6 Hipster Lunar New Year Feasts in Hong Kong

If you are swinging over to Hong Kong to avoid the ‘hong bao’ handouts, over inquisitive relatives then you might like to pop into these interesting relatively new hipster spots to savour some of the trendy eats that have emerged from Hong Kong’s ever creative dining scene.

Fang Fang

If you are fan of Modern Chinese, head to Fang Fang at LKF Towers, Central. They have an Ikebana cocktail menu that celebrates the Japanese art of floral decoration, available from 30 January – 6 February 2018.


Award winning Bar Manager Gagan Gurung (ex Zuma) uses a floral theme to create cocktails with names like ‘Garden Old Fashioned’ featuring kavalan whiskey; ‘Fangroni’ which brings an enchanting Asian twist to the classic Negroni and the ‘Champaca Margarita’ which carries refreshing notes of magnolia flower infused Cointreau and citrus mix.

For the Lunar New Year, book a seat for 17 February 2018 for the Prosperity Brunch (HKD398) which includes a free flow moët (HKD 150) and features Chef Kent Lee’s new dim sum dishes as well as a modern take on the traditional Lo Hei, prepared with Norwegian Salmon. Brunch .  A festive dinner menu (HKD 888) will also be available for a limited amount of time and will feature rainbow Lo Hei with Norwegian Salmon as well as a Fang Fang’s a premium Dim Sum platter which will include a new interpretation of hargau, siumai and king crab dumpling.

If you want a bit of live entertainment, singer Wendy Robin, will be performing soulful jazz and blues from Tuesday through Saturday each week and throughout the Lunar New Year.

Yum Cha 

Chic, trendy and fast expanding dim sum dining destination restaurant YUM CHA has restaurants in TST, Mongkok, Central and a new one just opened in Causeway Bay (Emperor Watch & Jewellry Centre, 8 Russell Street) that resembles a New York loft concept. The chain which also owns Social Place, promises an eye-catching ‘instaworthy’ dim sum menu for Chinese New Year.

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Created by Executive Chef Winson Yip, red bean paste buns are designed to resemble the ‘God of Wealth’, bringing good fortune and prosperity; ‘Fried Dumplings with Pork Filling’ are styled after a traditional Chinese gold ingot; ‘Mandarin Buns’ are bite-sized lookalikes of a prosperous mandarin; and ‘Lo Hei’, a mini-version of the colourful, fun and tasty Prosperous Toss salad, traditionally shared to symbolise abundance and prosperity. The team have made it their mission to promote Hong Kong’s food culture, with expert dim sum and wok chefs bringing a modern twist to the fragrant harbour’s traditional ‘yum cha’ ritual of tea and dim sum delicacies.


Head to the heart of vibrant Wanchai to ZEN, a newly relaunched Cantonese restaurant.  The restaurant hails from London, now in Hong Kong with restaurants around the world including Beijing, Shanghai, Gold Coast, Tianjin, Sanya, Shanxi Taiyuan, Hainan Island, Chengdu, Mexico City, Macao, Dubai and Amman. There are 3 menus available from now till 2 March 2018 that are ideal for group gatherings. Each is a 10-course set priced at HKD5500, HKD6688 and HKD7788 respectively for 10-12 people.


All about lucky connotations, the ‘Lucky Menu’ (HKD5,500) starts with Deep-fried Scallops stuffed with dishes like Shrimp Paste and Golden Roast Crispy Sesame Chicken. The ‘Joyful’ menu (HKD6,688) has a Whole Suckling Pig barbecued to perfection, Grilled King Prawns in a Honey Tomato Sauce and Poached Yin Yan Cabbage with Tofu Skin and Wood Fungi served in a rich fish stock. The ‘Prosperous’ menu (HKD7788) includes both supreme dried seafood and fresh catches of the day including the signature Fried Baby Lobster coated with Golden Duck Yolk and the Double-Boiled Yin Yan Chicken Soup with Ginseng.


With restaurants in Hong Kong and London, Duddell’s fashionable take on Chinese food is not just about the food but also the location, the interior is said to be fashioned after the eclectic home of a seasoned art collector. The restaurant in Hong Kong is situated on the historic Duddell Street, in the heart of Hong Kong’s Central district.


For the Lunar New Year,  Dim Sum and Suckling Pig are on their lavish menu. If you are going for the dim sum nibbles, they start at HKD68 per dish. If it’s a proper sit down reunion meal, that you are after then there are 2 set menus that start for minimum 4 people from HKD8388 with items like Baked Crab Shell with Onion, Braised Conpoy with dried Oysters and Sea moss, Sauteed Garoupa with termite mushroom, Crispy Salted Chicken. Available both lunch and dinner from 18th to 25th February

Mott 32

With restaurants in Vancouver, Hong Kong and soon Bangkok, Mott 32 is equally fashionable and well-located at the Standard Chartered Bank Building in Des Voeux Road, Central.

