Technology is changing the way we eat. Whether it’s easy delivery at our fingertips or simple solutions to stop food waste, there is now an app or website to help with almost every culinary challenge.
Hong Kong is a city for food lovers. With roughly one restaurant for every 300 people, it has one of the highest per-capita concentrations of cafés and restaurants in the world. From free-flow brunches to all-you-can-eat buffets, the tables are overflowing with food. The downside to that is a lot gets wasted – some 3,400 tonnes of food a day (or eight A380 Airbus planes worth).
This is where Food Savior steps in. It connects consumers with restaurants offering last-minute deals on their surplus food – yummy stuff that is perfectly edible but just cannot be sold the next day. Think of it as the digital version of the shop discount corner where eateries list their extra dishes in real time. It’s great for the consumer as they get delicious food at discounted prices, great for the restaurants as they get a chance to make a little cash on the dishes they have left at the end of service and great news for the planet – less in landfills, less greenhouse gases released, less energy and money wasted on producing food that just gets thrown away.
Deals include offers from Sheung Wan’s 208 Duocento Otto, which sells $25 salad boxes every Saturday and Sunday from 3pm, Gymbox in Quarry Bay, Sheung Wan and Wanchai, which offers $40 daily dinners, Cali-Mex in Sheung Wan, which is running a $25 deal on burritos, tacos and more, and Edition in SoHo, offering $50 bibimbap every day from 3pm.
A brilliant app for lovers of food and travel to get the inside track on local hotspots, Tastemade has an eclectic range of videos showcasing the best dining, drinking and sometimes dancing spots in 22 cities across the world. From Hong Kong’s hidden gems to the secret to making pancakes in the Peruvian Andes, there is a video for every travel or food whim. Utilising a network of Tastemakers to reveal their secret epicurean treasures, this is a good option if you want to get off the tourist trail or simply discover some hidden gems. You can also use the app to put together your own videos, post top tips or create wish lists for future trips.
Tastemade serves up videos for epicureans and wanderlusters
Open up a new world of culinary delights by heading to PlateCulture, which recently launched in Hong Kong. The Malaysia-based start-up is bringing the private kitchen concept to the masses – simply sign up and book to eat a home-cooked meal at someone’s house. The site is easy to navigate; all customers have to do is select what they fancy eating (and where).
From eating the French classics on a houseboat in Aberdeen to chowing down on freshly made Indonesian food in Kennedy Town, there is something for everyone. Hosts set the prices for the meals, and PlateCulture take a 20 percent cut. You get an intimate dinner experience and the chance to explore somewhere new – and unlike at many restaurants in Hong Kong, you won’t be rushed so that they can squeeze in a second sitting.
PlateCulture’s Warung Rooftop is a hugely popular Indonesian private kitchen in Kennedy Town
Ever spent time staring mindlessly into the fridge and your cupboards, wondering what you might be able to concoct from the items on hand? Well, Supercook may save the day! Just list the ingredients you have and this nifty website finds matching recipes from the most popular cooking website and highlights the best options for your needs. The more specific you are, the more tailored the recipes you get back. This is a great way to ensure you are making the best use of your pantry, utilising any random ingredients you may have or just to experiment a little.
Supercook will save you from hours staring aimlessly into the fridge
This food delivery service has become a firm favourite for the city’s busy foodies. Their slick app is easy to use, you can scan your credit card instead of having to input the numbers, and they promise no long waits for their food – the average delivery time is around 30 minutes. Filters such as price range and type of cuisine are fairly standard, but they also have ones such as ‘local gems’ and ‘guilty pleasures’ to help you to decide. You can also plan ahead and order up to one day in advance.
The one-off ingredients you sometimes need to perfect a dish when home cooking are a big nuisance. Sometimes they’re items you won’t use again before they expire, which creates unnecessary waste – both of cash and resources. Similarly, we’ve all had moments when in domestic goddess mode when we are preparing a lavish meal only to discover a key element was missed off the shopping list. Well, worry no more. This brilliant app lets you know what options can be ‘substituted’, either by replacing key ingredients or swapping out something owing to allergies or special diets. Substitutions is not only handy for budding chefs but is also awesome for reducing unnecessary spending and food waste.