18 January 2020

Lau Kin-wai

HKEJ columnist; art, culture and food critic
  • Telling kids not to spend too much time on the computer is like asking them to be out of sync with the fashionable world. Photo: Reuters

    Battling against digital toys

    - Sep 29, 2017 5:45pm
    It is not easy to be parents nowadays: they always have to compete with smartphones and tablet computers for their children’s attention. Over the weekend I drove my two grandchildren around the city in an attempt...
  • Chicken offal congee at the 50-year-old Ming Kee restaurant is as tasty as in the good old days. But the English translation of the dish is less than tasteful. Photo: Internet

    Terrible translation makes chicken offal congee unpalatable

    - Sep 22, 2017 5:31pm
    Before going to Broadway Cinema in Yau Ma Tei, I would take a simple meal nearby, and Ming Kee restaurant on Wing Sing Lane would always come to mind.  About 50 years ago, Ming Kee was...
  • Many Hong Kong diners are willing to suffer shabby treatment at the hands of restaurant owners and staff s as long as they are assured of good food. Photo: Internet

    How some diners are gluttons for punishment

    - Sep 1, 2017 3:42pm
    A friend of mine recently posted close-up pictures online of the dishes on offer at a Fanling eatery that is known for pork knuckles. The images prompted me to make a trip myself to the restaurant. ...
  • An annual fishing moratorium in the South China Sea came to an end in mid-August, beefing up supply of seafood in Hong Kong. Photo: Xinhua

    Disappointments and surprises in a famed wet market

    - Aug 25, 2017 5:30pm
    Last Saturday, I went to the Ap Lei Chau Market and witnessed a festive holiday atmosphere there, with abundant fish supplies and crowds of shoppers. The reason behind the activity and the renewed buzz was this:...
  • The ideal char siu, or barbecued pork, should be rich in the original aroma of the meat, yet excessive use of artificial coloring and MSG have made most char siu tasteless. Photo: Internet

    Chinese junk food

    - Aug 18, 2017 5:31pm
    I couldn’t help but shake my head in disapproval when I saw an uploaded picture of char siu, aka Cantonese barbecued pork, by my friend on social media. The meat slices had a 5 mm. thick...
  • Vietnamese beef pho noodle soup from a Causeway Bay eatery run by two Canadian Chinese food lovers has won many fans. Photo: Internet

    A taste of Vietnamese beef noodle pho at Fûhn

    - Aug 11, 2017 5:30pm
    Whenever I want a simple but filling meal, I immediately think of a bowl of Vietnamese beef pho noodle soup as I prefer food that is more hydrating. Sometimes when I visit my younger sister in...
  • A dinner at a private kitchen in Zhongshan: fresh ingredients and patient preparation made these everyday dishes so delightful. Photos: Internet

    Private kitchen dinner in Zhongshan

    - Jul 28, 2017 5:31pm
    Shenwan, a town in the southern periphery of the city of Zhongshan in Guangdong province, is renowned for its pineapples. The fruit, the size of a fist on average, has a rich flavor and sweet fresh...
  • The Tasting Room offers authentic Cantonese dishes. Estabelecimento De Comidas Lou Kei Hoi Sin's quality control is the secret of its success. Photos: Openrice/Marccia07, Instagram/nick_spacen80

    A day in Macau for a good show and great food

    - Jun 9, 2017 5:31pm
    Thanks to a show brought by Japanese choreographer and multidisciplinary artist Hiroaki Umeda, I spent a whole day in Macau. Of course, I would not waste the chance to eat great food. For lunch, I  went...
  • Hong Kong media outlets are facing political suppression and financial challenges. Photo: HKEJ

    Death of the Hong Kong media

    - Jun 9, 2017 2:02pm
    More than 80 percent of owners or supervisors of Hong Kong’s 26 media outlets have been given major positions and appointments in public services, or awarded by the government with honors in recognition of their contributions,...
  • The Pici Pasta Bar, a small Italian eatery in Wan Chai, is attracting good crowds after it opened earlier this year. Photo:

    Pici Pasta Bar: Welcome addition to a WanChai neighborhood

    - Jun 2, 2017 5:30pm
    On a recent afternoon, as I was heading back to my workshop, I walked past St. Francis Yard in Wan Chai’s Star Street area. There I saw a tiny Italian restaurant packed full of diners. The...
  • This automatic cooking machine can be controlled from a smartphone. You pick the menu and prepare the ingredients as specified and the machine will do the rest. Photo: Internet

