Megabites: Dub concept by SAAM

Kaleb Davis of Dub

The graffiti clad exterior of Dub is deceptive, for inside the space that used to be SAAM new chef Kaleb Davis has worked to combine the ethos behind his 5star hotel experience with the relaxed friendly street vibe of New Zealand where the Hong Kong native grew up.

The result, in combination with long term friends Bibiana Ling and Alex Gardner, is a relaxed comfortable 25 seat venue that offers a small but varied menu of comfort food.  But expect the menu to expand as Kaleb and Alex experiment with the latest in food preparation ‘toys’, from restaurant owner Catering Depot, in their new kitchen.

Dub invited bc to sample some of the dishes on their soft opening menu. Upon arrival we were served with a 3 roll bread basket which included a tasty squid ink roll that went nicely with the herb butter. All the wines are available by the glass.

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For starters we had the quail scotch egg; quail eggs wrapped in homemade pork cheek sausage meat and then breaded and cooked and served on a bed of horseradish. A nice twist on the traditional scotch egg, with the diced cut pork cheek having a lovely texture and offering good strong but not overpowering flavours to start; with four halves to a portion there’s plenty to go around.

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Served with sourdough toast slices, the tartare is fresh and fairly spicy with the mix a little heavy on the onions and capers – which might not please those who prefer a more full meat tartare. The flavour is good and the portion size enough to share.

The menu currently consists of six main dishes Wagyu Beef & Pork Cheek Rissoles ($228), Crispy 24Hour Pork Belly ($228), Charred Spring Chicken ($228), Lamb T-Bones 140oz ($298) 1/2 Breaded Red Mullet Fillets ($198) andGoats Cheese Tortellini ($178). Fellow diners were effusive and vocal in their enjoyment of the pork belly and tortellini options.

bc tried the wagyu beef and pork rissoles served on bed of orzo pasta risotto with a smoked tomato sauce. Orzo pasta is a short cut pasta shaped like a rice grain, and makes for a risotto that’s a little different to that your taste buds are expecting. The wagyu beef and pork cheek rissoles are cooked pink and full of flavour with the meat juices enriching the risotto. A very enjoyable dish, although the smoked flavour of the tomato sauce was barely noticeable amidst the other strong flavours of the rest of the dish.

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bc can’t remember seeing lamb served locally as a T-bone steak before and the concept is intriguing and tasty – here two t-bones are served with beautifully roasted potatoes. But it’s a dish that’s a work in progress, the two t-bones were cooked rare, almost blue for the thicker one, making the meat difficult to remove from the small bones. While Dub has a street vibe, it’s not the sort of place where you feel comfortable picking up and chewing the bone to get at that lovely flavour. The sweet wine sauce served on the side was nice but overpowered the meaty flavour of the lamb. A slightly thinner cut of t-bones, maybe an inch thick rather two inches and the option to have the ‘t-bone’ steaks cooked to ones preference would let this dish shine.

There’s a range of sides including: Mac n Cheese Arancini ($68), Truffle Fries ($58), Eggplant and Buffalo Mozzarella salad ($128). While the dessert options include Pecan Pie ($88), Mango Creme Brulee ($88) and Apple Tarte Tatin with Salted Caramel Ice-cream ($88)

Dub is a friendly relaxed place with efficient but un-obtrusive service. The dishes are familiar but with a twist, the flavours complex but not so that you can’t relax over a meal. Portion sizes are good, and plated with care. There’s an understated attention to detail that promises more to come as Kaleb becomes comfortable with his kitchen and that subtle difference between working for someone and being Chef and Owner of his own restaurant.

Dub concept by SAAM
51d Graham Street, Central. Tel: 2645 9828
www.dubhongkong.com

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Bowlers Keep Hong Kong in the Hunt Against Ireland

Hong Kong fought hard to keep Ireland honest on the first of their four day ICC Intercontinental Cup clash in Belfast.

The hosts, who won the toss and chose to bat reached 124-2 before Hong Kong battled back well, on a turning pitch, to dismiss Ireland for 316 just before close of play. At stumps the tourists were 2 without loss. Hong Kong’s two spinners found some turn with Nadeem Ahmed taking 4-73 before paceman Tanwir Afzal removed Ireland’s lower order to finished with 4-63.

