only, right off the back of his phenomenal comeback album ‘Divide’. Tickets available at hkticketing.com

Got an event? We can publish the details for free. Email editorial@hongkongliving.com.



Back to school Essentials for the new academic year. By Trisha Harjani

Varsity laptop bag $289 from Cotton On 34-36 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2367 2190 cottonon.com/hk BATTING boxes (set of 3) black $179.90 from IKEA Stores across Hong Kong including Causeway Bay, 3125 0888 ikea.com

16oz Pink Stainless Steel Tumbler $225 from Starbucks Stores across Hong Kong, 2509 1007, starbucks.com.hk

Kindle E-Reader $999 from EmotionTech emotiontech.hk, $999 from EmotionTech, 3427 3627 emotiontech.hk

50ml Dettol hand sanitizer $23 from Market Place by Jasons Stores across Hong Kong including Seymour Terrace Mid-Levels marketplacebyjasons.com Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit 2 $1,299 from Nike Stores across Hong Kong, 8212 2122 nike.com.hk Sweet Collection 2-Pack Notebooks $110 from kikki.K Stores across Hong Kong including Prince’s Building, Central, 2116 0870 kikki-k.com

KEY Cable $250 from Native Union Nam Wo Hong Building, 148 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, 2522 0803, nativeunion.hk

12 Colours Gel Ink Pen Set $95 from MUJI Stores across Hong Kong including IFC and PMQ, 3971 3120, muji.com.hk


too cool Black Napa Leather School Shoes $450 from Simply Shoes Remex Centre, No. 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, simplyshoes.com Travel Umbrella $375 from Shopbob shopbop.com Urban Outfitters Mint Daily Journal $160 from OHH DEER ohhdeer.com

Heartcombe pencil case $180 from Jack Wills Stores across Hong Kong including Harbour City (3101 9776) and Leighton Centre Causeway Bay (3105 1798) jackwills.com

Philips Earphones $195 from HMV Stores across Hong Kong, hmv.com.hk 2739 0268

Herschel Supply Co. backpack $782 from Herschel Woaw Store, 11 Gough Street, Sheung Wan, 2253 1313 woawstore.com

Hardshell Mac Case $398 from Apple Store Stores across Hong Kong including IFC apple.com/hk/en

Kids’ Happy Jackson Lunchbox $150 from J.Crew Various locations including IFC, Central, 2628 5611, jcrew.com/hk

Unisex training bag $499 from Adidas Stores across Hong Kong, 2456 5531 shop.adidas.com.hk

Samsung 128GB USB flash drive $365 from Amazon amazon.com

MACKERI clock with noticeboard $229.90 from IKEA Stores across Hong Kong including Causeway Bay, 3125 0888, ikea.com

Crocbite Pocket Puncher $68 from Homeless Stores across Hong Kong including 29 Gough Street, Central, 2581 1880 homelessexpress.com



HULA OPENS STUDIO AT WONG CHUK HANG Online marketplace HULA, which combines fashion, charity, and sustainability, has opened a new retail studio at Wong Chuk Hang. Shoppers must make an appointment to visit this unique combination of showroom and store, where they can try clothes on as well as see the newest pieces not yet published on the website. Founded by Sarah Fung and Vivien Fung Thomas, HULA offers designer clothing sourced from fashion industry insiders for deeply discounted prices. Customers are also encouraged to resell unwanted designer purchases as part of the fight against consumerism and unethical manufacturing. To this end, 5 per cent of HULA’s profits are donated to partnered charities such as Liberty Asia, Food Angel and Habitat for Humanity. Find out more at thehula.com. 5B, Phase One, Regency Centre, 39 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang.

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 highestranking 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.


LAWMAKERS ADD FUNDING FOR MTR SOUTH ISLAND LINE On July 14, the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee approved an extra $286.2 million of funding for the MTR South Island Line. Proposed by Daniel Chung Kum-wah and Frank Chan-fan, Director of Highways and Secretary for Transport and Housing, respectively, the funds will cover infrastructure such as drainage and road works. Although the railway offers more convenient options for Southside’s public transport, pan-

Democratic lawmakers have criticised the extended funds, accusing the government of poor planning and unnecessary cost overruns. With this latest measure, the line’s total cost has risen to $1.2 billion. Unveiled in December 2016, the South Island Line (East) connects Admiralty and South Horizons. A second railway, the South Island Line (West), is still under planning and will connect HKU to Wong Chuk Hang.





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 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 8am each morning, available at mooncake.peninsula.com

The Queen Mary Hospital has been undergoing renovation since 2014, and three years on, progress is promising. The first phase of the project has seen roads widened and a link bridge constructed. The conversion of the Senior Staff Quarters is set to finish this year, completing all necessary preparatory works. The next phase, Main Works, will commence in 2018 and finish in 2019. The Clinical Pathology Building, University Pathology Building and Houseman Quarters will be demolished, to be replaced by a new block. This six-year redevelopment aims for enhanced accessibility, better research facilities, and a revamped educational programme. Learn more at ha.org.hk/qmh. 102 Pok Fu Lam Road, High West

GOLDEN MONKEY CUSTOMS SEIZES SMUGGLED GOODS OPENS IN WONG FROM MALAYSIA CHUK HANG The classic Hong Kong food court concept is revamped in the new Golden Monkey restaurant in Wong Chuk Hang, set to open in August 28. With a variety of dishes from across Southeast Asia, Golden Monkey offers everything from banh mi to fried rice to octopus salads. Make sure to order a bowl of flavourful pho, courtesy of Central restaurant Pho Bar. The noodle joint is partnering with Golden Monkey to offer authentic Vietnamese beef noodles, along with healthier options such as zucchini noodles. For a leafy lunch, try a made-to-order salad at the Garden Bar with diverse toppings such as barbecued meat or fresh fruit. Shop G08, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, 2320 2438


July was a busy month for both smugglers and customs officers. On July 4, the Customs and Excise Department seized 7.2 tons of elephant tusks with an estimated value of $72 million, Hong Kong’s largest ivory bust in 30 years. Then on July 12, customs seized $8.2 million worth of illegal cigarettes, hidden in four shipping containers. In both cases, the smuggled goods were discovered in containers from Malaysia. The elephant tusks had been hidden beneath layers of frozen fish, and customs officials traced the

smugglers to a trading company in Tuen Mun. Meanwhile, the 304 cartons of contraband untaxed cigarettes were declared as secondhand vehicle parts, and officials believe the package was en route to Taiwan. 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. Call 2545 6182 to report any suspected smuggling to the customs department.


win at southside.hk


enter to win!

Waterfall Sports and Wellnes Perfect your golf swing at Golf Waterfall. Conveniently located next to the Olympic MTR station, the club is equipped with a multi-storey driving range, diversified short driving range and bunker and multicurvature nine-hole putting and chipping green. We’re giving away a companion golf membership offer, valued at $1,000.

Azzita HoverLand Channel your inner Marty Mcfly in this hoverboard experience at Azzita HoverLand. With this voucher, you will get to try out hoverboarding under guidance for 20 minutes. We are giving away 30 Hoverboard Experience vouchers worth up to $2,670 in total.

