Jessica Lee teaches yoga classes at Flex and Lemon Drop, as well as at the female-only gym Pherform. She believes in a healthy lifestyle but still indulges in the occasional treats. She tells us about where she goes for a healthy salad, a great bowl of noodles and to enjoy the best gin and tonic and vegetarian dinner on a night out with her friends. I don’t follow a diet and I am not a vegan/vegetarian, but I do try to balance my meals with a good amount of greens and some meat. I eat junk food, so most days it’s a tough struggle between eating healthy things that nourish my body while occasionally enjoying a snack like crisps that brings me joy. While I don’t fully practise veganism, I’ll try to go meatless at least one or two days a week, as it still makes an impact. I was born and raised in Hong Kong, so my palate reflects that. I never say no to soup noodles. Some of my favourite spots include Mak Man Kee (51 Parkes Street, Jordan, tel: 2736 5561) for wonton noodles, Kong Chai Kee (2 Canal Road East, Causeway Bay, tel: 2893 5617) for fish ball noodles, and Kau Kee (21 Gough Street, Central, tel: 2850 5967) for beef brisket noodles. I also really love Tam Jai Sam Gor Mixian (439-441 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, tel: 2442 2616) as well as Sour and Spicy Noodle (Room 3, 5/F Island Beverley, 1 Great George Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 2333 9693) for their hot and sour potato starch noodles. When I crave Western comfort food, the steak and hash skillet at Green Waffle Diner (Kar Ho Building, 35-39 Graham Street, Central, tel: 2887 9991) comes to mind. Where a French woman from New York eats in Hong Kong, from La Brata to Gough’s on Gough I mostly teach around the Central/Sheung Wan area, so between classes I like to pop over to Fresca (54A Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2770 2282) for a healthy salad – they pack their salad boxes to the brim, so you get an amazing amount and selections for a great price, and it’s so hard to narrow it down to just four for the large salad box. If I’m craving carbs, Extra Virgin (Sun Wise Building, 112-114 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2984 0009) is an inexpensive choice. I also really like the takeaway boxes at Maison Libanaise (10 Shelley Street, Central, tel: 2111 2284). My usual order is the za’atar fried chicken with Syrian salad and cucumber labneh sauce. Ohms Cafe & Bar (192 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 5400 4236) is another not-so-secret hideout for when I want to park myself at a spot and work on my laptop while enjoying a guilt-free meal like yuba and kimchi mix with tofu salad which comes with a sprinkle of turmeric – yummy! Hong Kong’s favourite chef opens up about his taste for tinned sardines, instant noodles When I have yogi friends in town, I like to take them to Grassroots Pantry (108 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2873 3353) for a nice dinner. They do a fantastic job of making plant-based food delicious, plus the staff are so friendly. I still dream about their barbecue popcorn “chicken” and mixed mushroom linguine. A chill-out destination is at Teakha (18B Tai Ping Shan Road, Sheung Wan, tel: 2858 9185) with a cup of their signature masala chai, which is my favourite chai in town. I’m a crazy cat lady, but since my own British shorthair baby Faust is in the UK, when I need to fill my cat void I’ll hang out at Mr & Mrs Cat Dessert Café (Flat L, 1/F, Po Ming Building, 2-6 Foo Ming Street, Causeway Bay, tel: 5116 1244). They’ve got a ceiling-to-floor cat tree in the middle of the cafe and loads of shelves for the kitties to hop around. I am also there for their nice kimchi udon in soup and a matcha latte. How a Hong Kong restaurant group went from underdog to leader of the pack I don’t really drink much alcohol but if I do indulge, my friends and I will often end up at The Woods (17 Hollywood Road, Central, tel: 2522 0281) at some point in the night with an inevitable round of tom yam shots. My spirit of choice is gin, and so far, my favourite gin & tonic is the Master’s London at Ping Pong 129 Gintoneria (Nam Cheong Lau, 129 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun, tel: 9158 1584). I order it every time I go. I am really happy about the growing number of Vietnamese restaurants that opened last year. Pho is one of my favourites and I still regularly go to BEP (88-90 Wellington Street, Central, tel: 2581 9992), Pho Bar (24 Li Yuen Street West, Central, tel: 2109 2028), and Brass Spoon (10 Pottinger Street, Central, tel: 2804 1811) when I need a hearty soup noodle fix. I love a plethora of cuisines, but I think my ultimate favourite would have to be Korean food. Back when I was still working at my corporate job, my office was only two streets away from Kimberley Street – often referred to as “Korean Street” – so I would get soondubu or kimchi jjigae for lunch and take a kimbap as a snack for later in the day. I’m useless in the kitchen but I was determined to learn how to cook ddukbokggi – one of the few dishes I’m now proud to say I can successfully make.