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Vicki Williams

Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
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About Vicki
Vicki Williams is a food and travel journalist based in Hong Kong. Her work has been published by/in leading publications including BBC Travel, CNN Travel, South China Morning Post, AsiaSpa, The Peak Hong Kong, Business Traveller AsiaPacific, as well as inflight magazines for noted airlines. Examples of her work can be found on her website www.sybariteunlimited.com, and currently she has over 22,000 followers on twitter.
Feature Stories Content Writing Corporate Content
Arts & Books Fact Checking

Hong Kong’s Best Pastry Chef on the unique challenges of creating fine treats

03 Apr 2023  |  South China Morning Post
Don Ng, executive pastry chef at The Royal Garden in Hong Kong, was awarded the Best Pastry Chef for the 2023 edition of South China Morning Post’s 100 Top Tables fine dining guide. With 15 years of experience, Ng specializes in French and Japanese pastries and oversees the production of a wide variety of cakes, biscuits, and pastries at the hotel. He faces challenges such as managing workflow and staffing, while also striving for continuous improvement and creativity. Ng draws inspiration from social media, daily life, and personal experiences, translating unique flavors into his cake designs. His work is characterized by a refined elegance and highly decorative finishes, with one of his proudest creations being last year’s Mother’s Day cake.

White truffles in Asia: how top chefs are using the notoriously expensive ingredient in innovative ways

12 Dec 2022  |  scmp.com
Top chefs across Asia are innovating with white truffles, an expensive and decadent ingredient, in a variety of dishes. Andrea Zamboni of Hong Kong's Radical Chic appreciates the truffle's enhancement of dishes and its terroir connection. Chefs like Vincent Thierry of Bangkok's Chef's Table and Tam Kwok-fung of Macau's Wing Lei Palace are incorporating truffles into both traditional and novel dishes, including vegetarian appetizers and Chinese cuisine. Desserts are also a new frontier for truffle use, with creations from Hong Kong's Howard's Gourmet and Castellana. The chefs' creations reflect a deep appreciation for the ingredient's unique flavor and ability to elevate a dish.

How Hong Kong fine dining finally got green: from ‘conscious dining’ restaurant Moxie to Mora’s ‘bean-to-table’ concept, the city’s top chefs are embracing sustainability

14 Oct 2022  |  scmp.com
Hong Kong's top chefs are increasingly adopting sustainable practices in fine dining. Richard Ekkebus of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental has a seven-point manifesto for Amber, emphasizing minimal environmental harm and ESG performance. Michael Smith of Moxie focuses on regenerative sourcing from local farms, while Vicky Lau's Mora champions a 'bean-to-table' concept with sustainable soybeans. Roganic also prioritizes sustainable seafood and has introduced recycling initiatives. These chefs believe that sustainable practices not only benefit the environment but also enhance the taste and nutrition of dishes.

How to beat holiday stress and anxiety in Hong Kong – from breathing exercises to relaxing spa treatments, 5 wellness experts share their tips to combat seasonal blues

10 Dec 2021  |  www.scmp.com
Wellness experts in Hong Kong share tips to combat holiday stress and anxiety, highlighting societal pressure and travel restrictions as triggers. Anastasia Williams emphasizes creating new traditions and nurturing oneself, while Shoshana Weinberg and Dr Tania Bardhan discuss the importance of maintaining connections and self-care. Treatments and programs such as acupuncture, deep tissue massage, and wellness retreats are suggested, alongside simple at-home practices like breathing exercises and setting intentions. The experts advocate for self-love and kindness during transitional times.

Hong Kong’s best martini bars, from Argo at Four Seasons to Darkside at Rosewood Hotel – and why James Bond was wrong about his favourite cocktail

14 Oct 2021  |  scmp.com
Hong Kong boasts a vibrant martini bar scene, with establishments like Argo at Four Seasons and Darkside at Rosewood Hotel offering classic and innovative takes on the cocktail. Beverage experts like John Nugent and Lorenzo Antinori emphasize the martini's timeless appeal and the creative possibilities it presents. Signature drinks such as the K&B Martini and the Argo Martini showcase unique ingredients and methods, while bars like Terrible Baby introduce 'new classics' like the Pornstar and Espresso martinis. The article suggests that the martini's evolution ensures its enduring popularity.

