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The List: Shaun Bernier

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the June 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Shaun BernierClick here for large size.

Women in Focus: SW Wong

Shaun Bernier is the founder and acting executive director of HandsOn Hong Kong, a nonprofit organization that acts as a middleperson between volunteers and charities, helping to recruit volunteers or manage upcoming activities. Bernier tells Charmaine Ng about growing up in a family that instilled goodwill in her and bringing that to Hong Kong.

I grew up in the US with a family that taught me to appreciate what we had from a very young age.

My parents brought me to volunteer regularly with Habitat for Humanity during high school. That put me on the path to working in public service.

I worked in an NGO after university and gained advocacy experience in the public sector. It was my husband’s job that moved us to Hong Kong.

Coming with experience from the government, I didn’t know where to get started in the new city and with the language barrier here, it wasn’t really possible for me to work in the local government.

Timing-wise, starting HandsOn Hong Kong in 2007 was perfect. I had previous experience working with HandsOn New York and Washington DC and I saw a need for the organization in my new city.

HandsOn is perfect for someone wanting to help out in the community but doesn’t know where to start—especially in Hong Kong, where there is a lack of work-life balance in general.

We’re like a matchmaker between volunteers and charities. But we’re not your traditional matchmaker—we join you on the first date to test the waters. We hope that it’s a good fit, and that it’ll be beneficial and meaningful for both sides.

The charities we work with address a variety of social needs and we also partner with smaller NGOs who may not have resources themselves.

Volunteering benefits two or more people—yourself and those being helped. Volunteers are doing more than just asking for donations on the street. It’s a more rewarding way to address social issues.

I’m particularly passionate about refugees and asylum workers who cannot work in Hong Kong while waiting for their status.

I also have a soft spot for children and the elderly. We have a program where volunteers meet directly with the elderly in their own homes and provide essentials for them. It’s very eye-opening to see where they live beyond the elderly center.

I’ve brought my children along before and I hope over time, charity work is going to resonate with them.

HandsOn is like my first baby. As a social enterprise entrepreneur, I see myself starting something new.

Volunteer now at handsonhongkong.org

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The List: Tai Kok Tsui

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the May 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Tai Kok TsuiClick here for large size.

Happening Hoods: Tai Kok Tsui

Tai Kok Tsui Head west from Mong Kok and you’ll end up in Tai Kok Tsui, where you’ll get the best of industrial cool and homey and discreet residential vibes. Once where the Cosmopolitan Dock was located, it may be a historical neighborhood known to house an aging population, but you’ll see your fill of hipster youngin’s these days: here are our picks for what’s new in town.

XXX Gallery
Previously located in the Western district, underground music and arts hub XXX Gallery has moved its party room all the way to Tai Kok Tsui. Now housed inside a factory building, the gallery space continues to put on indie shows—think eclectic music, experimental film screenings and unconventional visual art.
Unit 2A, Kin Luen Factory Building, 89-91 Larch St., xxxgallery.hk

Burgerman
Craving western food in an area where you are surrounded by local greasy spoons? Burgerman is a tiny store on Ivy Street offering made-to-order burgers. Previously placed first on the Openrice.com charts, this little burger shack is a hidden gem indeed. Take your pick between the VVagyu, foie gras, or soft shell crab varieties and more. If you’re still feeling hungry, they serve a variety of tasty pastas too.
Shop C, G/F, 95-97 Ivy St., 2331-3973

Hung Shing Temple
If you’re headed to this old neighborhood hoping to have a taste of traditional culture, make sure to stop at Hung Shing Temple. As per its namesake, the small temple is dedicated to Hung Shing, a government official in the Tang Dynasty. This particular Hung Shing Temple is the only one in urban Kowloon today.
58 FukTsun St.

