Pop culture and Hong Kong  

Hong Kong is a great city that has been mentioned in books by authors from different nationalities. Here are some of the books where Hong Kong features:

“The Mologai. The sun shines less in the Mologai, but heat gathers there in the shade and smoke. Steep cramped dwellings, shops oldish. Oddly, smoke pervading the whole area. The streets cling to contours. You clamber up steps from one narrow alleyway to the next, among the stalls. It's an antique hunter's paradise - or rather purgatory, because the promise of heaven takes time to realize.” Jonathan Gash, Jade Woman
“There were streets, narrow and crowded with people and vehicles. Above them flashed neon lights and blinking billboards of every colour, shape and size. Some ran up the sides of buildings, others blinked on and off in store windows. In the space above the sidewalk, higher than a double-decker bus, hung flashing neon signs in bright pink, yellow, read, blue, orange, green and white. Yes, if white could be whiter than white, it was when it was in neon, Hong Mei thought. She knew Nathan Road in Kowloon was famous for its neon lights.” B.L. Sauder, Year of the Golden Dragon
“It's not rocket science. Hong Kong has 95% tax compliance, because it's code is only 4 pages long with a 15% flat tax.” Ziad K. Abdelnour, Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics
“This is Unique !! Shopping malls working with one side of our needs, material satisfaction but here @ K11 there is a huge effort and initiative to bring emotional needs of human, our spiritual satisfaction. K11 doing this with bringing Art and Nature in to the material shopping experience. It is not only satisfying physical needs and material but also our soul. Art itself is biggest teacher and Nature is biggest artist.” Baris Gencel
"For all its reputation for conservatism, cricket in its history has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for innovation. What game has survived subjection to such extraordinary manipulations, having been prolonged to 10 days (in Durban 70 years ago), truncated to as few as 60 balls (in Hong Kong every year), and remained recognisable in each instance?” Gideon Haigh
Quotes about Hong Kong  

With its breathtaking parks and a Chinese cultural influenced by years of British colonial rule, Hong Kong is a city full of surprises. Here are some quotes that honor this intriguing city.

“You can leave Hong Kong, but it will never leave you.” Nury Vittachi
“Life in Hong Kong transcends cultural and culinary borders, such that nothing is truly foreign and nothing doesn't belong.” Peter Jon Lindberg
“If you're too free, you're like the way Hong Kong is now. It's very chaotic.” Jackie Chan
“... a fine way to capture a piece of the magic of a unique city. The drama, the charm and the beauty of Hong Kong is all here - just as is its breathless energy.” Nury Vittachi
“Hong Kong is a wonderful, mixed-up town where you've got great food and adventure. First and foremost, it's a great place to experience China in a relatively accessible way.” Anthony Bourdain
“When I went to Hong Kong, I knew at once I wanted to write a story set there.” Paul Theroux
“Hong Kong has created one of the most successful societies on Earth.” Prince Charles
“Life in Hong Kong transcends cultural and culinary borders, such that nothing is truly foreign and nothing doesn't belong.” Peter Jon Lindberg
“Hong Kong is a wonderful, mixed-up town where you've got great food and adventure. First and foremost, it's a great place to experience China in a relatively accessible way.” Anthony Bourdain
“Hong Kong girls have a genius sense of style. I came back to the States thinking no one here has any individuality. Or cute enough socks.” Camilla Belle
“When I lived in Hong Kong, I felt that Hong Kong is my family.” Jet Li
“Give Hong Kong to an artist. He can use it. It can be poetised.” Baris Gencel
“Who said Hong Kong is too small? In size perhaps but not in its soul and personality. Every corner in this city giving you full of surprises, if not every hour but at least every day...” Baris Gencel
“An image began to form in her mind. There were streets, narrow and crowded with people and vehicles. Above them flashed neon lights and blinking billboards of every color, shape and size. Some ran up the sides of buildings, others blinked on and off in store windows. In the space above the sidewalk, higher than a double-decker bus, hung flashing neon signs in bright pink, yellow, red, blue, orange, green and white. Yes, if white could be whiter than white, it was when it was in neon, Hong Mey thought. She knew Nathan Road in Kowloon was famous for its neon lights. Were these streets of Kowloon that she was seeing it her head?” B.L. Sauder, Year of the Golden Dragon
“Americans think New Yorkers are property obsessed, but clearly they haven't lived a day in Hong Kong. In this part of the world, a man isn't a man until he is a homeowner. His entire life leads up to the singular moment when he hands over the down-payment check and puts his signature on the triplicate purchase agreement. All the good grades and job promotions he has received are mere preparation; and every source of happiness - marriage, children and retirement - depends on it.” Jason Y. Ng, No City for Slow Men: Hong Kong's quirks and quandaries laid bare


