Sunday, 28 April 2013

法國大革命


全世界的人口都因為各種原因不停流動,有人要離開香港,有人要重返/到香港探索。移民方案多羅羅,最緊要適合自己荷包同需要。有人遲官歸故里,有人漏夜趕科場。到香港掘金的法國人只是冰山一角,最好多些歐洲移民為香港帶來正宗美食,隨時滿足大家的口褔。文章尾段有關Economic Refugee的評論好mean但又好真實。

http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/food-wine/article/1222959/french-revolution

A French revolution

A steady stream of arrivals is giving the city's cultural melting pot a distinct Gallic flavor
In an alley in Sheung Wan, an area often better known for its dried seafood shops, the smell of freshly baked baguettes now sometimes obscures the familiar odour of salted fish. Where young professionals used to stand around downing pints after work, there are now people seated with glasses of wine and cheese platters. The street sounds are also different: mothers pushing strollers, residents running errands and shopkeepers greeting one another in their mother tongue - French.
A certain je ne sais quoi has emerged across the city from Stanley to Shek O, but perhaps most obviously in Sheung Wan, which some French residents have likened to parts of Paris. That's not as surprising as it seems; the French consulate estimates the number of its nationals in Hong Kong at 15,000 - the largest French community in Asia and a 60 per cent increase over the past decade.
This recent influx, drawn by the region's lively economy, has added a more cosmopolitan flavour to Hong Kong's cultural melting pot. The expatriate influence on the bread of city life, previously dominated by English speakers, is being increasingly leavened by Gallic savoir faire.
For the French community, swelling to critical mass has its advantages. New publications have surfaced, including Hong Kong Madame, an online lifestyle magazine. French toiletries and cleaning products are beginning to appear on supermarket shelves, to the relief of many families. Specialist online stores and neighbourhood shops such as Home Flavour and Monsieur Chatte have also sprouted up, offering bargains on items from wine to pâté.
It's a sea change from before, when imports were so expensive and "eating a good French chicken was like eating caviar", says Catya Martin, founder and editor of Trait d'Union, the only print magazine serving the community in Hong Kong and the mainland.
Marie Ranc, a restaurateur, agrees: "More and more you feel at home. We can live in Hong Kong the way we used to live in France and at affordable prices."
The population boom has brought some headaches, too. For the first time, the French International School had to introduce a waiting list for enrolment to its secondary campus on Blue Pool Road. Its student population, 90 per cent of whom are French nationals, has ballooned from 621 youngsters in 2003 to 1,637 this year.
"The school is at its physical limit," says FIS executive director Laurent de Meyere.
An extension is being built. While it's being completed, some classes are being sent to Jordan, site of one of FIS' primary campuses. Fortunately, the school has employed more teachers to maintain its cap of 25 students per class.
Families with toddlers have more options too: Martin says when she arrived with her children in 2008, there was only one French-language kindergarten; now there are five preschools totalling about 150 pupils.
In many ways, the French enjoyment of life sits at odds with high stress, mile-a-minute Hong Kong. And that is part of the appeal of their ventures, says Ranc, co-founder of La Rôtisserie restaurant.
"Hong Kong people love food, but if you go to a dim sum place, for example, everyone is on their phones. That's not the way we enjoy food," she says. "I think that whenever locals go to real French places they should feel like they are not in Hong Kong. They shouldn't feel the stress."
Martin agrees: "We know how to eat; we know how to behave - the food and the wine, the way of life, taking your time, having time for a lunch during the weekdays. That's typically French, and that's something new for Hong Kong,"
Younger entrepreneurs are bringing genuine diversity to the city's French dining choices, which was previously focused on high-end restaurants with plenty of snob appeal. In Sheung Wan, epicentre of the new French wave, there's La Cantoche, a casual canteen offering hefty portions of no-frills French home cooking.
Just down the road, Ranc and her partners at La Rôtisserie serve roasted chicken (imported from France, of course) with simple side dishes along with a small selection of quiches and pastries.
Many of their customers are Chinese, but with the significant French community these days, Ranc reckons: "We could have even opened the shop without speaking English."
There are so many French residents in the area, bartender Rob Cabacungan says many of his colleagues are adjusting to the culture to serve their customers better. "I know a lot of people who are trying to learn French now," he says.
Many snooty wine lounges of yesteryear have been supplanted by laid-back establishments serving unfussy but well-chosen French wines with casual foods such as country-style terrines or cheese platters.
Le Tambour, a neighbourhood hangout opened by wine importer Samuel Weil, is among the most popular. The bar would not seem out of place in Paris, but Weil says that's not by design.
"There is no real concept, and maybe that's what people like ... I love going out in Hong Kong, but I don't really like how every place is a marketing concept: the Argentinian place, the Italian place, the French place. I just wanted to open the kind of place I used to like when I was a customer in Paris."
At nearby La Cabane, general manager Alban de Grully has a similar vision. "What I do is not just for the French. It's just a way to express what we do best, and what I know best is French culture," he says. "I don't know how to sell dim sum, but I know how to sell cheese and wine, and people seem to like it."
If the turnout is anything to go by, de Grully has got it right: the wine bistro has patrons spilling out onto Hollywood Road every evening.
Handbag designer Michelle Lai Zee-kai, who grew up in Hong Kong, enjoys the new French vibe around Sheung Wan. "There are a lot more galleries, boutiques and concept stores," she says. "It's a really cool place to be right now."
French influence is being felt in almost every aspect of Hong Kong culture. Les Boules, a basement bar in Shek Tong Tsui dedicated to French-style lawn bowling, has become a surprise hit with Hongkongers looking for an alternative night out. Le French May, the annual festival starting next month, has grown to a three-month celebration of Gallic culture in areas from theatre and dance to visual art and popular music.
Emilie Guillot, artistic director of the Hong Kong Theatre Association, has been doing her part to bring the French theatrical tradition to Hong Kong. She started by putting on cafe-style theatre in the early 2000s. As the audience expanded in recent years, she began staging not only well-known French plays but also original productions.
There is talk recently that the city's French wave is starting to recede and the population is beginning to plateau. But consulate officials reckon the numbers will most likely resurge. Culturally, the city's French love affair may only just be starting.
Says Clémence Trancart, a founder of Hong Kong Madame : "It's funny because in Hong Kong people are all talking about France, but back in France, everybody is talking about Asia. There are a lot of articles about French entrepreneurs finding success in Asia ... You can really enjoy your life here."

