Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy 24th Anniversary to Our New TFT Partner, HKCEC!

The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre celebrated its 24th anniversary yesterday at Congress Restaurant, and our founders were in attendance! HKCEC is now a TFT partner, and New Shanghai is serving serving TFT meals. Congratulations on your 24th year, HKCEC, and thank you for helping us to alleviate the global food imbalance!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Andrea Oschetti Interviews TFT Co-Founders Katy Yung & Stephanie Tan

by Andrea Oschetti
Author of SCMP Healthy Gourmet
November 13, 2012

In our world of 7 billion people, 1 billion are hungry, while roughly an
equal number suffer from obesity, diabetes, and other health related issues of
overconsumption. Malnutrition is an issue in developed economies such as Hong
Kong as much as it is in developing countries.

It is often assumed that nothing much can be done to remedy the
widespread undernourishment of the world today. However, there is little
basis for such pessimism and for assuming the immutability of hunger and
deprivation. These were the words impressed on me from the Indian Economist
and Nobel Prize Winner Amartya Sen, whom my Master degree dissertation
focused on.   Mr Sen demonstrated that is incorrect to think of hunger as
resulting mainly from the inadequacy of food output and supply.  He stressed the
importance on the political and social arrangements that can influence the ability
of people to acquire food and achieve health.  His work has been seminal in the
development of the Human Development Index (HDI) published annually by the
United Nations Development Program that ranks countries by a combination
of three factors: average income, educational attainment and life expectancy.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not enough to achieve development; society
needs to invest in the health and education of its citizen, particularly their most
vulnerable ones. In the list of country sorted by GDP, China ranks 2nd behind
the US and ahead of Japan, but China ranks only 101 out of 187 in the Human
Development Index, on par with countries such as Turkmenistan (93rd in GDP
ranking) and Sri Lanka (72nd). The good news is that in the last 20 years the
greatest increase in the HDI happened in Asia, but much is still needed.

On the other side of the coin is the fact that malnutrition is not just
about lack of nutrients, but is also the unbalanced diet and excessive food
intake plaguing rich countries.  Hong Kong University 2010's Behavioral Risk
Factor Survey revealed that 38.7% of people aged 18-64 in Hong Kong were
overweight or obese.  The problem is more prominent in men: half of Hong
Kong's male population (49.35) is overweight. The World Health Organisation
(WHO) calls child obesity as “one of the most serious public health challenges of
the 21st century”.  According to statistics of Hong Kong's Student Health Service
(SHS), the prevalence of overweight and obese children among primary school
students rose from 16.4% in 1998 school year to 22.2% in 2009. Hong Kong eats
unhealthy: 79% of the population failed to meet the recommendation of having
at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Poor and excessive eating
are directly linked to cancer, heart diseases and stroke which accounted for 55%
of registered deaths in Hong Kong in 2008, a staggering increase from the 29% in
1961, based on data from Hong Kong's Department of Health.

In the last two issues on this column I focused on individual who
makes Hong Kong food scene vibrant: first by looking at Margaret Xu's "farm
to table" philosophy and last week at Peggy Chan's entrepreneurship. Today
I would like to introduce to you two Hong Kong ladies who took actions to
address the obesity epidemic in Hong Kong by tying this issue to the global
food imbalance.  Meet Kathy Yung and Stephanie Tan, founders of TFT or Table
For Two (  TFT partners with restaurants and corporate
cafeterias in Hong Kong to serve healthy, nutritionally balanced TFT-branded
meals.  "When buying a TFT-branded meal, one does good for oneself and for
another less fortunate.  We like to say that when you dine at TFT, you never dine
alone." says Stephanie.  A HK$2 charge -the United Nations guideline of the cost
of one nutritious meal in developing countries - is added to the price of these
meals, which is used to provide school lunches in China.