Craft Coffee Roaster
If you’re in need of an afternoon pick-me-up, take a coffee break at cozy Craft Coffee Roaster. This neighborhood café focuses on both traditional and cold brew coffees, offers whole leaf teas and serves a small range of sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts. If you’re around the area in the morning, they also serve up a mean full breakfast, perfect to fuel up for the day.
G/F, 29 Tai Kok Tsui Rd., 2395-1888

The Brew Job Coffee
Another one for the coffee fans to tick off the list in the area is The Brew Job Coffee, a tiny café with a decidedly industrial-style vibe. Be sure to order their freshly roasted artisanal coffee, and don’t forget to get a bagel to go with it. A great place to get your work done as there are plenty of power sockets for laptops. An afternoon well spent that’s delicious and productive!
G/F, 46 Hoi King St., 6097-9030

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The List: SW Wong

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the April 2016 issue of The List.

The List: SW WongClick here for large size.

Women in Focus: SW Wong

SW Wong is the co-founder of The Closeteur, Hong Kong’s newly launched online shopping mecca which features preloved items offered by celebrities, fashion influencers and industry professionals. It also works to support charities too: Half of the profits go to environmental charities 1% For The Planet and Aquameridian Conservation & Education (ACE) Foundation. Charmaine Ng talks to Wong about fashion waste and how she hopes to change Hongkongers’ view towards secondhand clothes.

Before starting The Closeteur, I worked in the fashion industry. On the side, I did charity work and was part of Shark Savers Hong Kong. I also launched [a campaign pledge to stop eating shark fin] I’m Finished With Fins with a friend. Through charity, I met a lot of people who worked for the environment and learned a lot about the field.

One year ago, together with a friend who was also interested in fashion and also did a lot of charity work, we began forming our business idea. Our goal was to combine our love for fashion and our passion about helping the environment together.

Many people do not know that they are indirectly contributing to pollution by partaking in fast fashion. Today’s popular culture is one where clothes are cheap, so people are always purchasing without thinking about the quality and whether or not they really like the items. The more we buy, the more we end up not wearing and throwing away. This in turn causes us to buy more.

This fashion waste contributes to the landfill problem as more than 10,000 tons of clothes are thrown away each year just in Hong Kong.

However, Hongkongers do not like to purchase secondhand clothes.

The Closeteur is different from other secondhand stores because we teach you how to mix and match the pieces we sell.

I previously lived in Australia and people there recycle as a part of their everyday lives. But it’s different in Hong Kong—the government here has to do a lot just to educate people on the subject. Nowadays, it has improved. Like recycling, it’s possible to change our attitude towards fast fashion clothes, it just needs time.

We want to change the view on secondhand clothes, not just convince people to buy them and that’s it. To change the industry, we must change ourselves and our spending habits first.

People always ask: are they from superstars? Why should I buy these secondhand clothes if I can get brand new ones?

Everyone wears a piece differently and the first owner will have thought of how to style the piece when they bought it.

A large number of celebrities are selling their old clothes through The Closeteur. They will model their items themselves to provide inspiration of how to wear their pieces for buyers.

We also have an interactive magazine online. There, we give information about fashion waste and tips on taking care of your clothes right to keep them new longer.

Half of our profits go to environmental charities, including 1% For The Planet and the Aquameridian Conservation & Education (ACE) Foundation.

Fast fashion in Hong Kong won’t change as long as the demand is still there. But I feel that education can slowly change the industry, just like our recycling habits and consumption of shark fin. It’s a personal choice that comes about through public education.

Shop sustainably from thecloseteur.com, where you can get free shipping all across Hong Kong

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HK Magazine: Vlad Ixel Wins Ultra-marathons Fueled on a Vegan Diet

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in issue 1139 in April 2016 of HK Magazine.

Vlad Ixel Wins Ultra-marathons Fueled on a Vegan DietClick here for large size.

Street Talk: Vlad Ixel

What exactly is an “ultra-marathon trail runner?”
Marathons are 42km in distance and ultra-marathons are anything beyond that. I’ve run many 50km, 100km and 150km races. My biggest achievement to date was a 250km, self-supported ultra-marathon, meaning you carry all your stuff with you. It went on for five days across the Atacama Desert, where temperatures went as high as 40 degrees in the day and as low as zero degrees at night.

