Tag Archives: chocolate

BBITES Mini-Post #9 x snack time @ Genie

Page_1 copyHappy Easter!

Went to IFC the other day and stopped by Genie Juicery for the first time. I was following a friend who goes regularly, and decided to pick up a juice and snack as well.

Page_2 copyOf course, I’d heard of Genie before; one of the founders (Cara G. McIlroy) is a fellow model in Hong Kong – and their PR machine is quite effective. The prices (each bottle costs around $70) are a far cry from the fresh orange juice I pick up from local vendors in my neighbourhood ($12), but it’s not for no reason: the recipes are complex and everything is cold-pressed.

Among the many juices on display was the Life Blood juice, a “blood cleansing uplifter“. Sounded like exactly what I needed, since I’d had alcohol the night before.ababThe juice was delicious from the first sip with a consistency somewhere between water and a smoothie. The recipe was well-balanced: wholesome beetroot; apple and carrot, which always go well together; and lemon – the perfect citrus touch to round things up.

Page_2To pair with the juice, I also picked up a Pana Chocolate wild fig and orange bar. This brand makes chocolate by hand with no heat – and the result is an intense cocoa flavour, and an incredibly velvety, truffle-like texture. You have to keep these refrigerated as they melt once you start handling them, but that shouldn’t be a problem since I finished mine in under a minute. I eat orange-infused chocolates often, and this one was really great.

While I may not be ready for a 6-day cleanse just yet, I was certainly very pleased with my first taste of what Genie has to offer…

Bakker x

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Welcome to the Circus!

Burger Circus is located at 22 Hollywood Rd.

If you’re a Central dweller or LKF crawler, you’re sure to have already walked past – and peeked into – Burger Circus.
Isn’t it cute?!?! In the style of a classic American diner, Burger Circus serves exactly what you’d expect: burgers, milkshakes and fries.
3There’s fun details everywhere, from the menu holders to the staff’s old-school aprons and hats. Guests can choose between booth seating, or a spot at the bar.
4My friend and I ended up at the bar, and started with two shakes while waiting for our burgers.

The service is friendly and quick, so we didn’t wait for long. But long enough to both agree that the shakes were really good. There’s also some alcoholic milkshakes on the menu, but I’ll have to try that next time…

Topped with whipped cream and maraschino cherries, they were scrumptious and creamy 🙂
5The burgers, as you can see, are served in little paper boxes. I would advise to eat the burger using the box as a holder, because they are dripping with fabulous grease. Also, the bread is very fluffy and the whole thing is huge and quite difficult to eat by biting into it (without displacing your jaw, I mean).6Of course, to get the right photos, I took mine out of the box. Conclusion? –> Burger Circus is probably not the best place for a first date, unless you’re prepared to get really messy and have bits of food dangling out of your mouth 😀

7The menu has quite a few options, including chicken, and tuna burgers. I went for the Whole Show burger: beef patty, fried egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled beetroot and spicy mayonnaise.

It took a few bites to get into the spicy mayo in the middle, but boy was it worth the wait! A great combination in my opinion and, as a huge fan of beetroot, it was refreshing to see the underrated veggie make an appearance.

Overall the burger was really satisfying and hit the spot. Definitely a fan of the generous amounts of melted cheese oozing out of the bun. YUM.

Compared to a burger (similar price) I tried at Wan Chai’s Butcher Club a couple months ago, I felt like this one was better. And the awesome décor is just the cherry on the top!8On the other hand, while the sauce on the Circus Fries was very tasty (onion, cheese, and “circus sauce” reminiscent of “animal style” sauce from In-N-Out), I thought the fries weren’t thin or crispy enough to really blow us away.

After dinner, someone told me I should have tried the onion rings, which are great apparently – so now I’m living in regret.
9The whole experience was fun and fast – just like a simple burger joint should be. The convenience of the location, the irresistible design and feel-good burgers will have me back. Oh yeah, and it’s open till midnight EVERY DAY.

Bakker x

p.s. UPDATE (19/02/15) remember my post on the HK Beer Company? Well, Burger Circus stocks 4 of their drafts – so if you’re in Central and want to kill two birds with one stone, check them out! 🙂

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Bakker’s Bites – 4th Birthday!

1HAPPY 4th BIRTHDAY to Bakker’s Bites! Four years have flown by, and we’re back with our annual bday celebration post 🙂

This year I enlisted the creative genius of one of my best friends, and I’m sure you’ll love the outcome as much as I do! ❤
As always, the bday images will be used for the blog header, and social media graphics for the next year.

But first, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane:
2Before showing you Janine’s creations in all their glory, here are links to the previous bday posts:

1st Birthday Shoot post and album
2nd Birthday Shoot post and album
3rd Birthday Illustrations post and album 3

You may recognise Janine from BBITES’ 2nd bday shoot. She’s a talented baker, and when she brought an amazing cake to Locofama’s anniversary I knew she would be the perfect person to collaborate with for birthday number four.4Janine used a variety of tools to shape and sculpt the amazing edible artworks. Even though they look super real, don’t forget: all of the images you’re about to see are made of fondant (icing), and chocolate cake. Incredible!!!

Please enjoy the final images for BBITES 4th Birthday… *drum roll*


23Thank you so much to Janine for her wonderful work. Should you wish to reach her to commission any cakes, please use this email:

janineclaase @ yahoo.com

Let’s keep biting all the way till next year!