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Highly regarded, Executive Chef Lee Man Sing (ex-Mandarin Oriental) runs the kitchens and he has elaborate ala carte items like Whole Atlantic Lobster Salad (HKD688) with a homemade sauce, wok fried Razor clams with spring onion and ginger (HKD388), king Prawns in Chinese Rice wine, vinegar, chilli with a pan-fried sticky rice cake (HKD338), baked fresh Crab with egg, tangerine peel and onion (HKD488) and Apple-wood roasted Iberico Pork rib (HKD198) on the new year menu.

San Xi Lou 

If you have a thing for spicy Sichuan, this is the place to go to.  The name ‘San Xi Lou’ was is inspired by the Emperor Qianlong’s Imperial Studyroom – San Xi Tang (Hall of Three Rarities), in which he housed his favourite calligraphy treasures.

It’s two restaurants at Coda Plaza on Garden Road and its newly opened Times Square outlet in Causeway Bay are serving festive fare from 1 February – 2 March, with three banquet menu options featuring a range of symbolic dishes and two takeaway ‘Poon Choi’ options ideal for eight at HKD2,480.

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Their traditional ‘Poon Choi’ (Big Bowl) communal pot options come in both Sichuan and Cantonese style with premium ingredients including abalone, conpoy, goose web and dried oyster, meticulously layered , with a non-spicy ‘Nam Yue’ version, and San Xi Lou’s signature spicy Sichuan ‘Mala’ option. There are 3 Set Meals – Fiery Set (HK$8,880 for 12 persons), a milder ‘Golden Set’ (HK$16,800 or 12 persons) and a Prosperous Set’ (HK$6,880 or 12 persons). Each features eight appetisers, a variety of meat and seafood specialties, noodles, ending with dessert and a fruit platter.










Red Box Chinese New Year Takeaways From Hong Kong

Singapore is so accustomed to the Lunar New Year cookie scene – plastic boxes with red lids packed with the most delightful goodies. The scene shifts slightly in Hong Kong as the eats come in pretty red boxes with a different flavour and premium packaging, Feast your eyes on what we got in our IN box this week from the fragrant harbour

The BonBonist

Newly opened at Pacific Place, The BonBonist combines playful, fun and decadent into delectable little treats. Founded by French confectionery expert Olivia Niddam, the shop is the latest sweet-tooth craze to hit Hong Kong with over 70 delicious selections of sweets and chocolates.

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Their Lunar Year gift set is a classy  “Auspicious Treasure Trove” highlighting four new enticing bonbons, a trendy tote bag and laisee packets. ((priced HKD628),  a perfect manifesto of Eastern tradition married with Francophone chic.  Each bonbon is  also available for purchase individually, priced from HKD48 to HKD68. Customers can opt to create their own special bonbon box with colour stickers and ribbons to add a simply sweet personal touch to gifts.  Order placed between 18 to 25 January 2018  will be treated a delightful discount of 10% off the first box purchased, 15% off when two boxes are purchased; and 20% off when five boxes are purchased.


Moreish is a contemporary Hong Kong brand driven by a passion to celebrate classic favourites  transforming them into fresh and exciting gourmet treats. Their treats are Malaysian inspired and based on ‘Mum’s secret recipe’, beautifully repackaged. The unusual name stems from the informal British word used as an adjective to describe a food that is so pleasant to eat, that one wants more.


Their reinvented pineapple shortcake is made with pineapple sourced from small farms in Thailand and they use native Patavia pineapples that are selected by hand just before they fully ripen to ensure that the filling has the right balance – not too sweet with a tropical tang. Their pineapple treats are wrapped like square shortcakes at HK138 a box and are pina colada flavoured.


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Long standing veteran French chocolatier, La Maison du Chocolat has an exclusive Flourish Gift Box (HKD680) and a number of refined hatbox gift sets – all prettily packaged in French hatboxes. Alongside the main box, the Propitious Hatbox, Blossoming Hatbox, and Fruitful Hatbox – are tailored to fit every celebration during this festive time.


The Flourish Gift Box offers a scintillating variety of sweet and crunchy La Maison du Chocolat treats presented in a beautifully designed box embellished with a sophisticated dog graphic.

Green Common

Launched four years ago, Green Common has really upped its game from health-conscious all-green organic-led supermarket to a restaurant and now a retail store offering lunar New Year vegan pastries that they have termed “food 2.0”.


Filled with red quinoa and a variety of super food options like nourishing Cordycep flowers and peach gum, as well as purple sweet potato, each ingredient is nutrient-rich with no artificial colouring or flavouring agents. Everything is also manufactured fresh, locally-packed and vacuum sealed. There are four Chinese New Year puddings in-store to take away with names like “Purple east”, “Continuing success”, “Ma spirit” and “Well known household names” each named after the main ingredient – purple sweet potato, carrot, water chestnut, taro.