Comments

curio
Living in Sheung Wan, I come across many obnoxious French who think they are still superior than everyone else. Dont' they realize they are just economic refugees here?
nicolas.laignelet@gmail.com
I agree with the obnoxious part, definitely some of us are (maybe most ?!) but compared to other white people it's not too bad, I have found more French learning Cantonese than any other group of white people. One more thing, the French here are definitely not economic refugees, they are all part of the French upper class (which maybe explains their attitude ?), you need skills and money to open a business here or work for the financial industry which is what most do. They could not get a visa to do manual labor so you can be sure they are skilled migrants
!

Saturday, 27 April 2013

小紅 Melissa

昨日見天氣陰晴不定
出門口時有小小太陽
好啦!俾對小紅出街曬曬太陽
誰會估到
半路中途
落雹落雨
氣溫急降
雙腳露出的那團肉全變冰冷
涷得紅了一達達
結論是小紅是對極舒服的雨天良伴,但只適宜在炎熱天氣的地方穿著。

Friday, 26 April 2013

粉紅小姐Le Creuset 25 cm oval casserole

一直說不會買這個重得不合理的鍋, 因為雙手在冬天會很不聽話,只要有天忘記帶手套被冷風吹到就會痛上好幾天,所以知道自己跟本無本事去擁有它,縱使更漂亮的東西,買了之後用不上我不會花錢。(金牛座都是實際一族)!
不過never say never. 前幾天到了Freeport Outlet,我最終也買了一隻25 cm oval 的粉紅小姐。好了,現在我在想應該怎樣保養,想煮白酒青口,怎樣做到煲仔飯?我心裏有十萬個問題。。

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

口紅。Etude House還是CHANEL?


有一天在翻雜誌,看到廣告右邊的嫩紅色Dear My Jelly Lip Talk就有一直很想要。我用口紅的速度是龜速。快用完的CHANEL是我唯一的一枝口紅,也用了一年以上,可能在這邊扮靚的機會太少吧。看到令人心動的Etude House,二話不說的上EBAY尋寶。天呀!價錢也太便宜,才六鎊多一枝,又不用飛去韓國,又不用在旺角店前排隊食塵,所以立即買了兩枝。太開心,質量比想像中好,特別是無心買的Dear My Essence in Lip Talk. 滋潤度超高,顏色飽滿,跟本就和CHANEL那枝沒兩樣。






重點是,一枝CHANEL Rouge Coco等於四枝Etude House啊!這回我不要當貴婦了!