How did you get into marathon running?
I used to drink and smoke a lot. I was addicted to caffeine and I basically replaced water with Red Bull. When I was about to turn 25, I decided to make the second quarter of my life healthier—so I changed. I decided to challenge myself. I signed up for two marathons and without training, I ran them both. It felt good to achieve something new. So I went on Google and searched for the hottest running race in the world, and that’s when I signed up for the 250km ultra-marathon.

Why do it in Hong Kong?
Trail running is booming in Hong Kong. You can run a hundred races a year, probably even more. It’s the place you want to be if you’re a trail runner. The Hong Kong Trail is my favorite: It’s quite runnable and it’s covered, which is very nice in summer. I train twice a day, seven days a week, and join races weekly. I’m determined not to get sucked into the nine-to-six lifestyle. My goal isn’t to get rich. Here, I can coach in the morning and be on the trail in an hour. That doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world. Back in Australia, I had to drive to get to a trail. Here I live in Sheung Wan, and after hitting the trail 2km away from town, I don’t see anyone for hours.

Do you bring music along on your runs?
When I’m on the trail, surrounded by nature, I don’t listen to music. I don’t need it. I don’t think about anything. I concentrate on my breathing. I run a lot of 100km races by myself and it allows me to zone out and meditate.

How do you get enough protein as a vegan athlete?
Protein is overrated. There is protein in everything. Look at gorillas and rhinos—they’re vegetarian, but they’re pretty strong. I get my protein from beans, greens and chia seeds. I’m still running seven days a week, training four to five hours a day, racing every week, so something’s working. I used to be a huge meat eater. My friends and I were constantly on the search for proteins to bulk up. I would eat 1kg steaks in a sitting, but it didn’t feel good. When I was preparing for the ultra-marathon, I researched for ways to quick muscle recovery and saw that many people suggested going on a plant-based diet. I didn’t have anything to lose, so I had a huge steak on Christmas Eve and became vegan overnight.

Ever get tempted to stray?
Going vegan was easy because I saw amazing results. I was sleeping better, recovering quicker, running faster. With the amount of training I do, I eat 5,000 to 6,000 calories every day, which means every day can be cheat day. There’s a lot of unhealthy vegan stuff, like vegan ice cream and deep fried stuff, but I try to eat healthy—although usually after a race, I don’t mind the quality of the food I’m putting into my body. It’s just easier to get energy by indulging in calorie-dense food like tortilla chips and dark chocolate.

What health advice would you give urban dwellers?
Whether or not you’re an athlete, get enough sleep. I sleep eight to nine hours every night. How well you perform during the day, how sharp and productive you are, shows the amount of rest you’ve invested in your body. People I coach have demanding jobs, but they still have their running goals. It’s easy not to get enough sleep, but when you push your body while not feeling your best, injuries happen.

What’s the most annoying misconception about vegans?
People think vegans are weird, hippie-looking people. I’m just a normal person.

Source: Vlad Ixel Wins Ultra-marathons Fueled on a Vegan Diet

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The List: Coney Ko

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the March 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Coney KoClick here for large size.

Lookbook: Coney Ko

Sustainable jewelry designer Coney Ko loves the art deco style and has found her niche in expressing the art form through her collections. She started out as a clothing designer and slowly transitioned to making accessories as she discovered her passion for detail and material. She currently designs and handcrafts her own collection in her eponymous brand at PMQ.
Shop H203, PMQ, Aberdeen St., Central, coneynco.com

Fly Bag
I fell in love at first sight with the Fly Bag in Japan this winter when I was on vacation. It’s made of Polyester 3M Waterproof material, and although it’s all cloth, the look mimics paper. I usually use it as a clutch because it can match a lot of my outfits.

Genic Eyewear glasses
I came to know about the local Hong Kong brand Genic Eyewear during Fashion Week. They do handmade aesthetic frames which are specially tailored to Asian profiles. As it’s made out of high quality materials, it’s very comfortable. What’s more, it’s in black and gold, which are colors I’ve been wearing a lot this season.

