Monthly Archives: March 2014

Indian spices

I love the day-to-day living in Hong Kong. It’s an international mix of people: my neighbour is French; another friend is Spanish (she has the best sandals from San Sebastian); I buy my stationary from the delightful Hong Kong local Mr Ho at Po Man’s in Happy Valley, and when I’m looking for authentic spices to make an Indian dish I visit Chungking Mansions in Kowloon. The building is far from glamorous – design circa 1960s, but inside is a series of stalls selling all the herbs, spices, ghee and flours you would need for an Indian feast. I asked an Indian friend for her chola masala recipe. She explained that chloa masala is a northern Indian dish and that it’s mostly had with Batura (deep fried Indian bread) but following her suggestion, we served it with roti as she explained it was the healthier option.

 DSC_0084DSC_0102DSC_0094DSC_0092 Read More…

Chola Masala

Chola Masala
Write a review
  1. 250 gms chickpeas (soaked in water overnight)
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 1 medium size onion chopped
  4. 1 medium size tomato chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  6. 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  7. 2 tablespoons of oil
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 1 1/2 tablespoons Chola Masala (These are small packs of Masalas you can buy from any Indian store)
  1. Soak Chola (chickpeas ) in warm water overnight (about 8 hours)
  2. Cook Chola in a pressure cooker/ in a closed vessel till they become soft.
  3. Take 1 teaspoon of oil, sauté the chopped onions till they become light brown.
  4. Remove onions from the pan, cool and grind them to a paste.
  5. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a pan.
  6. Add bay leaves, onion paste and sauté for 5-6 mins, now add ginger paste and garlic, sauté for another 3-4 mins.
  7. Once done, add the finely chopped tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes are fully cooked.
  8. Add Chola masala and after 10-15 seconds add cooked chola.
  9. Add salt to taste
  10. Cover the pan and cook for a further 5-10 mins
  1. Serve with Naan bread or Roti.


One of the most fun things about working for Hong Kong Tatler and Eve magazine was the many invitations to press events. They were exquisitely written by the most exacting and fluid hand. Now the focus is on the man behind these invitations. His name is Patrick Leung of Grafik Design Ltd, and he is the most amazing calligrapher – his portfolio of work includes jobs for Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Chanel and Bvlgari, to name just a few of the clients he has worked for. Discover your own inner calligrapher with Patrick in a one-on-one class – he will teach individuals or take a group class. If you’ve got an engagement, wedding or party invitations to organise, need we say more?

Why Grafik Design?

I grew up in the 80’s with British music, from new wave, new romantic, futurism…  Japan was my favourite band during my rebellious teenage years. One day, I found out that the Japan logotype was created with calligraphy on an ambient album cover ‘Nightporter’. So I began my first calligraphy lesson in 1988. Then in 1997, Louis Vuitton gave me the first calligraphy project for their invitations. From then on my calligraphic career began to fly. Grafik is German which means graphic in English and a lot of the calligraphers I love are German. 

Some of the things you might do in a day?


What are two things that are important to you? 

I have a high standard in writing and appreciate the finer things in life

Which calligraphers do you admire?

Professor Hermann Zapf, Hermann Kilian and Friedrich Poppl they are all German. 

Who or what inspires you?

Gottfried Pott, a German calligrapher really inspires me. I also love mixing instruments and materials to create East meets West.   

DSC_0053DSC_0009DSC_0076 Read More…

Fabric hunting

Our families were always into making things and both our mothers sewed. For me, every time I found something I loved from the editorial pages of Australian Vogue my mum turned the image into a real-life outfit almost magically from air. Now whenever we go to Sham Shui Po the fabric stalls seem to draw us both in. It’s no secret that you have to get to know the streets, otherwise looking is just too overwhelming. It’s become a family tradition to go there hunting for beautiful laces, velvets, cheesecloths, wools and silks, and all the bits of cord and tassels you sometimes need. There is so much to see in Sham Shui Po so we have decided to just cover the open air fabric market this time. One of our favourites is Ki Lung Street between Yen Chow street and Wong Chuk Street where you can buy fabrics straight off the roll. There is one stall that has lovely Japanese cottons; others stock Chinese fabrics, calico and off-cuts from designers. Opposite this open-air market are wholesalers who have some great raw linens, which being pretty strong are perfect for upholstery. Think fabric for deck-chairs or special cushions on outdoor furniture. Sewing pins, fabric pens, zips, sewing cotton and interfacing are available from two stores at either end of the fabric market.

