July 2, 2009

Hong Kong - GrEAT Food Hall

Weekend in Hong Kong - It was raining hard and I struggled balancing my H&M, Zara and various other shopping bags and my umbrella so I decided to head for the next mall where I could have access to all stores, a Starbucks and clean restrooms. I took a chance and went to Pacific Place not knowing what kind of mall it would be. Pleasantly surprised I recognize Zara and Seibu from the corner of my eye, as well as the green striking letters of Starbucks (desperately in need of an iced tall non-fat caramel macchiato extra drizzle upside down). So I stroll around on the lookout for some lunch and follow the signs to the GrEAT Food Hall thinking this would some sort of foodcourt. But I ended up in a gourmet concept food hall. Not quite Dean&Deluca, but very nice nevertheless.

Wait?! Holy cannolli is that Orangina on display!?! I forget about my coffee and my need for a restroom. I grab one of the shopping carts and place all my shop bags in it. I head straight to the Orangina pyramid. They have the bloodorange version, the light one and of course the regular flavor. I immediately get the second to the last bottle not worrying about my limited baggage allowance. I walk around and subconsequently discover Teisseire grenadine, Bonne Maman et Le Petit Ecolier biscuits. I also want to take home French yogurts, fish soup and cheese but refrain myself from doing so.

GREAT has a wide selection of gourmet foods from all over the world. I see cheeses, charcuterie, pastries from the U.S., Japan, Italy and of course France. I spot an olive oil bar, a soup, a juice bar, a traiteur (French for gourmet take-out food) and a gelateria. I end up buying a fresh buffalo mozzarella and prosciutto sandwich and a small bag of Kettle sea salt&vinegar chips for lunch.

After raving about it to a friend the same night, she tells me that there is a imilar concept supermarket in Elements mall in Kowloon station, called ThreeSixty. I only had time to walk through it quickly the next day. The focus is clearly on healthy and natural food, but they also offer environmental-friendly household items, organic cosmetics and fair-trade product. On-the-spot dining is represented through their Burger bar, Asian gourmet bar, sandwich bar and dessert bar.

Now you might wonder why I get so excited about Hong Kong groceries that I take the time to write about it? Well, whenever I find food that reminds me of France or Germany or whatever "home" I am far away from at the moment, it gives me a warm, homey feeling and I instantly get a happy boost. So while orange lemonade and chocolate cookies seem trivial items to shop for, I cherish them like little treasures because they allow me to bring a little piece of my childhood back to Manila.

Great Food Hall
Basement Pacific Mall
MTR: Admiralty

1/F Elements
MTR: Kowloon

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