Antique watch
I love this simple watch, which was a gift from a friend bought from an antique store in Hong Kong. There is contrast in its appearance–it’s minimal and sleek in its shape, but the face of the watch is very distinct. It blends the old with the new.

Toga shoes
I feel that these toga shoes really show who I am because they’re cool and feminine, just like my personality. It’s black and white in color which makes it very versatile, but isn’t generic because it has finer details like the buckle. I can dress them in a lot of styles: sometimes I’ll wear them if I’m feeling preppy, and sometimes if I’m feeling boyish.

Coney & Co. Peacock necklace
This Peacock necklace is from our latest statement collection. It’s heavily inspired by art deco, and crafted with sodalite gemstone. Aesthetically pleasing things should be timeless, and the Peacock collection is a blend of a futuristic yet vintage style which fits this criteria.

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The List: Shek Kip Mei

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the March 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Shek Kip MeiClick here for large size.

Happening Hoods: Shek Kip Mei

Bordering Sham Shui Po and Kowloon Tong, Shek Kip Mei is perhaps most well-known for the great fire that took place here in 1953 that left more than 53,000 people homeless. Now revitalized, the area thrives with hidden cafés and artist’s hideouts that combine the vintage with the modern. Explore some of our favorite spots in this old-school yet up and coming neighbourhood.

Be Tabula Rasa Studio
If you’re looking for a quiet way to spend an afternoon in the middle of busy Kowloon, then head to Be Tabula Rasa Studio, a little factory where artists craft dried flowers with a café space surrounded by their handicrafts. Sit among vintage travel books, the store owners’ cats and hedgehogs, and order a drink or a small snack.
1/F, 85 Fuk Wa St., 9010-9515

Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong (公和荳品廠)
Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong is a century-old known for its soybean products made the traditional way and still manually grinds its soy beans. Find a range of salty and sweet dishes such as the pan-fried tofu and its signature sweet tofu fa pudding, served with brown sugar and ginger syrup, then wash it down with their freshly made soymilk.
118 Pei Ho St., Sham Shui Po, 2386-6871

Heritage of Mei Ho House
If you want to know all about the history of Shek Kip Mei, the Heritage of Mei Ho House is a privately run museum by the YHA Mei Ho House Youth Hostel that will detail everything you need to know about the timeline before, during and after the blazing fire that completely changed the area.
Block 41, Shek Kip Mei Estate, Sham Shui Po, 3728-3500

Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC)
The most well-known art hub in in the area is the JCCAC, which is housed in a former Shek Kip Mei factory estate. The venue is not simply a nine-story converted piece of architecture, which is delightful to visit in itself, but is also an art village that provides studio facilities for Hong Kong’s artists and holds regular events, talks and design and handicraft markets for the public.
30 Pak Tin St., Shek Kip Mei, 2353-1311

TOOLSS
Tucked away in the corner of an unsuspecting street is Toolss, a photogenic stationery store and café. Relevant to its name, it sells an interesting range of hipster stationery with quirky prints and old-fashioned materials. It has made big waves in Hong Kong as a coffee store that serves drinks and small organic bites as well.
G/F, Fook Tin Building, 38 Wai Chi St, Shek Kip Mei, 3954-5135

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The List: Large Scale Street Artworks

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the March 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Large Scale Street ArtworksClick here for large size.

The List: Large Scale Street ArtworksClick here for large size.

Take Three: Large Scale Street Art Works

Event Horizon (Look Up) by Antony Gormley
You may have already glimpsed Antony Gormley’s Event Horizon public art installation, which spans all over Hong Kong’s Central and Western districts and features copies of the artist’s body standing atop built structures as well as on ground level—one obvious one is just outside the Central MTR on Queen’s Road Central. Gormley hopes to engage the public to look at our urban setting by looking up in a new way. Don’t forget to find them all!
Through May 18, Central and Western districts

Hong Kong on Steps
Seven groups of talented artists from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and France have brought the Hong Kong on Steps exhibition to PMQ. Stop by the art and design hub and you won’t miss the creatively painted scenes on 25 stairs. The project is a lovely way to incorporate art into our everyday lives especially in the busy setting of Hong Kong as it transforms stairs, an everyday necessity into a beautiful canvas that pushes us to look at everyday life differently.
Through Apr 30, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen St, Central

