Category Archives: Street Snacks

Meet me on “Gobble Gaai”, “Devour Do” (oh God, I am such a cheese ball) as I find food all over Hong Kong’s streets – sometimes the food looks so good you just have to stop, drop and roll.

SUPAFOOD – Soft Opening!

1Remember when I got a sneak peek into organic Chinese oasis, Sohofama? Well, the team behind Sohofama is back with something new – but this time it’s fast food. Organic fast food – a.k.a. SUPAFOOD2Yesterday I dragged along Molly, a foodie friend who’s been on a BBITES adventure with me before, to check out the first day of their soft-opening. Although the décor inside is still taking shape, the food was in full form – and we had lots of fun eating our way through their lunch menu.4Basically, there are salad box options – including pork, chicken and more – as well as rice box options, where you can substitute the rice with quinoa if you’re feeling extra healthy. Molly and I said “stuff that,” quite literally, and went for the rice instead.

The service was friendly and fast, leaving us ample time over Molly’s one-hour lunch break from the office to dig into the pretty huge serving sizes. Everything tasted fresh and refined. YUM!3Although we knew that we’d get pretty full from the two boxes (yes, we split them 50-50), we couldn’t resist trying one of the desserts on option: organic POWER BALLS (love that name!)supafood1They’re made out of coconut powder, flaxseed, oats and peanut butter. Texture: rich and sable-like; flavour: explosive! Haha!!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my preview of Supafood! BBITE you later 🙂

Bakker x

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BBITES Mini-Post #4 x Kisses @ Wan Chai

aaaaaWhen I was walking back to the office after lunch today, I noticed that the new Kisses Cupcakes shop on Queen’s Road East (#202) has finally opened – yesterday, in fact, which explains all of the flowers still standing outside.

The overall design is quite cute – their cupcake menu is listed on the wall with plaques, and lots of decorative cupcakes are lying around, as well.

I opted for the Pandan Cupcake – pandan always reminds me of Singapore 🙂 – while my friend Kaila tried the Ferrero Rocher Cupcake (complete with a nugget of chocolate in the centre). Other interesting cupcakes on display included Smores and Baileys flavours…

Now with Sift and Kisses within about five minutes of each other, Wan Chai dwellers should be careful if they don’t want their waistlines to expand exponentially – including me 😛 !

Bakker x

Hazel & Hershey – A New SOHO Café

1 hazel hershey hkHazel & Hershey is located at 69 Peel Street, Soho, Central. +852 3106 0760

On Sunday I enjoyed lunch at Brunch Club and shared a signature salad + burger with my bestie Sami. After the epic feast, we meandered down Peel Street to head towards Central, and I couldn’t help but stop in front of a new turquoise storefront I’d never seen before.

One of the several new cafés and restaurants on Peel Street (which will require me going back for more reviews!), is Hazel & Hershey, a quirky new coffee shop with character that opened two months ago.

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The interior is fresh, playful and modern. Lamp art on the ceiling turned out to be huge wonky clocks after a closer look, making me think of Alice in Wonderland, somehow…

A coffee bean grinder is a decorative (and functional) piece near the entrance, and sacks of coffee beans lie around it. The effect is charming and curious – makes me wonder whether they’re filled with real beans!3One of the most interesting design elements to the coffee shop is the section of wall made into an attractive shelving unit made out of cardboard, for the shop’s imported coffee-making accessories. 4The items, from Japan and Italy, are for sale and include coffee brewers, espresso cup sets, books and more… A lot of eye candy here.  5I was quite surprised to find that there were absolutely no food items available on the menu (a good croissant may have come in handy, for example). But, then again, it’s nice to see a venue choosing to focus on its concept without any distractions.

Espresso-based drinks were the house specials, but an extensive list of black/long coffee varieties were available on the other side of the blackboard (sorry, not pictured!).

