Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Hawker Stalls to Make Way for Food Trucks

Will we soon see food trucks inspired by the movie Chef in Hong Kong?
A few months ago our ever thoughtful Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah came up with the brilliant idea of Hong Kong having food trucks after watching the comedy Chef starring Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara.

It's about a down-and-out chef who realizes his dream of making Cuban sandwiches that are a hit in Los Angeles. And during this journey he teaches his son his passion for food and rekindles his love for his ex-wife.

The food truck idea came from official John Tsang
What a perfect ending.

But food trucks in Hong Kong?

We already have local hawker food. Well, we used to have a vibrant hawker food scene until the government decided to clamp down on the stalls for fear of hygiene issues. The authorities stopped issuing dai pai dong licenses and so they are dying out because the next generation isn't interested in such hard work, nor can these licenses be sold either.

And also last month the Michelin guide introduced a list of street food places and now some are reportedly under threat of greedy landlords who want to raise the rent to squeeze more profits out of them.

So why doesn't the government scrap its food truck idea and instead revitalize areas for hawker stalls and be the landlord so that the rent is controlled and everyone -- locals and tourists -- not only get authentic cuisine but at value for money prices!

What a novel concept!

Can you imagine food trucks parked right here in Wan Chai?
Oh wait -- maybe that's too complicated for the government to understand.

So instead we'll be stuck with food trucks in bizarre locations like by the ferry piers in Central, Bauhinia Square in Wan Chai, Ocean Park and Disneyland, serving "gourmet" food at expensive prices. That's because the operators need to shell out at least HK$600,000 for a food truck and they need to make a profit too.

Just boggles the mind how our senior officials come up with such ideas. And they are supposed to be working for us, the taxpayers...

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