Sunday, November 1, 2009

Da Dolce Gelato

Crunkies-flavor Gelato
$28 (single-flavor cup)
Da Dolce (Langham Place)

I had never seen many customers frequent that gelato shop in the basement of Langham place, whose decor was straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. In all of my visits, I had counted at most four or five patrons in the shop at the same time as I was stopping by.

Small wonder I went Oh-Jeui this evening at the sight of so many Honky people sitting comfortably at the gleaming white picnic benches, which had been split apart into smaller seating areas for this event. I looked around. The signs were different. There were many pictures of Ramen, interspersed with much Japanese print that I found unintelligible. The only thing I gleaned from the posters was the fact, the new reality that half of the gelato shop had without warning become a Ramen joint called Domon. This change is for the best, I believe, because now this merchant has the vehicle -- hot food -- necessary to drive traffic.

I'm sitting by myself in the austere, lonely corner of the shop devoted exclusively to the consumption of gelato, having just finished a crunkies-flavored cup of the stuff. I was thinking earlier, while looking at the exorbitant $28 sticker price for a single-flavor cup, how gelato is a relative substitute for "premium" coffees and "artisan" teas in Hong Kong. At the $28 price point, consumers can choose either from a single-flavor cup from a vendor such as Da Dolce or XTC on Ice, or a tall coffee drink from either Starbucks or Pacific Coffee. To be sure, $28 is the entrance fee in Hong Kong to occupy a small corner of this pseudo-public space, in order to do what I'm doing now: ruminating on food!

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