A traveler's guide to Hong Kong  
Caught up between History and modernity, Hong Kong offers extreme contrasts to the eyes of avid travelers. While the city prides itself in its modern skyscrapers, Hong Kong also treasures its historical temples.
An unmissable attraction in Hong Kong is watching the sunset from Victoria Peak, the highest region on the island. In colonial times, the area was an exclusive neighborhood for the rich to come and escape the heat and smog of the city in a cooler temperate. Despite the invention of the air conditioner, nowadays the view keeps attracting both tourists and locals to this spot. People gather in the area to enjoy the last glimpse of the day before the sky is painted by an array of pinks and oranges.
A Grade 1 historical building and temple, Lo Pan Temple, can be found at the western end of Hong Kong Island. This is the only temple dedicated to the patron saint of Chinese builders and carpenters in Hong Kong. Although it is a square and mainly grey building surrounded by other plain properties, it is attractively decorated with gold Chinese symbols of poems praising Lo Pan's contribution to architecture above the entrance. On the outside, ornate red decoration on the roof makes the temple stand out; inside, murals bring the walls to life.
Right in the middle of the city, there's Nan Lian Park in Diamond Hill. Built in the classical style of Tang Dynasty, this oasis boasts traditional pagoda buildings overlooking large lakes, rocky waterfalls and landscaped gardens dotted with tree. The scenery creates a peaceful getaway from the madness of the city. Locals and tourists alike come here to relax while they listen to tricking water.
The Buddhist temple of Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin is brightly decorated on the outside with colorful symbols. Its name translate into ‘make every wish come true' which probably has something to do with its popularity, although it remains an important religious place. Although the temple was built to commemorate Wong Tai Sin - a famous monk from the 4th century, it's actually home to three religions: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The influence of feng shui is also palpable in the design of the building, even in the colorful gardens.
After relaxing at the park and indulging your curiosity at the temples, it might be time for an adventure and Dragon's Back hike is just what you need. The hike is an incredible way to see great views with the advantage of fresh air. The trail resembles the shape of a dragon's back bone, hence the name, and it leads walkers through hill tops. Some of the great views you will spot are those of Shek O, Tai Long Wan, Stanely, Tai Tan and the South Chine Sea.
Bruce Lee   

Hong Kong and American actor, Bruce Lee was also a martial artist, philosopher, filmmaker and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do. A pop culture icon of the 20th century, Lee is widely considered by commentators, critics, media and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time. His influence was such that he is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were depicted in Hollywood.

Born in Chinatown, San Francisco, to parents from Hong Kong, Lee was raised in Kowloon with his family until his late teens. Although his mother was a Cantonese opera star - Lee Hoi-Chuen - it was his father who introduced him to the film industry and appeared in several films as a child actor.
His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, causing a surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in the US, Hong Kong and the rest of the world.
He is noted for the films The Big Boss, Fist of Fury, Way of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon and The Game of Death. His portrayal of Chinese nationalism in his films won him worldwide popularity, particularly among the Chinese.
Here are some of his most famous quotes:
  • “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
  • “I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine.”
  • “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.”
  • “I fear not the man who has practice 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
  • “A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
  • “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
  • “Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and ad what is specifically your own.”
  • “To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities.”
  • “Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
  • “If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
  • “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”
  • “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
  • “Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
  • “Defeat is a state of mind; no one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.”
  • “For it is easy to criticize and break down the spirit of others, but to know yourself takes a lifetime.”
  • “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
  • “The past is no more; the future not yet. Nothing exists except the here and now. Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at our hands.”
Where to eat in Hong Kong  

From dim sum to shark fin soup, dishes in Hong Kong suit every palate. You are equally likely to find the most delectable food either at a high-end restaurant or at a street stall.