Bakker x

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BBITES: Reader’s Digest

11111It’s almost half-way through the year, and as always things are changing in my world of BBITES. I’m happy to share with you that I’m a fully-fledged writer now, not only for my blog, but for publications in Hong Kong, as well 🙂

For one, I’ve been contributing to magazines for food writing; a few months ago I posted my travel x food story on Japan which was published in Crave Magazine and even more has happened since then. So, I’ve put together a little “Reader’s Digest” of my restaurant and bar reviews that have been published for Time Out HK in case you’d like to see what I’ve been up to:

ONLINE Food Stories:
Interview with Chef Daniel Humm

Which leads me to another great thing about writing – you get to experience a lot of new things!! Case in point: a Time Out story I wrote on the Dirty Dancing Musical (read it: here) turned into a BBITES opportunity!

After seeing the coverage, Black n White Desserts got in touch with me because they’d actually created not only a chocolate sculpture for the show (on display in the HK Cultural Centre) but also a special Dirty Dancing Dark 72% Mousse Cake ($40), which they asked me to try… How could I say no?!?! 🙂Page_2With 4 layers of alternating chocolate mousse and sponge cake, it was a rich delight. At first I was hesitant to dig in because it was so pretty, but in the end the cute white chocolate swirl was too hard to resist!

Its shape and colour are inspired by the famous “lift” moment in the film, but as Black n White told me, they opted for a baby pink colour (instead of hot pink) to avoid using too much artificial colouring.

I also tried their signature hot chocolate in the white chocolate version! It’s a D.I.Y. version using milk and a laced dome of chocolate that you drop inside… Check it out – and the Black n White sculpture – on my facebook page by clicking the pics below ❤

Bakker x

AVA: The Making of a Meal

1Themed menus are a common feature of many restaurants. Often, they are put together for a particular holiday, like Christmas or New Year’s Eve, but for some – like AVA – every month itself deserves a celebration of food.redooo

I was recently invited for a tasting of the April Menu at AVA Restaurant Slash Bar, the resident eatery of the upper floors of aptly-named Hotel Panorama in TST.

I took the opportunity to try and learn a little bit more on how everything comes together… (in addition to stuffing my face 😛 !)
3As evidence from the irresistibly cute graphic art on the menu, April 2013’s theme for their monthly set menu is seafood.

Although à la carte items are available throughout the year, the monthly themes are a lot more fun, in my opinion. For example, last month’s theme was Spring, and featured flowers in the dishes (check it out: here on OpenRice).

4Named From The Sea, the April menu begins with a Hot & Cold Seafood Platter.

“Cold” Seafood Platter: When the platter arrived I knew that it was time to get my hands dirty! I got to work immediately on the gigantic crab legs, each filled with an absurdly wonderful amount of fresh and succulent meat. It was truly impressive – and delicious. The oysters were equally fresh and I ate them with vinegar and eschallots…5As I later learned, the crab was actually a Snow Crab, imported from Alaska – which explains the hugeness of it all: Snow Crabs are horrifically large (and tasty) crustaceans that grow in the extremely cold waters of the Atlantic Sea. 6Next, the second part of starters arrived…

“Hot” Seafood Platter: The hot version transformed the oysters into baked, cheese gratin oysters; the crab into crab cakes; and added chili for the prawns. My favourite was the Baked Oyster because I wasn’t expecting to like it, since I’m used to raw oysters… But despite my apprehensions, it was creamy and flavourful. The cheese helped balance the intense seafood flavour that oysters give off when cooked, resulting in a very pleasant bite.

Bouillabaisse Soup: Served on an extremely hot plate (as soups should always be!), the soup was more on the plain side, letting the bouillabaisse flavour do all the work. It contained some shellfish and prawn goodies, including light and bouncy scallops. Chef Massimo explained that he didn’t include the traditional rouille sauce (a kind of spiced-mayonnaise) and toast with the soup to keep things minimal and pure for the texture.

For the menu, guests can choose between Squid Ink Risotto, Cod or Lobster Spaghetti for the main course. Since I was on a tasting mission, I was able to try the latter two in half portions. While eating, Chef Massimo joined me and I grilled his brain (pun intended :P) about his culinary background and the menu…

Chef Massimo Santovito comes from a South Eastern area in Italy that is rich in seafood all year long – and especially in Spring and Summer. His cooking style draws from this heritage, and explains the inclusion of so many classic seafood items like lobster, crab, cod and mussels in the menu.

Simplicity is sometimes the best approach, he explained, citing the example of Squid Ink: a strong yet delicate ingredient, there is a tendency to overuse it in order to achieve the dark color, even though only very little is needed to create the right balance.

This was the same method he used for the last of the main courses: the Lobster Spaghetti. As far as myself? I couldn’t stop staring at the huge claw on my plate…8
Lobster Spaghetti: Since the pasta (called “Chitarra” pasta, like the strings of a guitar) is made in-house at AVA’s kitchen, it had a real artisan texture and flavour to it. Combined with a light tomato sauce, the Marsala wine used in cooking really shone through and added strength to the flavour.

Following AVA’s popular Rose Water and Raspberry Table-side Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream dessert (a mouthful, I know!), I was lucky enough to witness the first-ever presentation of the new kid on the block: the “Oops” dessert.

Drawing inspiration from Chicago’s Chocolate Bomb, the “Oops” begins with a plastic sheet being laid out on the table. Then, streaks of different sauces are poured before the big surprise. Check it out in the video below…

After “Oops” was finished, I could hardly move being so full, but mustered up the energy to take a peek inside the beautiful kitchen…10Although it completely makes sense, considering the hotel’s location, it was still surprising to find that the restaurant kitchen also had huge windows to give the kitchen crew views across the harbour. Talk about some lucky chefs!11Being in a real, working kitchen is such a great experience! It’s a moment where you can witness the organised chaos behind the calm.12It was good fun learning more about Chef Massimo and his creative process in constructing this themed menu. Then – of course – even more fun eating it and having the chance to be the first person to experience the new “Oops” dessert. But as far as the concept behind the menu? There’s no mistakes there… 🙂

Bakker x

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

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 !!