Younibody Younibody offers holistic healthcare services, including bioresonance therapy and lab testing services in seven locations across Hong Kong. Don’t let the technical term scare you - bioresonance therapy is great for children and people suffering from allergies, skin problems such as eczema, and attention deficit disorders (ADD). We’re giving away a free quantum health test and 50 per cent off your first bioresonance therapy session, valued at $1,970 in total.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (ABRIDGED) Experience William Shakespeare as you never have before; see all 37 plays in just 97 minutes. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (ABRIDGED) has been performed to millions around the world, including London, USA, New Zealand, Japan and finally Hong Kong. We’re giving away a family set of four tickets, worth $2,380 in total, to the opening night at 8pm on September 19.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get all our giveaways delivered straight to your inbox: southside.hk/subscribe



five minutes with


Tom Hilditch tom@hongkongliving.com


Editor-in-Chief Shreena Patel shreena@hongkongliving.com Contributing Editor Carolynne Dear carolynne@hongkongliving.com Acting Editor Eric Ho eric@hongkongliving.com Editorial Assistant Trisha Harjani trisha@hongkongliving.com


Design Manager Cindy Suen cindy@hongkongliving.com Graphic Designer Anna Schulteisz anna@hongkongliving.com


Digital Assistant Cora Chan cora@hongkongliving.com

Thanks to

Adam White Jai Rane Jessie Yeung Kate Davies Paul Zimmerman Dr. Pauline Taylor Rory Mackay Stella So Viola Gaskell

Published by

Hong Kong Living Ltd. Floor LG1, 222 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Photo by Kes Lei

HONG KONG hongkongliving.com


Hong Kong bred, NYC-based and Instafamous. Wong talks to Trisha Harjani about growing up as an HKIS-kid and her transition into a food consultant I am a Social Media Specialist and a freelance photographer for Whole Foods Market Northeast Region. I’m regularly commissioned by companies who want to promote their products on my page. I also manage social media accounts for health professionals. I grew up in Pok Fu Lam and Repulse Bay - I went to school at HKIS. Back then, the old Repulse Bay Hotel was around and the beach was a sleepy little place with only a Dairy Farm ice cream shop, a supermarket and one Chinese restaurant. One of my favourite things to do was to run on the path between Repulse Bay and Deep Water Bay something I plan on doing at least once during my stay this time. I’ve always loved drawing and the creative process of making something from nothing. I attended Parsons School of Design in NYC. After college, I moved back to Hong Kong and founded my own design studio - Ant Co. A few years later, we merged with Asia City Publishing to form Little Red Hen, a corporate publishing design studio. We created logos and marketing materials for companies, including many of the city’s F&B groups, such as Elite Concepts, the 97 Group, Mimosa Group, M Restaurants, and the Cafe Deco Group. Eventually I moved to Tokyo, then back to NYC. My food journey started when I took a break from work. I had two toddlers and I wanted to ensure that they were eating foods that wouldn’t harm them, by preparing most of their meals using whole ingredients. They’ve always been healthy, adventurous eaters whom other mothers would envy, so I started a blog to share kid-friendly recipes.

I enrolled in a year-long program at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. A third of it focused on becoming a health coach and another third on how to start your own business. It opened my eyes to the knowledge that food can heal as well as—with marketing and the convenience of factory-made produce—harm. From there, I began my journey into a plant-strong diet and I haven’t looked back.

I always thought it was a myth, but “brain fog” is a very real condition

I always thought it was a myth, but “brain fog” is a very real condition. My energy levels are now higher and I’m much better at

remembering things. I would never have recognized this if I hadn’t made my meals cleaner. I am certified as a health coach but I do not practice as one. My mission is to inspire the beauty of healthy eating with tasty, easy-tomake, plant-strong recipes. The role of a health coach is to inspire, keep individuals accountable, help them to understand their eating habits, and encourage healthy eating by “crowding out” addictive foods. Their work complements, but does not replace, that of healthcare professionals. Home-cooking in NYC is an anomaly, but I cook most days for my family because it’s better for our health, it’s more cost-efficient, and the food tastes infinitely better. Every day, I’m the first to get up. I collect my thoughts while preparing breakfast and lunch. When everyone is out the door, I catch up on social media and emails.

plants and flours

The Instafamous ratatouille

Exercising each day is important. I walk everywhere within the city and take a group exercise class: either yoga, zumba, or swimming. This is usually followed by a trip to the supermarket or greenmarket to shop for ingredients for either dinner or a photoshoot. One doesn’t need to wait to be diagnosed with a condition or illness to want to be healthy. All our food choices not only affect our own health, but the health of the earth we live in. A kitchen full of colourful fruits and vegetables has a lot more appeal than a cabinet full of colourful medicines!

The key to being healthy is to listen to your body. It’s different for each person, but if there is any discomfort such as bloating, headaches, brain fog, joint pain, skin outbreaks, fatigue, excess weight gain, etc... it might be a sign that a food is aggravating your system. By cutting out gluten, meat and dairy and focusing on whole ingredient “real” foods, I’ve eliminated my vertigo, muscle cramping and skin problems.

community-sourced recipe share company with a following of 1.2million.

The most underrated ingredient is fresh herbs. They’re often used as garnishes, but in reality are packed with essential vitamins and minerals and have powerful cleansing properties. Coriander is one of the best detoxifiers for the body, it helps eliminate the accumulations of toxic metals in the body. I love to make a pesto out of it.

I am hoping to write a book in the future. You can find out more about my recipes, workshops and 10-day online reboot at @conscious_cooking on Instagram and yommme.com

My go-to meal when I’m busy is a proteinpacked, veggie-loaded green smoothie. Otherwise, when in doubt, a curry of any kind is always a favourite. I always love emptying-outthe-fridge meals, which combine leftovers and fresh ingredients. In fact, one of my most popular posts was inspired by the Pixar movie Ratatouille. This image is “Instafamous” having been shared on numerous pages, and ranked the third most popular post in 2016 on @thefeedfeed, a

The advice I would give Hongkongers is that home cooking is the most important thing one can do to improve health. Try to use locallysourced, whole ingredients and seasonal foods naturally, avoiding sauces and flavourings that are loaded with sugar and MSG.

Upcoming workshops • July 29 (Sat), 3:30-5:30pm – “Our Seasonal Plate: Farming & Cooking Demo” with Rooftop Republic, The Fringe Club (Central) • August 3 (Thu), 7pm – “Summer Rollin’: It’s-Too-Hot-To-Cook Meal Prep” at The Mixing Bowl (Sheung Wan) • August 8 (Tue), 6:30-9pm – “Instagram Engagement & Food Styling workshop” with Green Queen, UpTown Coworking space (Shek Tong Tsui) Book online via yommme.com/events



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The future of the Chinese white dolphin in Hong Kong waters appears uncertain as conservationists raise further concerns about the Sustainable Lantau Blueprint. Jai Rane reports


s the government prepares to implement its new Lantau development plan, the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society (HKDCS) continues to express concern over the impact on the island’s iconic Chinese white dolphin population. The Sustainable Lantau Blueprint (“the Blueprint”) is an infrastructure project that claims to be “formulated under the principle of a fine balance between development and conservation”. It aims to develop Lantau into a leisure, tourist and international transport hub whilst taking measures to preserve its ecological life. Such measures include the designation of four separate marine parks. However, in an official statement released on June 15 HKDCS accuses the blueprint of using flowery language to hide a lack of conservation value.

No dolphins have been spotted in the northeastern waters of Lantau Island for two years

The Society notes that two of the parks —Southwest Lantau and Soko Islands— will not be ready until 2018 and 2019, respectively. Moreover, it says that the fragmentary way in which the parks are spaced means that dolphins will not have safe “corridors” in which to swim freely between protected zones. The society also points out that two of the four marine parks suggested in the Blueprint are in fact the same “compensational” parks that were originally promised to

facilitate the approval of a third runway at Hong Kong airport. HKDCS chairman Taison Chang Ka-tai believes that the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, which began in 2009 and was completed last month, bears some responsibility for the sharp fall in pink dolphin numbers in north Lantau. Officials claim the bridge is designed to cause the least disturbance to the local dolphin population. Captains of the construction boats were given training on local marine life, and a Dolphin Exclusion Zone (DEZ) of 250-metre radius was designated during certain stages. Despite these precautions, the Hong Kong Cetacean Research Project reports that no dolphins have been spotted in the northeastern waters of Lantau Island for the past two years. Sightings of the Chinese white dolphin (CWD), also known as

