Together with the Hong Kong Tourism Board, TV, rapper and radio personality Hunny Madu and celebrity chef Anis Nabilah teamed up to unravel the exciting secrets of Hong Kong that make this vibrant metropolis a top travel destination.
Their shenanigans are captured in a series of webisodes titled Jom, Hong Kong!, and the duo can be seen exploring different facets of Hong Kong like dining, shopping, art and other iconic attractions. Besides haggling for incredible deals while shopping, the two also enjoy Michelin-starred halal food and share their delightful travel journey with us.
Aside from catching the webisodes on Discover Hong Kong, Jom, Hong Kong! has been airing on Astro Ria (Channel 104) on Wednesdays. The final episode, which airs on 23 December 2015 at 9:30pm, will feature Hunny and Anis trying their hand at ancient calligraphy. The duo also learn about the neon lights that forge Hong Kong’s identity and savour yummy halal cuisine at La Scala restaurant.
To learn more about their adventures and some travel tips for conscious Malaysians, we recently spoke to Hunny Madu and Anis Nabilah. Merely speaking to them about Hong Kong has awakened the travel bug in us! No prizes for guessing where our next travel destination will be. 😉
1. The both of you have already been to Hong Kong a couple times now. What do you love most about the country?
Anis: I’ve been to Hong Kong twice, and I love everything about it! The lively city is full of wonderful characters, and I especially love the food. You can find good food in every corner of the city. Thinking about it is making me hungry again.
Hunny: I love everything about Hong Kong; the sights, the people the food and the shopping. But, I have to say, it is the character of the city and the city pace that reminds us so much about Kuala Lumpur.
2. How does the culture there vary from the culture back at home, and following this, what can Malaysians do to adapt seamlessly?
Anis and Hunny: Culture in Hong Kong has a resemblance to our culture back home. For one, the people love and are proud of their food. Similar to Malaysia, people are warm and hospitable, and the city is so vibrant!
Anis: If you’re a Malaysian visiting Hong Kong, you’ll be able to find tasty halal food similar to back at home, and with an expanded variety as well. We went to a popular Malaysian mamak joint (Syed Bukhara) for our roti canai, nasi lemak and teh tarik fix! Who knew you could find a mamak spot in Hong Kong city centre? There are also loads of Melbourne-style cafés that serve good quality coffee and delicious halal pastries. You can find all the good things from all over the world in this wonderful city.
Hunny: Being a Malaysian, it’s normal to hear friends and family missing local cuisines when abroad, and if you face that in Hong Kong, you can always pop by Syed Bukhara mamak and have teh tarik, mee goreng mamak, the works! Congrats Syed Bukhara bistro for bringing a little taste of back home to Hong Kong.
Things that differ; the life in Hong Kong is very fast-paced as compared to back at home, and Hong Kees have their own sense of style, which is interesting. I suppose, just have an open mind. Be ready to see and learn something new when you are there. Be ready to absorb the different sights and sounds of the city.
3. If you could bring your entire family to Hong Kong, what would an ideal two-day itinerary look like for you? Tell me some of the places you’d visit that are family friendly.
Anis: My whole family are foodies, like me! I’d take them to all my favourite food spots, first one would be the Islamic Centre Canteen. We love our dim sum. I’ll also bring them to Islam Food for the gorgeous beef cake they’re famous for, for generations. Also, Jashan for some authentic Indian food. I’ll take my parents to The Peak for sunset; the view is just mesmerising. And of course, I’ll take my sisters to Sneaker Street on Causeway Bay for shoe shopping!
Hunny: Start with food definitely, either at Jashan or the Islam Centre Canteen where you can find the only place serving halal dim sum. A visit to The Peak is a must when coming to Hong Kong. I’m a shoe freak so definitely to Shoe Street. We’ll also visit Disneyland Hong Kong. Do check out the Hong Kong China Calligraphy and Arts Centre as we learned some Chinese characters. It was an interesting experience! Lastly, go shopping at Fang Fong Accessories on Peel Street in Central Hong Kong for Muslimah fashion.
4. Throughout your entire experience filming Jom, Hong Kong!, what’s your favourite memory? Choose one.
Anis: Oh wow, there’re too many. If I had to choose one, I’m going to go with a chef’s point of view; it’s definitely the experience of learning how to make halal dim sum at the Islam Centre Canteen. I believe you can watch how Hunny and I did during the dim sum making session challenge in Episode 2 of Jom, Hong Kong!