Letter: Small businesses aren’t easy

18 May 2020  |  Anchorage Daily News
Vicki Williams responds to Cecilia Preziose's letter about the closure of businesses during the pandemic, emphasizing the hardships of owning a restaurant or small business. Williams highlights the financial and personal challenges faced by small business owners, such as low margins, long hours, and lack of benefits. She expresses hope that struggling businesses will survive and urges the community to support them by ordering food and shopping online.

100 Top Tables 2020 Best Ambience award: Sevva

17 Mar 2020  |  South China Morning Post
Bonnae Gokson, the founder of Sevva in Hong Kong, has been awarded the Best Ambience award for her meticulous attention to detail in creating the restaurant's atmosphere. Gokson, who likens her role to that of an orchestra conductor, ensures every element from music to decor is in harmony. The space features a sculptural installation with 100,000 silk flowers and custom-made chandeliers, and has been designed to be both visually impressive and practical for various events. Gokson's passion for design and creativity has been recognized with this accolade.

Would you eat duck embryo for a better sex life, or a hangover cure?

24 Feb 2020  |  scmp.com
Balut, a fertilized duck egg, is a popular street food in the Philippines, believed to have aphrodisiac properties and health benefits. It was introduced by Chinese traders in the 16th century and has since become a national food. While some find the taste and texture challenging, others enjoy it with beer or in dishes like sorpresa de balut and balut sisig. The food's cultural significance and nutritional value are highlighted, despite its potentially off-putting appearance to some.

Chinese millennials love bird’s nests, but would you eat bird mucus for better sex and a longer life?

09 Dec 2019  |  scmp.com
Bird's nest, a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, is gaining popularity among millennials in China due to its perceived health benefits, such as promoting cell regeneration and enhancing immunity. Despite its high cost and the lack of scientific evidence to support all the health claims, bird's nest dishes are featured in premium restaurants like Wing Lei Palace in Wynn Palace, Macau, and Man Wah in Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. The nests, made from viscous mucus, are harvested from farmed sources in Indonesia and Malaysia. While the cultural significance of bird's nest is clear, the actual health benefits remain unconfirmed.

Where did Vietnamese spring rolls, a culinary favourite worldwide, come from? Spoiler alert: it’s not Vietnam

20 Nov 2019  |  scmp.com
Vietnamese spring rolls, known as gỏi cuốn, nem cuốn, and bánh cuốn in different regions of Vietnam, are a culinary staple with Chinese origins. Chef Peter Cuong Franklin of Anan Saigon and Nhau Nhau in Ho Chi Minh City explains that while the dish has been adapted to Vietnamese tastes, it traditionally consists of rice paper filled with rice vermicelli, raw vegetables, fresh herbs, and protein, served with a regional dipping sauce. Hien Huynh of The Nam Hai Cooking Academy emphasizes the importance of freshness in ingredients and preparation. The dish's global popularity is attributed to its fresh, healthy qualities, and it represents a snapshot of Vietnamese local life.

Did Australia really plagiarise the pavlova recipe from New Zealand?

18 Nov 2019  |  www.scmp.com
The pavlova, a meringue-based dessert, is at the center of a culinary debate between Australia and New Zealand regarding its origins. Both countries claim the creation of the pavlova, named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Helen Leach's research suggests the dessert's Antipodean roots date back to 1929 in New Zealand, predating the Australian claim by six years. Annabelle Utrecht and Andrew Paul Wood's upcoming book explores the possibility that the pavlova's origins are not Antipodean but rather Germanic, with similar desserts dating back to the late 1700s. The article discusses the evolution of meringue cakes and the cultural significance of naming desserts after famous individuals, concluding that the pavlova's naming in the northern hemisphere predates its southern counterpart.

