It’s funny how different one’s perspective can change just within one day. I started this morning…erm…I mean afternoon…rolling out of bed, lamenting that school starts in less than one week and I need to REALLY start adjusting my sleeping schedule. Later this day though, a little girl whom I was tutoring as a volunteer made me realize how lucky I am to be in university.
But first, I started my day with some shopping. I finally visited Midwest Vintage, one of the most well-known (well-advertised?) vintage stores in HK. It’s really out of the way, so I haven’t been motivated enough to get my butt over there. A whole summer of H&M/Zara hauls have made me bored enough to trek all the way there though. They’ve got some vintage polos/A&F/Hollister, but what interested me were their reconstructed pieces. They take old men’s shirts and make them into something like what I got. A Mario Bros tunic with a cool flannel bottom, and a reconstructed Ralph Lauren polo shirt which got turned into a dress. Also got cool accessories at $20!!! :O The store also has some awesome vintage bags…but I just got 2 new bags recently, so perhaps another time…
As I was walking from Midwest Vintage to the school where I was supposed to volunteer at, I passed by Sillyboo Froyo store. Froyo stores that I haven’t visited seem to be a magnet for drawing me in, so in I went. It’s decorated very nicely…modern and sleek. They had a few flavours today – Pear Williams, Guava, Yakult, Pineapple, and Original. They charge $17/100g, which is a bit more expensive than the usual $15/100g.
I was willing to pay a bit more for unusual flavours though…and unique toppings too. Pear Williams tasted refreshingly peary, but I think the taste isn’t strong enough. Yakult tasted very sweet, just like the drink. As for the original, it’s not the milky kind, but was sweet and light. Could’ve used a bit more tartness. All of the yogurts were a bit too melty. The texture was also watery…but I actually liked it that way. The mochi is homemade, and tasted weirdly like lotus seed paste (leen yung)….weird, but I liked it. Yo Mama still makes the BEST mochi though. The other topping I got were cinnamon cookie chunks. Really good too – very buttery and cinnamony. I like it better than Crumbs’ too crumby cinnamon crumbs (try saying that 10 times really quickly).
Taking my froyo on the go, I rushed to the school I was volunteering at, as I was going to be late (couldn’t resist the froyo :(). The school is a designated English-speaking school for ethnic minorities, so most of the students are Southeast Asians, and many are underprivileged. My student is a grade 4 girl from Nepal, who just came to Hong Kong recently. She had troubles with English (understandably), so I helped her with some Math homework and understanding the instructions. Her writing is SO neat! She’s super shy and quiet…such a good girl.
Being in the primary school also made me so nostalgic and almost a little teary eyed (especially when I heard the bell…I miss hearing bells!). There were naughty children and quiet children. Groups of girls and groups of guys. There was the one bossy pigtailed girl who reminded me SO much of myself…I was teaching my student some math when she came over, told me the formatting was wrong, and stomped haughtily away. She also made a “Bad Names” and “Good Names” list on the board for those who were misbehaving and behaving in the classroom. I miss primary school when everything was so simple…when good and bad were so clear.
At the end of the tutorial class, I told my student I wouldn’t be able to come next week because I had to go back to school. The student looked puzzled and asked me why I still had school, and I said I go to university/college. At that moment, I felt the most admiring, innocent gaze I’ve seen directed towards me. The girl whispered, “College? You go to college?” in a tone of clear admiration. I realized that college might be something of a dream for her, partly because of her age, and partly because of her family’s background and underprivileged status. It was at that moment that I felt so privileged in a way I’ve never felt before to have received such a good education.
Anyways, with all those sentiments in mind, I went off in search of pastries. The Tai Hang/Tin Hou area is bursting with foodie places. My first destination was supposed to be Le Gout, opened by a Lenôtre student in Tai Hang. Unfortunately, it was closed. So I headed to Jam Bakery, but nothing looked enticing enough. Well, the mille-feuille did look promising, albeit only having 2 layers, but I was planning on visiting Mimosa, so I’ll save it for next visit.
Mimosa Patisserie is famous in HK for it’s mille-feuille/Napoleon. I never quite liked it, but every now and then I buy things I never quite liked just to see if my tastes have changed, or their recipe has changed. Well, no change in opinion this time. Although slightly less dense than other patisseries in town, which is good, the pâte feuilletée is underbaked for my tastes. It’s also extremely weak in the butter department.
The bottom layer of pâte was thicker than the top two layers. I don’t know if this was on purpose, but it could be to serve as structural support. and prevent everything from weighing and crushing the bottom. Or I could be overthinking.
I didn’t like how the pâte was coated in white chocolate, as it made the whole thing too sweet. It was quite a thick layer of chocolate, too. I understand that it helps to keep the pâte from going soggy, but perhaps baking the pâte a bit more would help. I’m not sure though, as I’m not that good of a baker. I do appreciate the generosity of custard and mangoes. However, like the pâte, the custard was a bit lacking in taste. It didn’t have any vanilla seeds, and neither did it taste eggy. So mango really was the dominant taste in this pastry.
I did like how it was so big (well, normal sized rather than pinky sized) compared to most other patisseries’. I also like how, due to the lack of butter and heavy custard, it wasn’t too filling even after such a big piece. Don’t know when’s the next time I’ll be challenging myself with having another one though. Sad that I don’t have a go-to place for mille feuilles in Hong Kong…suggestions VERY welcome. Preferably something similar to this gorgeous piece from Pain de Sucre!