What inspires me of the story of Katy, who both work full time in finance, is their willingness to invest a significant portion of their time for the
cause they believe in, when it is so much simpler to just write a cheque,
particularly in rich and busy Hong Kong.  Both Katy and Stephanie have done
volunteer work in their life but they had the itch to do something more.  "During
the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake I was late in the office at midnight at usual " Katy
told me.  "I thought I wanted to do something more than just donating money to
the Red Cross.  I organized a fundraising event at my office that became an
outpour of generosity from my colleagues, who donated without a second
thought.  It touched me because with a little bit of effort a lot of people chose to do
something.  At the same time Stephanie was thinking along similar lines when they were both
at a brainstorming session on the issue of food waste at Social Venture
Network Hong Kong (, an organization aiming to provide
financial and non-financial support to Social Purpose Organizations or Social
Enterprises.  Stephanie and Katy are both food lovers and that event "was a
serendipity to bring our interest in food to make a difference" says Katy.  A few
weeks later they met with Masa Koguri, the Japanese entrepreneur who started
TFT in Japan and decided to replicate its model in Hong Kong.

Passion moves mountains and Stephanie confesses that they did
not really know what they got themselves into. “If I look back into it, just give it a
try was our mentality.  There were lots of thing that we did not know and had to
learn; from the legal aspect of setting up a non-profit organization to the
challenges of organizing events.  We needed to learn how to understand
nutritional needs so we planned trips to visit schools.  We did not even know how
to write a press release for our first event and had to search it on Google."
Stephanie told me that one of the biggest challenges they faced was to involve
restaurants in the project.  They asked them to give their clients more healthy
option by including a TFT branded dish in their menu.  "Some of the restaurants
told us that dining is an indulgence and people don't want healthy options"
Stephanie says "so they turned us down, others
were keen to work with us. Hong Kong is the perfect place for TFT as everyone
likes to get together around the table and eat, so why not throw eating
consciously and giving to others into the equation?"

Today 7 people volunteer on a daily basis for TFT and since 2011 TFT Hong
Kong has raised funds to provide around 220,000 meals by partnering with
over 60 restaurant and more than 180 food outlets in Hong Kong. "One of the
things that I am proud of is that TFT is a Hong Kong charity addressing a global
issue" Katy says. "Usually western charities come to Asia but this time it is an
organization that started in the East and spread to the rest of the world.”

To support TFT Hong Kong dine at one of the TFT restaurants: http:// or make a donation via wire
transfer HSBC 848 210 100 838

I am a proud supporter of TFT and the following recipe is my TFT sponsored

Marinated Mediterranean Yellow Tail Kingfish with Sicilian Cherry Tomatoes

Serve 4

400g Yellow tail kingfish

100g Sicilian cherry tomatoes

Italian vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Rocket salad

Garlic, lemon, parsley, oranges, salt and pepper

Dip the kingfish fillets quickly into the vinegar and dry them with a kitchen

Cover the fillets with a marinade made of 2/3 of olive oil and 1/3 of the juice
of fresh oranges. Slice one lemon and add it to the marinade together with the
parsley (full leaf) and two garlic cloves.

Let the marinade rest overnight and serve the fish with the cherry tomatoes, a
small slice of orange, salt and pepper.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Ming Cha

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*: 

Tea and chocolate pairing menu

From Ming Cha:

