a trip down memory lane
Protection of our heritage is a hot topic these days and, aside from historical buildings, traditional food and eateries are on the brink of extinction. The 80-year-old Man Yuen Noodles stall on Elgin Street was forced to close in 2005 because the licence holder died without a spouse or children and, because of that, government policy barred the business partner from continuing at the same location so it had to move to a shop across the street. The food is still enjoyable, but it is just not the same. Despite pleas to conserve intangible heritage such as the dai pai dong culture, government policy continues to move things the other way. High rents have also forced many historical restaurants out. Some restaurateurs bought their premises when the prices were still reasonable, but others are at the mercy of landlords who may charge rents that restaurants cannot afford. This is why establishments that are not at the mercy of landlords are so precious. This issue of Good Eating has a historical theme. Restaurants are categorised by their founding eras and you will read about how the city's dining culture has evolved. This issue again looks at Macau, where talk of balancing development and heritage protection is a hot topic. Are the new restaurants there going to drown out the older ones? Those in the know share their views. For our Southeast Asian series we focus on Bangkok, summing up all the hot dining spots in the popular destination. Spain is also on the menu, with a story on the country's famous olive oil and the lesser known Jaen province that produces it. Three Hong Kong chefs will talk about the trend of molecular gastronomy, which was made popular by Spain's El Bulli restaurant. And we ask whether the prices of wines truly reflect their quality. Wine connoisseur Robin Lynam gives his view. The listings have been updated to offer you a quick way to savour your next tasty meal. Dining is not just about food, it is about culture. Having new options is a good thing, of course, but sometimes it's the oldies that really make this city our home.