Ehsan Khan, who along with Ninad Shah, Waqas Khan and Tanveer Ahmed, made his first class debut took a wicket in just his second over.

HK v Ireland August 2016

Post-match interview with Nadeem Ahmed
“I think we started poorly but we came back really well after lunch. I think the boys pulled it back and that was really good to see. It was challenging as they know the conditions and knew what to expect so we had to fight hard. Cooky (coach Simon Cook) pumped us up during the lunch break and we stood up to the challenge. To bowl them out for 316 is good but we gave away about 50 runs on this wicket, which we shouldn’t have done.”

“It was turning a lot for the first day and gradually started to turn more and more as the day went on. When the team need you, you need to stand up and be counted on. Today was a day where I needed to stand up as the wicket suited me and things went well. I just tried to bowl tight overs and be more consistent and it started to turn a lot.”

“We’ve got good players of spin and they have only one front line spinner so this could be something that gives us a small advantage. Both openers did well to stick in there until the end.”

“This performance means a lot to us and to Hong Kong. We are in a good position so hopefully we can keep it going.”

Asia Adult Expo

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It’s Asia Adult Expo time where China’s sex toy manufacturers showcase their products to stores and buyers from across the globe. The wholesale prices are ridiculously cheap, a stark reminder of the margins involved in much of retail today.

In recent years a lot of creativity, thought, science and manufacturing wizardry has gone into improving and enhancing how we can bring ourselves and our partners pleasure. Although I’m not sure that many of us will be wanting to fiddle with a phone app in the middle of an orgasm… And a first person perspective 3D VR film loses it’s impact when as is legally required in Japan genitals are pixelated out.

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At any other product expo, visitors to the show would be touching, examining the products to check for quality, design… Yet still society’s taboo on pleasuring ourselves and others exerts it’s influence with most visitors discretely looking from outside a booth rather than stepping in as they would with other product expos.

If you don’t fancy a visit to sex store but want to improve your sex life most of the manufacturers have websites where you can buy direct through Alibaba.

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Asia Adult Expo
Date: 28-31 August 2016
Venue: HK Convention & Exhibition Centre
Tickets: By invitation, trade

Kenya 34-10 Hong Kong

Scrumhalf-Adam-Rolston

Kenya thrashed Hong Kong in Nairobi, 34-10 easing up in the second half or the scoreboard could have looked a lot worse for the visitors such was the home side’s superiority. As their Sevens team has shown on the World Sevens Series with their inaugural win last season Kenyan rugby is vibrant and full of powerful skilled players.

For Hong Kong it was a pretty abject performance full of far too many basic rugby and unforced errors gifting the Kenyans easy ball. That the tour is taking place at all is good news, but the scheduling just before the Asian Sevens Series rather than just after meant that far too many of Hong Kong’s key players weren’t on the pitch. We complain that teams don’t respect us when they send understrength sides to Hong Kong, yet here we are doing the same to Kenya.

“Today’s match was not dissimilar to Tuesday’s loss (28-14 to Kenya A). We looked like a side that haven’t played together and we struggled to put any constructive phases together. They scored 3 or 4 tries purely as a result of us turning the ball over. At this level you get punished for those errors and that was the case,” said coach Leigh Jones making the same excuses as in many of Hong Kong’s recent loses. “It is just getting guys used to playing under this type of pressure. At the moment, the step up is too much for some of them, which forces a large number of errors. But the only answer is to expose them to this level of rugby more often.” Talk about stating the obvious, so why then is this Hong Kong’s first ‘tour’ against non-Asian opposition since 2012? The players can only play against the opponents the HK Rugby Union picks for them.

The test match was effectively over by half time as the visitors conceded two tries and two penalties in the opening forty minutes to hand Kenya an unassailable 20-3 lead at the break. Hong Kong’s only reply came from a late penalty by Matt Rosslee after the centre’s committed chase of fly-half Liam Owen’s booming up-and-under from the Kenyan 22-metre line put the defence under pressure.

Rosslee and Owens marked their international debuts today with four other newly capped players joining the fray from the bench in the second half.

