Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. In our weekly 27 Questions column, we get up close and personal with the city’s notable personalities, learning about their whims and aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all in roughly the same duration of a casual speed date. This week, we speak to Kingsley Wong, founder of A Freaking Dumpling.
For those who know me, I get excited by all things carbs, including dumplings, of course — pan-fried, soup, steamed, XLB, you name it. So when F&B consultant and local man about town Kingsley Wong announced that he was launching dumplings in 2020, I was beyond excited. The delivery came with a noticeable clinking sound in the box; as it turned out, these dumplings turned out to be made out of ceramics with a description — “chopstick holders”.
When Covid lockdown began in Melbourne, Wong noticed how the pottery business suffered, as a main part of their income came from supplying to restaurants. Filled with creative ideas, a heart to help and, of course, a love for dumplings, Wong created “A Freaking Dumpling” to help local potters sell directly to consumers.
Launched with the goal of supporting communities, the shiny white dumplings became so much more than a mere dining table accessory. As an industry consultant for over four years now, Wong spends his day-to-day around lavish menus and gram-worthy dishes. Acting as the bridge between eateries and consumers led Wong to recognise the not-so-glamorous part of Hong Kong — areas where people struggle to serve food on their tables daily. With the existing resources he had, Wong partnered up with FeedingHK to donate six edible dumplings for every ceramic one sold. Not bad, right?
With over 22,000 dumplings donated to date, we caught up with Kingsley Wong and get to know the man behind our favourite chopstick holders in town.
27 Questions: Kingsley Wong
Name: Kingsley Wong
Neighbourhood: Sai Ying Pun
Occupation: F&B branding and marketing consultant, founder of A Freaking Dumpling, hospitality marketer
1. What is your life motto?
“Take time to do what makes your soul happy.” So cliche, yet so true.
2. What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten in Hong Kong?
3. What is your drink of choice?
I have 500 different answers in my mind, but I figured a well made Negroni will be it.
4. What is the best thing in or about your apartment?
The built-in bluetooth player in my shower and the perfect Sai Ying Pun location.
5. Which phone app do you think more people should know about?
6. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Nashville Hot Chicken, please.
7. What do you hate most about living in Hong Kong?
Summertime tram rides.
8. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Midnight McDonald’s Hot Wings after god knows how many rounds of drinks.
9. What is one movie everyone should see?
10. What is your typical Sunday like?
My Sundays are usually very lazy.
11. If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?
I enjoy my city life, so I guess New York City it is!
12. If you could invite any five people in the world to your dream dinner party, who would they be?
Ryan Reynolds, Massimo Bottura, Thom Browne, Tony Leung Chiu-wai and IU!
13. If you had to describe Hong Kong in one word, what would it be?
14. What is your favourite scent in the whole world?
I actually love the smell of underground car parks. If it’s a curated scent, then I would pick Le Labo.
15. Are you a good cook? What is your best dish?
I genuinely enjoy cooking for my friends. I recently made a pretty decent prawn toast, perfect to pair with party drinks.
16. Do you have a catch phrase?
“Ah that’s nice.”
17. How many pairs of shoes do you currently own? which do you wear the most often?
I keep my collection pretty lean, so five pairs only. I wear my black Balenciaga Speed Sock Sneakers a lot, as they’re so comfortable and versatile for all occasions.
18. What is the last dream you remember waking up to?
I was involved in a shoot-out. Literally woke up in sweats.
19. What would you do if you won the lottery?
Spend it all on anti-gambling campaigns.
20. What was the best gift you ever received?
My first flight ticket to Melbourne, from my parents. Ended up spending years there.
21. When did you feel that you ‘made it’?
Every time when I make a donation to Feeding HK from my dumpling sale.
22. What’s the best or worst career advice you’ve ever received?
“Good products don’t need marketing” — worst advice ever, and I hate it when I hear it from anyone.
23. What energises you about your work?
The people around me, seriously! I am lucky enough to be surrounded by a bunch of incredibly talented minds.
24. What’s your favourite tradition?
Christmas, without a doubt. No matter where I’m at. Summer or winter Christmas. I love both!
25. If you were a TV show character, who would you be and why?
Gordon Ramsay LOL! I could do the “idiot sandwich” slap all day and get paid!
26. If you could snap your fingers and fix one thing about the world, what would it be?
The extreme disparity between the rich and the poor.
27. Your go-to coffee order?