Food & Drink

Recipes, cookbook reviews, interviews with chefs, culinary insights and wine columns
  1. My friends in locked-down parts of the world are posting on their social media accounts about how much they miss going out for dim sum. Many of these dishes cannot be made easily at home, because dumplings require special “skins” – wrappers that enclose the fillings – which take great skill to roll out and shape. Even my grandmother, who was an exceptional cook, didn’t bother making dim sum; we went out for it on weekends. My grandmother was way ahead of her time. Instead of waiting for the…
  2. Scottish single malt whiskies are grouped by region, each of which has its own character. The most distinc­tive are the single malts of Islay island, known for their salty maritime flavours: earthy, peaty, smoky and robust with a medicinal tinge of iodine. Today, they are in short supply due to high demand and scant production in previous decades, having fallen out of fashion in the 1980s as drinkers’ preferences shifted to white spirits.ArdbegDespite a history going back to 1794, Ardbeg closed…
  3. It survived a world war, Japanese invasion, revolutions and social upheavals. It even survived Sars. But at the end of the month, Jimmy’s Kitchen will serve its last chicken kiev and baked Alaska at its Wyndham Street location.Established in Wan Chai in 1928, the restaurant has been, for me, a reliable constant in Hong Kong’s ever-changing F&B landscape. While the food and service may not be the city’s best, nor the decor the most à la mode, there is a certain thrill to dining in an…
  4. Where did your interest in food come from? “My grandmother and mother. I grew up in Worpswede, an art colony in northern Germany. From the age of five I remember helping my granny make cookies for Christmas. She had an old hand crank to roll out sheets of dough. We made cookies to fill 12 boxes and sent them to relatives. It was 10 days of work but what’s not to like about sweet things?“When I was nine years old the microwave came out and I didn’t like it. I asked my mother how to reheat food…
  5. At the quiet end of Gough Street, in Hong Kong’s Central district, stands a pocket-sized shop easily overlooked. A wooden bench outside tempts passers-by to pause, and if you peek through the picture window, you’ll likely catch a glimpse of two chocolatiers perfecting their craft. Hakawa Chocolate is one of just five bean-to-bar makers in Hong Kong, and the only one where you can see the production in process. The heady richness of roasted beans – an aroma scientifically shown to reduce stress …
  6. I don’t know how curry-flavoured rice noodles came to be called Singapore noodles. It’s not a dish that originated there, and curry powder – the main flavouring – isn’t something you would normally associate with the Lion City. But Singapore noodles can be delicious. They are quite economical to make, too, which makes them a popular offering on the menus of inexpensive Chinese restaurants – it’s mostly noodles with some vegetables and a few pieces of char siu and shrimp. Some versions can be…
  7. I love the prosaic title of Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English (2010), which is – you guessed it – about Sichuan cuisine and written in English and simplified Chinese. The book is a joint effort by the Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine and the Sichuan Gourmet Association.Chengdu’s Sichuan Higher Institute of Cuisine is the school that British cookbook author Fuchsia Dunlop attended as its first foreigner. She helped with the translation of this cookbook.In the introduction,…
  8. In the 1870s, many Jewish refugees left Europe for New York. But Mordechai Landau boarded a ship in Odessa, Imperial Russia, and headed east, arriving in British Singapore with a wife, five children, few contacts, little money and speaking only Yiddish and Russian.It was not an auspicious start, but the Landau family pioneered the pineapple-canning business in the city, at 95 Albert Street. Mordechai’s second son was my grandfather, Aaron Landau, who would become the founder of Jimmy’s Kitchen…
  9. When Jimmy’s Kitchen closes its doors at the end of this month many will mourn the loss of one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most storied restaurants. Indeed, the 92-year-old Central eatery was set to close in April but was given a month’s reprieve following a surge of interest from patrons who wanted to dine at Jimmy’s one last time.“The response has been so overwhelming we have extended the closure into May,” says Epicurean Group’s food and beverage director Anthony Russell-Clark.Even if you…
  10. Behind a line-up of bottles flanked by glasses, Hong Kong-based sommeliers Alexandria Rae Cubbage and Florian Rossignol taste wines, answer questions and toast the only people in the room: each other.At the Fine Wine Experience, in Sai Ying Pun, social distancing has not dented the public’s appetite for good wine. The shop is offering online tasting events through Facebook, staying true to its mission – what co-founder and managing director Linden Wilkie calls the “experience of wine”.“I think…