Photo by By Wing1990hk via Wikimedia Commons The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge is due to open at the end of this year

the pink dolphin, have been recorded in Hong Kong waters since the 1600s. The creatures were selected as the official mascots of Hong Kong’s handover to China two decades ago. However, overfishing, marine traffic, and construction projects have taken a massive toll on their population in recent years. Last month a pregnant pink dolphin was found dead washed up on Lamma Island shore, carrying her full term unborn calf. The Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong (OPCFHK) says there was no evidence of net entanglement or physical trauma on either body. However, the incident dealt a heavy blow on an already rapidly depleting dolphin population. In what is becoming a disturbing trend, the Chinese white dolphin population has dramatically declined, from 65 in 2015-16 to 47 in 2016-17. A recent government report by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department revealed that the there were only 17 juvenile dolphins sighted over the past year, the lowest amount ever recorded. WWF Hong Kong Conservation Manager Samantha Lee says the statistics are “very alarming because around 10 years ago there were close to 200 individuals recorded in Hong Kong... The low amount of calves is especially worrying because it indicates that the dolphin population may not be healthy.” HKDCS Project Officer, Yuki Lui, says “the CWD’s fate is comparable to that facing Hongkongers looking for living space. We need to act now! There has been a 75 per cent drop in dolphin numbers between 2003 and 2016 and there was only one newborn dolphin sighted in 2016. This is alarming and it is now a critical moment for CWD!” HKDCS has recommended expanding the dolphin habitat by conjoining all the marine parks around Chek Lap Kok and Lantau. This safe haven would provide over 10,000 hectares of protected space, twice the current amount. HKDCS is also urging the government to divert the high speed ferry routes that divide the dolphin habitat in southern Lantau. The society’s suggestions have been released in an online petition under their ‘Saving the Handover Mascot’ campaign. It aims to collect 10,000 signatures to put further pressure on the government. “In order to get the full picture of the dolphins’ state it is imperative that the Hong Kong government engages in cross-border information gathering,” says Lee. “They need to monitor the number of CWD in the whole Pearl River Estuary and not only those on the Hong Kong side.” To join HKDCS’ ‘Saving the Handover Mascot’ petition, visit hkdcs.org/saving-the-handover-mascot/online-petition


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through the keyhole

Home truths

Indigo Living CEO Tracy Fitzpatrick and two interior designers talk about their latest projects and homes with Jessie Yeung SOUTHSIDE.HK | 25

cover story Tracy Fitzpatrick Recently appointed CEO of Indigo Living Tracy Fitzpatrick invites us inside her beautiful Pok Fu Lam home, where an East-meets-West style reflects her own life of travel. Tell me about yourself. I’m from New Zealand originally, I’ve been here for twenty years. When I first arrived, I was working in container shipping. The founder of Indigo Living, John McLennan, and I were friends. He asked me to do some consulting for Indigo Living. I love design - I come from a family of designers but, before this, I’d never actually worked in the industry. Has your role in Indigo Living shifted since then? When I first came in ten years ago, it was more just strategy and operations. At that time we had about 44 staff; now we’ve got 200. My background was in logistics and running business systems. I added in the structure to the business. Then I became the CEO. John is now the Chairman and takes care of the design side; he leaves running the business to me. What was the corporate environment like when you first arrived as an expat woman? When I first arrived in 1996 it was still very traditional and male-dominated at a senior level. It took me a few weeks to realise I was the only woman wearing pants instead of a skirt and it turned out it was still against company policy. There were a few cases on my trips when we had to change location because I was the only female and the restaurant or club we were going to was male-only. Maternity leave was also a new experience for everyone but we worked our way through it. Did you feel excluded? I was extremely fortunate to work with an extremely good bunch of gentlemen who respected me for the work I did and the different perspective I gave to the business. What drew you to Pok Fu Lam? Schools, work, and I love being close to the mountains to do a lot of hiking and running. For me, I need to be near a hill, which is quite easy in Hong Kong. What did you have in mind when designing your home? I always like clean, white backgrounds, and layering it out with treasures that I find. It’s very much East meets West - having travelled throughout Asia for twenty years, I find things from India or Indonesia or China, so it’s really collecting memories.


through the keyhole

What’s your favourite object in the house? I’ve got a pair of Chinese chairs. I just love them; they’re antiques I bought in Macau 18 years ago. They don’t fit that well, but they have to stay.

nice to go somewhere with that amazing sense of space.

How would you describe your personal sense of style? I prefer more of a classic, elegant style. Slightly feminine, but not flowery. I think I could have been born in the 1920s, I love that colonial style.

What should every home have? A great place for all the family to come together, whether that’s the dining table or a living space. Nowadays, everyone is so busy in their rooms and on their computers, you need to create a time and place to all sit down together, whether that be at mealtimes or to play games or talk.

Has your style evolved through the years? It’s probably developed over time, but when I was young, my brothers and sisters all played rugby and football and basketball, and I did classical ballroom dancing. So I guess I’ve always been quite classic.

What’s your best piece of Interior design advice? Keep the basics basic, like your sofas, so you can layer on them each season. That way you can easily change your place to be more summery or more wintery.

Do you redecorate often? I do seasonally. I love Christmastime and making the place feel warm and cosy. In summer, I make it a lot brighter and fresher, mainly with cushions and flowers and accessories. Out of your travels, where has been the most interesting for design? I like the villas in Thailand. I love the way they can create an entire holiday resort feel just by the materials they use, and living in Hong Kong, it’s so

Who are your biggest influences in terms of design? When I was learning about design and looking at magazines, it was actually Kelly Hoppen, whose furniture line we now carry. I love her explanation on adding life to a home with a neutral colour palette paired with textural contrast and accent pieces. What would you tell young people aspiring towards a career in design? I would say that they need to be

extremely curious about the world around them and about the world of global trends. It is a very satisfying field to imagine something, have others buy into your creation and then bring it to life. Favourite colour? My favourite colour is green, my favourite noncolour would be taupe. Any particularly memorable projects? The one I like at the moment is the project we’re doing in Nam Chung. We’re designing furniture that fits into really small apartments, to create something for the Hong Kong market that’s stylish and useful. We had to think about storage, how to use limited space - and that’s becoming quite an art form in Hong Kong as space get smaller and smaller.


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Rowena Gonzales The award-winning founder of Liquid Interiors Rowena Gonzales explains how she combined health, wellness, sustainability and comfort in this signature project in Wan Chai. Tell me about yourself. I’m originally from Montreal, but have been living in Hong Kong for ten years. I’ve had Liquid Interiors for eight. How did Liquid Interiors begin? When I first moved to Hong Kong, design was a lot more about luxury, and it was pretty soulless; I wanted to make a difference. I looked first at sustainability, but something happened a few years later which changed my whole career path. At age five, my nephew became a cancer survivor. Leukemia isn’t hereditary, so the cause had to be environmental factors. My sister saw many different naturopaths, and I was surprised to find them all giving advice on how to change the home - how to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields and make sure the water was pure. It made me realise how many things in the home can make you sick. How did this event shape your goals for Liquid Interiors? When the WELL Building Standard came out, I found that most of its criteria were the same things naturopaths were telling my sister to do in her home. So we started incorporating the WELL Building Standard in our residential projects. I’d never received such good feedback in my life people were saying things like their respiratory problems had gone away.


What did the client ask for in this project? Somewhere she could relax, so we gave her home a retreat feeling. We put a ecosmart fire in the living room, which burns ethanol so there’s no exhaust. The low beams didn’t really work for the space, so we covered them with barn wood and veneer for a relaxing villa feel. For furniture, we chose things that didn’t look new, but weathered - that choice of materials gives a lived-in feeling. How did you tailor the home for health and wellness? One thing is the integration of fresh air into their ventilation system. Split type air conditioners just re-circulate the same air, so we installed separate fresh air ducts in the living room. All the bedrooms also have integrated fresh air systems

so when they sleep at night, they’re not just breathing the same stale air. How did you style the home to her lifestyle? We created the Den, which is a study room for the kids with workstations and cushions. There’s also a TV, so they can play video games there and not in the living room. Behind the TV we put a hidden murphy bed - when it’s up, it just looks like a painting. Our client loves art, so we had to do something that makes sense for her. One thing every home should have? A lot of the times you come home, you go straight to the TV and turn it on. So I’d recommend the option to close the TV, turn on the fireplace, and just have a reading space.


