30 December 2010

Dining Out... - Part 2 出街食-下卷

Both my freelance work and my day job give me plenty of opportunities to live out a foodie’s dream. As a restaurant reviewer I get to try out fancy new places and sample their best dishes for free. The price to pay, however, is having to keep detailed notes of everything I put in my mouth so that I can spit out a thousand words on a two-page magazine spread the next day. Likewise, expensing client lunches sounds like a no-lose proposition until I find myself stuck with a table of stodgy bankers yapping about China’s next big IPO and why everyone should buy gold. It all bears out the old adage that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

One of my restaurant reviews

Hong Kong is a foodie’s paradise and we have the numbers to prove it. There are over 20,000 eating establishments listed on Open Rice, the city’s popular online restaurant guide. Based on that figure alone and excluding thousands of hole-in-the-wall noodle houses and neighborhood kitchens yet to be catalogued by the website...


Read the rest of this article in No City for Slow Men, published by Blacksmith Books, available at major bookstores in in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.

25 December 2010

NEWS FLASH: Jason's Book Now Available! 快訊:《香港情懷》現已出版!

Dear Readers,
 is available in Hong Kong at:
Readers outside Hong Kong
can order it from:
Support a local writer
and purchase a copy today!



For immediate release

New PublicationHONG KONG State of Mind: 37 Views of a City that Doesn’t Blink

HONG KONG State of Mind is a collection of essays by Jason Y. Ng, a popular local blogger, who zeroes in on the city’s idiosyncrasies with deadpan precision. 
The 37 essays are organized into three thematic sections: people we see, things we do and places we go, each providing a window on Hong Kong’s city life. Ng’s topics range from the shark fins debate to our unique and unmistakably Cantonese coffee-drinking culture. While the book is meant to pay tribute to Hong Kong’s many quirks, it also puts her flaws on center stage. In “Rhapsody on Pedder,” the author juxtaposes his fellow citizens’ sense of alienation and vulnerability against their unbridled materialism. In “Total Eclipse of the Mind,” he puts our pervasive superstitious beliefs on trial using a series of unrelated news events. In “A Tale of Three Cities,” he compares the coming-of-age stories of Hong Kong and its sister cities Macau and Shenzhen and prompts us to reflect on who we are and where we are heading. 
At once an outsider looking in and an insider looking out, Ng has created something for everyone: a travel journal for the passing visitor, a user’s manual for the wide-eyed expat, and an open diary for the native Hong Konger looking for moments of reflection. 
“Many foreign writers have written about their experiences living as a gweilo and among other gweilo in the city, but their account of Hong Kong is often confined to the expat community,” Ng said. “Books by local writers, on the other hand, tend to focus on the city’s history, politics or economy. They tend to be academic and the average reader finds them heavy, if not altogether inaccessible. I wanted something to celebrate Hong Kong in a light-hearted, authentic way. There is a gap in the existing literature about Hong Kong and I wanted to fill it.”
The author’s no-nonsense style, punctuated with wry humor, cuts through the obfuscation and gives the reader the kind of social commentary that recalls F. Scott Fitzgerald during America’s Jazz Age. Each essay is graced with a line drawing by Lee Po Ng, the author’s father, which lends the book a personal touch and the aura of an old-fashioned travel journal.
The official book launch, organized jointly by Bookazine Ltd. and Blacksmith Books was held on 5 March 2011 at Bookazine’s new location at the IFC Mall. 
About the Author
Jason Ng is a globe-trotter who spent years in Europe and various cities in the United States and Canada before settling back in his birthplace five years ago. He is a full-time lawyer and a contributing writer for lifestyle magazines. In 2008, Ng started his blog, As I See It, commenting on local culture and news events. Over a short span of time, the blog has attracted a sizable following of online readers. Ng lives in Hong Kong and can be contacted at info@jasonyng.com. 
Media Contact
Blacksmith Books5th Floor, 24 Hollywood RoadCentral, Hong KongTel: +852 2877 7899Email: mail@blacksmithbooks.com

14 December 2010

Dining Out... - Part 1 出街食-上卷

The Michelin Guide published its first Hong Kong/Macau edition in 2011. Since then, the little red book has sparked spirited debate and sometimes even nationalistic rumblings among citizens. Hong Kongers balk at the idea of a bunch of foreigners judging our food, when most of the undercover inspectors sent by the guide can’t tell a fish maw from a fish belly or know the first thing about dun (燉), mun (焖), zing (蒸), pou (泡) and zoek (灼) – to name but a few ways a Chinese chef may cook his ingredients with steam. For many of us, it seems far wiser to spend the HK$200 (that’s how much the guide costs) on a couple of hairy crabs currently in season than on a restaurant directory published by a tire manufacturer.

The little red book

Food is a tricky business. It confounds even the most sophisticated of cultures and peoples. The English and the Germans, for instance, excel in everything else except for the one thing that matters most. Young nations like America, Australia and Canada...


Read the rest of this article in No City for Slow Men, published by Blacksmith Books, available at major bookstores in in Hong Kong and at Blacksmith Books.