I have been coming to this place since it was a little hole in the wall on O'Brien Road in 2000 or 2001. This could be one of the first places in Hong Kong where they roast their own coffee, the New Zealand owner would cook up such a storm that the extractor fan upstairs would suck out the coffee smoke out onto the street - I am amazed the fire alarm has never gone off lol. Some of the barristas have been here there and everywhere, they used to have some Nepalese ladies who were really nice and shared some of their food with me and even bought me souvenirs when they went back home. The whole in the wall was truly a home away from home for me then. What remain of them is the tall Chinese guy with black-rimmed glasses, he's pretty ok with the latte art and is a pretty cool dude. I hardly have lattes these days so I haven't seen that here for a while. Today they seem to be having a caffe art class upstairs. Personally I think although latte art is fun, it's nothing to be taken that seriously.
Being a regular, I am very familiar with the food in this place, especially the sweets. I used to like their lemon cheese cake, but it seems the freindly filippina head chef (she always wears a plain white shower cap
) hardly makes them anymore, so these days I just have to make do with the ok New York cheese cake. Their flourless chocolate cake is not too bad either, but by far the best sweet here is the signature banoffie pie that I only discovered around 2 years ago. The cream is light and fluffy, and the filling has just the right amount of banana slices, dulce de leche and a solid buttery biscuit base. I didn't know that the banoffie is an English invention; because of Elvis Presley's penchant for it, I've always thought that it's American. Makes me look at English food in a slightly different light now
Today I had the house brew, a Mocha Java, just a plain black coffee as it is de rigeur for me these days. I tried the apple crumble for the first time, it's a huge pie that measures around 6 inches in diameter, with the right amount of apple, raisins, and cinnamon. At first the crumble looked a bit too lumpy and dry, but in fact it was quite nice and crunchy, it made the guilt trip less painful because you felt that the proportion of butter was much less in this one, so that there was almost no butter taste detectable. Besides, I did my 40-minute of cardio this morning, so I well deserve a bit of a sweet treat. The thing was so big that it took me a whole hour to nurse it down
They also have Bolaven beans here that is fair trade from Laos I think. I've had a taste and it was quite a "calm and soothing bean, if I remember correctly. The colour of the package is that ubiquitous and supposedly tasteful Tiffany baby blue - not sure if it's s apt for coffee bean though.
Before I forget, their cinnamon roll is also quite ok, soft and cinnamony, and definitely not much of a guilt trip. They are also selling Californian chips now, I really like the chipotle flavour. They were selling in Park n' Shop and Great before but I don't think they are being stocked anymore. I know where to get my fix now
Date of Visit: Nov 07, 2009
Spending per head: Approximately HKD40Other Ratings:
Value for Money 3