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Best piece of interior design advice? Make your home your sanctuary. If you can come home to a place that’s relaxing, it’s just better for your own well-being. It doesn’t have to be big - think about your lighting and have a place for everything. What is it like being a female designer in Hong Kong? The interior design field is mostly female dominated. However, most interior design business owners are men, which is disappointing. What would you tell aspiring female designers? It’s not easy. It’s a profession that you need to be passionate about to do well. Expect a lot of late nights, but if you’re passionate you will feel much more satisfied and fulfilled with your job than many of your friends. What are your biggest design influences? I travel to a lot of eco-resorts, and it makes me wonder why every place isn’t like that. I really like the Alila Ubud in Bali. I love that style - modern but still natural.



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Mary Wong The founder of Haven Design, shows us around one of her recent residential projects in Stanley. From a handmade red cedar bathtub to feature lights shipped from overseas, everything adds luxury and personality. Tell me a little about yourself. I studied architecture at Hong Kong University, then started working in a Hong Kong firm that does both architecture and interiors. I enjoyed interior design, so after a few years I started my own interiors business. Were there many other women studying architecture? Over half of my bachelor’s class was female! But many changed to different fields after graduation, so there were more boys in the master’s degree class. Have you ever faced obstacles around gender? I feel girls in Hong Kong get the same opportunities at work as guys (at least in the design field), but I once worked in the mainland and where there is still bias against female designers. How do you usually choose your projects? We get a lot of referrals from friends, from previous clients - this project was referred by an old friend. What was your brief? They wanted a facelift for the master bedroom, the bathroom, and they wanted


to do something with the games room. The couple is really fun-loving and they hold a lot of parties, so I said, ‘why don’t we just make it like a gentlemen’s club?’ Was it a collaborative process or were the clients hands-off? We worked with the clients really closely. The design work we do is highly customised and should reflect the personality of the client. Did you design the rooms with a common theme in mind? Because the house is all half-floors, we decided against one unified theme for the whole house. We wanted each half-floor to feel totally different. The games room is

about bold colours and objects, and the bedroom is more luxurious and warm. How did you tailor the apartment to their lifestyle? The bedroom is more for the wife, who wanted something warm. She really loved wood, so we did Italian walnut flooring and matching wardrobes. The games room is the husband’s - it’s got a sports-bar-slashgames-room kind of personality. What’s your favourite object in the apartment? I really like the lights in the atrium, which are hand-blown glass and shipped from the Czech Republic. These three lights, with


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different sizes and different heights, welcome people coming into the atrium. What interior design advice would you give? I would say if it’s your home, do something that reflects your personality, don’t do something generic. In Hong Kong, most people think of resale values and things like that, but I think a home should be a place that reflects your own character. How would you describe your own home? I like things clean, with attention to detail. I like things to be practical too, I think it’s important - especially in Hong Kong, where not everyone has 5,000 square feet to use.


What’s one thing every home should have? A really nice pendant lamp, or a feature lamp. Even if you have a really minimalist home, a nice feature lamp gives so much personality and makes the room livelier. Favourite colour? Dark grey. I like black, but solid black feels very heavy, and charcoal grey works better with light. What is your biggest influence or inspiration for design? I look at all kinds of things and start gathering what I like. My designs don’t have a particular style because I like exploring different things, and I don’t want to do the same look again

and again. Of course, there are preferences - I like bright and airy because it works for Hong Kong homes. But I don’t mind trying something bold, I don’t mind using colour. Memorable projects? I did a project in Kowloon for a young guy, and we added a lot of environmentallyfriendly solutions to the home. Things like how to reduce water usage, how to recycle water - we put a lot of thought into that little home. What would you say to those who aspire to become designers? Just follow your heart and do what you love, there’s nothing holding you back.



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 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, including playgroup through K1 to K3. Classes

are taught in English and Putonghua in both schools with the option 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 some students who were perhaps headed into the local system often carry on with their classmates into international schools.

a colourful world

Principal Mary Scarborough with the kids at PIPS Kowloon campus

“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 pressurised 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.’”

We don’t have a lot of homework and...that pressurised kind of set-up some kindergartens do have In keeping with the IB ideology, the school’s aim according to its mission 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


education 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 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 students’ 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 principal aims are to provide a safe and caring environment with rich and varied educational experiences so that the children

a colourful world

School Report

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 much about what was behind those double doors. It turns out there is a vibrant, colourful world of learning happening just one floor down.

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


arts & culture

COLLECTOR PROFILES: GEORGE WONG The Chairman of the Parkview Group has amassed one of the largest private art collections in Hong Kong. Trisha Harjani takes a tour


ong Kong Parkview is known for its luxury residences and serviced apartments set amidst the idyllic greenery of Tai Tam Country Park, but have you heard about its art collection? Built by late property tycoon C.S. Hwang and now under the chairmanship of his eldest son George Wong, Parkview is home to over six hundred works of art, including sculptures by Salvador Dali, paintings by Picasso and fifth century Chinese scrolls. This prolific private collection is the largest of its kind in Hong Kong. Last month, I had the chance to take a private tour, something usually open only to members and residents.


Designed to engulf the senses, all the pieces within the collection were purchased personally by George Wong, the eldest son of late property tycoon C.S. Hwang, and curated with the aid of Curatorial Director Franco Savatori. Savatori describes Wong as a true visionary, showing us the model of a building Wong designed with the ex-Saudi Arabian King Abdullah before the latter’s passing in 2015. The skyscraper was an audacious architectural project, and at 1,000 metres would been the tallest building in the world. The showcase begins in the lobby, with two grand sculptures by Dali and Botero lying in antithesis to one another. The exhibition continues with historical relics from the

A scultpure by Botero

Chinese Bronze Age and scrolls from the fifth century, once owned by royalty and nobility. Wong’s goal is to make way for art in everyday life. Indeed, Parkview’s 223 suites are the only

home is where the art is

Picasso, “Femme tenant un chat dans ses bras”, 1964

Works by Taiwanese sculptor Ju Ming

art-focused serviced apartment suites in the city. Residents can also opt to stay in a themed apartment, from ‘Animal & Safari’, ‘Rock & Roll’ and ‘Oriental’, to ‘New York 1920s’, ‘Gothic & Vampire’, ‘Hollywood’, ‘Nautical’ and ‘Derby’. Wong started to buy art after inheriting a foundational collection from his father. “He developed a strong passion for supporting emerging artists and buying on the secondary market - ancient and modern masters,” Savatori explains. Although the Parkview team declined to put a figure on the collection’s worth, citing Wong as an “incredibly private man”, Savatori says prices for individual pieces easily fall above the US$1 million mark. Acquiring these pieces requires a direct line to artists, galleries and auction houses. “Very big collectors, such as Mr. Wong, buy directly,” he says. “They are constantly surrounded by art curators, consultants and dealers, ready to suggest the best pieces on the market.” Now in his 60s, Wong has a diverse appetite for art, “building different aesthetic paths”, according to Savatori. His favourites include works by Magritte, Dali, De Lempicka, This sculpture by Dali sits in the lobby

Buddha head

Bacon, and the ancient Chinese masters, as well as his precious and rare collection of Buddhas. The oldest artefacts are the ancient bronzes from the Xia Dynasty (2070-1600 BC), two thousand years prior to the birth of Jesus

The oldest artefacts are the ancient bronzes from the Xia Dynasty (2070–1600 BC)