So, when the coffees arrived I had high expectations and – I must admit – some doubts on if they would be worth the 35$ that Sami and I spent on a Macchiato and Hazelnut Cappuccino each.6Macchiato $35 : After my first sip I broke into a smile – *relief* – it was worth it! The texture of my Macchiato was rich, creamy and with a lovely smooth foam at the top. The taste was nutty, roasted and bold. YUMMY and served at a nice, hot temperature.

Cappuccino $35 : Sami’s Cappuccino was served with a pretty Latte art design that stayed in formation until the very end of the cup. She was nice enough to let me try a (long) sip of the Cappuccino and it was delightful: smooth and light (yet not too milky), the Cappuccino reminded me of a winter treat with the sweetness of the added hazelnut flavour ($5).

The atmosphere is calm and cheerful at Hazel & Hershey, and the staff were friendly. So far, I’m definitely in favour of the new café, with both orders I tried being well made and not a rip off by any means: when you consider a Starbucks coffee costs as much, it puts things in perspective! Here, for the same price you get an ambience and high-quality coffees made with care and passion.

Bakker x

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p.s. In more COFFEE NEWS: click here to check out my latest tasting visit with Nespresso (launching a new GRAND CRU capsule) on my Facebook page. Plus, read BBITES’ previous post on Coffee Culture @ Nespresso for more coffee…

Jack In The Box

1It’s Saturday night and Bakker’s Bites is staying in to blog about something some of you may be consuming later this evening: Jack Daniel’s whiskey.

But this is ol’ Jack as you probably haven’t tried it before… 2With its extremely attractive packaging, this bar of chocolate is hard to miss when scanning the sweets aisle.

Whoever designed this package knew what they were doing. On the front, the Jack Daniel’s iconic logo speaks for itself, with the product description in cool silver print underneath. Above the logo, the chocolatier’s logo (Goldkenn) is barely visible in a subtle embossed print = C.L.A.S.S.Y.

3Open the box and tear the golden aluminium foil to reach your capsules of Jack Daniel’s chocolate… feeling regal yet?

4Dissection reveals a generous portion of whiskey syrup encased in each capsule. As I cut the chocolate open, the aroma of sweet Jack Daniel’s floated upwards. I took the opportunity to do a taste-test when the liquid is drained…

DRAINED: The Jack Daniel’s flavour disappears quite quickly into a subtle taste reminiscent of a regular high quality liqueur chocolate you might get at Christmas. Suitable for anyone who’s not a big whiskey, or alcohol fan.

5So, what happens when you pop the whole thing in your mouth? As I discovered this is absolutely the way to eat it – even though I wouldn’t normally call myself someone who particularly likes the taste of whiskey – call me converted!

THE WHOLE SHEBANG: Divine. After cracking the piece open with your teeth, whiskey syrup explodes in your mouth. Its intensity is such that – for a moment – you get that cool airy feeling in your nose that a strong liqueur can give. At first, it verges on being overpowering but quickly plunges in a wonderful balance of smooth milk chocolate, gritty sugar and an evolving taste of Jack Daniel’s that turns caramel-like as it all blends together.

6Selling at HKD 39.90, it’s more expensive than most chocolates at 7-11, but still cheaper than many famous chocolate brands – whose budget-options in a similar price range are simply boring compared to this!

The novelty factor is high – it makes a handy last-minute gift that needs no wrapping – but it honestly tastes as good as it looks.

This is just one of those times that it’s not too good to be true…

Bakker x

p.s. My online research revealed that Goldkenn, the makers of this chocolate, have other editions using Rémy MartinCointreau, Grand Marnier and more! This is definitely a Pokémon moment: Gotta Catch ‘Em All !!

BBITES in Indonesia…

This holiday season, I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to travel to Singapore to see family, as well as Indonesia with friends, and Korea for work!

So BBITES is back with some more overseas posts before returning to Hong Kong after over a month!

Part 1: Indonesia

Warung is the Indonesian word for a street food vendor.  Wow, have I ever had such inexpensive and delicious food!  For example, 10 HKD can buy you a hearty bowl of fried rice or noodles, a big dessert pancake extraordinare, or a spicy goodie-filled salad (more on all of these later…).