The Peninsula Hotel

Hong Kong’s Grand Dame hotel, The Peninsula (known fondly as ‘The Pen’) honours the season at their Spring Moon Chinese restaurant with their celebrated Lunar New Year puddings (HKD298) each available in Taro, Water Chestnut, Turnip and Spring Moon New Year Pudding flavours.


Each pudding arrives in elegant packaging, making them ideal gifts for relatives and business associates – or simply for your own enjoyment. Order between 16 January 2018 and 15 February 2018 and collect from Spring Moon the following day. Guests purchasing 20 or more puddings are entitled to a 10% discount, while a 20% discount is applied to orders of 50 or more.

Cordis, Hong Kong

Cordis at Langham Place in Mongkok has also pulled out all the stops at Ming Court, their Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant, with an array of suspicious festive pudding takeaways with an innovative range of flavours including Aged Pu’er, Dark Brown Sugar and Coconut Chinese New Year Pudding (HKD238); Pumpkin and Coconut Chinese New Year Pudding (HKD268) and the all-time favourite Abalone, Conpoy, Air-Dried Preserved Meat and Turnip Pudding (HK288).

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All puddings are elegantly packaged in Ming Court’s unique New Year prosperity box. Available to order from now. For orders of 30 boxes or more before 5th February 2018, guests enjoy a 20% discount.


The Intercontinental Hong Kong

With a prime view of the Victoria Harbour, The Intercontinental has gift boxes and puddings galore. The Hotel goes a step further. Here, you can actually learn to make your own Chinese New Year Savoury Kagoshima Thick Cut Daikon Pudding and Peanut & Sesame Dumplings under the expert guidance of Yan Toh Heen Executive Chef Lau Yiu Fai and his team. Chef Lau will demonstrate how to make this savoury seasonal treat, along with Peanut & Sesame Dumplings.


Date/Time: Saturday, February 10, 2018 (12:15pm – 2:00pm)

Venue: Yan Toh Heen Private Room

Price:  HK$1,488 per person + 10% service charge                   

Takeaway gifts: A box of Savoury Kagoshima Thick Cut Daikon Pudding, a package of traditional Peanut & Sesame Dumplings, a bottle of Yan Toh Heen Homemade X.O. Chili Sauce and a Yan Toh Heen apron.

Participants:     10 persons maximum

For Restaurant and Chinese New Year Pudding Class Reservations call +852 2313 2323 or E-mail: fb.hongkong@ihg.com


A New Concept For Dan Ryan’s In Hong Kong’s City Plaza!

For me, the 90s marked the era of the American diner, grill and steakhouse. I remember the excitement when Dan Ryan’s first opened in Singapore next to the Regent Hotel.

Famous for its free kid’s balloons held down by a free collectible logo key chain, paper table clothes where you could doodle endlessly on and innovative kid’s menus – no one would have guessed that this restaurant chain was actually born and bred in Hong Kong with its first outlet opened at Pacific Place in 1989.

Dan Ryan, it seems, was a Chicago politician who lived in the 1940’s.  He was renowned for his ability to get things done through his close contacts in Washington D.C, mainly local political and social leaders. Why this particular American diner chain was actually named after him remains a mystery to me – but his name has undoubtedly lent authenticity to the Chicago grill concept that has since stood the test of time.

Today, there are solo outlets in Singapore and Taiwan with three restaurants in Hong Kong at Harbour City, Festival Walk and a new outlet at City Plaza in Tai Koo Shing which opened in May this year. We popped in to check out the new concept at the latter and to try the newly minted signatures off their menu which has been tweaked with healthier ingredient and superfood options.

How different was it from its parent concept that featured a good vibe, upbeat background jazz music, a drinks bar with a choo choo train track, paraphernalia up on the walls and huge portions of American style fare – to be truthful, all of that was still there – the only change being a longer track train and the more colourful paintings on the wall by American artists Leroy Neiman and Steve Penley. Instead of having a closed entrance where you walk into the bar, the new concept feels more ‘open’ where you can easily check your reservation at the entrance and walk into the thick of the action.

The kitchen also has gone from a back of the house feel to a lighter more open show-kitchen feel.  We popped by just before the recent Fathers’ Day weekend and what greeted us was a restaurant packed to the brim – a convivial atmosphere with families, balloons at each table, crayon canisters amidst a blurr of efficient waiters moving platters of steak and generous mountains of American salads, sides and sandwiches efficiently around the room whilst the queue outside kept growing longer. The place was buzzing!

The biggest change is noticeably its menu. No longer a grill room style listing that steak houses normally favour but a menu that features photos of its signatures which have also notably changed – keeping the hearty but introducing the healthy.