    A glimpse into the future of Chinese cuisine

    - May 19, 2017 5:32pm
    For several days, I went back and forth to HOFEX, a biennial trade show on food and hospitality held recently at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center. It was an exciting show dedicated to the...
  • Chinese cuisine has not fared all that well in this year's ranking of the world's top 50 restaurants. Lung King Heen in Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong is the highest rated Chinese restaurant at No. 71. Photo: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong

    What Chinese restaurants can learn from World’s 50 snub

    - Apr 14, 2017 6:31pm
    Of the world’s 50 best restaurants this year, none is Chinese. Some people might call it unfair but there are no strict rules for the judges, which include food writers, critics, chefs, restaurant owners and gourmets,...
  • Customers like to browse through books before buying, yet bookstores tend to seal their books for reasons like lowering cost. The practice is turning away book lovers. Photo: HKEJ

    This is how bookshops kill themselves

    - Apr 7, 2017 5:30pm
    How would you feel if you were not allowed to flip through any books at a bookshop? Unamused. That’s how I felt when I had the experience recently in Ningbo. The books were all wrapped in...
  • Consumers perfer locally grown vegetables, but due to inadequate support from the government, local produce accounts for just 2 percent of sales. Photos: Danny Chan

    Why Hong Kong is not producing enough organic vegetables

    - Mar 24, 2017 5:34pm
    It all began when Wong Ling couldn’t get into the Vegetable Marketing Organization. Instead of being discouraged when his produce was dismissed by the group as “too many and too poor”, Wong persevered. He decided to...
  • Policemen are first and foremost law enforcers. Are they still qualified for the job if they no longer believe in the rule of law? Photo: CNSA

    How the disciplined forces have hit a new low

    - Mar 3, 2017 5:32pm
    Tens of thousands of policemen staged a rally in Mong Kok last Wednesday to protest the jailing of seven officers for assault on a democracy activist. Apart from stirring up and unleashing emotions, the protest puzzled...
  • Photos of a local fishpond during (left) and after the drying process. Photos: Facebook/Fisherman Kwok Mok Tai

    The many ways to cook Yuen Long gray mullet

    - Feb 24, 2017 4:58pm
    I had a fun and meaningful Sunday afternoon as a judge in a cooking contest in Causeway Bay. Organized by the Hong Kong Bird Watching Society, the cookfest is aimed at promoting the locally raised gray...
  • Tai Sang Wai in the southwest of Yuen Long is a wide open plain dotted with hundreds of fishponds. Photo: Hong Kong Fishpond Conservation Scheme

    Hong Kong fishponds: Rare asset fights to survive

    - Feb 17, 2017 5:32pm
    Tai Sang Wai in the southwest of Yuen Long is a wide open plain dotted with hundreds of fishponds. I was told that fishponds like these are rare in South China nowadays. Today, their biggest beneficiary is Shenzhen. Without...
  • The Hong Kong Police Force has 29,377 disciplined officers and 4,579 civilian staff. But most of the uniformed officers are invisible. You rarely see them on street patrols. Photo: HKEJ

    Police sweeping bad news under the carpet?

    - Feb 10, 2017 5:36pm
    An ill-tempered taxi driver was jammed in Wan Chai Road. He gave a furious blast on his horn but the sedan in front didn’t budge. He knew it wouldn’t move but he honked anyway. When the...
  • Belon on Elgin Street in SoHo is an impressive Parisian bistro. Photo:

    Delightful New Year dinner at a Parisian bistro in SoHo

    - Feb 3, 2017 6:08pm
    Eating out on the first day of the year on the lunar calendar could give you a headache. Restaurants are mostly closed, and so are wet markets. If some eateries are open, the food choices are...
  • Steamed goldsilk sea bream can make for an appetizing dish. Photo: openrice/FoodSpotting

    A foodie’s day out

    - Dec 30, 2016 6:00pm
    A friend of mine who raises fish at a farm in Zhaoqing told me recently that the cured duck that I ordered some time ago has been wind-dried well and that it is ready for consumption....