Happy sewing!

DSC_0010DSC_0007 Read More…

Strawberry, basil and black peppercorn cordial

Strawberry, basil and black peppercorn cordial
Write a review
  1. 550g fresh strawberries, hulled and washed
  2. 1 cup organic raw sugar
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  5. 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves roughly chopped
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence (have a look at our home-made vanilla essence)
  7. Sparkling mineral water to serve
  1. Blend strawberries in a Thermomix or food processor until well blended.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine sugar, black pepper, water and basil, keep stirring until all sugar is dissolved.
  3. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 4 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.
  5. This will allow the basil and peppercorns to infuse. Strain the mixture and make sure you remove the basil leaves and black peppercorns, add it to the strawberry puree then add the vanilla essence and blend for 1 minute.
  6. Strain the mixture again through a fine sieve.
  7. Place in a glass bottle and keep it in the refrigerator. It will last at least three days. If you need reasonably priced glass bottles then I love Japan Home Centre for this sort of thing.
  1. To serve, pour a little of the cordial into a glass and top up with sparkling mineral water.

Strawberry Fields

While they’re still in season, we went out to the Strawberry Farm in Tai Po and picked some strawberries. They were deliciously ripe and organic and we ended up with two full boxes! I made a healthy strawberry cordial with fresh basil and black peppercorns. Serve these up for guests mixed with sparkling mineral water – they also look very pretty at any gathering and kids especially love the taste. See recipe below.

Directions: We drove to the Strawberry Farm which is next door to the Tai Mei Tuk BBQ King on the right hand side off Ting Kok Road in Tai Po District (look for the big yellow sign showing strawberry picking on the right hand side just after the BBQ King). If you want to go by MTR then the closest MTR stop is Tai Po Market on the East Rail Line. From there, take KMB bus 75k or a green New Territories taxi. There are plenty of signs so it is easy to find. 

DSC_5415DSC_5375 Read More…

Buddha’s Hand Caprioska

Buddha's Hand Caprioska
Write a review
  1. 60mls Vodka
  2. 60mls Buddha's Hand syrup
  3. Zest from 1/2 Buddha's Hand
  4. Mint leaves
  5. Ice
  6. Buddha Hand syrup
  7. 1 cup sugar
  8. 1/2 cup water
  9. Zest from 1 or 2 Buddha hands. You can cut up the fingers and put them in as well.
  1. For the Caprioska
  2. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake.
  3. Pour into a glass and add extra ice and top up with Soda Water.
  4. For the Syrup
  5. In a saucepan add sugar water and Zest. Stir over a moderate heat until sugar has melted and starts to simmer.
  6. Take off heat and leave to seep for 1 hour.
  7. Cool and strain into a sealed jar.
  1. Mixture will keep in the fridge.

Buddha’s Hand & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits

Buddha's Hand & Parmesan Cheese Biscuits
Write a review
  1. 250g butter, chilled
  2. 2 cups SR flour
  3. 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  4. 2 heaped tablespoons of grated zest from Buddha's Hand (lemon zest can be used as a subsitute)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  6. 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  7. Salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius.
  2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until mixture has come together and formed a dough, don't over work it.
  3. Tip mixture out onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Divide into two.
  4. Form the dough into two logs and wrap in cling film. Place in the fridge until hard.
  5. Slice the logs into 1/2 cm rounds. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and put back in the oven for around 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Cool on a wire rack.
  1. Serve with drinks.

Buddha’s Hand

At the moment the Buddha’s Hand Citron plant is in season. They have a fresh, lemony aroma and the flavour is subtle without any juice. Unlike a lemon there is no juicy flesh so slice them lengthwise and use only the rind. They are used to flavour lemon liqueurs, specialty vodkas and to add a fresh and lemon scent to beauty products. Even the scent of a room can also be reinvigorated by hanging them around the home. They’re one of the oldest members of the citrus family and a native of China so if you want to experiment with some original flavour in the kitchen or add some colour to the fruit bowl seek out these lovely bright yellow things at the Flower Market in Kowloon or search for them at fruit and vegetables markets around Hong Kong.

DSC_5107DSC_5132 Read More…

 Scroll to top