The Coffee Academics @ Wan Chai, Hong KongAugust 9, 2015 | 1,003 views
Babycino (HKD40/MYR20) – Frothy steamed milk (caffeine-free) with chocolate flakes, powder and bobbing pieces of marshmallows.
Two weeks in Hong Kong. My second weekend here, and things started to become more familiar, adjusted myself to the not-so-subtle manner of the locals speaking their mind (not a bad thing, really), the luxury of individual space is almost non-existent; bumping into a stranger seems unavoidable but yet not frowned upon unless you’re going at a breakneck speed and the size of a truck, eating between proper meal hours is entirely acceptable, and ordering from the highly extensive menu (let’s not talk about ala carte, the sets alone would make your eyes wander and the pressure to cope with the high human traffic ain’t helping either).
I cannot say that I do not miss the casual roti canai, vadai and frothy teh Tarik for breakfast. Nor do I not miss the punchy curry noodles on a weekend in Ipoh. But Hong Kong is no doubt a foodie haven (one fact that I have no issue vouching or verifying; from the previous almost annual visits!), mixing a plethora of cuisines within the same neighbourhood; Wan Chai in particular has been one of my preferred spot to hunt for grubs.
The Coffee Academics looks just like any other hipster cafes in Malaysia; and they do take their coffee seriously (read their About Us page for more information); complete with a large space dedicated to roasting their specialty coffee, and coming up with creative concoctions (some even seasonal) to keep up with the times.
Today was another sunny Sunday again, save for the tragic Typhoon Soledor that is hitting Taiwan hard; hence creating a microwave oven-like super hot and stuffy environment in the city. Please bear with me if the sharing of Hong Kong food stories seem a little bit delayed, even intermittent with prolonged period of hiatus. Let me share a few shots taken at The Coffee Academics last weekend.
Okinawa (HKD52/MYR26) – Latte with Okinawa dark brown sugar
Being a relatively open market and international city; with expatriates living on the island especially in marked areas such as Central, Sheung Wan, Admiralty and Wan Chai, the influence of international cuisines extended beyond the variety of Asian fares.
The café culture invading Malaysia and Singapore (I have written much about them, so feel free to search for café stories on this blog) has not escaped Hong Kong; despite the intrinsically more Chinese background compared to the former two (with a heavy dose of British influence – just taste the local favourite beverage of Ceylon milk tea instead of Pu-er)
As we ventured towards the quieter area of Star Street in between Admiralty and Wan Chai, and found out that some of the cafes were closed, the short stroll towards Wan Chai direction took us to The Coffee Academics; a popular chain of café with outlets in Causeway Bay, Tsim Sha Tsui, Repulse Bay and another one at The Morrison, Wan Chai. (You can find out more about the outlets’ addresses, contact numbers and business hours HERE)
Sweet Potato Chips (HKD68/MYR34) – Crispy sweet potato chips served with a scoop of vanilla gelato and drizzled with sweetened condensed milk.
I shall not dwell too deep on the details of the café experience, as this should be best left for you to explore. Either you absolutely love the environment; of darkened shades of earthy brown and grey; with a slightly tinted windows pane overlooking Johnston Road (hence the traffic and trams zooming past), or you would prefer a café with a quieter and less cramped environment away from the city.
The choice is yours, and like they say, taste is fairly subjective.
I enjoyed my cup of Okinawa a lot; the dark brown sugar lending the aromatic brew with a faint hint of sweetness (don’t worry, it’s far from cloying), and they were even thoughtful enough to provide a small cup of hot water should you have a strong aversion to sweet beverages.
Oh, the sweet potato chips was a stark contrast of warm (the chips) and cold (the gelato); and just like how some people would shamelessly indulge in McDonald’s fries with Sundae, this combination worked wonders and had me scooping the last piece of soggy chips from the bottom of the glass.
Other special desserts include pancakes, sizzling chocolate brownie and cinnamon churros and espresso gelato.
Gazing out from the windows of The Coffee Academic
So let this be the first official post of my Hong Kong food adventures. Soon, I will reactivate (or start a new) Instragram account and share more food picks on the spot rather than parking everything into an archive of weekly reviews.
Do you have any recommendations of Hong Kong MUST-EATs to share with me?
The Coffee Academics
35 – 45, Johnston Road,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Opens from 8am – 10pm Mon – Thurs, 8am – 11pm Fri, 9am – 11pm Sat, 9am – 9pm Sun.
MTR Wan Chai A3 exit, and take a 5 mins walk along Johnston Road towards the right
The Coffee Academics has several locations across Hong Kong; find them here.