Christ. “Each artwork is a story by itself,” says Savatori. “He may have bought it for pure pleasure, for a charity auction, to speculate or for some other inexplicable reason...Don’t forget that art is rationality, craziness, intuition, emotion and many other human feelings - even vanity, tantrum or passing fancy - all mixed


arts & culture

Franco Savatori

George Wong is described as a very private man Inside a themed Parkview suite

together. Art collectors live all these feelings, often at the same moment. But I know he likes everything he collects, otherwise he never would buy it.” In terms of modern art, Wong is the largest collector of Dali sculptures outside of Spain. His passion for Dali originates in his belief that artists are the visionaries of today. Savatori explains, “Mr. Wong is a creative man, a visionary developer. Dali has been a living example of how creativity can influence every moment of someone’s life. He was an eclectic and versatile genius who applied his artistic vision onto everything he did, made and thought - he transformed his whole life into an artwork. Mr Wong is inspired by great artists like him.” The resulting project now on display at Hong Kong Parkview is an eclectic arrangement that represents this deeper, new age philosophy. According to Savatori, the experience aims to “transcend museum concepts”, mixing items from different periods of history to inspire residents and guests every day. Savatori asks us to abstract from conventional historical, artistic or monetary valuations of art and instead


What’s on in Southside AUG 8-28 8 over 8 Featuring eight emerging artists from Hong Kong, who currently live and work in London. The contemporary artworks presented which range from paintings to performances - interpret the number “8” as a motif through the exploration of themes of time, memory, identity and language. Tue–Sat, 11am–6pm, Rossi Rossi Gallery, 3C Yally Industrial Building, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang. For enquiries, call 3575 9417/ 9223 5731, rossirossi.com


focus on an artwork’s functional potential in isolation, outside of its traditional cultural context. He suggests that we each discover our own valuation by focusing instead on an artwork’s power to provoke and inspire creative thoughts that may not otherwise be present in daily life. For example, the exhibition includes sculptures of a humansized pen and a car-sized woman that Savatori describes as a “modification of size and therefore function and perception.” The surreal sizing of everyday items forces you to think outside the boundaries of normality. To request a space on an upcoming tour, 88 Tai Tam Reservoir Road, Tai Tam, 2812 3888

Happily Ever After Featuring works by 10 recent graduates in a range of media: drawing, painting, mixed media, installation, video and photography. Blindspot Gallery, 15/F Po Chai Industrial Building, 28 Wong Chuk Hang Road. For enquiries, call 2517 6238, blindspotgallery.com

UNTIL AUG 26 Stockroom Unveiled: Summer Group Show Showcasing works by international artists through a mix of video works, paintings, photography and sculptures. Art Statements, Unit D, 8/F, Gee Chang Hong Centre, 65 Wong Chuk Hang Road. For enquiries, call 2696 2300, artstatements.com



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


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 restaurant has stood in the heart spain 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-, two- and three- Michelin starred restaurants in

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,

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.


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


(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



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

Veal cheeks

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 throughout the year for fresh, tasty Lebanon 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 and design 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 cauliflower, chicken shish taouk or grilled


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 info@frantzenskitchen.com, frantzenskitchen.com French toast with summer truffle

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

global gastronomy

NIBBLES News from the dining scene.

Butchers Club opens lunch-only diner Burger fans have a new Southside spot to satisfy their cravings: the new Butchers Club Burger outlet in Wong Chuk Hang. Nestled in the brand’s private dining and event space The Secret Kitchen, this new weekday lunchonly diner offers old favourites as well as new creations. Try the classic Michelin Guide-listed bacon cheeseburger (The Burger, $100), or a vegetarian burger (Beyond Classic, $120), or perhaps something a little healthier, such as one of the locally-grown summer salads. Food aside, the Butchers Club Burger also promises diners a unique atmosphere, with its wall of Titanic-era Louis Vuitton trunks, a vintage roulette table from the golden age of Monte Carlo and writer’s traveling cases owned by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. 16/F & Rooftop, Shui Ki Industrial Building, 18 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, thebutchers.club, 2884 0768

Limewood launches new menu There is no better time to enjoy seafood and cold drinks by the beach than in this sweltering August heat. Located right on Repulse Bay Beach, Limewood’s new summer menu uses in-season ingredients, with dishes such as Soft Shell Crab Salad, Smokey Coleslaw in Paprika Yogurt Sauce and Barbecued New Zealand Lamb Rack. Dishes blend Thai flavours with South American cooking techniques, as well as influences from Group Corporate Chef Russell Doctrove’s own Caribbean background. To complement the hot weather and rich dishes, Limewood is also unveiling refreshing cocktails made with herbs, watermelon, pomegranate, jalapeño, and other unique twists. So sit back, watch the waves crash, and enjoy a taste of the tropical life. Shop 103-04 G/F, The Pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, limewood.hk, 2866 8668

Summer promotions at The Repulse Bay Oh, we do like to dine beside the seaside, even more so since The Repulse Bay unveiled its summer promotions. Throughout the month, continental restaurant The Verandah is serving a Summer Set Lunch ($438pp) and Summer Set Dinner ($508). Or spice up your lunch break with the Summer Set Lunch at pan-Asian restaurant Spices ($238pp, tables of four adults pay for three; tables of eight adults and pay for six), and end with oysters and champagne at Bamboo Bar. 109 Repulse Bay Road, Repulse Bay, 2292 2822 (The Verandah), 2292 2821 (Spices), therepulsebay.com


big day out

ABERDEEN FISH MARKET The Market is holding a series of tours this summer, as part of the 2017 Southern District Tourism and Culture Festival. Jessie Yeung finds out more


ongkongers often swear by their local wet markets, where they can choose their dinner from styrofoam containers of live fish and tanks of swimming shrimp. These markets are packed with fresh seafood and are a beloved part of Hong Kong culture. But how does the seafood get here and where does it come from? In most cases, Aberdeen Fish Market. Every day at 4am, while the city sleeps, Aberdeen Fish Market (“the Market”) comes to life with people, trucks, boats and, of course, fish. This is the biggest and longest-running wholesale fish market in Hong Kong. At one time, it only supplied seafood to the Tai Pak Floating Restaurant and the Jumbo Floating Restaurant; but now, over 70 percent of live seafood in the city is traded here, from small middleneck clams to king crabs and Napoleon fish. Despite the Market’s pivotal role in supplying Hongkongers with their beloved


seafood, many residents know little about it. But that’s about to change. As part of the 2017 Southern District Tourism and Culture Festival, people will have a chance to explore this local gem and enjoy some of the best seafood in Hong Kong.

Over 70 percent of live seafood in the city is traded here

The Market’s rich history began in the 19th century, harking back to Hong Kong’s origins as a fishing village. Aberdeen Harbour has always served as an important fishing port and is home

to generations of fishermen. Over the years, the Market’s popularity grew. The trading of live fish is one of the Market’s distinguishing features. In the predawn hours, the place is a flurry of activity, with buyers selecting fish from sellers and fishermen unloading goods - they have to act quickly to preserve freshness. The fish come mainly from the Dongsha Islands, the South China Sea, Hainan and the Philippines. Upon their arrival at the Market, the first batches are immediately loaded onto trucks, fully equipped with seawater buckets and oxygenated tanks, and transported to wet markets and restaurants all over Hong Kong. Live seafood used to be transported to Jordan, Lei Yue Mun and Tai Kok Tsui by motorboat, but trucks started being used following construction of the Aberdeen Tunnel in the 1970s. It takes only around 10 hours for fish caught in the Philippines to arrive live at wet market

something fishy

stalls. How’s that for fresh? “Most locals like to buy live fish in the wet market, so I ensure all the fish that arrive at my stall in Kowloon are live and active” says Mr. Lau, a wet market fish stall owner. As part of the 2017 Southern District Tourism and Culture Festival, the Hong Kong Tourism Board has organized a series of tours of the Market, to be held every Saturday morning from mid-August to September. The tours will be held mostly in Cantonese, with a special English session on September 9. There are three segments to the tour. First, in “Learn More About Seafood”, market merchandisers will share their veteran knowledge with guests: which species are most popular, what telltale signs determine a good or bad specimen, how to best cook fish and other tricks to the trade. In the second part of the tour, “Exploring the Aberdeen Fish Market”, guests will get the chance to wander the Market

Try the catch of the day at the Aberdeen Fish Market Seafood Restaurant

and see the action first-hand. The best is saved for last: the tour ends with an optional lunch at the Aberdeen Fish Market Seafood Restaurant. Usually, the restaurant is so busy and the catch so fresh that there is no set menu and visitors must book in advance to secure a meal. As part of the tour, the finest seafood of the day will be selected straight from the boats and served Cantonese-style. The first two segments of the tour are free of charge; visitors can join the meal at their own expense (highly recommended). After the tour, there’s plenty left to explore in Aberdeen. It’s a curious mixture of the modern and the traditional, a touch of old Hong

Kong amidst the skyscraper-lined harbour. Take a sampan ride or stroll along the Aberdeen Promenade next to classic junk boats saltprocessing the catch of the day. One tip: wear sensible, waterproof shoes.