From Thai to African cuisine: why Hong Kong foodies are flocking to Wong Chuk Hang

30 Aug 2019  |  South China Morning Post
Hong Kong's Wong Chuk Hang area is becoming a hotspot for food enthusiasts, offering a diverse range of cuisines from Thai to African. Notable establishments include Golden Monkey X Pho Bar, known for its pho and Asian dishes; Beef & Liberty, a popular burger brand; Sensory Zero, praised for its international menu and coffee; Chopsticks Fork N Knife (CFK), offering Asian and European fare; Pattaya Thai Food, a neighborhood favorite for Thai cuisine; and Africa Coffee & Tea, which stands out for its African dishes and support for sustainable farming and refugees.

Fact check: is chicken tikka masala actually Indian, not British?

15 Aug 2019  |  scmp.com
Chicken tikka masala, a dish popular in the UK, is often believed to have been created by a Bangladeshi chef improvising with tomato soup to satisfy a customer. The story has many variations, with one claim tracing its origin to the Shish Mahal restaurant in Glasgow in 1971. The dish's tikka component dates back 5,000 years to the Mughal dynasty, where it was developed to avoid choking on chicken bones. Despite its popularity in the West, experts like Ashutosh Bisht and Satpal Sharma consider chicken tikka masala to be Indian at heart, with its ingredients and cooking techniques rooted in Indian cuisine.

Would you pay US$1.68 million for The Simulator – a home-racing system room?

13 Feb 2019  |  South China Morning Post
Chris Ballard, co-founder and design director of Lex Design Agency, has designed The Simulator, a luxury home-racing system room priced at US$1.68 million. The Simulator offers a 12-meter OLED digital screen with 4K resolution, hidden ventilation, advanced lighting that simulates daylight or night sky, and a surround-sound system. It features two modes, viewing and racing, with exclusive access to Formula One Liberty Media's cameras and a Formula One racing simulator. The cost breakdown includes the screen, furnishings, lighting, simulator, weather app heating/cooling connectivity, and camera connectivity.

Singapore revs up: Lion City in pole position as destination for racegoers and festival lovers

08 Aug 2016  |  scmp.com
Singapore is gearing up for the Formula One Grand Prix, featuring the world's only night race and support races like the Ferrari Challenge Asia-Pacific, TCR International Series, and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Changes to the event aim to enhance excitement, with a challenging track that includes 23 tight corners. The event also offers concerts with international artists like KC and The Sunshine Band, Kylie Minogue, and Imagine Dragons, coinciding with the Mid-Autumn long weekend. Travel packages are available, and visitors can enjoy various attractions like the National Gallery Singapore, the Singapore International Festival of Arts, and indoor skydiving at iFly Singapore, among others.

A Recipe for Recovery

20 May 2016  |  Sybarite Unlimited - travel & food articles and reviews
The article discusses the importance of sustainability in the culinary industry, emphasizing the need for a shift towards recovery and reclamation for the longevity of restaurants and the well-being of the planet. Chef Darren MacLean highlights that the concept of sustainability is not just a buzzword but a necessary foundation for the future. The article suggests that the culinary industry must evolve in what it serves to diners, implying a change in menus and food sourcing practices to address environmental concerns and ensure the sustainability of the industry.

China's Lechang Gorge Reservoir water pollution is captured in harrowing photos

15 Apr 2016  |  Mail Online
The Lechang Gorge Reservoir in Shaoguan City, Guangdong province, China, is facing severe water pollution due to waste accumulation over an area equivalent to 28 football pitches. The rubbish, consisting of household items and industrial waste from upstream, poses a threat by potentially releasing toxic pollutants into the water supply for 180,000 households. Efforts to clean up the site are underway, with half of the waste removed after 10 days, and the goal to clear the remainder in the next five days. The reservoir is a critical part of the North River's flood control system within the Pearl River Basin.

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