Sunday, 29 July 2012

Homework Sunday...

Doing assignment on Sunday is clearly not my idea of fun. And the fact that everyone else is watching the Olympic Games isn't exactly comforting. But what can I do, when it's less than a month away from the deadline? Sigh...

I love this mushroom tea which I bought yesterday. This little Jizou has a gentle but really infectious smile, doesn't it? :) Take it easy, he seems to say. He reminds me of the importance of being mindful despite the rise in cortisol level. Thanks, pal!

New tea reviews only after I'm done with the assignments. Wish me luck and see ya!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

teakha Before What It Is

Lined with some of the coolest shops in town, Tung Street + Tai Ping Shan Street is my favourite neighbourhood in HK next to Star Street Precinct. Though its location is rather inconvenient, the cheap and chic tableware at Loveramics gives me the reason to drop by every now and then. The opening of teakha earlier this year has provided me with yet another incentive to travel all the way to this secluded spot in Sheung Wan. With its range of homemade baked goods and specialty teas, this quaint little cafe plus zakka store has received rave reviews from local tea lovers. 

teakha may be one of the newest members to the locality but it's hardly new in the foodie community. It was actually born more than a year ago, in Ship Street, in the form of a pop-up stall. :)

I adore pop-up retail. It's about surprise, experiment, fun, and exclusivity - what's not to love? ;) Unlike many designer pop-up stores that use limited edition goods to stir up competitions among customers and gain media attention, teakha - at least to me - was a low-profile stall about sharing and peace. Without massive promotions, it attracted a small crowd in the know that was truly enthusiastic about food and tea. The atmosphere was casual and laid-back, perfect for chit-chat or serious discussion about food among customers, or with the friendly stall owner Nana

Nana was responsible for everything at teakha - from brewing specialty teas to answering questions from customers intrigued by her project. I had been following Nana's blog for some time before visiting teakha (and finding out that Nana is actually my friend Eric's friend!). She impressed me as someone who was  artistic, adventurous, and passionate about cooking. And when I finally got to visit teakha, every bit of teakha - whether it's the beautiful piece of cloth that lined the box of scones, the experimental menu featuring original recipes with an Asian touch, or its pop-up nature - told me that my impression was probably right. ;)

The simple menu

Tea in brewing. Love this hammered copper pot! :) 

In Eric's hands: milk teas flavoured with red dates + honey and brown sugar + ginger honey respectively. Full-bodied, creamy, nectarous and hot, they made perfect beverages for a chilly winter afternoon. :9

Buttery homemade scones by Nana! They had a unique chewy texture that was surprisingly likeable. It would be even nicer if they were served warm, but of course we wouldn't complain given it's only a pop-up stall! 

I feel happy for Nana that she has finally found a permanent home for teakha. I loved it when it was a tea stall. I gather that its delicious food, delectable tea, and other-worldly charm, have been preserved in its new home. Better yet, the menu has been expanded and now you can sit down to while away the afternoon with your favourite cake and tea. I am so going to visit teakha in the near future! Anyone going with me? ;)

teakha (website)
Shop B, 18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Opening hours: 11:00am-6:00pm (Wed - Fri), 12:00pm-7pm (Sat & Sun)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Afternoon tea @ The Parlour, Hullett House

This review is more or less a piece of 倉底貨 because it was about my visit to The Parlour 3 years ago. From its position in the warehouse you can already tell how enthusiastic I was about the tea set. When I dropped by Hullett House last weekend, I was quite surprised to know that the same tea set was still being served at The Parlour.

But maybe there really is no need for them to do anything about the tea set. Given the popularity of Heritage 1881 among tourists from Mainland China, I don't think they have to worry about their business at all. 

Indeed, everyone who walk past the Parlour will fall in love with this alluring place instantly - you've got to admit that "east meets west" and "modern meets antique" are foolproof interior design formulae. 


Even the menu shares the exotic oriental charm... 

Finally, the tea set - clotted cream and homemade jam, scones, allegedly "delicate cakes and sinful pastries"

Selection of finger sandwiches

You may think I am going to write long paragraphs to bitch about the tea set. But I am not, because it wasn't worth my time - we had already wasted money on it! Most of the food was bland, some didn't taste quite right, and there's not even a single item that we enjoyed. Somehow I hope the food was appalling rather than plain bad, for I would have more to write about now... 

Ambience: A
Service: B+
Food: C
Overall remarks: The Parlour is sadly another glamorous restaurant that has little substance. The fact that we have never considered revisiting it for tea says it all. Not recommended.

The Parlour (website)
Hullett House, 2A Canton Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Afternoon tea: 2:30-5:30pm
$238 per person, $398 per 2 persons