22 February 2017

Lau Kin-wai

HKEJ columnist; art, culture and food critic
  • 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....
  • Octopus braised in red wine (left) and marine lobster pasta are both superb. Photo: Openrice, Facebook/Mangiare

    Mangiare: Impressive little Italian hub

    - Dec 16, 2016 5:31pm
    Since the MTR Island line was extended to Kennedy Town, new restaurants have mushroomed in the neighborhood. Some time ago, a gweilo friend brought me to Mangiare, a small hub in Cadogan Street that specializes in...
  • Those who do not understand the past will not be able to look to the future either. Photo: Reuters

    Living in a mind cage

    - Nov 18, 2016 5:35pm
    Visiting MUJI’s immense store at the Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu, I couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous.  Our mainland peers appear to have definitely surpassed us – assuming that the material world is a reflection...
  • Samsen serves the most delightful Wagyu beef boat noodles with a soup base that blows the mind. Photo: Facebook/Samsen

    A taste of Thailand in a cozy corner of Wan Chai

    - Nov 11, 2016 5:30pm
    Some days ago, I had lunch with my friend at a Thai restaurant, where the head chef is a Westerner and most of the waiting staff are Thais. Situated on Stone Nullah Lane in Wan Chai,...
  • Property sector has contributed significantly to Hong Kong's economy over the years. Photo: HKEJ

    Why high property prices aren’t necessarily bad

    - Nov 4, 2016 5:31pm
    With “double spicy measures” in place to curb skyrocketing property prices, Hong Kong has seen many property owners get affected. There has been concern as people — no surprise here — always want their asset values...
  • It should be first and foremost the duty of employers to ensure their employees' safety. Photos: HKEJ, internet

    Why we should support a ban on cleaning exterior of windows

    - Oct 21, 2016 5:32pm
    Some time ago, I saw a chalk outline at a car park near my home and the security guard told me that a Filipina who worked in the same building fell to her death on that...
  • Nathan Law (in white shirt) is among the young pro-democracy activists who have scored victories in Hong Kong's Legislative Council election. Photo: Reuters

    Why young radicals have gained the support of HK voters

    - Sep 9, 2016 2:44pm
    Following the Legislative Council election, I learnt that many of my friends and I had something in common with regard to the Sunday vote: we cast our ballots in favor of young candidates advocating localism even though...
  • A fish stall stirs to life in the early monring hours. The best seasonal virgin mud crabs are those caught in Hong Kong waters. Photo: Bloomberg

    Hornlip mullets, virgin mud crabs: Pick your season

    - Aug 19, 2016 6:13pm
    Two days ago, I bumped into a fishmonger. He took me to a stall where he often bought his supply, saying I should give the hornlip mullet (鱭魚) a try. Hornlip mullets are about the length of...
  • Hu Shigen's life has been filled with sacrifices for the cause of democracy in China. Photo:

    In praise of Hu Shigen

    - Aug 5, 2016 5:38pm
    Hu Shigen (胡石根), a veteran Chinese democracy activist, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison by a Tianjin court Wednesday on charges of subverting state power. After graduating from Peking University with a major in Chinese...
  • Causeway Bay Bookstore manager Lam Wing-kee (left) reveals details of his arrest and detention in the mainland during a press conference on June 16. Photo: HKEJ

    What the missing booksellers’ saga tells us

    - Jun 24, 2016 5:33pm
    Fear has befallen Hong Kong The saga of the missing booksellers has enlightened Hongkongers with a deeper understanding of how the Chinese Communist Party works — it doesn’t recognize the rule of law, and stirring up...
  • By announcing a crackdown on illegal parking, Hong Kong police are indirectly admitting their negligence over the years. Photo: HKEJ

    Lack of discipline prevails amid crackdown on illegal parking

    - Jun 17, 2016 5:29pm
    Hong Kong police have stepped up the issuance of illegal parking tickets without prior warning. In a single week, authorities have issued over 40,000 tickets, pouring millions of dollars into government coffers. But is the renewed...
  • Causeway Bay Typhoon Shelter: Would the government be able to revive the charm of a bygone era? Photos: Wikimedia,

    The folly of reviving sampan rides and floating restaurants

    - Jun 3, 2016 5:32pm
    With the construction of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass entering its final stage, the Development Bureau has put forward an ambitious plan for a promenade on the nearly 5-kilometer stretch of the Hong Kong Island harborfront. One...
  • More eateries are opening in shopping malls as retail stores close down. Photo: Wordpress/eatshopplanet

    Why Hong Kong restaurateurs are going nuts

    - May 20, 2016 5:34pm
    A friend of mine, a renowned Italian chef, recently shared with me his grief about the unfavorable business environment for Hong Kong’s restaurant industry. He just can’t understand why newer and bigger restaurants are entering the...
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth was caught on film making unguarded comments about "very rude" Chinese officials during President Xi Jinping's state visit to the United Kingdom last year. Photo: Xinhua

    Propriety stems from self-respect

    - May 13, 2016 6:59pm
    Propriety is a virtue that should be instilled in our younger generation, but hardly do we see it among grown-ups as well. Recently I have had an unpleasant encounter with someone while I was visiting the...
  • Amid the debate over a potential new term for Chief Executive CY Leung (L), LegCo chief Jasper Tsang has been making some interesting comments. Photo: HKEJ

    Leung’s main problem: Loss of public trust

    - Apr 18, 2016 3:53pm
    Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, founding chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), has seemingly been giving away “clues” on whether Leung Chun-ying should be considered for a second term. From an interesting...
  • Two-thirds of Leung Kwok-hung's secondary school classmates have emigrated from Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

    Most, if not all, his classmates are gone for good

    - Mar 23, 2016 6:41pm
    Coming back from Shanghai, I bumped into “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung, and soon we went drinking and catching up with each other. We sort of shared the same alma mater — Clementi Secondary School, which is...
  • Society may not be able to accept the youngsters' behavior but it has an obligation to understand why they did what they did. Photo: Reuters

    A ‘rioter’ is born in Mong Kok

    - Feb 20, 2016 8:04am
    I saw a young friend of mine appear in a TV news report about the Mong Kok clashes on the second day of the Lunar New Year. Asked what happened to them that night, his girlfriend...

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