On the shelf
1 A salad spinner is the type of kitchen tool you don't realise is essential until you have one. Until getting our first spinner, we let our greens air-dry (which takes hours) or patted them dry with paper towels. City'super (Times Square, tel: 2506 2888; New Town Plaza, tel: 2603 3488; Harbour City, tel: 2375 8222; IFC Mall, tel: 2234 7128) seems to have the best selection of salad spinners in Hong Kong, offering five or six types, with different sizes and spinning mechanisms, ranging in price from about HK$125 to just over HK$200.
2 We tend to be wary of inexpensive balsamic vinegars, having tasted many that are watery and acidic. So we were pleasantly surprised by the tart but balanced version made by So!Go of South Africa. While we wouldn't drink it by the spoonful as we do the aged (and super-expensive) balsamic vinegars from Italy, we'd use this one for salads and grilled vegetables. It's HK$53 for a 200ml bottle from Oliver's in Central (tel: 2810 7710).
3 Bon Bon Bon (tel: 2523 6565) on Pottinger Street, in Central, is one of our favourite places for unusual products - and almost everything we've bought there has been of excellent quality. Our newest 'find' is this delicious Taiwanese sauce, which contains scallops, dried shrimp and black beans in a mildly spicy chilli oil. It seems expensive at HK$152 for 550 grams but it's so intense a little goes a long way.