Kenya added two more tries after play resumed to put the game further out of reach. Winger Darwin Mukidzu was a one-man wrecking crew as he paced his side with a perfect six goals from six attempts (two penalties and four conversions), while setting up Kenya’s third try before claiming the fourth.

The scrum was perhaps the only bright spot for the visitors, with Hong Kong’s eight competing well, including in the second half, when hooker Alexander Post, lock Mike Parfitt and flanker Joey Cheung Ho-yin all came on to earn their first caps. The forwards were unable to match that performance in the lineout however, damaging their hopes of playing an old fashioned structured possession game and slowing down their opponents.

Hugo Stiles made it on late in the match as Jones ensured all of Hong Kong’s potential debutants saw the pitch. The new caps accounted for all of Hong Kong’s points when Stiles crossed for his first test try late in the match as Hong Kong took full advantage of a yellow card against Kenya in the 60th minute to camp out on the Kenyan five-metre line. Liam Owens nearly scored in the corner, but showed good awareness and off-loaded the ball to his long-time U20s backline partner Stiles for the try. Rosslee added a nice conversion from the touchline to bring the final score to 34-10 to Kenya.

The result will likely see the two sides swap places in the World Rugby rankings after Hong Kong entered the test ranked 22nd trailed by Kenya at 24.

Watching the match stream it was massively frustrating to see Hong Kong continue to make basic unforced handling errors. The All-Blacks have shown for a decade that ball skills and being comfortable with ball in hand are the way to win modern rugby matches. The vast improvements that teams like Argentina and Kenya have made in recent years is because they have taken this lesson to heart.

So as a fan it’s sad to see that despite being far better funded than both those countries we continue to lose games because of our unforced basic handling errors. Losing because you are outplayed by a better team on the day is one thing, continually losing important games year after year because we gift the opponents the ball is getting really frustrating.

Hong Kong SAR v Kenya:
1. Ben Higgins, 2. Jamie Tsang, 3. Jack Parfitt, 4. Adrian Griffiths, 5. Fin Field, 6. Nick Hewson (Captain), 7. Mathew Lamming, 8. Dan Falvey, 9. Adam Rolston, 10. Liam Owens*, 11. Charles Higson-Smith, 12. Tyler Spitz, 13. Matt Rosslee*, 14. Jamie Robinson, 15. Ed Rolston. Reserves: 16. Alex Post*, 17. Alex Ng Wai-Shing, 18 Adam Fullgrabe, 19. Mike Parfitt*, 20. Tony Wong, 21. Joey Cheung Ho-Yin*, 22. Charles Cheung Ho-Ning, 23. Hugo Stiles*.
*First Hong Kong Cap

Additional reporting and photo: HKRU

HKLGFF Launch Party @ Circo – 26 August, 2016

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The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 2016 got under way with a launch party at Circo on the 26 August. The festival itself starts on the 17 September and runs until the 2 October. The full schedule of films is here.
Click on any photo for the film gallery of images.

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Kenya A 24-18 Hong Kong Select

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Hong Kong’s Select XV, with eight players marking their senior debuts, lost to Kenya A 24-18 in Nairobi in the opening encounter of their two match tour.

The Kenya ‘A’ team featured some familiar names to those who watch sevens rugby, with the side led by Kenya’s sevens captain Innocent Simiyu and featuring sevens internationals Patrice Agunda, Mike Agevi and Dan Sikuta.

HK coach Leigh Jones’s pre-tour assessment of the opposition, when he summed up the two encounters as a test of Hong Kong’s collective organisation versus Kenya’s individual flair, proved correct with Kenya scoring several tries off counter attacks from deep within their own territory, including scoring twice in quick succession to open up the game shortly after half-time.

Hong Kong enjoyed the more positive start, attacking from deep early on to put the hosts under sustained pressure in the early stages. A series of minor miscues and unforced errors left the Kenyans’ dangerous attack stuttering and Hong Kong took full advantage of the gifted possession putting in sustained drives and penning Kenya deep in its half before the pressure told in the 20 minute. Winger Conor Hartley collected the ball off a driving attacking lineout deep in Kenya’s territory to barrel across the tryline for the first points of the match. The difficult touchline conversion attempt from Kjestrup was no good leaving Hong Kong 5-0 up.