Vaford Gates
Inspired by the Houston Bowery Wall in New York, the Vaford Gates in Chai Wan is Hong Kong’s largest rotating mural project, featuring work from a slew of international and local artists. This March, American muralist Aaron Li-Hill will be taking on the wall. Known for his mixed media use of painting and stenciling, Li-Hill plans to incorporate sculptural techniques to reflect the effects of industrialization in Hong Kong. Instead of his trademark fencing figures, he will be creating a mural of a figure practicing Tai Chi swords, which is considered to be a more aesthetic martial arts form.
Gate 2 & 5, Paramount Building, 12 Ka Yip St., Chai Wan

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The List: Local Designers

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the February 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Local DesignersClick here for large size.

Take Four: Local Designers

Chicameo
Bring together a Scandinavian supermodel and an experienced fashion designer and you’ll find the chic Norwegian brand Chicameo. Pernille Holmboe and Tale Hagelsteen create pieces that are youthful and are guaranteed to knock a few years off your age when you wear them. If you’re the type of lady who’s in summer mode all year round, you’re in luck—Chicameo is all about playful dresses, pants, jackets and blouses, and the duo behind the brand chooses to use mixed prints and popping colors. The best part is, you won’t need to worry about clashing outfits with anyone else because all garments sold are limited editions. Free shipping for delivery across Hong Kong.
Chicameo.com

Jo’s Ready to Wear
Armed with international experience in the US and Japan, local designer Joanna Chu Liao embraces her multicultural background and brings it into her own fashion brand, Jo’s Ready to Wear. The muse for her works is the independent woman with a contemporary lifestyle. Special attention to details and tailoring is given to every clothing item where the cutting of each is shapely and feminine. If you’re on the lookout for clothes that are a balance between seasonal trends and timeless styles, Jo’s Ready to Wear is a brand that is perfect for you.
5/F, 17 Lan Fong Rd., Causeway Bay, 6146-0861, josreadytowear.com

Mischa
We understand the difficulties of finding a good travelling bag: Mischa is definitely the go-to local brand for sturdy yet stylish handbags and accessories. Designer Michelle Lai debuted with a collection of Japanese obi clutches with its iconic hexagonal print and kimono fabric more than a decade ago and subsequently gained a following with her unique purses.
Retails in various locations including Lane Crawford, Times Square, 1 Matheson St., Causeway Bay, 2118-2288

Johanna Ho
Living like a celebrity is now possible with self-named fashion brand Johanna Ho. Known for her iconic knitwear, the Hong Kong designer’s pieces have grown so popular that it now has an international celebrity following, with Gwyneth Paltrow being one of the first to buy her designs, followed by Emilia Fox, Minnie Driver and Rosamund Pike. Transform yourself into one of these power women with Johanna Ho’s clothing cuts, all of each are soft and feminine but with a subtle inclusion of avant-garde details. The result is a perfect twist on classical styles.
Johannaho.com

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The List: Eclectic Cuisines

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the February 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Eclectic CuisinesClick here for large size.

Take Five: Eclectic Cuisines

Eat Ethio
Aiming to introduce Ethiopian to Hong Kong, founder and cook Helina Tesega of Eat Ethio does not have a permanent restaurant, but only bounces from pop-ups to supper clubs around town. Look out for Ethiopian signatures such as the wot: a thick, hearty stew which usually comes with injera—a sourdough flatbread made from the teff grain. For religious reasons, many Ethiopians fast for weeks at a time and lean on vegan-friendly foods, so you’ll find lots of lentils, legumes and collard greens. The main seasoning? Berbere, a chili-pepper spice blend made up of 10 ingredients. Round off the meal with a freshly roasted coffee, served part of a ceremony.
Eatethio.com

