Food & Drink

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in a scene from The Shawshank Redemption. Watching the film inspires Elizabeth Chu, the young chairwoman of family-owned ZS Hospitality, which runs restaurants in Hong Kong, to be patient and hopeful, she tells Richard Lord. Photo: Castle Rock Entertainment/Getty Images

‘We all dig our own tunnel’: The Shawshank Redemption’s inspiring message

Elizabeth Chu was a fresh graduate when she took over running a family-owned restaurant business, not long before the Covid-19 pandemic. She can relate to prisoner Andy Dufresne’s struggle in Frank Darabont’s film.

5 Feb 2023 - 5:15PM
Ningbo tangyuan glutinous rice balls as served at Yong Fu restaurant in Hong Kong. Glutinous rice balls, called tong yuen in Cantonese, are traditionally eaten on the 15th day of Lunar New Year celebrations. Photo: Yong Fu

Why Lunar New Year wouldn’t be complete without glutinous rice balls

Tangyuan glutinous rice balls should be eaten on the final evening of the 15-day-long Lunar New Year celebration. Here’s why they’re important, and where to find the best in Hong Kong.

4 Feb 2023 - 11:15AM
Freshly prepared abalone served in the shell, taken near Bruny Island,  Tasmania, during Pennicott Wilderness Journeys’ “Tasmanian Seafood Seduction” trip. Photo: Chris Dwyer

Abalone feasts, from Tasmanian seas to Hong Kong Michelin-star restaurants

From the cold waters of Tasmania to Michelin-star restaurants in Hong Kong, abalone is appreciated – and prepared – in different ways.

1 Feb 2023 - 9:43AM
Drink trends for the coming year include more savoury cocktails, such as this bacon spicy Bloody Mary with shrimp, pickle and olive, classic cocktails, and grower champagnes. Falling out of favour, we hope, will be cristalinos – clarified aged tequilas – and so-called healthy spirits. Photo: Shutterstock

Opinion | Top 2023 drinks trends: loaded Bloody Marys, a return to classic cocktails

Dirty martinis will get even dirtier and Bloody Marys more loaded with the rise of savoury cocktails, grower champagne will be a thing, and we’ll ditch overly complicated drinks.

30 Jan 2023 - 6:14PM
Abagold uses a Japanese technique to dry abalone over three weeks that is under a locked security system, South Africa, November 2022.

CREDIT: Linda Givetash

Diners at risk: how Asian appetites for abalone foster crime in South Africa

Abalone’s popularity in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia has fuelled a booming illegal trade in South Africa that is threatening the safety of unsuspecting consumers while enriching organised-crime syndicates.

28 Jan 2023 - 10:41AM
Cafe Corridor in Causeway Bay. The coffee shop is to close at the end of January after 22 years.   12JAN23    SCMP / May Tse

‘Good coffee, kind service’: a bitter goodbye to Cafe Corridor in Hong Kong

In operation since 2001, Cafe Corridor in Causeway Bay will close on January 31, leaving a legacy as one of the earliest - and most welcoming - speciality coffee bars in Hong Kong.

27 Jan 2023 - 10:30AM
Melia Hotels International chief executive Gabriel Escarrer and tennis player Rafa Nadal shake hands at the launch of Zel, a new hotel chain, in December 2022. It is the latest example of a sports, musical or screen star lending their name to a tourism business. Photo: Getty Images

From Messi to Ronaldo, Nadal and BTS’ Jin, celebrities in the tourism trade

Pop stars, actors, sportsmen and TV personalities have lent their star power to restaurants, hotels, vineyards, delis, even airlines.

25 Jan 2023 - 4:15PM
Lee Shun-bun at New Loon Fung, on Gerrard Street in London. The Hong Kong-born restaurateur has for decades nurtured the Chinese community in the city in both body and soul. Photo: Ming Tang-Evans

Last of his era: Hong Kong migrant who’s the soul of London’s Chinatown

A pillar of London’s Chinatown, Hong Kong-born restaurateur Lee Shun-bun, 71, represents what the area stands for, says fellow Chinese restaurant owner Andrew Wong, of A. Wong.

24 Jan 2023 - 2:47PM
Why fully-loaded congees are trending, and why congee is a Lunar New Year taboo. Photo: Instagram/@celestialpeach_uk

Why fully loaded congees are trending, and why it is a Lunar New Year taboo

A congee revival is resurrecting the underappreciated rice porridge dish and taking it to new heights, with maxed-out toppings or as a feat of fine-dining simplicity.