My favourite item – the Dan Ryan’s muffin arrived before the rest of the meal. If I could sneak one or two into my bag, I would – as in my humble opinion, Dan Ryan’s makes the best muffins I have ever eaten. The taste is made complete when complemented by one slice of slightly melted salted butter or whipped butter.



We picked a few items to share starting with the Super Green Salad (HK$188) which is a very large salad that you can order to share between 3 to 4 people. It  has a base of fresh baby spinach, quinoa and rocket leaves, complete with avocado, broccoli, pears, fresh blueberries and toasted pine-nuts for added crunch and sweetness.  I really liked this and made a mental note that I would pop into their Harbour City outlet again soon to grab this one for a quick and satisfying takeaway.  The salad comes with a homemade wild blueberry dressing is drizzled on top for maximum flavour.

This was followed by the Chi Town Combo (HK$298), a signature big sized combo platter of Baked Potato Skins, hand breaded Onion Rings and Buffalo Chicken Wings. Great with a glass of wine except for the Onion Rings which I prefer to be crisp rather than soft and mushy like these tended to be.

The choices on the Hand Cut Steaks and Chops were outstanding. I was tempted to order the US Tomahawk 32 oz Steak to share (HK$998 – pictured above) but it was sold out for the day.  So instead, we ordered the US Prime Flatiron Steak (HK$328) which turned out to be an excellent choice and featured a melt-in-your mouth ‘butchers cut’ of hormone free beef, char-grilled to perfection served with Tomato Vinaigrette salad and mashed Chipotle Lime Buttered Corn and Sweet Potato Fries.

We ended the meal sharing a Salted Caramel Double Fudge Brownie (HK$78) which maxed out my calorie count but made a perfect ending.

Things I would have ordered if my stomach had the capacity : the Deluxe Chili Burger,  the Seared Hokkaido Scallops and the Dan’s Dessert Sampler (pictured above). Definitely reason to return!

Dan Ryan’s Chicago Grill at Cityplaza is at:
Shop 311, 3F, Phase 1, Cityplaza, 18 Taiko o Shing Road, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2845 4600

Click HERE for a list of the other Dan Ryan outlets in Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore.



Japanese Donburi At Its Very Best At Dondonya!

The Japanese truly win hands down when it comes to turning a humble bowl of rice into a work of art. In fact, the Tokyo Dome hosts an annual 10 day competition called the Donburi Senshuken (or National Donburi Championship), where restauranteurs and chefs from different prefectures in Japan gather together to compete for a cash prize to create the most interesting and unique donburi.

Here in Hong Kong, donburi specialists, DONDONYA, through a year-long collaboration with Japan’s national Fuji TV network and the Tokyo Dome, have been serving up 4 of the award winning bowls to Hong Kong palettes, over the last few months.

I popped into their newly renovated restauant at APM Mall in Kwun Tung to try a few of their acclaimed rice bowls which are served solo or come in value for money sets for lunch, tea and dinner, with a drink or side dish and soup as an easy-on-the-pocket price add-on.

The Dondonya chain operates a total of 10 casual dining outlets all over Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories, serving up not just donburi but Sanuki thick udon bowls, a variety of Beef and Pork Curry dishes and delicious deep fried Katsuretsu items.

Toro Salmon and Ikura Oyakodon

Diners who came in earlier in the year would have sampled the 3 other winning bowls from Hokkaido’s famous Unimeshi Don and the Toro Salmon and Ikura Don (pictured above) to Kyushu’s Oita Torimeshi Don.

Cochin Oyakodon

On promotion during my visit was 2017’s top 5 winner, the Cochin Oyakodon from Aichi Prefecture in Nagoya. The dish was created by Torikai, a famous chicken specialty restaurant chain there. The chicken thighs of Nagoya Cochin are the main ingredient of this donburi. The chicken is bred free-range and has a distinctive appearance with buff-colored feathers and is famous for its firmness and meat that is supposedly richer in flavour. Bonito, soy sauce from the Aichi prefecture, Japanese sake, high-quality mirin and other ingredients are simmered into a broth for marinating the Nagoya Cochin. Topped with runny egg, the final result offers a truly satisfying rice bowl at only HKD$78 served as a set.

Obihiro Butadon

We decided to try a few other eye-catching rice bowls including the Obihiro Butadon Donburi, a delightful Pork dish that much like eating a hearty bowl of tender pork chops with peas and a delicious rich sauce. We found out that the restaurant uses a variety of short grain rice from Japan and this is cooked in purified water to retain its full flavour and fragrance.

Jumbo Red Shrimp and Seafood Rice Bowl

The Jumbo Red Shrimp and Seafood Rice Bowl was definitely the most visually appealing and my favourite item on the menu. This would be an instant hit with any seafood lover as the seafood tasted fresh and it was stacked like a beautiful bouquet that looks almost too good to dismantle and dig into.

