Charmaine Mok
Charmaine Mok
Deputy culture editor 
Charmaine Mok is the Deputy Culture Editor at SCMP and the desk's food and wine specialist. She has been working in food media since 2007, and most memorably drank 50 coffees over three days in the name of research. She’s devoted to telling unexpected stories of the dining scene in Asia and those who shape it, and is always in the mood for noodles and/or a cheeky beverage.

Known for its classic cocktails and Prohibition-era vibe, Hong Kong’s 001 bar has reopened at Tai Kwun in Central in an equally hidden location and boasting a revamped drinks menu.

As Mid-Autumn Festival approaches, there’s a lot of unjustified hating on traditional mooncake flavours. But with newer iterations containing things like beef Wellington, it’s time to consider what a mooncake actually is.

The century egg is a ‘confusing’ ingredient in Chinese cuisine. Here’s how they are made, why they smell like they do, and some of the unexpected places to find them.


Olivier Elzer, a keto diet fan and chef of Michelin restaurant L’Envol in the St Regis Hong Kong, recently invited some food writers to spar with him then try his 1,088-calorie fine-dining meal.

The Michelin Guide Taiwan’s 6th edition elevates to three-Michelin-star status a restaurant serving indigenous Taiwanese cuisine, Taïrroir. A total of 36 restaurants are awarded stars in the 2023 guide.

Pierre Hermé. Dominique Ansel. Hong Kong has a history of celebrating foreign pastry chefs, but their home-grown counterparts are equally deserving of attention.

Chinatowns have long enraptured writers, artists and photographers as well as cooks – here’s a list of cookbooks, photos and videos to help you understand these cultural enclaves better.

Japan’s Fuji Rock music festival is more than a feast for the ears: from fried chicken to grilled sweet fish and the best soba noodles ever, it’s a real draw for foodies.

Prawn mee, fish head curry, laksa in all its varieties, Hainanese chicken rice – there’s a wealth of authentic Singaporean food, and Singapore-inspired dishes, for Hong Kong diners and the homesick to tuck into.

From the rise of sparkling sake and sake absolute 0 to brewers’ focus on sustainability, an expert explains trends behind the Japanese rice wine’s revival.

Instagram beauty and fashion influencer Kelly ‘Spoon’ Chan recently launched her food brand Rumah in Hong Kong, selling a single product – kue lapis, or layer cake – that disappears fast.


Hong Kong hosted the black-tie Asia’s 50 Best Bars event for the first time, and city bar Coa edged out Singapore’s Jigger & Pony for top spot. The Lion City still finished with the most bars ranked, though.

Hong Kong’s hosting of the Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards in July 2023 shines a spotlight on the city’s nightlife spots. We propose 3 contrasting bar crawls to get to know some of them better.

Imagine going for yum cha and not hearing any of the clatter or chatter, or being able to speak to the waiters. A Hong Kong charity and a hotel have replicated deaf diners’ experience to show the challenges they face.

Two recent meals in Hong Kong celebrating a star ingredient showed how chefs get the very best out of produce: an ode to the Spanish dorada at Asaya Kitchen, and Sossam Tea House’s three-dish chicken meal.

Parisian culinary academy Le Cordon Bleu is hosting cooking classes at Hong Kong’s K11 Musea mall from June 20 to July 19. We attend one and learn to cook coq au vin-style chicken, to see if it’s worth the price.

Koala’s March cookies from South Korea’s Lotte are popular around Asia and there are more than 600 koala designs, including an ‘eyebrow koala’ said to bring good luck. Fans have gone to great lengths to find one.

The Michelin Guide Singapore 2023 includes 19 new Bib Gourmand awardees – 17 hawker stalls and two restaurants. The additions take the list of good-value places to eat in the city state to 79.

Quinary bar created the Earl Grey Caviar Martini 11 year ago. Now it’s founder Antonio Lai has teamed with premium-tea champion Nana Chan at her renovated Plantation on a menu of tempting tea cocktails.

I’m throwing in the white napkin – I can no longer withstand hours-long dinners with dozens of courses paraded one after the other. Whatever happened to the humble three-course meal?

After a tough few years with multiple closures and a drain on talent, Hong Kong’s bar scene is now stronger than ever, with numerous new openings and the city for the first time hosting the Asia’s 50 Best Bars awards.

A noodle bar in Taiwan has gone viral for serving ramen made with an alien-looking, 14-legged deep-sea creature that is distantly related to woodlice and can reach more than 30cm long.

Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn of Michelin-starred Le Du in Bangkok – No. 1 on the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023 list – will open fine-dining eatery Niras in Hong Kong this summer.

If you simply must try every new food trend on Instagram or TikTok, from dalgona coffee to baked feta pasta, you have Foodmo, or fear of missing out on trendy food on social media. And you are not alone.

If you order takeaway milk tea in Hong Kong, you will probably get it in the ubiquitous ‘wheat pattern’ paper cup. The design has inspired artists and homesick Hongkongers, but where did it originate?