Monday, 22 April 2013

春天真的來了

好明顯,今年的春天終於來了。

雖比去年遲了三個星期,但越是要等待的應該是越令人期待吧。

過去的星期六,花兒盛放,天藍和暖,大家都在嘆一口氣,好不容易才挨過漫長的冬天,

請不要又像慣常的天氣,只給我們一日夏天,明日又變起臉來。

食在羅馬


在歐洲真的沒可能每天上館子吃飯,會破產!所以在家吃媽媽住家菜一定少不了。

奶奶知道我特別喜歡吃雅支竹(Artichoke), 每逢當日午餐在家吃也會在餐桌上見到。還有招牌
丸, 海鮮湯。

在英國,我的敵人是奶類製品,在意大利就是很過份重手的橄欖油和煎炸食物。明顯地,頭兩天吃得特別起勁,之後食量會一天比一天少,不到一星期後,只可以盡情吃一餐,其餘兩餐只能淺嚐,有心無力了~


羅馬市中心景點附近的餐廳都是做遊客生意,本地人大多駕車,晚餐都會選偏離市中心的餐廳,但價錢也不是特別便宜,每人連酒水要大概30-40歐羅一位,只是食物質素會較好。意大利習慣很晚才吃晚餐。八點算是早,所以大多數餐廳只能做一輪生意,唔收番30﹣40歐一位生意會很難做。吃西西里食物的那晚,我點了海鮮沙律和蜆肉鮮牛肝菌螺絲粉。

我們從9點吃到12點多,雖然巳經過了午夜,我們也不是最後離開的客人。


你會問,9點才開飯不會餓嗎?所以本地人大概7點會先吃Aperitivo。喝點酒加小食。在市中心可以到Gusto Wine Bar (10 Euro 1 drink + mini buffet! ) http://www.gusto.it, 他家的晚餐 (Gusto Pizzeria) 也不錯。

左圖是Gusto的Aperitivo,其實都是熱氣食物或是mini pizza,但氣氛卻是一流

咁食法,邊會唔肥? 

仲未完,都未講到甜點。剛過了復活節,點少得復活蛋和復活節蛋糕? 

還有各款四季常在的mini size西餅仔。


最後還有重頭戲gelato,GROM的Gelato真的比其他旅遊書上介紹的好吃幾倍。又吃了三次! 


如是者,一星期之後我倆要捧住個肚番英國! 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Spring in Rome


什麼叫做春天? 好天氣,花開滿落,遊人四處。

好不熱鬧的梵蒂岡,新教宗方濟要出來發星期天禱文,剛好要到那邊買點東西。廣場擠滿人,看不到站在窗前的教宗,但我們的耳朵清晰的聽到他每一句話。

最後一句他說:祝大家有個美好的星期天」


Wednesday, 17 April 2013

毫無壓力的壓力煲



我的第一個壓力煲是奶奶十年前送給我的
當時我對下廚毫無興趣,又害怕安全問題,草草的用了一次便打入了冷宮
經常煲湯的我們,有段時間一直用真空煲,但搬屋後有幾次如常的把湯加熱後,到傍晚再拿湯出來加熱時便發覺湯巳變酸,
不知是不是新屋太暖,還是爛了?
自此之後,又把真空煲打了入冷宮
有日不知那條神經發作,突然想起我不是還有一個壓力煲嗎? 就這樣,
我開始踏上了不歸路
二月份奶奶來我們家住上一個月,每天在看我用壓力煲“表演”。我真的很誇,連意粉都用壓力煲來煮,一樣煮到有Al Dente效果。煮薯仔,蕃薯,紅豆綠豆沙,煲粥,煲湯,端午節煮糉更少不了用上壓力煲...
最近開始覺得煲蓋把手有點鬆,膠邊也有點殘舊,本打算在Amazon買個新的Fissler,
怎知奶奶在意大利巳買了兩個等我帶回英國家了


一大一小的Barazzoni (應該香港沒有這牌子!)
今天安全到埗
Welcome Home!! 

美白大作戰

我沒有忘記我的小天地
外遊了一星期
回家即收到我期待巳久的韓國護膚品牌﹣﹣后(This History of Whoo)
我買的是美白系列--拱辰享:雪內的whitening serum和whitening intensive
香港朋友都說G Market價錢最抵
但那邊賣家和產品十分多樣化
韓文又太多,我沒耐性去淘,郵費到英國也不便宜,
所以就直接在英國和美國的Ebay買好了(貨物都是由韓國直寄的!)
價錢會比G Market貴但幾乎每家商店都是免郵!
本來不打算公開賣家資料,但美國Ebay賣家(forthefairestsophia實在太可愛了
不但送我八小枝雪花秀樣版,更送上自家做的頭帶(沒有上鏡!)
老實說,我是第一次在Ebay遇到那樣窩心的賣家
用過好之後會再上來分享



前陣子拿到L'OCCITANE的Immortelle Brightening Moisture Cream 7天試用樣本
我皮膚實在太乾,用後覺得不夠保濕,搽完這個Cream後要再補上另一面霜才夠滋潤。


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