In the tiny kitchen of a Hong Kong high-rise apartment, the air was heavy with the aromas of a mother making her daughter's favorite childhood dishes.

It was the mid-autumn festival, a harvest celebration that brings families together for a cherished meal, and the last one they would share before the daughter took her family away to a land far from home.

"I'll miss her soy chicken," Asa Lai said as her mother cooked plate after plate of Cantonese cuisine.