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
[email protected]
(If you enjoy your Indian cuisine spicy then ask the kitchen when you order.)

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

Megabites: Gold Coast Prime Rib

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Opened at the start of June, the Gold Coast Prime Rib is one of the least inspiring looking places you’ll dine at. It literally is a window area in the corner of the vast lobby at the Gold Coast Hotel over-looking the swimming pool and the marina. The only notable difference to the rest of the lobby is that the chairs are a different colour, but looks shouldn’t deter you.

The menu is sparse, but this is not a bad thing – doing a few things well, is better than a lot of things averagely. The signature US prime rib sets are offered in 3 ($288), 5 ($368) or 7 ($488) racks and carved from a full rack at the table. The set also includes a salad or soup or dessert and a side dish from a choice of garlic mushrooms, creamy spinach, garlic rice, truffle fries or mashed potatoes with black truffle jus.

The menu also offers a selection of grills sets pork fillet mignon (7oz, $348), New York strip (12oz, $428), double cut pork chop (14oz, $398), Australian lamb chop (8oz, $328), French spring chicken (14oz, $398) and Scottish salmon (7oz, $368). All come with the same choice of extras as the rib sets. There are also soups and salads for those looking for a lighter meal.

The Prime Rib is only open in the evening and our media visit was over lunch so bc chose the New York strip. The 12oz steak filled the plate unlike so many of today’s main courses where the meat looks lost among the artistic sauce dribbles. The inch or so thick cut steak was cooked medium rare just as we asked and was juicy, tender, flavourful and really rather good. For those who like a sauce with their steak there’s a choice of cafe de paris butter, bearnaise, black pepper with cognac, creamy five peppercorn or black truffle gravy.

The sides dishes which are served separately are generously portioned. The black truffle mash potato had a nice texture and flavour as did the creamy spinach.

Given its location the Gold Coast Prime Rib is not perhaps worth a special trip – although there’s a free hotel bus from Canton Road (30 mins each way) – unlike the Gold Coast Hotel’s creative afternoon teas (see below). But if you are in the area and fancy a good well portioned meal, then it’s definitely worth considering.

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If you have kids perhaps it’s best not to show them pictures of the new fun teas sets at the Gold Coast Hotel they put those bird cage sets to shame with a series of wonderful themed tea sets. Someone had a lot of fun creating them, there are six available ‘Ding Ding’ Hong Kong tram, princess, dinosaur, outer space, pirate and safari with matching themed rooms for those who want to stay.

For visitors only the ‘Ding Ding’ and pirate are currently available a la carte. Full of prime New York steak, bc didn’t extensively sample the full offerings of each set but the bits that we did sample were uniformly good. And compared to some of the tea sets around town there’s a fair of food for hungry parents and kid. The impressive centrepieces are made of chocolate, and not supposed to be eaten, but quite how they’ll prevent kids breaking off a piece of I’m not sure… Each themed tea set is $680 and needs to be ordered a day in advance.

Gold Coast Prime Rib
Gold Coast Hotel, 1 Castle Peak Road (Castle Peak Bay), Tsuen Wan
www.sino-hotels.com/hk/gold-coast

Hong Kong Host Papua New Guinea in Three-game ODI Series

Hong Kong Cricket Team

After the success of Scotland’s recent visit, Hong Kong men’s cricket squad will host Papua New Guinea for a three-game One Day International (ODI) series in November.

The three game series will be played on Friday 4 November, Sunday 6 November and Tuesday 8 November. The fixtures will be the first ICC recognised ODI series hosted in Hong Kong outside of ICC World Cricket League and will be played at the Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground in Mong Kok.

Papua New Guinea hosted Hong Kong in Townsville for their first ever ODI’s, which saw PNG play some quality cricket and win the series 2-nil.

Director of Cricket Charlie Burke said the series will be another step forward in what is already a strong relationship between the two emerging regions. “PNG and Hong Kong have both progressed through Cricket’s divisions together over the last few years,” Burke said.

“It was only in 2010 when we met in Division 3 and since then we have both emerged to register some excellent results in the World Cricket League and World Cup qualifiers. Our fans deserve to witness two quality sides that have played in some great battles as well as an opportunity to host PNG, who put on a great series in Townsville. The bigger picture is to continue preparations for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in 2018.”

The series will be played during a busy period for Hong Kong, following a three-week tour of Ireland and Scotland and right before a trip away to play Kenya in two ICC WCLC matches.

Head Coach Simon Cook says the busy schedule will allow selectors to test the depth of what is now an extended full-time squad. “We have played PNG a lot over the years and the players have detailed knowledge of each other which always makes for an interesting series,” Cook said. “They have some good players that can take the game away from you if you let them so we will have to be on top of our game to beat them. As we speak our players are currently in a strength phase of their training program which is going really well so we should be seeing a faster, stronger and more durable Hong Kong squad leading into this really busy 6 month period.”

Hong Kong v Papua New Guinea
Date: 4, 6 and 8 November, 2016
Venue: Tin Kwong Road Recreation Ground
Tickets: tbc

Shake ’em Buns 10th Anniversary Block Party – 15 June, 2016

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It was smiling faces and juicy burgers all around as Shake ’em Buns celebrated it’s 10th Anniversary with a block party on the 15 June that saw hundreds of people enjoying $20 burgers, free fried chicken and craft beer. A big hand to the Shake ’em Buns staff for making so many burgers in such a short time!
Click on any photo to see the full gallery

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Hong Kong Ready For Rugby 7s Olympic Repechage Challenge

Hong Kong Sevens Squad Monaco

The winner-take-all sixteen team Olympic Games repechage tournament in Monaco this weekend (18-19 June) will produce the 12th and final team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games Rugby Sevens competition.

