On the shelf

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 February, 2009, 12:00am

1 Cristel stainless-steel cookware is a good option for cramped Hong Kong kitchens - the heatproof handles can be removed so the pots nest in one another, which saves space, and the flat lids are stackable. The handles (which come in cheerful yellow, orange and green) lock into place and are interchangeable, so you only need one set, no matter how many pots you have. A set of three saucepans (1.6 litres, 2.1 litres and 2.9 litres) costs HK$3,480, or HK$4,300 with the lids; they're also sold individually (in sizes from 1 litre to 5.1 litres). The range includes frying pans, woks and steamers. Cristel cookware is available at Great in Pacific Place (tel: 2918 9986), City'super in Causeway Bay (tel: 2506 2888) and Exclusivites in Central (tel: 2521 8626).

2 Marmite is an acquired taste. Salty, strong and pungent, the yeast extract is good in small quantities; spread thinly over buttered toast or dolloped into a bowl of congee. A jar of Marmite sells for about HK$70 at supermarkets, which is why we can't figure out why these Fudges Marmite biscuits cost HK$64 for a 150gm box. It's a lot more economical to buy a jar of Marmite and spread it over your own choice of biscuit. If you're determined to try the Fudges biscuits, you can find them at Oliver's in Central (tel: 2810 7710).

3 White truffles are an expensive delicacy only available fresh for a few months in the winter. The rest of the year, chefs can improvise with white truffle oil, most of which is synthetic, containing 'aroma' rather than the real tuber. But this doesn't mean it is bad - unless the oil is over-used. Because it's very strong, usually just a drop or two will suffice to perfume a whole dish. The Urbani Tartufi brand, an aroma-based oil, is HK$70.50 for 55ml. Urbani Tartufi products are available at Great.