As you folks may have noticed, it is now 2017. This means that we get to go through the whole ‘new year, new me’ shenanigans, so I guess it is about right that I lay down some resolutions for the new year. Yes I know I am 23 days late to the party, but I suppose being late is the new ‘hipster’ in town so bear with me for a fleeting moment… Despite all the tomfoolery that is going on with the world right now (hello Donald Trump!), 2016 has been a very good year for me and my stomach. Ever since I started the WongEatsHongKong, I have ventured into places I never would have dreamt of before, and in the process, I have eaten some tremendous plates of food, and have been served some truly fabulous meals (and some horrendous ones as well to be fair). WongEatsHongKong was created on a whim, a fleeting moment of drunken vigour, but it does feel right for me to reflect on the past four months, and to lay out some ‘resolutions’ for the year ahead, visions and directions on how I feel this page should progress onwards.
Looking back at all the blog posts, despite some horrendous grammar and nonsensical quips, I am proud to say that I achieved my initial goal of being authentic and non-biased. All the reviews were conducted anonymously and to ensure fairness, I have revisited restaurants multiple times to ensure that my reviews were well researched and, at the very least, honest. My technique is simple – I neglect anything that has nothing to do with plate of food in front of me. Yes I am aware that service, ambiance, wine, music and company are integral to a good meal, but then again, you can have a truly staggering meal without any of it. It is just frivolous, tiresome, and often times, unnecessary. And after four months, I am quite chuffed to say that I have found places that serve up tremendous plates of food without any bullshit, and that is the way it should be.
Interestingly, this blog started with the motive of exploring budget dining/lunching options in a city dominated by suit wearing bankers and cleavage bearing tai-tais. Cheap food is increasingly hard to find in Hong Kong, due to escalating rent prices, fervent competition and a consumer based more focused on blindly following trends than exploring traditions. But as you would have noticed with the blog, slowly but surely, expensive establishments dominated my reviews. But then again, any meal set with a drink in a cha chaan teng already costs north of fifty bucks, and other than a few failsafe options, it is genuinely difficult to have a good meal under the initial budget I set for myself. That being said, I am planning on exploring more options in Kowloon and the New Territories, where rent prices are not astronomical and the expats do not dominate dining scenes.
So here are my ten resolutions, in a simple Bart Simpson on a chalkboard-esque format. Enjoy reading them, toast to a new year, and go grab a good meal. By God do we need it.
- I will devote more time to writing this blog. No more one article per month bullshit.
- I will dine in and review more cheaper restaurants. Gotta stick to the initial HK$50 limit!
- I will be more understanding to chefs who overcook my steak or serve up limp, flaccid pieces of protein. Chefs are under tremendous amounts of stress and should be coddled rather than scolded. Still, overcook my meat and I will bite you.
- I will cook more often and post more recipes on this blog. I will not cook things which resemble a drunken college student’s 4am fry up. A lot of the time, what I cook is simply what I can rummage through the fridge. I will make a determined effort to buy fresh produce and follow proper recipes.
- I will learn to appreciate the wholesome goodness of the avocado, even though slathering it on everything makes you look like an idiot rather than a health guru.
- I will not make fun of vegans, vegetarians, gluten free individuals, juice cleanses, organic food, paleo diets, pescatarians….. HAHAHAHAHAHA psych
- I will post better photos of my food, despite my views on food photography here
- I will do more to support local restaurants and traditional culinary customs. To hell with thousand dollar tasting menus, foams, dried ice and remastered attempts at traditional Balinese food (sorry one more dig at Kaum, I had to)
- I will not be tempted by words like ‘limited edition’, ‘off the menu’ and ‘chef’s special of the day’. They are sugar tinted death traps designed to hack an arm and leg off your bank account.
- I will do my best to eat whatever this city has to offer, so that I can share them with you. May God have mercy on my stomach and my waistline.