Ba Yi Restaurant
This modest Xinjiang eatery near the University of Hong Kong is popular with students and locals alike during lunch. Though struggling a little after appearing in the Michelin guide, we’re thankful that Ba Yi Restaurant is still up and running today. Be sure to come in a large group of lamb eaters—this is no place for vegetarians—and order the set menu to have a taste of everything from roasted lamb leg, minced lamb in a stew, lamb dumplings and more. Finish off with yoghurt drinks and you’re guaranteed to leave with happy tummies.
G/F, 43 Water St., Sai Ying Pun, 2484-9981

The Stoep
We so wish it was summer time right now, but you can still hit the beaches and enjoy South African cuisine in Sai Kung. The Stoep is located on a beautiful stretch of white sand and offers all day dining during the weekends. It’s definitely a different experience with the barbecue food warming you up on a breezy day rather than adding to your sweat in Hong Kong’s summer humidity. Start your meal off with homemade bread, served with a variety of exotic dips, then dive into the grilled meat platters and enjoy the sunset while you’re at it.
32 Lower Cheung Sha Village, Lantau Island, 2980-2699

Wheatfield Kitchen
Keep a lookout for this Russian restaurant on the second floor of Hotel Pennington if you don’t want any of the typical East Asian fare found in Causeway Bay. Nestled in a simple and cozy environment, Wheatfield Kitchen offers classics such as borscht (not the Hong Kong-style red soup, may we add) and shashlik skewers. Be sure to drop by if you’re on the prowl for hearty stews and smoked meat.
2/F, Hotel Pennington, 13-15 Pennington St., Causeway Bay, 3422-8803

El Mercado
Embodying Peru’s culinary tradition of being a brew of Asian and South American influences, Hong Kong’s first Nikkei (Peruvian Japanese) concept El Mercado opened in 2015. Founder Bart Szyniec explains that the fusion of flavors is exactly what you’d find in most popular eateries in Peru. The menu is small but certainly intriguing, consisting heavily of items such as ceviches and tacu tacu made with unfamiliar ingredients and also offers an innovative nigiri section. Mix up the quirky dishes and the casual chic environment and you’ll definitely find yourself a fun night out.
21/F, 239 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai, 2388-8009

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The List: Hot Tables

Note: I worked at HK Magazine from December 2015 to April 2016 as an editorial writer. This article was published in the February 2016 issue of The List.

The List: Hot TablesClick here for large size.

The List: Hot TablesClick here for large size.

Hot and Spicy Eats
Get the tastebuds tingling with these hot plates

66 Chicken Pot
A fiery, hearty chicken dish eaten hot out of the pot, followed by broth for you to dunk all your favorite hotpot ingredients into: During the winter months, what could be better than a spicy chicken hot pot? 66 Chicken Pot serves its chicken pot with different levels of heat, so if you’re unwilling to sacrifice your taste buds, you have the option to choose a milder base. Their menu lists an extensive array of ingredients, ranging from seafood to cheese-filled fishballs to offal for more adventurous eaters. Perfect after a night of drinks as well: Drop in on those late nights as they’re open until two in the morning with two branches in Mong Kok.
Various locations including 33 Nelson St., Mong Kok, 2392-4966

Bindaas
Opened at the tail end of 2015, modern Indian kitchen Bindaas is colloquial Hindi for “chilled out.” The eatery serves traditional street foods and Indian tapas with a twist. Apart from curries and tikka masala, give the “Naanza”—a cross between naan bread and pizza using Makhani tomato gravy—a spin. Their cocktails (Happy Hour is 5-9pm) also take inspiration from classic Indian drinks, such as the lassi-based Desi Lass ($85). Head to Bindaas on Tuesday nights to have your dinner along with a live acoustic band. Reservations recommended.
LG/F, 33 Aberdeen St., Central, 2447-9998

Bombay Dreams
Bombay Dreams is a stalwart for reliable, authentic, and classy Indian cuisine in the city. The restaurant serves a buffet lunch and a la carte dinner, or if you’re into the more chilled-out vibe, there is a Sunday brunch buffet during the weekend. Be sure to leave room for dessert!
4/F, 77 Wyndham St., Central, 2971-0001

