Megabites: Indian Curry Express

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Indian Curry Express which opened recently in Sai Ying Pun offers home style Indian cuisine from a small ‘hole in the wall’ style outlet on Water Street. Don’t let the looks deceive you this is local dining at it’s best, small tables a constant stream of customers including even after just a couple of weeks numerous regulars and good food, oh such lovely food and all msg free.

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According to the friendly owners Delhi couple Rajesh and Nanda Maindola good food is the key to any restaurant and concept is at the heart of Indian Curry Express’s kitchen. The menu is extensive offering all the traditional Indian vegetarian and meat dishes. bc started with perhaps the best mango lassi ($10) for the price in Hong Kong, not too sweet and with a well balanced flavour. The vegetarian samosas (3 for $30) were delicious with firm pastry a well cooked filling and not oily at all. The Khadai Paneer ($70) was full of texture and flavours but maybe a little light on paneer.

The Daal Makhni is superb, lovely texture and consistency and full of flavour – if you can’t eat it all, it tastes perhaps even better cold the next day! The Vegetable Biryani ($60) is a large portion of perfectly cooked and flavoured rice served with a slightly sweet curry. The Butter Chicken ($80) features a nicely balanced creamy textured lightly sweet sauce embracing tender soft chicken, while the Lamb Roganjosh ($80) just crumbles in the delicious sauce. All of these delightful light, tasty and filling dishes are best eaten and sopped up with soft freshly made Tawa roti.

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We’re always reticent to talk up a new restaurant too much especially a small one, as people then go with expanded expectations but bc visited with two Indian foodies and both enjoyed their dinner. Street side dining is not for everyone – so take your lunch/diner away or enjoy free local delivery.

Indian Curry Express currently offers some of the tastiest Indian food around and bc hopes as they invariably get busier they can keep up the quality, that ‘made at home’ style feel and the extra bit of tlc that all these dishes feel like they have. Delicious!

Indian Curry Express: 27 Water Street, Sai Ying Pun. Tel: 6744 6915
Opening Hours: noon-3:30pm; 6-10pm
www.facebook.com/indiancurryexpress.hk
indiancurryexpress@hotmail.com
(If you enjoy your Indian cuisine spicy then ask the kitchen when you order.)

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Hong Kong to Host ICC 2016 Women’s World Cup Qualifier – Asia

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The road to the next Women’s Cricket World Cup is a long one but Hong Kong’s talented squad will play the first series of matches in their attempt to qualify at home after the International Cricket Council have awarded Hong Kong hosting rights of the ICC 2016 Women’s World Cup Qualifier – Asia, which will be held in October this year.

China, Nepal and Thailand will join Hong Kong in a round-robin tournament from the 9th-15th of October, at the Tin Kwong Recreation Ground in Mong Kok, with a place in the global qualifying tournament guaranteed for the winning team.

“The ICC 2016 Women’s World Cup Qualifier – Asia is an exciting opportunity for the top Women’s teams in Asia,” ICC Development and Programs Manager Andy Hobbs said. “The winner of this event will progress to the ICC 2017 Women’s World Cup Global Qualifier and have the opportunity to play against some of the top Women’s teams in the world and of course the chance to make it to the very pinnacle of Women’s Cricket at the world cup itself”.

The decision to award Hong Kong rights to host the tournament is yet another boost for local cricket in a year when Hong Kong has hosted its first ever One Day International, appeared in the ICC World Twenty20 and launched a new event, the Hong Kong T20 Blitz.

“We are thankful to the ICC for electing us to host the first ever Women’s World Cup Qualifier – Asia,” CEO Tim Cutler said. “We will be working closely with the government to ensure Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground is at the best standard it can be for this international event.”

“Our ladies are the pride of our indigenous development programmes with over half of the squad being of Hong Kong Chinese extraction. Witnessing the success of “big sister” China is particularly pleasing, and the HK v China matches are sure be the highlight for many.” Cutler continued “Such a diverse range of cultures make up our local cricket community and with a particularly large, proud, Nepalese community we expect to welcome some great crowds into the grounds over the course of the tournament.”

ICC 2016 Women’s World Cup Qualifier – Asia
Date: 9-15 October, 2016
Venue: Tin Kwong Recreation Ground
Tickets: tbc

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Hong Kong Women Ready For Rugby 7s Olympic Repechage Challenge

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Anna Richards, Hong Kong Women’s Sevens Coach, has an almost full-strength squad available for the Olympic Repechage tournament in Dublin, Ireland (25-26 June) to decide the 12th and final team to qualify for Rugby Sevens’ Olympic debut in Rio this August.

The squad includes captain Christy Cheng Ka Chi, who marks her first tournament action since the regional Olympic qualifiers last November after an injury kept her out of the Hong Kong Women’s Rugby Sevens in April. Cheng will resume the captaincy after handing the reins to Natasha Olson-Thorne for the Hong Kong Sevens, with Olson-Thorne resuming her role as vice-captain in Ireland.