After reaching the World Rugby World Sevens Series qualifier final at the Hong Kong Sevens in April, Hong Kong have been seeded as the top non-World Sevens Series team in Monaco, topping Pool D ahead of Spain, Mexico and South Korea. World Series veterans Samoa, Russia and Canada head the other three pools.

Coach Gareth Baber has selected an experienced squad with 11 of the 12-man team from the Asian qualifiers in November retained. The squad includes seven of the 12 players that reached the qualifier final at the Hong Kong Sevens last April. With some lingering injury concerns, the squad will travel with 13 players with the final 12-man squad to be named later in Monaco.

Baber has given the nod to up-and-comers Calvin Hunter and the 21-year old Eric Kwok Pak Nga, including them in the travel squad to Monaco. Kwok is in line to potentially mark his Hong Kong debut if he is included in the final 12 for this weekend. Hunter has had several senior squad selections on the Asian series in recent years but will potentially make his 7s debut in the Olympic qualification campaign in Monaco.

Captain Max Woodward, who was held out of the Hong Kong Sevens and the Asia Rugby Championship campaign to rest an ailing quad, returns to the squad as does winger Tom McQueen, whose recovery from a shoulder injury picked up in the domestic Premiership season remains on track.

Rowan Varty, Yiu Kam Shing, Jamie Hood and Alex McQueen add weight to a seasoned squad, while second-generation stars Cado Lee Ka To, Jack Capon, Chris Maize and Michael Coverdale are also included.

“It’s great to have Max and Tom back. They’re both good sevens players and big leaders in our team. They were born to play on stages like these and I hope there are more opportunities for them to do so,” said Baber.

“Both Calvin and Eric came up through the Under 20s sevens and have been training with the senior squad at the HKSI for years. They bring a bit of freshness, innocence even, to the side in just wanting to go out and play rugby. I’m excited to see how they will progress in a pressure tournament like this.

“Calvin has been there and done that – and equipped himself well. He made some mistakes, but he is learning from them and I think Eric will be in a similar position, but we all know that Eric is capable of producing good rugby for us when we need it,” Baber added.

Woodward is also confident in the squad saying, “We’ve kept a core group of players so our preparations have been good. Calvin and Eric have been training with us for a while and have improved a lot. They haven’t had much game time or a chance to show themselves, so it will be good for them get stuck in and gain experience.”

Woodward is also pleased with Hong Kong’s pool saying, “It’s good to have three teams we’ve played before in our pool as it can be a scary prospect playing teams you don’t know much about. Spain, Korea and Mexico are all good sides – we know this – but they’re also sides we’ve beaten before so we can take some confidence going in,” Woodward said.

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The captain isn’t fazed by the prospect of meeting World Series core teams in Monaco either: “We know we have the game to challenge any team and win matches, but it’s about our consistency and hitting our performance markers every time we play. Regardless of what happens there isn’t really any pressure on us. These are the tournaments we want to play in. We don’t have enough chances like this so we’re excited to give it a go and see what happens,” added Woodward.

Before that prospect can be realised, Hong Kong will need to finish at or near the top of the pool. Spain poses the toughest challenge but Hong Kong will be buoyed by their 12-7 win over the Spaniards in last year’s World Rugby Sevens Series qualifier.

“This squad is experienced,” said Baber, “even the guys with few caps are part of the HKSI programme. We have some changes in personnel with the eligibility issue around what type of squad we can field, but the players know what they need to do and we set high standards for ourselves,” added Baber.

Baber knows that advancing at the top of the pool only earns Hong Kong the opportunity to play against teams like Samoa, who finished in the top ten on the World Series this season and collected their first Series win since 2012 in Paris just last month, but it is a prospect he relishes.

“That is where we want to be. We prepare the exact same way for a game like that as we would for any other game in the pool or on the Asian Series. We want to test ourselves and the World Series is the standard we want to be hitting.

“If we can play like we know we can, then there is an opportunity for us to nick results and push ourselves forward. But we need more opportunities like Monaco. What we can get done in two days of an international tournament like this is worth six months on the training field,” concluded Baber.

On the verge of his first appearance for Hong Kong young flyer Eric Kwok Pak Nga is trying to contain his excitement. “It has always been my dream to play for Hong Kong. I have a few goals in my rugby career. I want to represent Hong Kong, make the squad for the Hong Kong Sevens and of course represent Hong Kong in an Olympics. I have a chance to make two of those goals come true this weekend and I hope I can grab it. I’m excited, a bit nervous maybe, but I’m tying not to put myself under too much pressure. There are a few guys out with injuries, so I just want to make the best of this opportunity if I’m selected.

“I think my finishing and my stepping is one of my strongest skills. Hopefully I can contribute to the team offensively and also contribute to the team environment and bring my passion for the game and for the team into the competition environment. Even I’m not the most experienced guy I want to have an impact on the team,” said Kwok.

Olympic Repechage Tournament fixtures are here

Hong Kong 7s Squad for Olympic Repechage Tournament in Monaco
Max Woodward (Captain), Rowan Varty, Yiu Kam Shing, Jamie Hood, Alex Mcqueen, Tom McQueen, Lee Ka To, Calvin Hunter, Kwok Pak Nga, Jack Capon, Michael Coverdale, Chris Maize, Mark Wright.

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