The Fisherman’s Catch

The Fisherman’s Catch was my daughter’s choice and understandably it was about getting the best of two bowls on one tray. An excellent and a very satisfying choice for someone who likes variety.  This combination of two mini bowls, the Eel Rice bowl and a Mixed Sashimi Bowl is all about flavour and colour juxtaposed, each fighting for attention making it almost impossible to decide which to eat first.

Everything was happily downed with Frozen Beer and Suntori Whisky leaving us a little too full for dessert. But the next time I return, I will look forward to trying the Matcha, Coffee and Soda drinks and sample the selection of Parfait desserts.

The verdict: Definitely most impressed! Great overall variety, excellent presentation, good quality and exceptional value for money. Deserves more than one return trip!

Dondonya has 10 outlets in Hong Kong – location addresses click: HERE


10 Noteworthy Cookie Stores To Check Out In Hong Kong

I’ve lived in Hong Kong for the last 10 years but I’m still a true blue Singaporean at heart especially when the Lunar New Year comes around each year. Each year, I faithfully head home to stock up on my favourite pineapple tarts – both open-face and closed, love letters, kueh bang-kit, cashew cookies and those incredibly addictive spicy shrimp rolls that I just can’t say no too! And then I sit back after the season, 2 kgs heavier and ask myself regretfully why I don’t possess greater self control!

It’s not that Hong Kong lacks it’s fair share of new year nibbles, because quite honestly .. Hong Kongers love their desserts and sweets! The fragrant harbour, most certainly has it’s very own cookie culture, which is not just limited to the New Year season but instead, available all year round. So, if you are a cookie-monster or a buddy to a lot of friends who appreciate food gifts then here’s my list of notable cookie stores that you should look out for the next time you pop by to visit the 852!.

Just a tip that if you don’t want to go on a wild goose chase, the cookie stores that I have listed below, can mainly be found in Kowloon, particularly in Tsim Sha Tsui along Peking Road, Lock Road, Carnavon Road, the K11 mall and around this general vicinity where I have noticed several cookie companies, recently setting up shops.

1. Jenny Bakery

Jenny’s is probably Hong Kong’s most famous cookie brand. It opened to incredibly enthusiastic and long queues in Singapore last year in the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio.  In Hong Kong, there were two stores, but at the moment only one store seems to be operating from the slightly seedy Mirador Mansion area along Peking Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.  Jenny’s has no shortage of devotees in Hong Kong and has emerged as the most sought-after, queue-worthy cookie company with multiple resellers and counterfeit retailers touting their wares to unsuspecting tourists and mainlanders, all sealed in seasonally different but the familiar signature Teddy bear-themed tins.

In Hong Kong there sometimes is a 4 box quota per person, especially during peak seasons like the Lunar New Year or Christmas period. But still the queues are there – probably because the cookies are butter and cornstarch-rich, melt-in-your mouth good and the price tag for a 4-mix of their famous Butter Flower, Shortbread, Raisin Oat and Coffee Flower cookies starts at only HK$70 per 320g tin. In Singapore the same tin size and mix, starts at double the price of its Hong Kong flagship at $25 (HK$125). Just saying, that if I was visiting Hong Kong from Singapore, that fact alone, would inspire me to stock up and cart them back.

Also worth picking up (as it’s not sold in Singapore) is a ton of their lesser known rectangle-shaped 8-mix nut cookies (great crunch and good flavour) And their 7 piece tin of Macadamia Cranberry Nougat Candy.


Jenny’s Bakery Hong Kong is at G24, Ground floor and Shop 42, 1st floor at Mirador Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui,

Jenny’s Bakery Singapore is at 422 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, #01-2534, Singapore 560422


2. Glory Bakery

My latest cookie craving is definitely for a tin of these lovelies from Glory Bakery. I am a new convert to this brand and I plan to take a few tins home to family this year! True, that they are not half as buttery as Jenny’s but they are most definitely unique.

For starters, I really like the yellow tin design which looks premium and the cookies come beautifully packaged inside with a lovely catalogue and there are 15 different and unusual flavour combinations from Horlicks Macadamia Nut, Lemon Tea, Ovaltine, Linseed to Coffee Chocolate, Charcoal Sunflower Seed and Cranberry.

There are several themed cookie combos. If you like a Hong Kong flavour to the cookie mix in the box, pick the Cha Chaan Teng combo or else, there is the Tea Time selection or the Nuts and Seeds box. Slightly more expensive than Jenny’s, they start at HK$98 (S$18) for a small tin (320g).

Also selling, are their delicious Jams with flavours like Papaya Passion Fruit, Mango, Apple and Pineapple, a selection of Roasted Nuts, Brown Sugar Walnuts, Seaweed Walnuts, Dried Fruits, Raisins and Cranberries.