Hong Kong's most popular food is, naturally, Cantonese, consisting of fast cooking at very high temperatures with abundant tiny chopped vegetables and, of course, seafood.
The well-known dim sum snack is a steamed dough dumpling looking snack filled with meat or vegetables. The best delicacy, however, is shark's fin soup, which also happens to be one of the most expensive meals.
From local foods to world cuisine, there are an overwhelming eateries in the buzzing area of Hong Island. If you are looking for Hong Kong style food, Faj Seafood Hotpot is the place to eat at. Like its name indicates, the place also serves hot pots and, naturally, Chinese food. Its signature dishes include steamed crabs and hot and spicy Szechuan Broth. The beef is also recommended here. If you prefer to have a European meal at a luxurious environment, opt for Amber, a French restaurant in Central.
Although the former industrial neighborhood of Kowloon is renown for its international cuisine, it specializes in Asian foods such as Indian and Cantonese. Most of Kowloon's eateries are welcoming, economical and family-run. If you are looking to try an authentic curry, head to Bombay Dreams which seres southern and northern Indian dishes. If you'd rather try a local dish, the floating restaurant of Jumbo Kingdom serves delectable Cantonese dishes, particularly seafood such as shark fin and lobster soup. You can find them on Open rice.
While Kowloon boasts international dishes, the restaurants in the islands of the New Territories tend to stick to local cuisine, making them an ideal place to eat the local and traditional delicacies that are often served in lovely wooden shacks. Head to Tai Wing Wah for real traditional recipes, including dim sum and steamed shredded taro with pork.
Lantau Island - one of Hong Kong's largest islands - offers a variety of attractions, ranging from grand vistas, amusement parks to quiet beaches and historic villages. Although the island is not able to compete with mega-metropolis Hong Kong when it comes to good, Lantau offers quite a few good dining venues that suit most people's budget. From the cheap eateries to the more high-end restaurants at Discovery Bay, there's a good range to choose from. Although the island does not offer as many options as the mainland does, visitors can enjoy countless types of cuisine, ranging from Cantonese to other regional Chinese dishes to Italian, Turkish, Mediterranean, South African and English. For a casual bite such as sushi and tempura, Kiraku Tei is the place to go. Wash down the scrumptious bites with Japanese sake and beer. Hang out at the Stoep which is right on the beach for Mediterranean food. Indulge yourself in mixed grills and ostrich steak with great views and a family friendly atmosphere.
If you want to dine in style, head to Victoria Harbour, spectacularly lit up at night by the Symphony of Light Show. Known for its upmarket hotels and restaurants that are inside of them, the area is a great place to dine with amazing views over the natural harbor. The Peninsular Hotel does a fantastic afternoon tea in the Lobby in a colonial style with quaint sandwiches and charming cakes.
Moomin Cafe: Anti-loneliness restaurant in HK  

Solo diners have a place to dine in Hong Kong now that Japan's Moomin cafe opened in the Chinese region. Instead of sharing a meal with other fellow humans, your companion in this cafe are stuffed animals.The stuffed dining companions are there to sit next to solo travelers and help banish their loneliness.

Set in one of Hong Kong's busiest malls, the Moomin cafe is made to look like a Finnish house and garden and it features Nordic cuisine, including traditional dishes such as venison stew, salmon milk soup and piirakka.
Hong Kong's new eatery is the first overseas venture for a concept that has already proved a hit in Japan.
The franchise is inspired by popular Finnish stories that tell the adventures of a family of white hippo-like characters and their friends. Although the Moomins was first published in Finland back in 1945, it didn't receive global attention until the release of its television series in the 1990s.
The first Moomin Cafe opened in Tokyo in 2003. Since then, three more have opened and six Moomin-themed coffee stands. The timing of the opening of the Hong Kong Moomin Cafe couldn't be better, it coincides with the 100th anniversary of the birth of Moomin creator, Tove Jansson.
Although Japan's original Moomin Cafe has been operating for over a decade, its popularity only exploded earlier this year after its “anti-loneliness” concept went viral.
To save its customers from the loneliness of solo dining, a plush Moomin character is brought over to the table as dining companion. “I thought if people can stay and sit with Moomin characters like Moominmamma and Moominpappa (parents in the Moomin family), it'd be more interesting,” says Mickey Kera, who was the one who came up with the cafe concept.
However, Hong Kong's single diners may have to struggle to find an adorable meal buddy. “Unlike Japan's anti-loneliness cafes, Moomin characters will be placed at various tables and joining a Moomin character will be up to luck,” says cafe spokeswoman Cindy Wu.
Wu also said that the Hong Kong location features three additional characters not found in the Japanese outlets: Hattifatteners, Little My and Snufkin.
Moomin Cafe may have originated in Japan, but the outlet tries to reflect Finnish lifestyle and cuisine. The Tsim Tsa Tsui venue is designed to look like a traditional Finnish house, with photographs of Finland and hand drawn artwork of Moomins.
“I love the venison soup stew, salmon milk soup and Jansson's temptation (baked potato with caramelized onion gratin), which are traditional Nordic dishes,” says Kera.
“I really want to introduce Moomin and Finnish lifestyle to Hong Kong people.” The cafe also offers Finnish traditional bread - Piirakka - and Scandinavian salad with pickled herring, as well as a Nordic dish of salmon with goat cheese and basil.
The new cafe in Hong Kong also features certain dishes that are not available in Japan. For instance, the Moomin House Pancakes are exclusive to the Hong Kong location. This dish consists of an impressive stack drizzled with cream and accompanied by a three-story ceramic Moomin house containing custard pudding, chocolate mousse and mango jelly.
For those diners who wish to take some of the Moomin house home, they can order the Souvenir Mango Cup Pudding so they can take the mug used to serve the dessert. Moomin-shaped past is also available at the souvenir store.
Interesting facts about HK  