Booking info The English-speaking tour is scheduled for September 9. The tour is free, but the optional seafood lunch is $350-400 per head. Download the registration form at travelsouth.hk



Did you know?

Siem Reap

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

According to legend, Cambodia came into being through the union of an Indian n Brahman named Kaundinya and a drago ss’ princess. Upon the marriage, the prince and father drank up the waters of his land over. presented them to Kaundinya to rule

Shreena Patel makes her first trip to Cambodia


ver since Angelina Jolie hit our screens in 2001 as Lara Croft, swinging from vines and running through abandoned temples in the Tomb Raider series, people across the world have been inspired to visit Cambodia—in particular Siem Reap—to see its ancient monuments for themselves. However, an international reputation is nothing new for Siem Reap. Rewind to the 1950s and ‘60s, following Cambodia’s independence from France, and the city was buzzing with famous guests, including the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (former First Lady of the United States), Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore’s first Prime Minister), Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom and then French President Charles de Gaulle. After winning the 1955 elections, patron of the arts Prince Norodom Sihanouk sought to realise his vision of Cambodia as a modern, developed country with international connections. He launched a campaign of urban development and construction, commissioning young Cambodian architects to transform the cities and provinces with their brand of “New Khmer Architecture”. This era is often remembered as one of peace and prosperity, but political repression, involvement in neighbouring conflict and a deteriorating economic situation created divisions in Cambodian society that culminated


in rise of General Lon Nol in 1970, and later in 1975, the Khmer Rouge. Cambodia entered into its darkest hour. The atrocities that took place within the country over the next few years are well known, though far beyond what most of us can imagine. Almost a quarter of the population was wiped out in less than four years.

Rewind to the 1950s and ‘60s, following Cambodia’s independence from France...the city was buzzing with famous guests

The Khmer Rouge regime was brutal, both physically and psychologically. Aiming to eradicate Cambodian society as it was and start again, its campaign of destruction targeted people, mentality, morality, medicine, education, art, religion, culture and civilization. The urban population was marched into the countryside to be used as forced labour; children were forcibly separated from their

parents; millions were tortured and killed for being “intellectuals”, from academics and artists to those who simply wore glasses. Books were burned, money and religion outlawed, hospitals and schools closed. Even after the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge by the Vietnamese in 1979, the country was plagued by a further decade of intermittent civil war. But all was not lost. In the years that have followed, Cambodia and its people have sought to rediscover their heritage and revive the enduring elements of a culture that was nearly destroyed. The process of recovery continues, with a renewed tourism industry contributing around 28 per cent of GDP in 2016, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (on a related note, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia performs in Hong Kong for the first time on August 25 and 26. Renowned for its graceful hand gestures and beautiful costumes, it has over 1,000 years of history. Tickets available at urbtix.hk). On my first visit to the country—to Siem Reap in particular—I find a town full of history with beautiful tree-lined boulevards, colonial relics, ancient temples, great food, trendy cafés, spas, an established arts and textiles scene, and a friendly and hospitable people. Siem Reap has plenty to offer families, couples, friends and solo adventurers alike, with a modern airport and numerous guesthouses and hotels. The following are my recommendations of things to do.

wat’s up? Templing Visiting the temples is a must but there are over 100 so I advise being selective. We choose three to visit in one day, starting with a sunrise trip to Angkor Wat. You need a car to get between the temples, it’s too far to walk. Passes to the temples are sold in one-day (US$37pp.), three-day and seven-day blocks. Children under 12 visit free. The one-day ticket is valid only on the day of purchase (I’m told you can also buy it from 5pm the day before, but double-check this). The main ticket office on Street 60 opens at 5am and shuts at 5:30pm. It’s cash only, prepare to queue in the morning. We hire a driver to take us round. This costs US$40 for the day (driver only, no guide). Note that at all the temples, it’s respectful to cover your shoulders and knees.

Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world

Angkor Wat—literally “City Temple” in Khmer—stretches over 160 hectares, making it the largest religious monument in the world. Built as a Hindu temple and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it also appears on the Cambodian national flag. According to inscriptions, the construction of Angkor Wat involved over 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants. Contained by a moat, it spans three levels, representing Mount Meru, centre of the universe and home of the gods in Hindu mythology. Climb the stairway to the uppermost level for the best views, although this only opens at 9:30am and there is usually a queue. Sunrise at Angkor Wat is not a solitary experience but the site is large enough to avoid big groups, especially if you steer clear of the most popular photo spots. As the sun rises, young, disheveled looking backpackers in baggy t-shirts and colourful trousers seat themselves along the temple walls, with their eyes closed in meditation (or perhaps sleep). I find myself wondering about all the history that has passed since these walls were built, many centuries ago. After returning to the hotel for breakfast, we head out to Ta Prohm (the location of Tomb Raider). This place is best described by Norman Lewis in A Dragon Apparent, Travels in Indochina (published in London, 1951). He writes, “The temple..offers none of the spectacular vistas of Angkor Vat, nor the architectural surprises of Bayon. It has therefore been maintained as a kind of reserve where the prodigious conflict between the ruins and the jungle is permitted to continue under control. The spectacle of this monstrous

Above: “Vegetable aggression” at Ta Prohm

vegetable aggression is a favourite with most visitors to the ruins...Entering the courtyards one comes into a new kind of vegetable world; not the one of branches and leaves with which one is familiar, but that of roots.” Our final temple of the day, Bayon, is located exactly at the centre of the most enduring capital of the Khmer empire, Angkor Thom— literally “Great City”. Five gates allow access to the city, though the southern gate is best restored. Flanking the causeway to each gate is a row of devas (gods) on one side and asuras (demons) on the other, a reference to the Hindu myth of the churning of the ocean of milk to

extract the elixir of life. Best known for the massive faces carved into its stone towers, Bayon is my favourite of the temples we visit.

Other places to visit Wat Bo—This is one of the town’s oldest temples and has a collection of well-preserved frescoes from the late 19th century depicting The Reamker, the Khmer interpretation of The Ramayana, an ancient Indian epic. Tonlé Sap—Visit the floating houses on this seasonally inundated freshwater lake, connected to the Mekong River.



Bayon, Angkor Thom

Food and drink Khmer Touch Cuisine Tasty Khmer cuisine, using fresh, local ingredients, good for sharing. I particularly liked the Lok Lak (wok fried beef with crushed pepper, spring onion and lime pepper sauce). Sivutha Blvd, Old Market Area khmertouchcuisine.com Mie Cafe Fine dining which combines Khmer and western cuisine in a small, garden setting. The food here is fantastic. I suggest going for one of the tasting menus, though the tuna tartar and the hot and creamy chocolate cake are delicious. Phum Treang, Slor Kram miecafe-siemreap.com Malis Traditional Cambodian dishes, like Fish Amok, with a modern twist. I enjoyed the curries here. The impressive building hosts regular DJs and musicians and has a beautiful courtyard area. Pokambor Ave., along the riverside near Preah Prum Rath Pagoda facebook.com/malis Olive Delicious French/Mediterranean inspired dishes. I recommend the tomato and basil tart, crispy Brie salad, blue cheese ravioli, baked seabass with pumpkin risotto and the chocolate cake. No. 319, Svay Dangkum olivecuisinedesaison@gmail.com FCC Angkor Stop by for a drink on the terrace and browse the old photos on display in this French former Governor’s mansion. I recommend the Frontline (chili-and-Kampot-pepper-infused vodka, passion fruit, lime and vanilla syrup). Pokambor Ave., next to the Royal Residence fcchotels.com