Glory Bakery is at: 161 Sai Yee St, Mong Kok and Shop C, Ground Floor, Carnavon Mansion, 10 Carnavon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

3. Conte De Cookie

One other brand that I have seen in Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai but have yet to try is Conte De Cookie.

Set up by pedigreed Pastry Chefs who come from the Peninsula, Sheraton and Mandarin Oriental, one tin of these bite-sized beauties will set you back HK$178 (for about 36 cookies) but they look tempting and are apparently are made with the finest imported ingredients including organic eggs and wheat from the US, butter from France and Australia, Valrhona chocolate cocoa powder and Cacao Berry Chocolate including Fleur de sel de Guerande sea salt, organic cane sugar, natural nuts and dried fruits. The cookies are apparently made fresh daily and have no preservatives or chemicals

There are about 16 different cookie flavours at HK$82 per packet of single flavoured cookies including unusual ones like Osmanthus and Longan, Mango Cookies, Pineapple, Fleur de Sel, Rose and Raspberry and these are combined in about 5 different tin mixes that start at HK$178.

They sell Palmiers too, which Hong Kongers seem to like a lot but don’t do much for my personal sweet tooth. In terms of Palmier flavours, there are about 7 flavours from Maple Syrup to Mixed Grains, Lemon and Almond sticks that start at HK$158 per mixed tin or a single flavoured packet of Palmiers goes for HK$68.


Conte Cookie is at G/F, 8D Humphreys Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui


4. Cookies Quartet

This cookie brand definitely has been around for some time as they have at least five outlets in Hong Kong.

There are about 25 different cookie varieties from Blue Berry and Cornflake to Devil’s Chocolate Cookies, which I really liked because of the fact that they were not too sweet and you could really taste the chocolate and they were also crunchy.

Interesting were flavours like their Sea Salt Cookies, Rose Cookies, Orange Chocolate Cookies and Cinnamon Twists. There are about 5 different types of Palmiers from Shredded Coconut and Sesame to Golden Flaxseed and about 8 assorted box sets starting at HK$158 to select from.  A box of 9 different cookie flavours starts at HK$178 whilst 11 flavours is at HK$208. A box of single flavoured cookies starts at HK$82.


Cookie Quartet is here (branch locations).

5. Cookie Galerie

This cookie store also has about 7 stores in Hong Kong. The flagship store at K11, has nice counters, a large shop space and looks a little intimidating especially when you want to go in for some free samples.

But the staff are generally helpful and friendly and will tell you if they are selling out on a particular cookie. For instance, I was looking for sugar free cookies which they sell for diabetics and there was but one box left as apparently they are quite popular.

They offer about 23 different cookie flavours including Belgian Dark Chocolate 75% with sliced white almonds, Rose, Lavender, Green Tea, Pistachio and Blueberry and 16 different types of Palmiers including the Spicy Hot Pork Floss, Almond and Sakura Sticks and a variety of chocolates, macarons and crispy cakes. Buy these as individual packets per flavour or you can buy them as mixed tin sets. There are 4 cookie tin sets that start from HK$128 a box – the choices: Tea Box, Nuts Talk, Suite de Chocolat and Momordica Fruit Cookies and also 2 mixed Pamier Tin Sets.


Cookie Calerie is at several locations with its flagship at K11 Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

6. Sweet Boutique de Tony Wong

A veteran pastry chef, Tony Wong hails from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Royal Garden Bakery and set up Cookies Quartet, Pâtisserie Tony Wong and Smile Yogurt. His Sweet Boutique aims to create low-sugar and healthy sweets using organic flour, French butter and puree, French fruit, trehalose without using added preservatives.

The cookie selection is made up of a selection of Egg Rolls starts at HK$168 a box with flavours like the Chocolate Explosive Cigar, Raspberry and Earl Grey, Crispy Cookies in Rose and Sesame combinations, Sable and Tulle Cookies,  a selection of Meringues and Wafers, Pineapple cake, Assorted Dragees and Raspberry Almonds. Detailed price list HERE. There is also a special Lunar New Year pack that starts at HK$268 a box.

Their signature is undoubtedly their Bonbons which come in flavours like Rum and Raisin, Venezuela Dark Chocolate, Kalamansi and Strawberry with Balsamic Vinegar.

Where :
Sweet Boutique has 3 branch locations HERE.


7. Patisserie Jeffery Koo

Known as PJK, Jeffery Koo also hails from the Mandarin Oriental having worked at their Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur properties. He then trained under Michelin star patisserie Chef Pierre Gagnaier and he now is the host of a TVB TV show “Sweet Corner”, teaching celebrities how to make desserts. With a baking supplies store online as well as at Chai Wan and a patisserie in K11, this up and coming Pastry Chef is well known for his French style chocolate cakes.

Popping by the K11 store, we ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ at his range of Chinese New Year cookies seasonal products that he has brought out for Chinese New Year including his HK$628 (early bird price of HK$566) for his Salted Chocolate Kum Quat Trees. Cookies in sealed jars start at HK$128 for 240g.