One of the world's most significant financial centers, Hong Kong is renowned for its skyline, with a high density of skyscrapers. Modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan as this Chinese region may be, there's more to Hong Kong that meets the eye. Here are some interesting facts you probably didn't know about Hong Kong.

Although Hong Kong is famous for its towering skyscrapers, 40 percent of the territory is actually country and nature reserve. Hiking the green trails, in fact, is a favorite weekend-getaway pastime for locals.
It is general knowledge that Hong Kong means “fragrant harbor” in Chinese. Historians suggest the name is given due to its former export of fragrant incense. What most people don't know, however, is that when you utter the word “Kowloon” it means “nine dragons.” According to Folklore, when a young emperor observed the area's eight hills, he named the land “eight dragons,” until his servant pointed out that the emperor should be considered a dragon too, therefore nine. Kow sounds like “gau” or nine in Cantonese, and Loon is like “lung” or dragon.
Hong Kong is an autonomous territory and its official name is longer than most names: “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.”
Although most people are familiar with Hong Kong's skyline, not everybody is aware that Hong Kong has the maximum number of skyscrapers (buildings with more than 14 floors) in the whole world. With over 1200 skyscrapers, HK quadruples NYC's tall buildings.
But these heights don't come without luxury. It is a fact that Hong Kong has more Rolls Royce's per capita than anywhere else in the world.
Hong Kong keeps breaking records with its bridge Tsing Ma, the longest road and rail suspension bridge in the world with a span of 1,377 meters, surpassing Golden Gate Bridge by almost 100 meters.
Hong Kong is also home to two legends of World cinema, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, the kings of Kung Fu and Martial arts.
If you ever happen to visit Hong Kong, you should try the Ngong Ping 360, a 25 minute cable ride covering a distance of 3.5 miles. It offers stunning panoramic views of Hong Kong and it is one of the longest bi-cable aerial rides in Asia connecting Tung Chung to Ngong Ping.
While you are in Hong Kong, don't miss out on the watching “A Symphony of Lights,” the world's largest permanent light and sound show according to Guinness World Records. This daily light and sound show is organized by Hong Kong Tourism Board and it lasts for around 14 minutes. With searchlights and lasers streaming through 47 skyscrapers on both sides of Victoria harbor, it is a must-see for every tourist.
Although this fact is not as surprising as the others, it is still notable to mention: with a population of over 7 million in a small land mass, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities int he world.
Great population is also coupled with great intelligence and Honkongers are intelligent indeed with the highest IQ average in the world at 107.
Although the region is highly populated, traffic jams are not an issue as HK is one of the least car dependent cities and 90 percent of all trips are taken on public transport. That amounts to the impressive amount of over five million passengers daily.


Feng Shui in Hong Kong  

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. This practice discusses architecture in metaphoric terms of “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth and humanity together, known as qi.

