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.


  1. Jason,

    Agree with you on the English and German food. So true.

    Also, like the new look of your blog. Well done.

    =) Phil

  2. It might be more precise if you use the word "Cantonese" in the place of "Chinese".

  3. Jason,

    Just finished gorging your new article, every bit as sumptious as your earlier ones. I might differ on some points, but I have to say I do love French (and Japanese, exactly because of its simplicity and especially when I am sick : p ).

    Surprised that you mention nothing about Indian cuisine. I am not a particular fan but I got friends who raved about it, given its long history (afterall,it's one of the 4 cradles of civilization) and "maturing" over the years with their recent economic take-off too.

    E you my other thoughts when I am more collected, you're right, all that talk is making ME hungry as well : >

  4. I know, Kelvin. That's the subject of Part 2!

  5. Thanks, Christine. I love love love Indian food.


  6. Nice way to break it down.


  7. Hi Jason,

    Happy New Year 2011! I thought you've stopped writing your blogs since you were kept busy with the publication of your new book: Hong Kong State of Mind. Well, I will get one from one of the book stalls, read it and then pass my thought comments thereafter. Hopefully soon.

    I did not know that you write so well as a food critique, too. Your writing skills are exemplary even on food and taste buds. Do keep writing.

    As Christine mentioned, I like to eat Indian food much and like Chinese food, there's alot of selection from North to South, East to West. Maybe you can add something on it in Part 2.

    One good news update on your posting: Postmortem on a Massacre. Yesterday, Jason Leung who had critical head injury in the Philippines incident appeared before TV media on his 19th birthday and thank all Hong Kongers and well wishers for their love and thoughtfulness. Hope he will have full and speedy recovery soon.

    Keep writing!


  8. Thanks, Martie, for your comment. I am still writing, although it has been hard to juggle that with my day job and the book launch...

    Please keep checking in. Part 2 is coming this weekend!


  9. Hi Jason,

    I've waited a long time for your new article! I agree: hands-down, French and Chinese cuisines are the mother of all haute cuisines. To me, everything spawns from these two cuisines.

    I have to disagree with Kelvin's comment. I think regardless of the region in China where the particular food is from, it is unique in its own way and that's why we celebrate Chinese cuisine. Simply declaring a particular regional cuisine (in this case Cantonese) to be somehow superior to all others shows a lack of understanding of these other regional cuisines.

    Anyways, please keep writing and I have ordered several copies of your books from Dymock!


  10. AB, thanks for supporting my book!

  11. lovelovelove chinese food :)

    first time reading your blog Jason i am enjoying it thank you.