Shop Locations HERE

8. Blesscuit Bakery

Also in K11 Mall, is this bakery owned by Pastry Chef Kim Leung has about 5 other outlets throughout Hong Kong and 3 in Macau. It’s name ‘Blesscuit’ is the combination of the words ‘blessings’ and ‘biscuits’.

The brand’s belief is that blessings are what their customers gift through their prettily wrapped and boxed creations. We liked their colourful tins which start at a promotional price of HK$228 for 28 pieces with 6 flavours of individually wrapped cookies. The flavours are unusual with about 18 different flavours to choose from ranging from Pear Butter to Black Pepper and Parmesan Cheese, Truffle and Smoked Ham cookies. There are also limited edition flavours available each season from Morels and Wild Mushrooms to Blue Lobster which make great gifts for adventurous tastebuds.


Blesscuit Bakery Outlets HERE


9. Lucullus

My experience with this brand is the fact that you will find it usually near a supermarket or in an MTR shop location. They are no newbies and have been around for the last 30 years. There are about 13 outlets, 2 festive counters and 2 Chocolate Cafes that the brand operates in Hong Kong. They are essentially famous for their chocolates and candies but they also sell cookies throughout the year and especially at the Lunar New Year where there are very attractive box sets and hampers galore.

Typically a box set of 9 flavours of butter cookies including purple sweet potato, chocolate ginger, green tea, honey yuzu, chocolate almond, blueberry and flax seed and about 54 cookies in a box starts at HK$185.

At the Lunar New Year, they have Rooster themed hampers and cookie tins like this with 45 cookies in 10 flavours starting at HK$259 a tin. They too sell a variety of Palmiers and just for the New Year there is a cute Tangerine Gift Box with an assortment of Gold Tael Butter cookies and chocolates including Hannovers, Orange Chocolates and Hazelnut Crunches at HK$88.


Lucullus locations HERE

10. Little Bear Bakery

These cookies come in cookie tins that could easily be mistaken for counterfeit Jenny cookies. Take a second look at their Teddy Bear themed tins and you will realise that are not Jenny Bakery cookies but have the same flower shaped cookies that also come in 4 mix tin of Butter, Matcha, Coffee and Chocolate starting at HK$130.

The owners are a husband and wife team who apparently have as their mascots Teddy Bears and they tins feature their signature little bears going on journeys around the world.

Their solo shop in Tsim Sha Tsui offers cookies, chocolates and with seasonal Egg Rolls created for the Lunar New Year.


Little Bear Bakery is HERE.


Not covered in this story (but in the plan for a future review) are Hong Kong traditional bakeries like Hang Heung, Wing Wah and Kee Wah, Macau’s Koi Kee, Taiwan’s Sunny Hills Pineapple Tarts Bakery and independent local family style bakeries along Mongkok, Shanghai and Temple Street and Wan Chai like Cherikoff and the established cookie brands that are not from Hong Kong but have stores here like Dutch cookie brand Aunt Stella, US cookie brand Mrs Fields and US Famous Amos, which are also in Hong Kong. 


Restaurant Review: All Nighter Korean Chicken And Beer Delights!

It’s no secret that in the last two years, the Hong Kong fast food scene has been influenced by the growing K-Pop phenomenon.

Korean restaurants especially fast food joints have popped up everywhere capitalising on the Korean ‘chimek’ craze, combining the word ‘chicken’ with the Korean word for beer, ‘mekju’. This approach combining east and west flavours, has transformed a traditional fast food and humble fried chicken into a favourite snack that seems to have  transcended diverse cultures.

In Tsim Sha Tsui (or TST, as its fondly called) near the Mira Hotel and down from Knutsford Terrace, there is even an enclave called ‘Korean Town’ dotted with Korean supermarkets, mom and pop snack shops, eateries selling Korean fast food and Korean BBQ joints.

Not confined to just that area and relatively nearby, at Hau Fook Street – parallel to Kowloon’s hugely popular shopping area, Granville Road, we were invited to check out CHIBEE, the latest Korean Chicken and Beer outlet there. No guesses what the ‘Chi’ and ‘Bee’ in their name stands for. The big difference about this particular Korean outlet is the fact that they pull an all-nighter and they are open till 5am with a sports bar vibe that has them screening live football and sports matches till the early hours. A perfect spot for insomniacs, supper lovers and sports fans who want a place to congregate past the witching hour.

Chibee’s first outlet made its debut in Causeway Bay in 2015, It opened as a roaring success with a winning recipe of fried chicken with spicy sauces and delicious snack-style bites washed down with bottled beers and soju.

Outdoor Balcony at TST

Inspired to open another outlet, the owners have given its second branch a hip interior and a rooftop balcony so that you can chill outside, perfect for the Winter months. It opened recently in Tsim Sha Tsui’s H8 Food Mall on September 22. this year.