About MingCha
MingCha, a brand for revitalizing the culture of Chinese tea
MingCha is a Hong Kong brand for evangelizing Premium Chinese Tea. Using simple language and environmental friendly packaging to introduce the finest handcrafted Chinese teas of authentic origin in China, MingCha gains popularity and recognition both locally and internationally. MingCha recently won the Most Outstanding Branding Award in Hong Kong International Tea Fair Competition 2012 and 16th Tao Heung Innovative Entrepreneur Award 2012. In addition, MingCha Tea House ranks also No. 8 of 380 HK attractions at Tripadvisor.
About Vivian Mak 
Vivian Mak, the person behind the brand, is reputable for her innovation and creativity in marrying teas with different delicacies and cuisines (both Chinese and Western), so that people can understand the wonders of Chinese tea with a different perspective.
Tea and Chocolate:
Did you know that both tea and chocolate have flavonoids that are anti-oxidizing and anti-aging; reduces blood pressure and blood cholesterols; reduces stress and gives us a feeling of pleasure? 
Wouldn’t it be interesting to have both tea and chocolate together to achieve double the effect? This specially designed tea pairing menu will lead you to taste both the premium tea and chocolate and find the right match. 
MingCha Premium Chinese Tea 
Green Tea – Jasmine Blossoms from Fuding, Fujian Province scented with fresh jasmine flowers, fresh & sharp. 
White Tea – White Peony Supreme from Zhenghe, Fujian Province, gentle &
Red Tea – Tanyang Golden Rim, Fu-on area, Fujian Province, sweet & fruity 
Dark Chocolate – Madagascar 70% – Criollo Beans, Citrus and distinct cacao 
White Chocolate – White Chocolate Salt & Pepper – Sweet and savory, a magical, cool sensation on the tongue 
Milk Chocolate – Milk Chocolate Sea Salt – Surprising balance between sweet and salty 
Date: November 1, 8, 15, 22 (Thurs) 2012; November 3, 10, 17, 24 (Sat) 2012 
Time: 3:00 – 4:00 pm (1 hr)
Fees: HK$200 per person

12D Wah Ha Factory Building, 8 Shipyard Lane, Taikoo, Hong Kong

Closed on Sundays and public holidays

Telephone: 2520 2116

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: JAR

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:

John Dory poached in white wine with braised sweet leeks

From the JAR website:

What's in the name? 
JAR stands for “just-a-restaurant”.
It is our answer to the frequently asked question, “What is the concept of your restaurant?”
This response arrives at a time when restaurant menus defy easy geographical categorization, and the line between fine and casual is often blurred. In a move towards simplicity, we decided to dispense with superfluous definitions and go back to basics by describing our concept in the simplest possible terms – “no fuss, no frills – just a restaurant”.
How is it different from 798 unit & co. bistro?
Imagine JAR as another child of 798 unit & co., the culmination of our years of experience but with its own unique temperament. While 798 unit & co. bistros cater to more popular tastes, JAR –with a Central location and westernized audience– allows us to take a bolder approach in terms of food. 
One thing remains across all our outlets, that is, the mission to deliver really good food in a place where every one can eat and drink without needing a special occasion.


2/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong

(Parking is available at The Centrium, Arbuthnot Road or Man Yee Bldg, 67 Queen’s Road Central)

Mon-Sat:  noon – midnight
Sun:  10.30am – midnight

Telephone: 2543 8000

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Sunday, November 11, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Cafe Roma

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:
Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Parmagiana - Baked and gratinated vegetarian lasagna (without pasta)

From the Cafe Roma website:

Cafe Roma is a laid back, all-day hangout nestled at the tip of Ma Wan Tung Wan Beach. It fronts the Park Island apartment complex, located between Lantau Island and Tsing Yi Island. You can enjoy a quietly majestic view of the Kap Shui Mun and Tsing Ma bridges whilst gentle waves lap along the seafront.  
Our menu consists of favourites such as pizza, pasta, burgers, steaks and healthy salads. A full Kids Menu is also available. Ingredients are carefully chosen and thoughtfully prepared in our kitchen to serve familiar flavours that are tasty, comforting and satisfying. The bar offers a selection of wines, beers, creative cocktails and fresh fruit juices.
The ambience is relaxed and chilled out. It's perfect for a quiet meal alone, a romantic date, or a gathering for family and friends. Private events such as cocktails, birthday parties, kids parties, wedding receptions and reunions are also easily accommodated by our team of friendly professionals.  
Enjoy life's simple pleasures of sun, sand and surf.