An ancient Chinese system of summoning good luck, feng shui - literally wind and water - is a vital part of Hong Kong life and this is clear in the design of its shopping malls, office towers and homes. They all draw on feng shui principles in an attempt to create prosperity. Feng shui also affects people's lives as individuals consult feng shui masters to decide on the best date to get married, give birth or move house.
Here are some of Hong Kong's spots with the best feng shui.
Some of the city's best feng shui can be found in Times Square, the crowded, traffic-clogged heart of Hong Kong shopping district Causeway Bay. It's hard to believe that this buzzing seemingly chaotic area could have such a great feng shui, but you just have to imagine the towering skyscrapers are mountains and the endless procession of cars, taxis and delivery trucks a meandering river and it all begins to make sense.
Causeway Bay draws from the so-called “feng shui meridian” between four peaks and it's built atop two “dragon pulses” that flow into Hong Kong in the shape of mountain ranges.
Accordingly, it is this lucky harmony the one that attracts the masses of shoppers that make the place so profitable for retailers and landlords.
If you are not bothered by crowds and noise, Causeway Bay is also said to be a lucky to place to call home.
Another place blessed with the luck that feng shui brings is the HSBC Building in downtown Hong Kong. At the entrance of the bank, two bronze lions stand guard protecting the money within. Some locals like to stroke their paws and noses in a hope to get some of its good feng shui fortune. Accordingly, the bank harnesses energy from the five mountains nearby which benefit it and the surrounding buildings.
On the contrary, a short walk away at the IFC or International Finance Center - Hong Kong island's tallest building - suffers from a different fate. Built on reclaimed land that interrupts the flow of water in the harbor, the building's “unkind energy” leads to grievances for the family that built it. The three Kwok brothers behind property developer Sun Hung Kai became embroiled in a years-long family feud and the eldest has even been indicted on misconduct charges in a corruption case that had a strong effect on the city.
Another case of bad fortune brought by not respecting the principles of feng shui is embodied in Tamar, the striking Hong Kong government headquarters. Tamar was the focus of massive pro-democracy protests that gripped the city a few years ago. In fact, the government has faced difficulties ever since it moved to the new building in 2011. According to feng shui masters, this is not a coincidence since, like the IFC, the building is sited on reclaimed land and radiates “bad energy.”


HK Urbex: Hong Kong's explorers   

From abandoned houses to haunted prisons, local explorers HK Urbex scout the city of Hong Kong to immortalise forsaken places before they are lost forever. Their excursions regularly uncover corners of Hong Kong rarely seen by locals.

“One minute you're in the heart of the city, with a million people,” says Ghost, a member of HK Urbex. “Five minutes later you're in an old deserted site.”
“The contrast is surreal,” he adds, describing an excursion into an abandoned private hospital in Central - Hong Kong's financial district.
While most people revel in Hong Kong's shimmering skyscrapers, modern buildings and glitzy malls, for HK Urbex it is these hidden abandoned places that make Hong Kong unique. It's all about the excitement of exploring and discovering; for instance, they never know when they'll run into an ancient site surrounded by modern skyscrapers.
After visiting an abandoned TV studio that impressed them greatly, Ghost and fellow explorer, codename Echo Delta, founded HK Urbex in 2013. That was the beginning of a vast number of explorations around Hong Kong searing for crumbling edifices and documenting them with high-quality first-person-shooter style videos and eerie photographs.
HK Urbex comprises a crew of eight anonymous urban explorers. Most of which are journalists, videographers and photographers, who won't disclose their identity in order to keep the focus onto the sites. Their masks and balaclavas also have the function of protecting them from harmful elements like asbestos, apart from law enforcement.
“Sometimes we're the last people to step foot in a building before it's demolished,” said Pripyat, an HK Urbex crew member. “And then the next week, it's gone.”
Inside these forgotten buildings, the explorers often find personal artifacts, including portraits, postcards, clothes and photo albums. Every room has its own story tell, a story lost in time.
“You inevitably end up doing kind of like detective forensics work,” Pripyat said. “The last place we went, we found an x-ray of a guy that revealed a worrying shadow in his chest. You try to piece together these lives.”
Urban exploration in Hong Kong is not just about discoveries, it's also about risks. The first one would be trespassing.
“Not everyone would deem climbing a fence to take a few photos of an antiquated site as legal, so the concealment helps,” Ghost said. “What we're doing is not about us, it's about so much more than that.”
“Stationary guards are easier to skirt,” says Echo Delta. “As for patrolling guards, we need to play hide-and-seek.”
After trespassing, they walk around, taking the place in from the bottom to the top. According to them, they observe, document and leave without altering anything.
“Visiting the abandoned sites always evokes a lot of emotions and feelings,” says Echo Delta. “It's like a child opening up a wrapped present, always curious what is inside the box.”
Ghost adds: “I like the quiet, spiritual feeling of a deserted building. Sometimes I even do urban exploration alone. It's a one-on-one with the building, a very serene moment”
Since their foundation, the group has explored everything from old Chinese Medicine factories to derelict psychiatric wards, historic colonial-era mansions, old British military barracks and political prisons, decommissioned hospitals, rundown apartment buildings, metro stations, paint factories and cinemas. 
Hello Kitty dim sum restaurant opens  

