Interview: Angelababy opens café inspired by travels

Interview: Angelababy opens café inspired by travels

The Hong Kong celebrity model went to France and came back with a menu
Angelababy Café
Angelababy is very big here.

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.

Angelababy CaféThe Baby Tasting Platter: A bit disappointing with insipid spaghetti, greasy eggs and an overly fishy-tasting salmon.

Angelababy CaféGrilled Spain Berkshire pork chop with tomato sauce was great. Tender, flavorful chops and a zesty sauce.

Getting there:  Baby Café, Shop 30, 11/F, Langham Place Shopping Mall, 8 Argyle St., Mong Kok, +852 2111 1169 Baby Café on Facebook