Come Come Chongqing Chicken Pot
Come Come Chongqing Chicken Pot’s name may sound funny—it’s a direct translation of its Chinese name—but its spicy chicken pot is no joke. As one of the original chicken hotpot eateries that started the trend in Hong Kong, it has branches from Causeway Bay to Yuen Long. Diners can choose between a half or full portion of chicken, then they have the choice to add their favorite hotpot ingredients into the dish. And if you’re into unusual hotpot offerings, you can even try ostrich meat—only available at the Tai Wai branch.
Various locations including 11/F, Kyoto Plaza, 491-499 Lockhart Rd., Causeway Bay, 2891-9017

The Drunken Pot
Newly opened in Tsim Sha Tsui is The Drunken Pot, a hotpot resto that takes on a chic new approach to the age-old Chinese magic of communal feasting. In the hip, youthful surrounds, you’ll find creative and exotic raw ingredients ready to dunk in unconventional (and boozy, as the name suggests) broth bases. If you’re looking for something hot to impress your friends, we dare you to try the Sichuan Mala numbing spice broth—it’s guaranteed to spice you up in the cold February weather!
Shop 1, 2/F, 8 Observatory Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2321-9038

Korean Garden Restaurant
If you live or work around the Sheung Wan area but do not know of Korea Garden Restaurant, then shame on you. Tucked away on the first floor along Des Voeux Road, it’s one of the oldest traditional Korean restaurants that has remained in its spot since opening in Hong Kong. If you’re craving for a taste of home-style Korean cooking, Korean Garden is your spot: Expect your usual spicy banchan and hot soups. Spicy or not, there’s something for everyone.
1/F, Blissful Building, 247 Des Voeux Rd. Central, Sheung Wan, 2542-2339

Tou Yuen Delicacies (桃源美食)
If you’re a hotpot purist looking to spice it up, head over to Shek Tong Tsui Cooked Food Centre for a Sichuan feast at Tou Yuen Delicacies. The self-taught chef here won’t go easy on your taste buds and cut down on the fiery red chilis, so have a tall glass of soy milk (or we prefer ice-cold Tsingtao) ready by your side to cool down. Make sure to go in a big group and order a whole chili-oil fish brimming with spices and your choice of extra toppings.
3/F, Shek Tong Tsui Market, 470 Queen’s Rd. West, Shek Tong Tsui, 2540-0398

Sichuan House
If your office is as cold as ours, you may be on the prowl for hot food to warm up during lunch time. Conveniently located on Wellington Street, Sichuan House is a popular go-to for Centralites especially during lunch hour. Classily decorated, the restaurant serves spicy Chengdu specialties. Don’t miss the mouth-watering chicken lollipops, the crispy cumin lamb shank, or if you’re brave enough, take on the extra hot prawns, cooked with a premium chili dry-rub.
7/F, M88, 2 Wellington St., Central, 2521-6699

Spicy Andong
If you’re looking for spicy food, you can’t go wrong with Spicy Andong serves exactly what it says on the tin. With two branches in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, you’ll get trendy Korean eats along with the star of the show: Andong chicken, a type of stew made with chicken and vegetables and often glass noodles in a soy sauce based sauce. The half-chicken portion is enough to fill two to three people. Luckily, it comes in several levels but we’re warning you, even the “small spicy” option is bound to lift you off your feet.
Various locations including 7/F, Kyoto Plaza, 491-499 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay, 2328-8917

Yau Sum Private Kitchen
An upscale spin-off of the ubiquitous Yunnan-style “Sadness Sour Spicy Noodles” (because it’s so spicy you’ll be crying) shops around town, Yau Sum Private Kitchen is a perfect place to rest your feet after shopping in Causeway Bay. The restaurant serves reasonably priced Sichuan which are a step up above your average noodle bowls. Go for the fried prawns with Chongqing chilies to tickle your tastebuds, which come buried in a mountain of the dried red goodness. Bring tissues, you’ll need ‘em.
10/F, Jardine Center, 50 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, 2567-9808

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