Mel's Place

Published: Wednesday October 29, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday October 29, 2014 MYT 9:12:19 AM

From desserts to sushi

A shell-fie, anyone? Melinda with a plate of  Typhoon Shelter Style Stir-Fried Crab.

A shell-fie, anyone? Melinda with a plate of Typhoon Shelter Style Stir-Fried Crab.

The columnist lists out a selecton of her favourite places to eat in Hong Kong.

AS Asians, I think we can all agree that food is one of the most important things in our lives. Anywhere we go, we are on the lookout for something good to eat, be it a local delicacy, something new or something popular. During my recent trip to Hong Kong, I got to enjoy a variety of foods, from humus to Hong Kong roasted meat and soupy desserts. As I always say, if I work hard, I must eat harder!

I’m lucky to have local friends who help me find the best restaurants around.

This trip, I managed to revisit the same seafood restaurant I went to 14 years ago when I first participated in the Asia Pacific Youth Designer show.

Returning to this restaurant was a wonderful flashback as I was accompanied by my friend Tecky Chan, who introduced me to Yuet Wah Hui the first time around.

The restaurant, which also caters to night owls (it shuts only at 4am), serves street-style Cantonese seafood – so you can expect robust, savoury, finger-licking goodness.

Among my favourites are the Typhoon Shelter Style Stir-Fried Crab (full of sweet, fatty meat and lots of spicy and crispy garlic), glass noodles in a casserole with XO sauce, soy pepper fried clams (fiery!), fried golden tofu and steamed chicken in lots of spring onions and ginger, all cooked to perfection.

Their finely sliced lotus root is also particularly good. Seasoned with syrupy, cheese-like fermented beancurd, this dish packs a great punch.

Bring out some Tsingtao and chilled sour plum juice and you’re good to go!

Of course, as an avid dessert lover, I couldn’t miss out on my all-time favourite thong shui, which I enjoyed every single night of my Hong Kong trip in Kai Kai Dessert Place (which I mentioned in an earlier column in May).

And, of course, I had my fill of steamed egg custard before I bid farewell to this glorious land of Cantonese cuisine.

Despite arriving during the Umbrella Revolution and staying right in centre of the riots – in Mongkok – the streets seemed quite calm. It was uncanny to see a central road shut to traffic. I do hope things get sorted soon so everyone can go back to school and business as usual.

Back in KL, I just have too much to do! Not only do I need to finish my Sakura collection for my show in Osaka this week, but I am also busy with a photo shoot of my new collection. We had a booth to exhibit our Spring/Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collection to buyers.

My Sakura Collection, comprising two couture gowns, was created using kimono fabric with Sakura flowers and prints. I designed them with heavy embroidery, beading, patchwork and quilting, combining a floral batik fabric as a way of mixing the two cultures.

I’m looking forward to returning to Japan. My last visit to Osaka was in 1995 when I represented Malaysia in the Grand Prix fashion contest, at which Hiroko Koshino and Kenzo were in the judging panel. As a young designer, I was thrilled to meet them; it was an honour to be judged by such sifus of fashion.

This time, I will be accompanied by Dirk and Maya (my daughter just loves to help me backstage) as we plan on visiting Tokyo after Osaka.

The organisers have put together an extensive programme during our stay in Osaka and I’m really looking forward to attending the cooking class, kimono costume lesson and other traditional activities. It will be a great experience and help me understand Japanese culture in greater depth.

It’s a pity that I won’t get to enjoy truly fresh sashimi or any kind of raw meat during this trip, though. I haven’t actually told any of my fans yet, but I am five-and-a-half months pregnant. We didn’t exactly plan the pregnancy, but I guess God decided I need more kids! My children are all very excited about having another partner in crime and are also happy that the baby is going to be a girl because then we will have two pairs of boys and girls.

But this doesn’t stop me from working hard and travelling. I still have a few more trips before I can settle down towards the later months of my pregnancy.

After Japan, I head off to Indonesia for the Bali Fashion Week where we will showcase our Spring/Summer 2015 collection.

I’m hoping this will be a fruitful trip and we manage to find the time to explore some markets and meet new people. Wish us luck and, meantime, have a great end of October!

Award-winning fashion designer Melinda Looi tries to marry consumerism and materialism with environmental consciousness. She believes her greatest creations are her children. Send your feedback to

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