In terms of food, the formula is the same, but the menu has definitely expanded to include specialties that you can only enjoy at this particular outlet.

We headed over for dinner last week to try a few of their exclusive items. The first was the Fondue Chicken that comes with curly fries and a cheese fondue with a side of Korean pickles. I would have preferred the cheese to be a bit more melted and drippy but otherwise a nice snack that washes down well with a tall glass of Korean beer.

Chicken, Fries and Cheese Fondue (HK$152)

Their Dino Cheese Balls (HK$60) made of minced chicken and cheese is another item unique to the Chibee TST branch. Think of these as large-size Chicken Meat Balls mixed with cheese. They are hearty and you are meant to tear them apart to go with the dipping sauce that taste a bit like a cole slaw.

The drink that you see in the picture below is a definite signature to Chibee. This is called the Strawberry Cider Rita (HK$98) and features a bottle of Sprite suspended over a Strawberry and Cider mix.

Dino Cheese Balls (HK$60)

The best fried chicken dish I had that night was this most definitely this addictive number – the Fried Nongshim Noodle Chicken (HK$168). The chicken is coated with favourite Korean Nongshim noodles before deep frying, This gives the Chicken a delicious crispy exterior with that salty ‘mah-mee’ noodle taste. Pair this with a mild dipping sauce, Korean pickles and a bit of salad and you won’t stop at one basket. Heart ‘clogging-ly’ good and most certainly calorie-worthy!

Fried Nongshim Noodle Fried Chicken (HK$168)

We also had a few accompanying orders of a totally tasty hotpot noodle dish which I will not hesitate to order again – the Budaejjigae (HK$220). We also had some Shin Ramyun Chicken (HK$168), Korean Rice balls  (HK$58) which are actually triangle in shape and generously covered in seaweed, and the Spicy Tteokbokgi (HK$98) a tasty rice cake that looks like cheong fun, famously used in Korean street food.

Lunch sets are also served, and the drinks menu offers a range of bottled beers, juices, cider and trendy fruit-flavoured sojus.


CHIBEE is at 23/F of 8 Hau Fook Street, just a stroll from Exit B2 of Tsim Sha Tsui MTR. Opening hours are midday-4pm on weekdays, and every night from 6pm-5am.  Tel:  (852) 2158 1818



Best Place For Sushi And Origami For Kids

Here’s a great place for a weekend lunch with Kids especially if you want a light and easy intro to Japanese cuisine and something for them to do whilst the adults chat.

We walked into Shiro at Pacific Place (next to Great supermarket) in Hong Kong, last week to try their new menu for Juniors and I also got to enjoy the new items added on to their innovative Crystal Sushi menu which we wrote about a few months back. Look out for my story piece on that soon.

Back to ‘babies’ … the new Junior Menu is fun and an adventure in eating different types of food especially if you have a young child that you would like to introduce Japanese food to.

I liked the fact that its not just one thing on the menu and the restaurant did not try to reduce it to serving Japanese food on cute plates and cups with ‘kawaii’ Hello Kitty cutlery. Instead, they took the trouble to size the adult portions down, offering some nicely thought through selections on what kids would like to eat, making this a more sophisticated introduction to Japanese 101.

My daughter is only just starting to eat raw as somehow her stomach always turns renegade with undercooked food. We picked the Sakana Sushi Set (HK$128) which featured mini sized sushi from mini salmon to tomago and prawn sushi complete with miso soup and orange juice. A great choice – as besides the sushi being small and cute – each piece is served as a bite sized piece – each sushi order is also unlimited. So, if your child likes one variety more than another, order another piece and so on.

We also ordered a Bento Box which was actually almost as generous as the adult-sized portion as that offered a lot of cooked items. Offering good variety and flavour, there are two boxes to choose from:  the Chocho Junior Bento Box filled with tasty prawn katsu, chicken karaage and udon noodles or the Tatsu Junior Bento Box with prawn and vegetable tempura, chicken teriyaki ball and udon noodle soup. Each Bento Box is only HK$98.

Otherwise, if your child is into finger foods, then the posh little Mini Temaki Handrolls made for children only are from HK$15 per piece. Kids can choose to have salmon, crab and avocado, freshwater eel, Japanese omelette or cucumber.

And whilst the adults are busy chatting, each Shiro menu also turns into an origami art piece and activity for the kids.

If the service staff are not too busy, they will even come fold the pieces with your little one. Now that’s what I call service!

Shiro is at two locations in Hong Kong at: 

Shiro Pacific Place – LG1, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway
Admiralty, Hong Kong
Reservations : +852 2117 9481
Shiro TaiKoo Place – Lincoln House, 979 King’s Road
TaiKoo Place, Hong Kong
Reservations : +852 2116 4969