Hunny: The highlight for me was the shopping challenge at Argyle Shopping Mall when we had to shop for outfits for each other using only Cantonese! I always start with, “lou pan, lei hou,” to greet the store owner; it means, “Hello, boss.” One can always say, “mm, koi,” that means, “thank you,” in Cantonese. I had so much fun and it was hilarious! You can watch how well we did in Episode 3 of Jom, Hong Kong!
Anis Nabilah on cultural skepticism about travelling to Hong Kong, halal food and grocery shopping
1. Many Malaysians may be skeptical about travelling to Hong Kong because of the language barrier, and halal food options. What are your thoughts on that?
Anis: I don’t think these should be a problem. Generally, the locals in Hong Kong can speak and understand English so there is no language barrier. And if you watch the show Jom, Hong Kong!, you can see how both Hunny and I had such a fun time in Hong Kong trying all the various kinds of halal cuisines. From the Islam Centre Canteen, Jashan, Syed Bukhara, to Islam Food, we were both feasting away without a care. I’m pretty sure we put on some weight after out trip!
2. You’re a celebrity chef and we’re pretty sure we can trust you when it comes to good food. What have you tried so far, that’s halal, and superb?
Anis: I always try to keep a balanced diet and if I indulge on a meal in a day, I’ve to eat healthy for my next meal. I found all sorts of halal meal options in Hong Kong. I really enjoyed my healthy lunch at the Chicken on The Run restaurant. Everything tastes so fresh and delicious. I’m crazy about the freshly made halal dim sum at the Islamic Centre, and the crispy and juicy beef cake from Islam Food in Kowloon. I was really going for it and in a beautiful mess just finishing that cake, it was that good!
3. We’re pretty sure you’ve also been to the grocery stores in Hong Kong. Tell us a little more about the variety of ingredient offerings available, and whether it’d be convenient for Malaysians to cook, if they have access to a kitchenette during their stay.
Anis: Yes, you can always get good quality ingredients from the grocery stores. The grocers in Hong Kong are mostly international grocers and you can get Malaysian products here too. Hong Kong is also famous for their seafood! Not only are they fresh, you can find so many different types of shellfish you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Visit the local seafood market; they’re clean and some are even air-conditioned.
Hunny Madu talks to us about shopping and street style in Hong Kong
1. You’re a fashionista many of us look up to. What are some of the best places to shop in Hong Kong, and what are the best things to purchase?
Hunny: All the suggestions I’m about to give you is found on the show, so do watch me and Anis on Jom, Hong Kong! to get a better idea. It’s showing on Astro Ria this 23rd December at 9:30pm and repeats on 26th December at 6:30pm.
Some of the places include PMQ, which is where you can get unique local designer products. Argyle Shopping Centre in Mongkok for good bargains, Dahood on Sneaker Street at Causeway Bay for limited edition shoes and Ladies Market for souvenirs and more clothes.
2. How is haggling like, and do you have any tips that work, for Malaysians to score better deals?
Hunny: Oh yes. I have one tip: Try speaking in Cantonese! *laughs* In Episode 3, you can see how me and Anis do it when we had a challenge to bargain and shop for outfits for one another.
3. The weather is completely different in Hong Kong compared to Malaysia. What do you think of the street style there, and how does it inspire you?
Hunny: Street style in Hong Kong is internationally influenced, from the West and from Asian countries like Japan and Korea. I would say that it is similar to Malaysia, but with a bit more variety. It inspires me to not be afraid to try something new and it opens up my eyes to many more designers from Japan and Korea.
I met Lai Fan from Fang Fong projects and it was great learning a little more about the fashion scene in Hong Kong. There are a lot of amazing fashionistas based in Hong Kong and I recall seeing a guy waiting for a taxi clad in Yeezy Boost shoes. That just goes to show that Hong Kong is a great place for fashion and I felt lucky to observe that!
Watch Episode 1 of Jom, Hong Kong! here:
Don’t forget to catch Jom, Hong Kong! on Astro Ria this 23rd December 2015 at 9:30pm, or watch the repeat on 26th December at 6:30pm. Catch all the webisodes on Discover Hong Kong and find out more must-dos in Hong Kong you’ve yet to uncover!