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홍콩의 창의적 중심지

Month

July 2015

The Modern-Day Apothecary and His Apprentice

Text: C.Martin “Oh, I made these myself with some baking soda and some volcanic ash, among other ingredients.” He waved his hand at the wooden shelf holding white tubes of basic toothpaste.

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The owner of Home ∙ Works gently nudged his “apprentice”, his friend’s niece, to bring me the tube of toothpaste with “Taste Me” on it. I was slightly hesitant at first, but I decided to give it a try. As I smeared some of the matte grey toothpaste onto my finger and put some of it onto my tongue, I was surprised to taste the tang of tangerines on my taste buds. The tingling icy sensation that was left on my tongue felt very interesting, especially as it was summer and anything cooling felt nice. Home Works 04

Edmund Ip founded Home ∙ Works with the hope of creating a lifestyle shop that promoted a balanced lifestyle between work and living. On the walls across from the wooden shelves hung designer clocks, and quotes asserting a balanced lifestyle were sprawled on the walls. Home Works 05

The light-hearted quotes (such as “Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date” and “Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open”) added to the interesting vibe I felt when walking into the store, almost as if entering an enchanted exhibition room in Harry Potter style.

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As I turned to the bottles of body and hair wash on the next shelf, he remarked that those were favorites of the workers at PMQ, as they could take them immediately to the showers. The bamboo scrubs in the glass jar seemed to be a pretty nice match for the body wash, but I think those would have been too comfortable to use at PMQ. Home Works 08

Surprisingly, both Edmund and his “apprentice” were quite familiar with organic chemistry, which formed the basis for many of his organic concoctions. We had a comical discussion about the chemical structure of the soap in his store. His “apprentice” had just finished her DSE exams, so the formulas and facts were still fresh in her mind, but Edmund had already seemed to have consolidated this knowledge.

Home Works 09             Home Works 10

“A bit of organic knowledge comes in handy when creating these products. My deodorant, for example, is made of ingredients like baking soda which kills germs, eliminating the cause of the odor”, said Edmund. “Other natural ingredients, like witch hazel extract, reduce the size of the pores in your skin rather than closing them as opposed to commercial deodorant.” I was intrigued by the deodorant, especially its “witch hazel” component, so I decided to give the deodorant a try by sniffing at it a bit. There was a lemony citrus taste to it which I found quite natural and refreshing. Entering into Home ∙ Works almost seemed like opening the doors of a wardrobe and ending up in a far-off place in a different time. It almost seemed like there was some subtle magic at work here. Perhaps Home ∙ Works belonged to a different time.

Shop Name: Home ∙ Works

Shop Location: Unit 506, 5/f, Staunton, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, Hong Kong

Opening Hours: 1:00pm – 8:00pm

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Summer Refreshments Designed for your Hot Summer

Text: C.Martin

There’s nothing better than some cool summer refreshments on a hot summer afternoon. And to my surprise, I think I may just have found my summer refreshment paradise in PMQ, a creative designer’s hub located along Hollywood Road in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Central.

Shaved Ice from the Sea of Japan

Strolling on the first floor, I came across the Okinawa Churaumi Beach House that makes authentic Japanese shaved ice.

The shop itself was decorated in typical Okinawan style, with a tatami on the floor for customers to sit down and savour their shaved ice .

Okinawan Beach house

To upkeep the authentic flavor of the shaved ice, nearly all the ingredients are flown in from Japan, including the water used to make the shaved ice. The ice machine itself is the latest state-of-the-art creation from Japan.

There are an assortment of tastes to choose from, ranging from summer fruits like pineapple, mango and strawberry to Japanese specialties like black sugar, Uji matcha and sea salt.

Shaved Ice

By a tip from the shopkeeper, I decided to try the caramel flavour. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the taste.

The blend of almond with the caramel sauce was a match made in heaven. The rich caramel sauce was complemented by the sprinkle of almonds to create a creamy, nutty sensation that left me craving for more. Utterly delicious.

The Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Machine

The Ice Cream Machine

You can hear it before you can see it, smell it and…taste it melting on your tongue. Yes, it’s the delightful old-fashioned tinkering of the ice cream cart outside Tai Lung Fung playing the tune of the Blue Danube.

While the tune may evoke childhood memories to many Hong Kongers, this ice cream cart is quite different from the ones that can be found along the streets of Hong Kong. For one, this ice cream cart produces an old-fashioned gelato-like ice cream.

Old-Fashioned Ice Cream

The ice cream came in five distinct flavours – mango, honeyed-milk, durian, chocolate and blueberry. I found the chocolate ice-cream doubly rich and very delightful. Its texture was quite different from other types of ice-cream. It was stickier, and with a slight after-taste that was reminiscent of a different Hong Kong.

Luscious Homemade Cookies, Cakes and Ice Cream Galore

Alice Wild

A flurry of cakes, cookies and ice cream awaited me at Alice Wild Luscious.

Alice Wild's Cookies

The homemade cookies resided in cozily designed tin boxes. The shopkeeper said that they were freshly baked each day in the morning, just like all the other cakes.

Alice Wild's Cakes

The Champagne Serradura was specially designed by the owner himself, adding in a touch of champagne to the traditional pudding.

Ice Cream from Alice Wild

An array of specially flavoured ice cream lay just within arm’s reach, including pistachio, honey yoghurt, rocky road, milk tea, and even tofu.

The taste of the tofu ice cream lingered in my tongue, a sweet and fulfilling layer of tofu goodness.

 

Refreshing Summer Drinks at Phoenix Sweets

Rainbow jelly

And what could go better with the hot summer than some cool, refreshing summer drinks! I was in for a treat when I realized what Phoenix Sweets had in store for the summer.

They had prepared a summer mocktail – a Pabana mixed with passion fruit, banana, mango and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Also served is a pink mojito in a mug-sized glass bottle. And to keep it all cool, both drinks are served with 100% fruit puree ice cubes to preserve the flavour.

Cupcakes

In addition to drinks, there are also an assortment of freshly baked cupcakes whipped with fruity buttercream. And if that’s not to your taste, there’s also a delicious fruit jelly to choose from with all the colours of the rainbow!

Trying out all these refreshments at different corners in this creative hub has led me to realize something. It appeared that not only fashion products and items are designed at PMQ; here, even summer refreshments are designed to top the icing to your hot summer.

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