World's first Hello Kitty dim sum restaurant opens in Hong Kong

From Hello Kitty cafes to Hello Kitty hotels and even Hello Kitty trains, there doesn't seem to be an end to the Hello Kitty cultural empire. Far from becoming obsolete, getting played out or old, this fictionilised character keeps conquering the hearts and minds of new generations and inspiring new creativity around its image, but this time it's not Tokyo but Hong Kong the one pioneering a Hello Kitty franchise and what better way to do it than with traditional Chinese cuisine.
Hello Kitty lovers, rejoice, the first dim sum restaurant has opened its colourful doors to the world in Hong Kong.
This Japanese fictional character's fandom is not a novelty in this region. On the contrary, Hong Kong, like many Asian cities, is already chock full of Hello Kitty. You can find anything from a Hello Kitty sandwich maker to Hello Kitty jewelry all over the city; thus, it was just a matter of time this cute dim sum restaurant would become a reality.
Offering about 40 choices ranging from HK$42 to HK$238 (US$5 to $30), the new restaurant's menu also has a selection of Hello Kitty-inspired dishes.
The adorable decoration of the restaurant starts outside: Hello Kitty signs in red and gold - two lucky colours in Chinese tradition - adorn the facade of the restaurant while Chinese-style latticed windows present the shape of her bow.
The inside of the restaurant features an explosive combination of Chinese-style decor and Hello Kitty's image all over the place. On chopsticks, chopstick holders, places, bowls, spoons, teapots, ceiling lanterns, wall decor, wine glasses, wine bottles, chairs, you name it, Hello Kitty decor impregnates the every item at the restaurant. There is even Hello Kitty decorations etched into the dining tables - a Kitty-phile-friendly feature that allows diners to gaze at Hello Kitty while eating Hello Kitty food.
Start the Hello Kitty dim sum experience with a spongy custard bun (HK$43 for a basket), followed by shrimp dumplings (HK$48), and a traditional Cantonese sponge cake (HK$48).
If you are a fan of Hello Kitty, you probably know that her favourite food is her mum's homemade apple pie. That is why the restaurant chose apple as a recurrent theme in some dishes. For instance, the sweet and sour pork (HK$98) uses apple instead of the more traditional pineapple.
Another dish that features apple is the Hello Kitty apple chicken rice (HK$108). The rice comes molded resembling the shape of her head, while black beans are there for her eyes, then they use green Chinese leeks tied together for her bow, red pepper for her nose and then eggplant skin for her whiskers. The dish comes with an apple cup full of chicken and vegetables.
As a dessert, one of the options includes a traditional Chinese almond dessert soup (HK$38), topped with a piece of red gelatin in the shape of Hello Kitty.
To add to the restaurants' hits, it uses locally-grown, organic ingredients for some of the dishes. As a matter of fact, the restaurant owner and Hong Kong entrepreneur Man Kwon is using the Hello Kitty restaurant as a platform to encourage healthier lifestyles in Hong Kong. Although he plans to use various healthier options in the future, for now he is using organic whenever possible, natural dyes, less salt and less oil.
The success of the restaurant is also due to its staggering attention to detail and strong commitment to the brand. According to Man, everything - from the food to the decor - had been approved by Sanrio, the Japanese company that owns Hello Kitty brand.
Hello Kitty's creator Sanrio even provided them with “a kind of character training - told us about Hello Kitty, her preferences, her family tree,” he adds.
The reason why this restaurant is a success unless previous Hello Kitty restaurants is its perfectionism: some dishes took as many as seven tries before Sanrio green-lighted the final recipe. “The hardest part was getting the proportion of Hello Kitty's features right,” says Chan Kwok-Tung, a din sum chef for over three decades. “Otherwise, it'll easily look like a knockoff.” Because of its special features, it takes twice as long to make Hello Kitty dim sum compared to regular dim sum.
“Before I joined the company - I knew nothing about Hello Kitty,” he says. “I saw it as a challenge but as I spent more time working on it, I grew to like Hello Kitty. She's really cute.”
The restaurant has a capacity of 70 people and some dishes are made in limited quantity daily.
If you have an event coming up, you can book the VIP room (named Apple House). This hall features Hello Kitty as China's four ancient beauties in Chinese-style scroll paintings. If you're looking for more news check out Sanrio Facebook page, now over 1 million likes in 2017.
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