For a bule (foreigner) like me, the experience of eating at warungs was irresistible!  Cooked right in front of you after your order is placed with the chef, you get to enjoy a hot and spicy set meal alongside talkative and friendly locals.  Warung stands are almost always alongside roads bustling with crowds of people, rushing cars and motorbikes.

Every savory meal is served with chips (predominantly prawn flavoured “kerupuk”, as well as pickled vegetables and cucumber to offset the chili (sambal)).

(image from google)

There is simply nothing like this in Hong Kong: the chef’s station is a kitchen on wheels (literally!) which they pull to their workspot each day from home.  On the glass windows of every warung you can read the menu items, sometimes painted very elegantly and usually in combinations of red and yellow.  You can also find warungs without wheels, in buildings and shop-houses.

Other warung delights included…

Martabak Manis (sweet Indonesian pancake):

This is every dieter’s worst nightmare and ultimate fantasy – it’s a super oily fried pancake.  We ordered ours with chocolate and cheese (a strange yet delightful combination).

I watched in awe as the chef prepared our martabak… first he slathered on a thick layer of butter.  Next, obscene amounts of processed cheese, chocolate sprinkles, and condensed milk were poured all over it.  He then cut the pancake up into bite-size sandwich pieces and proceeded to add all of the above ON TOP of the remaining bare bread/pancake.

WOW!  Oh it tasted so good… and I could hardly believe it when my companion and I had managed to finish all of it!! Every bite is an oozing mush of pure fat and sugar… yummy!

Gado Gado (salad served with peanut dressing):

Before leaving the capital city, Jakarta, to make a side trip to Bandung by train, we were looking for food at Gambir, the main train station.  Nearly all of the food options in the station itself were either local or foreign chains or Western-style restaurants.  Having been entranced by warungs in the preceding days, a chain restaurant didn’t seem too appealing.

Luckily for us, there was a food hall just outside the station in the carpark area which housed local warungs.  It was definitely the right choice!  I got to enjoy a pretty spicy Gado Gado, which is unlike most I’ve tried before that had little or no chili.  Doesn’t that hard-boiled egg look delicious?  It was… (see video)

The final food experience I want to share is a local delicacy just outside of Bandung, in a small town called Lembang.  Some of you may be a bit horrified, but the local delicacy I’m talking about is sate kelinci.  What is sateSate is a style of cooking meat on a skewer by grilling it to a smokey finish.  It’s then served with a special peanut sauce.  I’ve been a fan of sate ever since I can remember, but this was my first time trying sate kelinci.

Now, what is kelinci?  You probably know by now from the photos – it’s rabbit!  I’m no stranger to eating rabbit, as it is quite popular in France, where my family used to live… but what makes some people feel a bit guilty is that there are dozens of rabbit stalls all along the winding roads leading up to Lembang, reminding you of what you’re about to put in your mouth.

Out front are super cute baby rabbits, but in the cages behind are the biggest rabbits I’ve ever seen!  Quite monster-like… I’m assuming those are the ones that are ready for eating.

Anyway, enough about the rabbits alive, let me share with you how they tasted in the afterlife (hehehe, am I evil?).  It was the culinary highlight of my trip!  With a juicy and tender texture, it was reminiscent of beef that’s been cooked a little bit rare, which I love.  For the other x-factor, you’ll have to find out for yourself one day because it does have a unique flavor that you can’t find in other meats…

In fact, all the experiences I had with the Indonesian people made it a unique trip for me: the level of hospitality, generosity and goodwill I was shown there by helpful (and seriously fun!) strangers really opened my eyes and humbled me.  If not for the amazing food that is virtually everywhere, Indonesia is a place to visit for the Indonesians themselves…

Bakker x

p.s. Part 2: Korea coming soon!

Search for the American Cupcake

My first week in the U.S. has been a revelation.  I’ve been staying in San Francisco, a city that, like Hong Kong, is a blend of the old and the new.

Town houses built after the Great 1906 San Francisco earthquake still stand. Old diners and restaurants continue to thrive and, in downtown San Francisco, business centers mix with a shopping and food paradise enjoyed by locals and large numbers of tourists.


