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Interview: Angelababy opens café inspired by travels
The Hong Kong celebrity model went to France and came back with a menu
Hong Kong's celebrity model and actress Angelababy opened Baby Café this month, her first namesake restaurant in collaboration with director Tony Chan Kwok-fai.
The place is like an Angelababy theme park, with the 22-year-old's doll-like face plastered on every surface.
The selling point here isn't really the Japanese and European food of course (which is pretty hit-and-miss) but relies on Angelababy's star power.
Which the lady -- aka Angela Yeung Wing -- has in spades. Fans of Angelababy come in all shapes and sizes as evidenced by the diversity of diners and all are willing to queue for ages to get a table at the café.
Baby Café also benefits from location. The shrewd restaurateurs picked Hong Kong's busiest shopping mall in the busiest district for their first venture -- Langham Place. If you can't fill up a restaurant located here, there's no help for you.
We caught Angelababy on the Beijing set of her latest film for the lowdown on Baby Café.
CNNGo: How did you come up with the menu?
Angelababy: Because I am always traveling to different places for work and I like to eat, I soon found out that many places in the world have a lot of great dishes.
For example, the roast chicken with red wine sauce was a dish that I tried when I was working in France. I randomly went into a restaurant there and picked this dish. It was so good and I can still remember the flavors. When I came back to Hong Kong I asked the chef to recreate this dish for me.
CNNGo: You seem to like French food a lot -- how come?
Angelababy: I always go to Europe for work and I have tried many types of food there. But French food gives me a romantic feeling. I also particularly like being in France.
CNNGo: It's your first time opening a restaurant, what is your deepest impression of this project?
Angelababy: I am really happy about it. At least now I don't have to worry about starving. I hope that I can open a second branch.
CNNGo: As a model you have to keep your body in good shape. Are the dishes at your restaurant suitable for this?
Angelababy: Actually I can eat anything and not gain weight. So I'm really lucky that I can eat a lot of good food.
CNNGo: Do you cook?
Angelababy: I don't really know how to cook. I prefer to eat. But now at the restaurant I have more chance to learn how to cook.
CNNGo: Has Wong Hiu-ming (Angelababy's rumored beau) tried Baby Café yet?
Angelababy: If he has time, I wouldn't mind inviting him to visit our café, but he'll have to pay for his own meal.
CNNGo: Who was in charge of the interior design of the café? Tell us about the concept behind it.
Angelababy: Tony [Chan Kwok-fai] and Wing Shya first came up with the idea, then all of us gave comments on it.
Personally, I am a fan of Japanese cuisine and French romance. Thus, we have the idea of a French-Japanese fusion theme with European style of decoration and furnishing.
CNNGo: It is certainly a hot spot for Angelababy's fans. However, what would be the experience for a non-fan?
Angelababy: It would be another good dining choice. For Mong Kok, this kind of restaurant is rare. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, diners can chat with their friends, have a drink with a reasonable price.
CNNGo: What is your recommendation from the menu?
Angelababy: The Baby Tasting Platter, which is a mix of three dishes. It is usually a platter of my favorite dishes so customers can taste three dishes at one time.
Then I would pick grilled French spring chicken in red wine sauce, as it is my favorite.
For dessert I would recommend our homemade pomelo sherbet with orange cake. We make our own pomelo sherbet, and it has a very strong flavor.
Getting there: Baby Café, Shop 30, 11/F, Langham Place Shopping Mall, 8 Argyle St., Mong Kok, +852 2111 1169 Baby Café on Facebook