Versatile back Cindy Yuen Lok Yee also returns to the squad after an arduous year long rehabilitation effort to recover from a shoulder injury. The 21-year old Yuen, one of Hong Kong rugby’s promising young players, started her rugby career on the wing but can now play anywhere along the back line as coach Richards continues to emphasise upskilling players to play across multiple positions.

“Cindy has done really really well. She worked hard to come back from her injury and I am pleased that she has returned to full fitness and can get this opportunity. She is a really skilful player with some good stepping ability and I’m excited to see how she will go in Dublin,” said Richards.

That excitement extends across the entire squad as Richards looks ahead to one of Hong Kong’s few opportunities to play in a fully international competition this weekend.

“It’s an exciting team and it is good to be able to include a few of the players that we haven’t seen in a while. The squad is keen to have another opportunity to qualify for the Olympics. It is our last chance to qualify but I believe we have the calibre of players we need to win the tournament,” said Richards.

The returning players gave Richards the opportunity to select from almost a full complement of talent in the elite programme at the Hong Kong Sports Institute.

“I have never had so many people at training,” said Richards. “Christy is back training full time and Cindy has returned after 16 months away from the game. So I had nearly a full squad to choose from, which is really exciting.”

Many of the selected squad also featured heavily in Hong Kong’s three matches as part of the fifteen-a-side Asia Rugby Women’s Championship in May. “Our build-up was shortened by the Asian championships but the girls have been training hard. They had a good campaign in that competition, so hopefully they can carry on from there. It has been hot and the conditions have been difficult, but they have put the work in. We will start to dial it back a bit this week in training. Last week our focus was on getting everyone back into sevens mode, which was fun for the girls, now we want to keep that intensity as we head to Dublin,” Richards said.

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That intensity will be in demand in Dublin with Hong Kong slotted as the top seeds in Pool D of the 16-team tournament, locking horns with Argentina, Kazakhstan and the Cook Islands.

“It is an interesting pool,” says Richards. “There are teams that we have played recently like Kazakhstan and Argentina (who Hong Kong played in the recent Hong Kong Sevens), but we don’t know anything about the Cook Islands. They are banded fourth in the pool but I think they will be tougher than that. I believe they have a lot of girls playing in New Zealand.”

Captain Cheng was pleased with the draw: “We’re happy with the pool. The girls have been training hard and as long as we hold up and perform well, we should be in a reasonable position. We know Kazakhstan well and are very evenly matched. It will come down to who has the better game plan on the day and who executes best. We split our results with Argentina before and know that their speed is their main strength. Size-wise they are similar to us so I think it will be a good match-up.”

But for Cheng the biggest result is already achieved in making her return to fitness in time for selection: “I’m feeling good and am happy to be back training with the team. I’m a bit rusty on my skills and conditioning but that will come in time and I’m just happy to be running again. Every athlete’s dream is to reach the Olympics so it is a great opportunity for me and all of the team to be able to have another chance at qualifying,” Cheng added.

Hong Kong are the highest seeded team in the tournament not currently playing on the Women’s Sevens Series. Russia are the top seeds in Pool A along with Samoa, Zimbabwe and Madagascar; Spain are atop Pool B with Mexico, Venezuela and Tunisia while hosts Ireland head up Pool C ahead of China, Portugal and Trinidad and Tobago.

Russia and Spain were among the nine nations to confirm their status as core teams for the 2016-17 Series. Russia finished seventh overall with Spain in ninth. Ireland finished the Series in 11th place. Spain were the only one of the trio to reach the Cup quarter-finals at the final Series tournament in France and will take heart from their improved form over the last two rounds of the Series, but it is Russia, bowl winners in France, who are the top seeds for the repechage.

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Richards, a four-time Women’s Rugby World Cup winner is unfazed by the competition: “There are some really good sides, including core World Series teams, so we have to be the underdogs going in, but you have to be in it to win it, and we’re fortunate enough to be there. It’s just another really good opportunity for us to go and perform.”

According to Richards, the keys to victory lie in the team’s consistency and ability to execute under pressure. “We will be one of the fitter teams and our skills are improving so I think it will come down to decision-making and our ability to perform under pressure – and there will be a lot of pressure. It’s always a challenge, but we have the capacity to beat a lot of the teams at this level; whether we can take a step up to beat the teams on the World Series, we will find out,” concluded Richards.

Hong Kong Women’s Sevens Squad – Olympic Repechage (Dublin, Ireland):
Cheng Ka Chi (Captain), Amelie Seure, Cheng Tsz Ting, Chong Ka Yan, Lee Tsz Ting, Li Nim Yan, Lindsay Varty, Natasha Olson-Thorne (Vice Captain), Nam Ka Man, Poon Pak Yan, Stephanie Cuvelier, Yuen Lok Yee.

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