If you live next door to Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, make sure you tell her before you cook a curry.
But that's not necessarily because she likes the spicy, aromatic concoction and might seek an invitation.
"Some people do not like [people] next door cooking curry - the smell might affect one's neighbours. Sometimes you should think twice [before cooking it]," she told a Commercial Radio programme yesterday.
The executive councillor and legislator was drawing an analogy to a leaked memo revealing that the government was requiring officials to consider mainlanders' sentiment when formulating policies.
She said this was necessary because people should "take care of their neighbours", just as they should when cooking a meal that might assail sensitive noses.
Her comments however left a bad smell with a campaigner for minority rights who works with curry-loving South Asians.
Fermi Wong Wai-fun, of Unison Hong Kong, said Ip's comparison was politically insensitive.
"She should have considered other people's feelings before she implied there is something negative about the smell of curry," Wong said. "It's not a good example."
Ip gave no clue as to whether she personally liked to tuck into a curry. But a search on restaurant guide OpenRice showed such dishes - much beloved of British colonials - still seem popular in Hong Kong.
More than 100 restaurants had the word curry in their names - not counting scores more that listed the dish on their menus.Topics: Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee Curry Hong Kong Politics