I am always on the lookout for new, quirky blogs about Hong Kong – and I recently discovered Quite Possibly Chinese, which is run by Kelvin and Jess. It is mainly about food – but from the perspective of a young couple, who is British at heart. Kelvin was born in the UK and Jess has lived there for a long time, so they view the culinary experiences of the Hong Kong cuisine from the perspective of a Westerner – to which I can easily relate.
What I love about their blog is the mix of food adventures (have you tried the salted egg buns?), places they’ve visited (e.g. Seoul) and the food they’ve eaten there – and of course the HK food survival guide, which features one of my favourites: little chicken eggs aka egg waffles.
So without much further ado, let me interview Kelvin and Jess about their blog Quite Possibly Chinese.
What made you start a blog?
Kelvin: Once, I engaged in quite a heated conversation with Jess about absolutely all Hong Kong people fail to appreciate real sausages, as opposed to those mini Frankfurters that they seem to love. I’ve known many a Hong Konger that are passionate about their Frankfurters in their hot pot. What confuses me most if the disgust and disdain they have towards proper sausages…. like Cumberland sausages…. I just don’t understand….
Jess: We notice a difference between food Hong Konger eats and what foreigner eats. We think maybe we can bridge that gap by helping foreigners to understand Hong Kong culture. We also want to share the good quality Western food we found in Hong Kong. Since we both spent a long time in the UK, we miss it. Maybe some people feels the same too. We also talk about Chinese and Hong Kong’s unique culture in our blog.
What does Quite Possibly Chinese mean?
Jess: Quite Possibly Chinese is about our identity as we both have a large part of our lives in the UK, but we are both Chinese. We are the insider and outsider at the same time. QPC can also be applied to Hong Kong, as Hong Kong is in China, but Hong Kongers rarely wants to identify themselves as Chinese due to major differences in culture between the two locations.
Kelvin: I think that having been exposed quite thoroughly to both British and Hong Kong culture and lifestyles, that we have gained a deep understanding of the differences between life as a Westerner and life as a Hong Konger. We know what it feels like to be an expat, and be mostly quite separate from the locals, but at the same time due to family and some odd friends here and there, we understand life as a local. I have a couple-or-so family members who are regular protesters and a some local friends who have explained to me their passion behind their disagreement with the China government. Personally I have been quite indifferent to the matter though I see both sides in quite a clear light.
What has been your highlight so far?
Kelvin: As a westerner, I’m well aware of how maybe not all, but a large number of people raised in a western environment are quite unadventurous with their food as compared to people of oriental-asian cultures. The same could be said of myself, but ever since last year Jess has forced a variety of internal organs of a variety of animals down into my digestive system.
Jess: That is something we should all try! Sustainable food source is running short, and they are actually tasty! French people eat foie gras too, and that is animal cruelty. My highlights are moments when people tell us they like what we do!
Where do you get your inspirations from?
Jess: We just take pictures of all the food we eat and see if we want to write about it at the end. We tried to always go to different restaurant and hopefully hit a few good ones! I also grew up in Hong Kong, so I have a few nice local restaurant up my sleeves. Instagram helps too. For culture posts, I think we just write when we feel like we have to.
Kelvin: At first, I was influenced by believe it or not, I
Jess: I am very picky about burgers.
Kelvin: I never would have guessed…
When you go out to eat in Hong Kong, where do you usually go?
Jess: We are always around TST because it is convenient for both of us. TST is very diverse, you can find the most authentic Korean cuisine and you can eat at the infamous Chung King Mansion. I would like to find more great restaurant in the New Territories too. Yuen Long has many famous restaurant for local Hong Kongers, but very few English writing food bloggers go outside Hong Kong Island.
Kelvin: I’ve mentioned this before…. but she just wants to eat burgers. Those who haven’t yet tried should go visit The Butcher’s Club, we featured that recently and I gotta say that it’s pretty damn good. I hear it’s getting quite popular as-of-late. There’s pretty cheap and good Pakistani curry from Yau Ma Tei… It’s on our blog somewhere, I recommend that.
Which three cooks would you like to meet, and why?
Jess: I would really love to meet Heston Blumenthal. His roast chicken recipe was so good, I actually made the best roast chicken that I have ever tasted base on that recipe! You’ve got to try it! I don’t know a lot of Hong Kong cook, but Maria Cordero seems to be such a cool, down to earth person on TV. I would love assist her whilst she cook and probably learn a thing or two about cooking and life :p
Kelvin: I want to meet Jamie Oliver. I want to tell him how much he spoiled my school lunches back in secondary school. Oh yeah, and how he violated my vending machines and replaced my Kit Kats with oat bars.
What three tips would you give to people visiting Hong Kong for the first time?
Kelvin: When buying electronics, stay away from places like Sham Shui Po Golden Computer Centre unless you have a local guiding your hand, else it is highly likely that you’ll be taken advantage of.
Jess: Summer in Hong Kong is terrible. The sea water is warm even if you go to the beach!
Kelvin: That’s not really a tip…
Jess: Avoid that season if you can. You might think that Hong Kong is all buildings and concrete, but its countryside, such as the wetland park in Tin Siu Wai is also great. I used to volunteer there and the wildlife especially birds in winter is breath-taking. And look at our pinterest board!
Kelvin: Alcohol is really expensive in all bars and clubs almost entirely regardless of location. However, alcohol in supermarkets and 7-11 is cheap, regardless of location. You can drink on the streets of Hong Kong to abuse that if you want to save a lot!
What other blogs do you read – food or Hong Kong related?
Jess: http://hungryhk.blogspot.hk/ – They are so good at making me want to go to expensive restaurant with their food pictures! http://siuyeahdragon.blogspot.hk/ This is in Chinese, but he gives such throughout review on even cha chen tang meals. HK Magazine – Not a blog, but a magazine that you can pick up for free in some restaurant, they have an opinion and they are funny too!
Kelvin: A little unrelated but I’m a lover of Lifehacker.
Jess: It’s unrelated again, but Ruth, your cat Sam is so cute <3
Thanks Kelvin and Jess, it was nice talking with you. And you had asked me what I would like to read more of on your blog: all those small hidden gems. Everyone writes about The Butcher Club or Little Burro these days, but I enjoy reading more about experiences that are different and don’t follow the hype. That’s why you post about the Pakistani curry is already bookmarked in my browser – and I’m keen to give the frozen yoghurt at Smile a go.
[All pictures in this post belong to Kelvin and Jess at Quite Possibly Chinese]
PS: Missed a previous interview with a Hong Kong blogger or expert? Check out my series here & contact me on bluebaluinHK at gmail.com if you want to participate.