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The Privilege of Going to College

2 Jun Mimosa Patisserie: Mango Napoleon

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.

Midwest Vintage Haul

Midwest Vintage Haul

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…

Sillyboo Froyo: Pear Williams, Yakult, & Original with Mochi + Cinnamon Cookies

Sillyboo Froyo: Pear Williams, Yakult, & Original with Mochi + Cinnamon Cookies

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.

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The Way Kids Think

1 Jun

I’ve been tutoring this 7 year old (turning 8 in August) since 2 years ago, and I love the kid to bits. He’s an only child, slightly hyperactive (oxymoron?), a bit mischievous, and EXTREMELY smart and wily. As with most 7 year olds, he’s very curious about everything and asks me questions I can’t really answer all the time.

Why does the universe keep on expanding?

How many galaxies are there in the universe?

Why do we need nuclear plants?

Why did Hitler kill himself?

Why does the large intestine absorb water, but the kidneys pass out water…don’t they cancel out each other’s function then?

Okay, I could answer that last one, due to my medical background. But it took me half an hour to make it understandable in 7-year-old terms. Which brings me to another point…we’re reading a book about the human body, and stuff in there is SO hard! The book is targeted towards his age (7-12 ish), but I swear there’s stuff in there that’s undergraduate level. It talks about how bile is made, talks about the different digestive enzymes, distinguishes between the different types of white blood cells. And to think that what I was reading at his age were mostly The Babysitters’ Club books. Are we expecting too much from our kids?

Breadtalk: Apple Tart and Blackforest Roll

Breadtalk: Apple Tart and Blackforest Roll

Anyways, enough about too-smart kids. Let’s talk about something sweeter…

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Pilgrimage to Tony Wong’s Kingdom

28 May

Patisserie Tony WongExcuse the exaggeration of my title, but it sure seems that way nowadays with Tony Wong opening more and more stores in Kowloon City. First there was Cookies Quartet…then he opened this patisserie, then more recently he opened a froyo store called Smile. Why has he enjoyed such great success? One can speculate. More at the end of this post as I know you want me to talk about the food. 😉

The first cake I got was the Mixed Berries Napoleon (千層酥). For any overseas readers, we call mille-feuilles, Napoleons, in Hong Kong.  Also, unlike in Paris, Napoleans in HK are almost always filled with creme AND fruits, especially mangoes, which really should be our city’s official fruit as Hongkongers are so obsessed with it lol. I choose the mixed berries Napoleon because it was the only one which looked vaguely traditional, as opposed to the circular cherry Napoleon and mango-laden Napoleon.

So, back to this Napolean. Was it any good? Frankly, no. I know many locals rave and shower praises on his Napoleans. But even if you’ve just had ONE mille-feuille from a patisserie in France, even a random neighbourhood patisserie, you would be completely dissatisfied with this. The pâte feuilletée is really thin, compact, and even slightly soggy where it touches the similarly thin and meagre layer of custard. It didn’t taste or feel like the lush, generous crème pâtissière in Parisian mille-feuilles, like the one I had at Pain de Sucre. At least the berries were sweet. And there were real vanilla seeds in the custard, although the custard was too diminutive in amount to actually taste it.

Patisserie Tony Wong One Two Tea

The One Two Tea is one of Tony Wong’s recent creations. From top to bottom: white chocolate plate, Earl Grey Crème Brulée, Earl Grey Mousse, Sponge Cake, Earl Grey Crisp. The flavours were quite good in this one, unlike the too sweet Starbucks Earl Grey cake. On the other hand, it’s more than 50% more expensive, so I’d expect the flavours to be better. The pale layers were smooth and tasted like a milky Earl Grey, slightly floral in nature. Not as smooth as the Pierre Hermé Tarte Infinitement Vanille though. Damn I miss that. The bottom layer had tea leaves in what was supposed to be a crispy layer (I think), although it was quite soggy when I ate it. This was an enjoyable cake. My only gripe is its size; for the same price, I can probably get something bigger and more interesting from a patisserie in Paris. But I guess they don’t have HKD$2 eggtarts over there either, so I won’t complain too much.

Read on for more thoughts on Tony Wong’s success…

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