Fiercely committed in defence, the intensity of the Kenyan tackling put the visitors on the back foot as Hong Kong began to concede possession. Late in the half, fullback Mike Avegi put the hosts on the scoreboard with a penalty to close the gap to 5-3. Hong Kong replied well moving the ball methodically up field and forcing the Kenyans into conceding a second penalty for Kjestrup who struck it well pushing Hong Kong ahead 8-3.

In an early warning sign for the visitors the game started to get loose as the half wore on with Hong Kong’s accuracy suffering as a result. The forwards responded again with another massive effort from Hong Kong’s scrum forcing the Kenyans to concede a kickable penalty that Kjestrup slotted home to push the lead to 11-3.

In injury time, the Kenyans ignited with winger Cyprian Kuto breaking away for a late try from deep in his own half. Avegi’s conversion was good and Kenya trailed 11-10 going into the break.

Kenya book-ended that momentum building score with another to start the second half as reserve back Samson Onsomu collected the ball off a turnover before tearing away for another lengthy try against the run of play. Scrumhalf Kelvin Masai was on target with his conversion as Kenya took its first lead 17-11.

Moments later, Kenya struck again from deep with Kuto securing his brace after capitalising on an overthrown lineout on his five-metre line. 95 metres, a clean pair of heels and a second Masai conversion later and Hong Kong were left trailing 24-11 after a display of individual skills.

Hong Kong battled back with reserve front rower Jack Parfitt scoring the riposte. Matthew Rosslee made the conversion to bring the visitors back within a converted try at 24-18 with fifteen minutes remaining but despite opportunities to draw level Hong Kong couldn’t cross the line before time expired.

After the match Jones commented “I’m never too happy with a loss but it was a worthwhile game. There is a lot to be pleased with. We controlled the first half and created several chances that we weren’t able to finish today. In the second half they hit us with those two breakaway tries and their tails were up. It was pretty textbook in many ways to what we said before the tour. If your accuracy isn’t there or if you slip off the tackles with these guys they have the power and pace to make you pay and that was the case.”

“The experiment in coming here to look at guys under test pressure was a success and we got a lot from it. Now we’ll look to regroup and work on some of our accuracy issues and lick our wounds for the test,” Jones concluded.

Eight Hong Kong players made their senior squad debuts last night including Premiership standouts Ben Roberts and Matthew Rosslee, both of whom will likely win their first caps in Saturday’s test. Also among the new faces was former U20s captain Mike Parfitt, who formed a locking duo with Fin Field playing in just his second senior match. U20s sevens captain Hugo Stiles started at fullback while his long-time backline partner Liam Owens came off the reserves bench in the second half.

“I’m really pleased with the young lads. They performed well. Mike Parfitt and Fin Field were strong in the second row and Liam Owens did well when he came on. Young Hugo Stiles at fullback showed the class that he has,” said Jones.

Hong Kong Sevens players are not involved in the tour as they train for the upcoming Asia Rugby Sevens Series which kicks off on 2 September at HK Football Club.

Hong Kong Select:
1. Adam Fullgrabe, 2. Jamie Tsang, 3. Rohan Cook, 4. Mike Parfitt*, 5. Fin Field, 6. Tony Wong, 7. Joey Cheung Ho-Yin*, 8. Nick Hewson (Captain), 9. Charles Cheung Ho-Ning, 10. Jason Kjestrup*, 11. Conor Hartley*, 12. Jamie Robinson, 13. Matt Rosslee*, 14. Jonny Rees, 15. Hugo Stiles*. Reserves: 16. Ben Roberts*, 17. Ben Higgins, 18. Jack Parfitt, 19. Dan Falvey, 20. Matt Lamming, 21. Charlie Higson-Smith, 22. Liam Owens*, 23. Adam Rolston
* on debut

Additional reporting and photo: HKRU

Pegasus 2016-17 Pre Season Party – 23 August, 2016

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Pegasus introduced new manager Steve Gallen at their 2016-17 pre-season party. The former QPR first team coach, in his first managerial appointment, said he was looking forward to the challenge “Pegasus had a good season last year doing well in the Cup competitions, we want to continue winning there but our main target is the league title”.
Click on any photo for the full gallery of images

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