Live life sweetly. 
Live the good life. 
Livin' La Dolce Vita... 
Welcome to Cafe Roma.

L1 - Shop 7 & 8 Beach Commercial Complex, Park Island, N.T., Hong Kong


3446 1226


Tuesday - Thursday 1:00pm - 11:00pm
Friday 1:00pm - 12:00mn
Saturday 12:00pm - 12:00mn
Sunday 12:00pm - 11:00pm
Monday - CLOSED (Except Public Holiday)

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Bloom

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:
Beet Root Risotto - Vialone rice risotto with organic "Bull's Blood" beetroot, roasted with butter and thyme; kaboucha squash; red kuri pumpkin; and ginger cooked with Muscat and candied with demerara sugar, natural brown sugar, and truffle honey

From the Bloom website:

A tribute to old New York, BLOOM is an eclectic, comforting American brasserie inspired by the energies of turn-of the-century markets. After descending an iron staircase in the corner of our bar, LILY, diners enter past a tapestry of vintage grain sacks into a room full of rhythmic yellow and white tiling. A wall of floor-to-ceiling black steel grate inspired by old street scape of Manhattan serves as a back drop to the 4-meter long solid walnut dining bar. A chalkboard full of ‘market’ items like daily flatbreads, handmade pastas, fruit cobblers, and herb and fruit-laced cocktails slides across the bar on a hand crank chain system. Elegant wall-mounted lanterns, industrial light fixtures and warm candles glow throughout the dining room, while pre-War measuring scales, milk jugs, and flower molds highlight the many nooks and crannies of the space. Through a pair of frosted glass-and-wire doors is a unisex bathroom. Here, in the center of the room, a tall stone fountain serves as a communal basin. Just beyond a half-moon shaped booth that bookends the front room is a doubleheight dining space whose sides are lined with reclaimed boat wood and tall wire glass panels. Comprised of some 70 pieces, the 2-story ‘BLOOM’ chandelier hangs just above a circular slab of white marble that adorns the center of the room. 


 6/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central


2810 6166


Sun-Thu 6pm-11.30pm
Fri & Sat 6pm-2.30am

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

TFT HK Festival of Restaurants Partner: Blue Butcher

TFT Dish (Festival of Restaurant set menu: Nov. 1st-25th)*:

Beet Salad: belgium endive in sweet truffle dressing and smoked beets served with feta cheese

Blue Butcher is a NYC style restaurant & bar bringing our customers an array of meat, carefully hand sourced right down to the farm and the breed from around the World. Cooked and handled with the knowledge and care only found in the best butcheries and restaurants, we pride ourselves on serving food in a style that is often forgotten when eating out. Big plates and big cuts to share, produce and flavours that talk for themselves… our aim is simple, to bring back what cooking and eating is all about. 

Blue Butcher is the only restaurant equipped with a walk-in pink salt dry aging room in Hong Kong. With our philosophy taken from years of history and tradition, we prepare, bake, age, and hang everything in-house using age-old recipes blended with modern techniques. In addition, we support the local farm to table tradition; our Chefs pick the freshest produce and herbs from local organic farms. 

Our cocktail list, also taking the same approach, consists of prohibition influenced cocktails with a meaty molecular twist. Our expert mixologist’s go right down to the bone when handcrafting your drinks. Traditional in-house infused liquors and bitters are poured over extra large cubes of ice and hand selected cut crystal glasses ensuring you have some of the best tasting cocktails in the city. 

Upon entering our restaurant, you feel as though you have just taken a step back in time with antiques and old dark railway decor. Our nostalgic ambiance coupled with our young friendly hipster staff will make you feel like you have just stepped off the F train in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the 1920s.

Blue Butcher is not just a restaurant, it’s an experience.


108 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong



Mon - Sat: 4:00 pm - 12:00 am
Sun: 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

* Please book through OpenRice/TableMap