Fifty5 Kitchen & Bar A cool little cafe near Pub Street with great sandwiches, if you need a quick bite. Corner of Street 2 & Street 9, Old Market

Shopping Cambodia is famous for hand-woven silk, lacquer-ware and silver. Prices vary widely depending, to an extent, on quality. Located north of Pub Street and south of the old French Quarter, Kandal Village is Siem Reap’s rising arts and culture precinct. This area channels hipster vibes and is home to around 25 cafes, galleries, homeware, fashion and textile shops and spas, many of which stock a free and useful guide to the village. I visited Soieries du Mekong (no. 668 Hup Guan Street, soieriesdumekong.com), which sells silk scarves, designed in France and handmade by women in Northern Cambodia. Next door, Neary Silk is a family-run business which stocks a range of silks in lots of colours, all handmade in Cambodia—they can also tailor garments within two to three days. Christine’s (29 Street 9, christines-store.com) stocks fashion, accessories and homeware items from a range of Cambodian and French designers.

pub street

Since 1998, Artisans Angkor has been operating to revitalize traditional Khmer silk and handicrafts and alleviate poverty by providing young rural people with free training and fair job opportunities. It employs around 1,300 people, including over 800 artisans. Visit the craft workshop and main showroom, a two-minute walk from the Old Market on a road perpendicular to Sivatha Street, opposite the Terrace of

Did you know?

h The English “Cambodia” is from the Frenc Khmer “Cambodge”, which comes from the n “Kampuchea”. This is a shortened versio r, of the country’s official name in Khme “Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea”

Elephants hotel (look for a large sign). You can also visit the silk farm, 20 minutes from the centre of Siem Reap. Two free shuttle buses run daily. artisansdangkor. com Silk Hand Made A huge variety of silks (including some beautiful raw silks), colours and items, from scarves to table runners. Located behind Sofitel.

Reads First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung Ung recounts her experience of the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror and genocide, as a fiveyear-old survivor cut off from her family in 1975. The film adaptation, directed by Angelina Jolie, was released earlier this year.

Other activities


Faces of Buddha at the Old Market

Golf There are several world-class golf courses in Siem Reap, including Angkor Golf Resort, designed by Sir Nick Faldo and located just 10 minutes outside the town (hotel pick-up available). The resort has won numerous awards since opening in 2008 and the 18-hole course is in top condition. The caddies provide useful advice, especially on some of the more challenging greens, and the British PGA Head


travel Professional offers excellent tuition to golfers of all abilities on an all-grass practice range. The clubhouse is modern and serves a wide variety of food and some very welcome cold local beers. Good quality clubs are available to rent. Current rates are US$155 per player (including compulsory caddy and cart fee). All-inclusive packages are also available through the resort’s sister company PSD Travel. Book online at angkor-golf.com

Where to stay—Editor’s picks The following hotels are all located within the town centre, a 15-minute drive from Siem Reap airport, 10 minutes from the temples of Angkor, and a short walk along the river to the markets and restaurants. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor The Grand Hotel d’Angkor opened its doors in 1932, providing accommodation for the first wave of travellers visiting the famous Angkor Temples, including Charlie Chaplin in 1936. The hotel was occupied by different forces throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s but reopened in the ‘90s. Its grand reputation and old world charm continue to attract high profile guests. Stepping inside feels like going back in time—from the old cage lift in the lobby to the stately rooms and legendary Raffles butler service. There is even a Resident Historian on staff. The hotel was most recently renovated in 2012. Landscaped French gardens surround what is the country’s largest swimming pool, and the rooms, while in keeping with the hotel’s original design, are well-equipped and comfortable. All rooms feature either a private balcony or an oversized living area and a view of the pool or gardens. Two luxury two-bedroom villas are located by the pool. Head to the spa for a massage, browse the various boutiques on


Angkor Golf Resort is located a 10-minute drive from the town centre

the ground floor (there is an on-site ATM), work out in the gym, take a cooking class (24 hours notice required) or enjoy afternoon tea in The Conservatory (2.30-5.30pm daily, from US$23 per set) while listening to the resident pianist. Before dinner, try the Elephant Bar’s signature cocktail, Airavata. The hotel restaurants showcase classic Cambodian cuisine, Royal Khmer dining (Restaurant Le Grand actually caters for the royal family when they’re in town at the royal residence across the gardens) and wider Asian and Continental dishes. A selection of Raffles Spa dishes caters for the more health conscious. There’s a good spread at breakfast I recommend a visit to the crêpe station. Nightly rates from US$218 (State Room, King Bed), including breakfast. raffles.com/siem-reap Email bookus.siemreap@raffles.com Amansara

Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor houses Cambodia’s largest swimming pool

Amansara draws its name from the Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’ (aman) and ‘apsara’, the heavenly nymphs of ancient Hindu texts. The apsaras, it is said, emerged from the primordial churning of the oceans with the power not only to change their form at will, but also to bestow luck on those they favoured. Amansara was once the guest villa of King Norodom Sihanouk, during which time it played host to many famous faces, including former French President Charles de Gaulle, former Yugoslavian President Josep Broz Tito and actor Peter O’Toole. Built in 1962 by French architect Laurent Mondet, today the walled garden compound houses a tranquil 24-suite retreat (12 of which have private plunge pools), with two swimming pools, a roof terrace, gallery/boutique, library, spa and dining facilities. The hotel exudes ‘60s vibes - I can imagine James Bond staying here.

wat’s up? Cambodia: a timeline 4200 BCE The earliest evidence of cave dwellers in the area that is present-day Cambodia

1594 The Siamese capture the Khmer capital of Longvek. Territory and sovereignty are eroded as Cambodia becomes a pawn in power struggles between Siam and Vietnam

Chinese traders record the existence of First what they call “Funan”, an area to the century CE west of the Mekong Delta, along the 19th Cambodia is placed under joint trading route from India to China. Funan century suzerainty of Siam and Vietnam is heavily influenced by Indian culture Sixth Funan is succeeded by what the century Chinese refer to as “Chenla”

1863 Cambodia becomes a protectorate of France

1969 The US begins carpet bombing suspected Communist bases near Cambodia’s eastern border 1970 General Lon Nol stages a successful coup while Sihanouk is visiting the Soviet Union 1975 Khmer Rouge rebels capture Phnom Penh. Led by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge institutes “Year Zero” and commits mass genocide

1979 1901 A French expedition to the Bayon clears Early ninth King Jayavarman II unites rival Chenla century kingdoms and the “golden age” of the and restores the whole site. Western tourists arrive in Angkor Khmer Empire begins. Huge temple complexes are built, notably Angkor Wat. 1932 The Grand Hotel d’Angkor opens Early 15th The Middle Period or the “Dark ages of 1941 Sihanouk becomes King. Japan invades 1993 century Cambodia” begins. The Siamese and during World War II Vietnamese attempt to gain control of the 1953 Cambodia obtains independence lower Mekong basin. The Khmer empire 1955 After abdicating to fight in the elections, enters into decline Sihanouk wins. Political opposition is 1431 Angkor Thom is sacked by the Siamese repressed. Communists, referred to as army. The capital of Angkor is abandoned “Khmer Rouge”, flee to the countryside 2008 in favour of more secure locations in the 1960 Sihanouk appoints himself Head of south State upon the death of his father Present 16th A brief period of prosperity thanks to day century maritime trade. Spanish and Portuguese 1965-67 Sihanouk allows the North Vietnamese to send military supplies to the Viet Cong adventurers and missionaries visit through Cambodian ports for the first time

Vietnam enters Cambodia and forces the Khmer Rouge from power, installing the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, with Hun Sen as Deputy PM. 10 years of intermittent civil war follow After UN-sponsored elections, Cambodia’s National Assembly votes to restore the monarchy. The royalist FUNCINPEC party and Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) form a coalition UN-backed war crimes trials of former Khmer Rouge leaders begin Hun Sen is still leader of the CPP and Prime Minister of Cambodia, making him the longest serving head of government of Cambodia



A pool suite and the main pool at Amansara

The dining room is the focal point of the hotel and offers Khmer and western cuisine. Head here during the day for freshly baked cookies and cakes or visit the the library to bone up on the history of the town. The gallery has various local handicrafts and textiles for sale, including items from eminent Cambodian designers like Eric Raisina. There is no gym but you can use the one at Raffles, across the road. A variety of tours and customised excursions, including helicopter tours, are available. The hotel also regularly hosts guest speakers and local artists.

Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor Located by the riverside and built in traditional Khmer style with traditional hardwoods, La Résidence houses 54 deluxe rooms and eight Residence suites. The hotel entrance is beautiful, with high ceilings and statement paintings by local artists (a member of staff is always on hand to welcome returning guests with a much needed cold towel). The standout feature is the bar, located on the first floor above the lobby and beautifully constructed from teak wood. The hotel also has a boutique, spa, restaurant, gym and swimming pool, the last of which we can access directly from the back of our room via our private cabana. The rooms are elegant and modern—the bathrooms are particularly nice. Pop into the GM welcome drinks if you


Nightly rates from US$1,090 (Single Suite). Includes arrival and departure transfers, a daily private temple excursion with English speaking tour guide and transport (temple pass not included), remork transportation around Siem Reap Town, breakfast and a choice of either lunch or dinner, non-alcoholic beverages, daily snacks (cheeses, fruits, cakes...) and laundry (excluding dry cleaning). aman.com Email amansara@aman.com

Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor

can, held regularly at the bar, for complimentary drinks and nibbles. It’s a nice event and a good opportunity to mingle with the staff - we get a few great restaurant recommendations. Nightly rates from US$275 (Junior Suite), including breakfast and airport pickup. belmond.com Email reservations.rda@belmond.com NB. Hotel prices exclude tax and service. Thanks to Lonely Planet; Cambodia: After Angkor, A pocket history by Darryl Collins for Amansara; The Rough Guide to Southeast Asia on a budget; A short history of Southeast Asia edited by Peter Church; Fables of the Exotic East from the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor Collection

Tips Getting there: Direct flights from Hong Kong are available to Siem Reap. Tourist visas are required. I recommend applying for the evisa (evisa.gov.kh, US$36 for a single-entry, 30-day tourist visa). If you want to purchase a visa on arrival in Siem Reap, check your eligibility and the requirements (passport photo, fee, passport validity and blank pages) with the Cambodian Consulate (embassyofcambodia.org). Getting around: The best way to get around is by remork (motorised tuk tuk)— they are cheap, comfortable and a great way to see the town. Confirm the price before you get in. It’s usually around US$12 for a single journey within the town centre. Siem Reap town is flat so it’s also nice to explore the area around the Old Market by bicycle. Language: Khmer is the official language of Cambodia, although French is still spoken by the older generation. English is increasingly spoken in tourist areas. Currency: The national currency is the Cambodian riel, but nearly all places accept US dollars. Climate: The dry season runs from November until May (20°C to 32°C). Monsoon season is from June to October (26°C to 38°C).






Ask a vet... Dr. Pauline Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions.

“How do you toilet train a puppy?” Great question! It is very important to get your pup into a routine as young as possible. You must train your pup when and where to eliminate and when he does so, enthusiastically praise and reward him. You need to predict when your pup needs to eliminate and direct him to the appropriate area. Pups usually pee within 30 seconds of waking up and poo within two minutes. Please don’t frighten your pup with punishment. If your pup poos or pees in the wrong place it is your fault, not your pup’s. “ My two-year old dog is always ravenous. What do you recommend to feed my dog?” I’d be very concerned that the food is not the sole problem. My first recommendation is that you administer medication for gastrointestinal parasites. All pups are born with these and if not eliminated they interfere with normal digestion. Weigh your dog weekly and check the poo colour, consistency and frequency of elimination. I’d recommend a good balanced diet at an appropriate amount for your dog. Choose recipes and brands of manufactured dog foods carefully as they vary greatly in quality and price. If these changes do not make a difference within a month you must have your dog checked. “My dog barks at every dog he sees. Will he grow out of it?” Probably not unless he is a pup. If that’s the case, teach your pup to bark on cue, use the word ‘speak’ to encourage him to bark at a trigger then reward him when you ask him to stop. Barking happens in a wide variety of situations including play, attention seeking, territorial defense, fear and anxiety. A bark should always be analyzed by its tone, intensity and shrill. Pay attention to your dog’s demeanor, body position and facial expression. It’s very important to work out the information your dog wants to send to another dog. It could be a learned behaviour that may not be easy to stop.

Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email editorial@hongkongliving.com 62 | SOUTHSIDE.HK


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.

As transmitted to Adam White, writer, editor and occasional soothsayer. 64 | SOUTHSIDE.HK

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?


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.


Talking trash

zim city

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 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 for the medicine that originates 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.


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The ghost of Eucliffe

southside secrets... Mikael Levin discovers the truth behind Repulse Bay’s spooky demolished castle.


Exploring the Southside’s hidden gems.

ucliffe was an eccentric, rambling, stone-built castle built in the 1930s that loomed over the western end of Repulse Bay. Demolished in the 1980s, the legacy of this once-revered house is shrouded in mystery and obfuscated by hearsay. It was the home of multi-millionaire businessman Eu Tong Sen, a 19th-century Penang-born tin and rubber tycoon who moved to Hong Kong in 1928 and diversified into traditional Chinese medicine (there’s still a branch of his company, Eu Yan Sang, in Sheung Wan) and banking. Rumour has it that the house grew so large because of a prophecy Eu once received from a fortune-teller who warned he would die if he did not keep building. However, with five wives, at least 34 children and an unknown number of concubines, there is a theory that Eu wanted to leave enough assets to keep family discord at bay. His precautions didn’t work. Eu survived several heart attacks before suffering a fatal cardiac arrest in 1941. After his death, the lawsuits flew; the last was settled only in 1996. Eu had three homes in Hong Kong: Eucliffe, Euston in Bonham Road – another crenellated castle – and Sirmio on Ting Kok Road, near Tai Po, which resembled a fairy-tale German schloss. All three were demolished in the 1980s, but in their heyday they were as colourful as their owner. With its towers, crenellations and battlements, Eucliffe was built in homage to England’s 14th-century castles. It had stained-glass windows and an impressive collection of armour and weaponry, as well as a tennis court, swimming pool, greenhouse and lawns with dazzling views of Repulse Bay. Its opulence attracted Hong Kong’s social elite. The castle was renowned for its exceptional hospitality, sublime food and


access to the most popular beach in Hong Kong. But by 1940, the world was a vastly different place. Europe was in turmoil and the Japanese were on the march. Eu died before the Battle of Hong Kong and subsequent Japanese occupation, so he didn’t witness the abuse of his beloved Eucliffe in 1941. According to Tony Banham’s book, Not the Slightest Chance, the Japanese executed prisoners of war there, binding their hands and lining them up along the cliff edge. “We knew that we were going to be shot because on top of the bank were pools of blood and at the bottom of the cliff there were dozens of bodies,” stated Company Sergeant Major Hamlon of the Royal Rifles at the post-war War Crimes Trial. “Then a firing squad came forward and we were all shot. Owing to the fact that I turned my head to the left as I was being fired at, the bullet passed through my neck and came out of my right cheek. I did not lose consciousness and the force of the bullet hitting me knocked me free from the others and I rolled down the cliff.” Banham records that Hamlon lay at the foot of the cliff all day before crawling into a cave for shelter. Later 54 bodies were found, shot, bayoneted or decapitated. Eucliffe fell into disrepair, shunned as a place of death and misery, its antebellum reputation supplanted by wartime atrocities. Its sole use during this period was as a stereotypical mise-en-scène in television and film productions calling for derelict mansions. After it was demolished in the early 1980s, the prime real estate was portioned off to property developers. Today it is an area of expensive low-rise apartments.


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