Sunday, 13 November 2016

Sampling Treats at Lee Tung Avenue

Love it or loathe it -- Lee Tung Avenue from Queen's Road East
This afternoon I met a food writer friend visiting from Vancouver and after a very good traditional dim sum at Hoi King Keen in the InterContinental Grand Stanford, we went over to Wan Chai where he was taken on a tour of Lee Tung Avenue.

The coffee here is expensive, but expertly made
The are area used to be known as "Wedding Card Street", where shops would help couples get their invitations printed up. They were moved out so that a massive residential/commercial development could come up. In the end it's a pedestrian-only strip that tourists think is neat, while others think it's a gentrification exercise gone totally wrong.

Nevertheless my friend sampled the Japanese coffee at Omotesando Koffee and said it was spot on, very smooth. He admired the clean minimalist design of the place, as well as nearby Japanese bakery Yoku Moku, appreciating the preciseness of how all the cakes were made and presented.

We even tried Calbee, a Japanese potato chip shop that is a nostalgic favourite for Hong Kong people, something I was unfamiliar with. At this place, people can order freshly made potato chips in various combinations, including with soft serve ice cream, or topped with chocolate sauce or cheese sauce.

Typhoon shelter spicy chips with soft serve ice cream
Curious, we tried the limited edition Hong Kong typhoon shelter one that featured spicy chips with soft serve ice cream (HK$38). Just a few minutes later came a large paper bowl filled with the spicy waffled chips with soft serve in a small cup. It was a nice presentation, and there were no broken chips at all -- they are all sorted out during the production process.

The chips themselves were mildly spicy and so when they were paired with the ice cream, the spiciness was dulled, tasted sweet and salty, and there were the textures of crunchy and soft, hot and cold.

At first my friend was indifferent to it, thinking it was bizarre, but interesting. After trying a few more he admitted they began to grow on him.

Previously I didn't understand why people lined up to buy these chips, but now I do, because how can you beat having freshly-made chips? Not that I will specifically go and order these myself, but now I know what all the fuss is about.

Our strawberry-passion fruit rose gelato
We also tried some gelato by Givres and the gelato is scooped up flat and then arranged around a cone like a rose. My friend had never seen this before so we ordered one to try, in strawberry and passion fruit flavours (HK$66 two flavours).

He was very impressed. I had tried it last year in Paris thought not as artfully arranged as this one. The two fruit flavours were delicious and not too sweet. While the amount of gelato isn't the same as other ice creams you'd get in places like Haagen-Daz, at least it's pretty looking!

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