I love these whimsical owl- and penguin-shaped Kikkerland kitchen timers. Of course, they aren't as precise as a digital timer (you can only set the minutes), but they're fine for baked goods and other recipes where 10 seconds here or there won't make much difference. They sell for HK$55 from Lost & Found, The One, 100 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel: 2997 8191.


I rarely use bouillon cubes and the like, but I do enjoy this plaice powder from Tai O Lo Yau Kee. Made in Tai O, it contains only dried fish; there’s no MSG, additives or preservatives. Because it’s so concentrated, a little adds a lot of flavour to fish soups and sauces. It sells for HK$68 for 130 grams from City’super (Times Square, Causeway Bay, tel: 2506 2888).


If you like spices - ordinary ones as well as the more exotic types such as sumac, long pepper and kokum - contact Regency Spices (tel: 2517 2316; regencyspices.hk). Founded in 1951, it imports quality spices from around the world. It also carries seeds (including basil, carom and fenugreek), vanilla beans, herbs, Iranian saffron strands, exotic salts and dried chillies. Delivery in Hong Kong is free.