23 Jan 2023 - 7:15AM
Gérard Dubois at Sour Dough, his restaurant in Wan Chai on Hong Kong Island. The Swiss pastry chef talks to Andrew Sun. Photo: SCMP/Xiaomei Chen

Profile | ‘We pay for everything’ except underwear: pastry chef invests in his people

Gérard Dubois, Swiss pâtissier and entrepreneur, founded bakery business La Rose Noire in Hong Kong 32 years ago. He tells Andrew Sun what motivates him and how, at 60, he stays fit and trim.

22 Jan 2023 - 1:15PM
Daniel Calvert at Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market. The chef at French restaurant Sézanne, in the five-star Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo, takes us along for some early morning shopping at the market. Photo: Chris Dwyer

How 5-star-hotel chef tackles Tokyo fish market – and what makes him squirm

Chef Daniel Calvert moved from Hong Kong to Japan in 2021 to head up Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo’s flagship French restaurant Sezanne. We join him on a trip to the Toyosu fish market.

13 Jan 2023 - 1:38PM
White Rabbit candy ice-cream. Photo courtesy of Hao Productions

White Rabbit ice cream, handbags, cocktail – iconic Chinese candy evolves

White Rabbit Creamy Candy, a mainstay of the Lunar New Year treat box, has an 80-year history but isn’t resting on its laurels, launching new flavours and ice cream. A Hong Kong bar sells a White Rabbit cocktail.

8 Jan 2023 - 7:45AM
Wine tasting at a restaurant. Six of Hong Kong’s top wine professionals and sommeliers have shared their expectations for the wine industry in 2023. Photo: Shutterstock

Opinion | Wine expectations for 2023 from 6 people defining the scene in Hong Kong

Six of Hong Kong’s top wine professionals and sommeliers share their expectations for the wine industry in 2023, including more natural wines, and less French wine drunk at Italian restaurants.

6 Jan 2023 - 4:45PM
Hangover cures from around the world include a hair of the dog (above), a sheep’s eye, a bowl of soup, and pickles. Photo: Pictures From History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Hangover cures from around the world, from hair of the dog to eye of the sheep

Got that morning after feeling? Hangover cures differ in every country, from hair of the dog to soup or pickles, a sheep’s eye and the divisive Marmite on toast in the UK.

31 Dec 2022 - 12:15PM
Tung Po Kitchen staff take a farewell selfie in North Point before the food stall’s closure, one of several blows to the food scene in Hong Kong in 2022 - although it soon reopened in Wan Chai. There were other notable closures, and openings, too. Photo: Dickson Lee

What got tongues wagging, and the culinary zeitgeist: 2022 Hong Kong dining

Vicky Lau’s Mora and Mosu at M+ were among the notable restaurant openings, Jumbo Floating Restaurant among the losses. It was a year for doughnuts, and for chef collaborations.

27 Dec 2022 - 12:45PM
Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto set out to capture the essence of champagne through sound under a partnership with the House of Krug. Photo: The House of Krug

How Ryuichi Sakamoto found music to convey the essence of champagne

Suffering from terminal illness, composer Ryuichi Sakamoto touched an audience with his quiet, powerful music for the House of Krug.

17 Dec 2022 - 1:15PM
Mulled wine with spices and citrus. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

How ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg became the ‘taste of Christmas’

The smells of Christmas are in the air, and in Starbucks, but why are ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg so linked to the holiday season? Find out more and enjoy our bonus recipe for a mulled wine syrup.

13 Dec 2022 - 4:45PM
AT Patissier’s Pandoro. Photo: AT Patissier

Christmas 2022: 10 gift ideas for Hong Kong foodies, from cake to a jigsaw

Hong Kong foodies will love these Christmas gifts, from a lemon-tea-flavoured candle to a Hong Kong food-themed mystery jigsaw puzzle. There’s even a belly-button biscuit toy for dogs.

13 Dec 2022 - 10:37AM
Customers enjoy makgeolli at Danji in Hong Kong. The reinvention of the Korean fermented rice drink by a new breed of artisan brewers has given it sophisticated appeal with the younger crowd. Photo: Danji

Makgeolli makeover: how Korean rice beer is shedding its ‘old man’ image

Korean fermented rice drink makgeolli is making a comeback thanks to a new generation of innovators who have given it sophisticated appeal.

10 Dec 2022 - 11:15AM
Sparkling wine will be drunk widely over the holiday period, but champagne is expensive. We pick some alternatives that won’t break the bank. Photo: Shutterstock

Opinion | 7 sparkling wine alternatives to pricey champagne for the holiday season

A lot of sparkling wine will be drunk over the holidays, but champagne is expensive. We pick seven alternatives that won’t break the bank.

6 Dec 2022 - 5:15PM