Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Q&A for Marketing Magazine


A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune of being contacted by Erica Ng of Marketing Magazine who asked little ol' me to do a Q&A as "advice" for PR people working with bloggers. It just came out in print in the July 2011 issue (don't think it's online), along with responses from other Hong Kong bloggers - beauty blogger Meling Lam of Apple113, tech & gadget blogger Jonathan Sin of Fun Lockr and travel blogger Michael Taylor of Accidental Travel Writer. As with most cases in print, because of space limitations, a lot of it was edited out, so I thought I'd share my original, unedited version. I imagine it also answers some of the questions people (like my own mother!) have about why I blog etc.

It's all about the money - Whisk

Tomato, strawberry and mozzarella salad
Rent and/or the stock market explain a lot of things in Hong Kong. Like how perfectly good restaurants close down (not over 80% full every night, for instance, hence not enough to cover rent); the advent of private kitchens (stock market crash of 1997, high rents); why we eat out so much (expensive housing, small kitchens that aren't conducive to entertaining or lots of cooking, unless you're dedicated).

So I'm guessing, for a hotel restaurant like Whisk, they have some sort of projected profit goal thingy they have to achieve. And not being exactly the busiest restaurant in town, they'd be desperate for two main things: 1) attract more people, 2) lower (food) costs. With a $218 set meal, Mon-Sat, for 3 courses plus coffee/tea and petit fours, I gotta say they're trying very hard to do 1). But then, how about 2)? How low can those food costs go? To me, it seems like they've lowered it a bit too much. Tasteless beef, cheap balsamic glaze - I'd rather $218 for two courses and better ingredients - I only have one stomach, after all. One thing they don't have to change is the chef. He's turning out great stuff from what crappy things his budget allows. Either that, or he needs to source really local, but I don't think hotel management can accept that kind of operation...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Best Chicken I've Ever Had - Chicken Village (Ji Cun) Panyu

Ji Cun's signature "crystal chicken"
I'd been here once before, two years ago, and in my mind, no chicken has topped this. Seriously, sometimes I wake up at night thinking about Ji Cun's "crystal chicken".


Monday, July 18, 2011

After Seven Years of Blogging and e_ting: My 7 Links

It's my first time participating in any real "blogger" activity on the internet, and I thank Connie of Connvoyage and Aaron of Aaron's Worldwide Adventures for tagging me (and Erin of Our Tasty Travels for pointing me out to Aaron!) and getting me involved in Tripbase's "My 7 Links" project.

The idea is to go back to your own posts and find one to fit each of the 7 proposed categories, then 'tag' 5 more bloggers to do the same, to "share lessons learned" and bring old posts back to see the light of day. So, without further ado, here are my 7 links.

The ingenius start to our meal at Singapore's FiftyThree

Monday, July 04, 2011

Roast Your Own Pig - Pacific Sky BBQ at Whitehead Golf Club

Sea view roasting
This post is really only here to say that you can, indeed, roast your own pig. Just call the people at Pacific Sky and book a couple of days ahead, transfer them a deposit, and rock up.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Would Your Grandmother Approve? - Ugly American

Entrecote
Having made a place with virtually no kitchen in North Point my home for the past year, I ate out in the area a lot. Don't get me wrong, the area has plenty of good Chinese food, but I have to say I got pretty excited when I heard a grill opened.

Ugly American is helmed by a chef who (as the magazines say) has headed kitchens in such places as Dan Ryan's (awesome!) and Fat Angelo's (not so awesome).

The intro on their Facebook page says:
This is not a restaurant made to impress snobbish critics or high society, but rather one where chefs go to eat.