Since arriving I have been checking off a list of food must-eats.  So far I’ve had my American cupcake, Mexican meal, deli sandwich, diner pancake and fry-up breakfast.  (photos soon!!)  Next on the list is the famed In-and-Out burger, cheesecake, a hot dog and of course, BBQ ribs.

But, let me get to the amazing cupcake I experienced a few days ago.  The neighbourhood where I stayed with a long time family friend has several rivaling cupcake shops.  She took me on a cupcake driving tour and in the end, I jumped out of the car outside the “American Cupcake” shop.

First of all, the shopping experience is lovely at the “American Cupcake” shop on Union Street.  A pristine all-white minimalist interior lets the colours of the cupcakes really pop out.

Everything is clearly marked and includes a selection of “classic” cupcakes (e.g. red velvet) and more creative ones (e.g. cotton candy – not pictured).

I opted for a Butterscotch cupcake.  The presentation was very cute with a fluffy pink swirl of Butterscotch flavoured icing sitting pretty on the cake base.

After opening the cute box packaging the aroma engulfed my face, sweet to the point of being almost sickening. Almost.

A few of what were presumably butterscotch flavoured chips decorated the icing.  I say presumably because they were tiny, and when I tried tasting them individually I couldn’t be sure whether they were butterscotch or something closer to salted caramel.  In any case, they were more of a decoration and texture thing than anything else.

In the past, I have been used to icing having a somewhat harder, more viscous texture.  In the case of this cupcake, the icing was closer to whipped cream: very light, fluffy and full of very sweet flavour.

However, the sweetness was balanced out by the cake section.  When I sampled a piece of the cake alone, I was taken aback by the rich, toffee-like stickiness of it despite not being overly sweet in itself.

To summarise, it was dense and intense.  Every other cupcake I’d ever eaten up to this point crumbled apart more easily due to a drier texture.

Combined, the cake and icing was a hedonistic triumph.  As you chew the cake clumps together with the icing like a piece of toffee.  My last note I scribbled before licking my fingers clean was “omg so good”.

Bakker x

Waterfalls and Mouth-watering Food

On Saturday I had the good fortune of going hiking with a group of friends who had organized everything: a trail passing three mini-waterfalls from the same source (the Ng Tung Chai waterfalls.)

We discovered some very exotic animals on the way… can’t help thinking all animals are technically food after watching Bear Grylls on Discovery Channel.

Even though there was a landslide block part of the hike’s circular trail, we managed to traverse the fallen rocks quite easily (it was exciting, to say the least!-but too intense to stop and take photos).

By the time the hike was over, we were all very hungry and had a short brainstorm on where to go next for lunch.  One taxi ride later and we were in Sai Kung, walking the pierside avenue bustling with local Hong Kongers and their dogs.  Apparently this is where owners congregate to show off their well-groomed pooches.

We finally settled on one of the many seafood restaurants facing the water, each boasting huge impressive tanks in a majestic Chinese display of competition.  All the animals were alive and fascinating to observe.

What was even more fascinating, at least for Bakker’s Bites, however, was when they weren’t alive anymore.  Our lunch was phenomenal with some killer deep-fried calamari, Chinese soyfish and a garlic-glass noodle scallop delight.

Served with sweet chili sauce to boot!

The calamari werefried in a thin, crispy batter.  It made me sad to think how many calamari vendors in the world put on huge, soggy and tasteless batters to mask thin strips of calamari.  At this restaurant, the meat was the main attraction, and the fried encasing the cherry on the top.

Luckily we had a talented fish disassembler in our group who separated the meat from the bone for the rest of us.  The rest of that fish was spent eating in silence: a nice, traditional chives and garlic fish.

I was too excited to snap a photo for the delicious scallop, but there is some video footage I need to review of me eating it up.  Then I’ll decide whether or not I will embarrass myself by sharing that hilarious lack of table of manners with you.

Dessert

If you can, I totally recommend spending a day like we did before it gets too hot… bring your dog if you have one!

Bakker x