Cover Sometimes the most surprising flavour pairings are the most delicious (Illustration: Stephen Collins)

The co-founder of Two Moons Distillery believes that it’s people and their stories that make food so special

As part of our series celebrating the vibrancy and community within Hong Kong’s dining scene, we spoke to several of the industry’s leading lights about why they love the city’s unique food culture. Here, Dimple Yuen – co-founder and head distiller at Two Moons Distillery, one of the city’s first true gin distilleries—tells us about the much-loved soup dumplings that saw her through her teenage years, and what drink she loves pairing with fermented tofu.

Tell us about your favourite Hong Kong food memories.

I was born and raised in Hong Kong, so my most vivid food memories are of Sunday dim sum with my family, back in the 90s at a now-closed place called Riverside Seafood Restaurant (畔溪) in Kowloon Tong.

I was so excited when the dim sum ladies came around with their trollies, yelling the names of all the food items that had just come out fresh from the kitchen. My favourite carts were the ones that made fried radish cake, as they came with their own hot plates and the dishes were “fried to order” right in front of you – just the scent alone was enough to make me drool!

What are some of your favourite local ingredients to use?

One of my recent favourites is organic calamansi grown in the New Territories, from Fu Kum Organic Dragon Fruit Farm. Although deceptively tiny, they’re packed full of flavour with a distinctively bright and zesty aroma. They’re also super versatile so I love adding them to cocktails, noodles, salads and even marinades.

I also love fermented tofu; my mom buys it from her local wet market, near Bowrington Road in Causeway Bay. She recently taught me to enjoy it as is with a glass of red wine—think Chinese-style cheese—and honestly, my mind was completely blown. It’s so good and I highly recommend everyone tries it!

If you could only visit one restaurant in Hong Kong again, what would it be—and how does it sum up what you love about the city’s food scene?

Without a doubt, it would be 美味餃子店 (Delicious Dumplings), a family-run dumpling shop on an unassuming street in Sham Shui Po. I used to go there every week when I was studying in college and back then, they were just a tiny shop with three little tables. The owners, an elderly couple, wrapped fresh dumplings and cooked homemade soup at the shop every day.

Besides having the best soup dumplings in the world, the owners are such incredibly kind and hard-working people. During my college years, I’d stock up my fridge with fresh dumplings to get me through my exam weeks, and they would sneak in extra dumplings, soybean milk, soup and even some of their homemade chilli sauce so I would be “well-fed”.

They witnessed me grow up, graduate from college, and get my first job while I witnessed their business expand and grow—they have since moved to a much larger shop and there’s almost always a queue now! It’s these kinds of intimate, personal experiences where we can truly connect with the people who make food and learn their stories that make food truly memorable.

Dimple’s Picks:

  • Fu Kum Organic Dragon Fruit Farm, Tit Hang Village, Kwu Tung, Sheung Shui, +852 6590 9268
  • Bowrington Road Market, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
  • 美味餃子店, G/F, 74 Tai Nan Street, Prince Edward, Hong Kong, +852 2309 7308
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