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Top five Hong Kong comebacks

Donnie Yen in Ip Man
Donnie Yen in Ip Man

After a brief absence, Time Out Hong Kong’s print product is back and that’s got us waxing nostalgic about other great HK comebacks.

Donnie Yen
Now one of the city’s biggest stars, Donnie Yen’s life wasn’t always so sweet. Back in the 90s, Yen failed to transition to Hollywood in the same successful way Jackie Chan did. It took later hits like 2005’s SPL and Ip Man (left) in 2008 for Yen to rebuild his name and for Hollywood to consider casting him in blockbusters like last year’s Rogue One.

Jimmy’s Kitchen
Now for an older comeback. Jimmy’s Kitchen originally opened on Lockhart Road back in 1928. The ‘international’ restaurant was shut, however, during the Japanese occupation, between 1941 and 1945, with owner Leo Landau sent to a concentration camp. Post-war, the restaurant made a glorious return, though, serving the likes of Cary Grant and John Wayne during its most popular years.
G/F, South China Bldg, 1-3 Wyndham St, Central, 2526 5293; jimmys.com.

Kwun Tong
Kwun Tong was an industrial powerhouse during the 1970s and 80s. But, as companies moved production to cheaper parts of Asia, the area fell into decline. Now the neighbourhood is bouncing back with underground music venue Hidden Agenda,  cool cafés and creative businesses,  helping transform KT into one of the city’s most exciting neighbourhoods.

The People’s Republic of China
Is there a bigger recent comeback than the mighty motherland’s return to Hong Kong on July 1, 1997? There have been good times, like the assistance post-Sars and the more recent bad times post-Umbrella Movement. One thing’s for sure, though: for better or for worse, this comeback is permanent.

Leon Lai
One of the four heavenly kings of Cantopop, Leon Lai was huge in the 90s – he even starred in Wong Kar-wai’s Fallen Angels (above) – but by the mid-noughties, he’d vanished. Almost out of nowhere, he returned last year to play six consecutive gigs at Central Harbourfront. The first performance had to be cancelled but Lai’s sincere apology endeared him to fans and brought him tremendous positive publicity. Not to mention, those who attended say that all five nights were stellar. Good comeback, Leon!

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