Sunday, 10 April 2016

Wellington Street's Changing Face

The bustling La Piola is no more on the ground floor

Yesterday I walked from Central to Sheung Wan along Wellington Street and saw so many changes, it made me wonder if I have been paying attention or not.

First off -- the restaurant La Piola at 8 Lyndhurst Terrace is no more. I heard it was going to be shut down, but to see the bare bones of the place left was sad. It used to be packed full of people all the time, particularly in the evenings, and so it was shocking to see it empty and lifeless.

An abandoned shell of a building
I'd only had drinks at the place once, and was impressed the location really did entice the older crowd from Lan Kwai Fong to Lyndhurst Terrace, less than a 10 minute walk away.

And then further down Wellington Street at Graham Street, there was a very old Chinese building that I never noticed before. It stood on its own, next to it an empty lot waiting to be redeveloped.

This three-storey building probably has an owner but no one has been able to contact them. That is the case of many buildings in the city that look like they could crumble at any moment, but they are left alone assuming the owner is still around. There should be some policy about absentee landlords...

Then I saw a cute little bakery called Dreams. The Bread on 97A Wellington Street. Inside it had a few items that were definitely different from other ones like small cubed loafs of different colours, loafs of chocolate rye bread and buns shaped like mini pumpkins.

The croissant and cranberry cube loaf
I bought a cranberry cube loaf (HK$9) and the intriguing pomelo croissant (HK$15) and tried them at home.

The cranberry one was fantastic. Inside were swirls of dried cranberry inside, a bit sweet and addictive.

I thought I bought a pomelo croissant so I was surprised to find it was plain, but now I see on my receipt it was just a classic croissant. It was mislabeled in the bakery!

The croissant was hardly flaky like the French ones, so this one wasn't particularly interesting. But if I go by Wellington Street again, I'll be sure to try the other cube loafs like green tea and black sesame.

The croissant hardly flaky, the mini loaf sweet and delicious
At the bottom of Wellington Street there was for a short time a restaurant called Black Kettle that tried to be creative in incorporating black ingredients in its western dishes, but alas, the concept wasn't strong enough, and the food was just average.

Less than a year later it has been replaced with Noodle... LAH. I had seen the shop space was being renovated but now it's open.

The changing face of Hong Kong -- presented in one street.

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