Did not expect Oliver's Super Sandwich to be so beautifully renovated, especially knowing how run-down this shop location was prior to Oliver's taking over. Had afternoon tea (or coffee) with snacks, the meals around the $24-27 mark. Very good value for money on paper, considering you get an Italian illy coffee with it. Funny thing though - you need to add around $5-6 for a cappucino or caffe latte, but for regular coffee (aka flat white) is included. This 'policy' is actually ridiculous from a cafe owner's point of view. Regular coffee uses more milk, also requires more time and effort to stretch/heat the milk for a regular coffee than a Cappucino or even Latte. Someone in Oliver's obviously doesn't understand this theory, or else is plainly trying to CAPITALISE on the unaware consumers to extract more money. Eitherway its a laughable pricing policy. FOOD -
Honeyed Ham and Cheese Croissant -
This was really nice indeed. Cheese was definitely quite a good cheese, and it was thick and melty - tasted like melted 'gruyere' or 'un-aged comte' but did not seek out the answer this time around. Croissant was good without exceptional, but none of the Hong Kong-nised sweet pastry BS. Ham was thick and tasty too. Will be coming back for this time and time again, just for the cheese alone.
Tuna Jaffle -
Did not eat this, but apparently ok too..ILLY COFFEES -
Regular Coffee -
This was really bland tasting to be honest. Its not completely illy's fault nor the coffee maker's fault. illy is just one of the most difficult coffees to master on an espresso machine.
想起幾年以前,我跟本唔鍾意飲 Espresso (或食 Dark Chocolate) 的. Coffee 都係. 雖說香, 但苦的, 又澀, 好戁放進入口. 當時成日稔, 啲人一定係扮大個, 勁扮嘢, 先話好味的. And the Top coffee baristas often talk about how 'difficult' it is to extract a good shot, or Top Shots or God Shots. I was still highly skeptical about this, even during the short period I was a cafe partial owner and was trained officially in coffee making and also learnt latte art myself... I was not open-minded enough......
In hindsight today? I was completely, utterly, 'should commit suicide ashamed' wrong for holding this biased view, just as many still are on this planet. The reason I/We are wrong? 無良商人. Not exclusive to Sxxxxx and PxxxxxXxxxx or just about almost all coffee shops in Hong Kong or in other countries. In reality - A REAL ESPRESSO, is so unbelievably gorgeous, its NOT bitter, NOR usually acidic and when done correctly, would take you onto new plateaus not experienced before. I did not even realise this was theorectically possible, until I had the revelation of experiencing some top coffee shots from top shops overseas.
In reality - Espresso's do not work in a linear, 0-10 scale like most food. It only has 1 sweetspot and perhaps some minor sweetspots next to the peak spot, when all controlling variables with its 'multiplying effect' must be calibrated to nearly 100% simultaneously. I can think of around 9 variables which all influence the outcome and which none of them must be below 95% before they destroy the outcome. Espressos therefore work on an exponential scale, or like a Sine/Cosine graph with their peakforms. Now that I finally have cracked the code, I can say, instead of 0 - 10, Espresso can only be rated on a scale such as 0, 7-8, 9 and 30. Anything below 7, is completely wrong and therefore undrinkable.
A score of 'around' 30 is when everything is correct, a God Shot, which I initially believed people were purely bluffing and never existed, until I experienced a couple and confirmed that it does exist.
It is just so 'god damn good', it reverberates in the mouth with a never ending sweetish, almost oily lingering taste that once you've experienced it, you'll finally realise what we've been missing out on.
As a comparison, perhaps in say even Italy - the ratio of good Espressos to bad ones might still only be around 1 : 8. In say Australia (where multiple world champions are born), its around 1 : 30 or more. In Hong Kong? The ratio is around 1 : 500 or more, without exaggeration. Coffee in HK, really is that bad, because, people haven't experienced it before and don't understand how difficult it really is to get to that difficult to achieve SWEET SPOT.
In the past 6 months or so in HK - I still remember perfectly, I have only had 3 GOD Shots in more than half a year, and 3 Pretty Good Shots. Six shots - that was it,
and sometimes the experience isn't replicable even in the same shop with the same barista. We're quickly falling behind the world in this respect, that's why I keep on bringing up this topic on Openrice deliberately - I don't really mind what people think of me.
I'm not trying to be harsh or 扮嘢 or anything, but unfortunately, that's how coffee especially Espressos work. At least in milk drinks, the milk or water can mask the downfalls. Its not up to me at all to control, but its the truth. If one thinks about it, even a 為食 and very perfectionist and always curious 'foodie' such as myself, could not grasp the Theory during the days I was a part-owner in a cafe with a commercial coffee machine, until more than 1 year later.... until I finally opened my mind and learned from others who boasted that they know better - and finally discovered they really weren't kidding...天外有天, 係真的 I mean.... if we as 'consumers' don't ask and wish for more in Hong Kong, what are the chances of receiving it anytime soon in the future?
Here with my shot that day, unfortunately it was below a '7', which means its a 0. It doesn't matter if its illy, the so-called best coffee brand name in the world from North-East Italy. Its the person in the end, who can fully change the fate of the coffee, when they understand the 'sweet spot' calibration theory - which changes daily as well as with every batch of beans, temp, humidity, etc.
But who cares anyway? Lol.
Slightly bland today though! But not bad.
Spending per head: Approximately HKD25Other Ratings:
Value for Money 4