Lunch at Kila – Irish pub in Central, Hong Kong

Kila's Bar

On a random weekday of exploring restaurants in Central, my boyfriend and I came across Kila, a cute Irish pub at the top of Pottinger Street, aka, “石板街”.  I’ve always seen it to be really crowded during happy hour and the later part of evenings, so I never even bothered to find out if they were open during the day.  But on this particular day, we walked all the way up to Wyndham Street  and came across this pub.  We immediately fell in love with the open space, the friendly staff, and mainly, the delicious food.  Something you must know about me – when I fall in love with food at a certain restaurant, you will see me there for weeks and weeks until I get absolutely sick of it.

Their lunch sets are $98 +10%, which is a steal, especially it being located in Central.  Their menu is different everyday, but they mainly follow this equation: a salad or soup, followed by a main course, and finally a dessert.

Iced Water

To start, an iced water because I was really parched from my workout before coming here (irrelevant, I know haha).  You can picture the condensation slowly dripping down the glass…One thing I love about this place is that their food is relatively healthy compared to most others.  Less carbs, more veggies & protein! 😀

Smoked Salmon Salad

I started with a smoked salmon salad with vinaigrette dressing.  It was nice and cold, just the way salads should be.  They were a little bit too heavy handed with their salad dressing though.

Steak with vegetables and roasted potatoes

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I’ve ordered the steak 3 out of the 4 times I’ve been there.  Truly amazing!  I had to wait a lot longer than I usually waited for it though.  They were pretty busy that day and they have limited kitchen helpers.  I wanted my steak medium, but they gave it to me as medium rare.  I usually like my meat a bit more cooked (from medium to medium well), but I had no complaints about the taste.  Minus points for it not being what I asked for.

Tilapia with mashed potatoes and vegetables

The boy had a pan fried tilapia with mashed potatoes and vegetables (this order was +$20).  For someone who doesn’t like fish, I definitely liked this.  The lemon juice drizzled on top accentuated the flavor of the fish, rather than having it cover the fishiness of it (like what most restaurants do).  The mashed potatoes were really well made – not grainy at all.  Perfectly smooth and velvety.

Chocolate cake with melted chocolate

Last but never least, dessert. I’m a big lover of sweets, but this chocolate cake/brownie was so-so. I can’t really consider it cake because it wasn’t cakey, but it wasn’t fudgey either… It was nice and warm, and of course really good after a whole meal of savory foods, but the texture of the cake wasn’t right.

Bill Amount: $237.6 for two people

Taste: 8 out of 10
Environment: 7 out of 10
Value for money: 9 out of 10
Service: 7.5 out of 10
Overall: 8 out of 10

Location: Upper Basement, 79 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong

-Den

By Denise

What it’s like Working for a Startup in Hong Kong

As some of you may know, I have been working for several months at a startup company in Hong Kong called PassKit (Den is actually the face of the homepage right now).  I always thought that I would end up working in finance but by the decree of fate I am back at PassKit, working full-time after having interned at the company at its inception in 2012.

I was fortunate enough to kick off my career in a startup environment and within a matter of months I’ve learned so much already.  Though I have never worked in a corporate setting, I don’t feel that I am missing out on much at all.  In fact, I believe that working at a startup has given me a much more enriching experience.

I’d like to share just some of the things I have learned over the course of these past few months and shed some light on what it truly is like working for a startup.

1. You are the decision maker

There is no corporate bureaucracy.  You don’t need to jump through hurdles seeking approval from people in different divisions.  That process could take months – and by that time your decision to do something new may become obsolete.

In a startup, if you want to lead a new project and innovate, you can execute that plan right away. And I mean within a matter of minutes.  As long as you can justify your reason for doing so then go right ahead.  And if it doesn’t work out, you can quickly change it to something else without going through the process of hierarchal approval.  There are no bottlenecks stopping you from making things happen.

2. You will see the value in people

I can go on and on about diversity but we’ve heard it all before. The people you work with truly make a difference in how the work environment feels and ultimately how you feel throughout the day.  Because everyone comes from different walks of life, we all have something unique to offer to the company. We all have things to teach each other and every day is a learning experience that helps us develop ourselves as people and as professionals.

I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by intelligent and charismatic colleagues. The camaraderie and feeling of unity within the office truly resonates with me even when I’m not at work.  You’ll learn to value the skills and experiences that everyone has developed, especially when it comes to launching a new project that requires all hands on deck.  The people you work with will make a difference in whether you are motivated and inspired.

3. You will wear many hats

Don’t think you’re only expected to do what is laid out in your job description.  Sure, it might seem easy enough to follow, but if you want to succeed you have to expand beyond these limitations.  In a startup, you will be tasked to do a number of things that may not be written in your contract.

Yes, you will have a lot on your plate. And you will have many duties to fulfill.  But the fact that you will wear many hats shows that you are capable of more than just your job title.  More often than not, you will be learning and developing a new skill while working on a project.  You’re no longer just the marketing guy; you are a marketing guru + web designer + creative writer + super cool project lead + whatever else you want to be.

Try on dozens of hats, discard the ones that don’t fit, and keep the ones that do.  You won’t be expected to know how to do everything, but it’s building and refining what you know that will truly empower you to be extraordinary.

4. It never stops

Every day brings new challenges and tasks to the table.  Whether it’s a product launch or transforming an industry, you will never be stuck doing the same routine. Change happens quickly, and being in a startup gives you that sense of urgency and mobility to react positively upon it.

The work will never stop. Boredom doesn’t exist. When all hands are on deck and everyone is giving it their all, the room starts to heat up and the adrenaline kicks in.  And that sweet, sweet sense of accomplishment at the end makes the entire journey extra rewarding.

Not a day goes by that I don’t feel grateful for the opportunity to work at PassKit. Every day brings new challenges but I’m lucky that I love doing what I do.  It’s not an easy ride, but it has motivated and inspired me to keep driving forward.

When I leave the office every day, there’s a sign on the door that asks these 2 questions: Did you have fun today? Did you create value today?  You bet I did.

– Wen