A fashion model who struts confidently on the runway and a pastry chef who works furiously a pot for choux pastry over the stove are hardly two scenes one can easily put together. One bathes under the explosion of blinding camera flashes while the other bears with pearls of sweat beading down one’s forehead and neck by a hot kitchen oven. Spotlight glamour and kitchen sink grime just ain’t things one can piece together readily. One can hardly image how these two seemingly distraught and disjointed characters could be living as one in a single person! Schizophrenia? Haha thankfully it is not. Amanda Strang is one such example, and might I add, a rather successful one! The Tahiti-born fashion supermodel turned celebrity currently based in Hong Kong, blessed with ravishing beauty owing much to her exotic French and Taiwanese parentage, Amanda Strang had a highly sucessful and illustrious career under media limelight, suddenly discarded her catwalking stilettos and traded them for kitchen clogs to enrol herself into the Parisian campus of the famous French culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu for training to become a professionally accredited pastry chef. Becoming a successful patissiere she most certainly did, and a couple of years down the road, after a string of stints at high profile establishments like Laduree, Jacques Genin and the three michelin star restaurant, Caprice, Amanda Strang felt that she was finally ready to take on the world and opened her first pastry shop, Petite Amanda at the IFC, Central Hong Kong last year. We knew that we have to pay this joint a visit during our trip to Hong Kong this May!
No reviews on the works of a patisserie is complete without a look at their entremets, which in my humble opinion, is one of the litmus test to the skills and creativity in taste, texture and technique for a patissier. Then again, I have a whole checklist of lil’ quirky things which I look out for when I visit a new patisserie, e.g. how smooth is the creme patisserie made, how thin is the L’Opera being layered and how neatly is it being cut etc… much like how seemingly trivial tamagoyaki making skills, amidst his knife skills, is attesting to the greatness of a sushi chef.
Bearing contrast and yet homogenising all the components together, bringing about conflict and yet blending in everything in perfect harmony, tantalising the tastebuds and yet provide equilibrium all within the confinements of that small oblongish slab of cake, mousse and what nots; not an easy task if you ask me…
When I first saw photos of Kki’s Fromage Melon posted by some folks who had sampled the mousse creation over flickr, I was first captivated by its simplicity – a fromage blanc mousse with a piece of rockmelon gelée over a sable breton base. Though I would very much like to, I’d not visited Kki ケーキas yet to try their creations. But I’d read and heard very good things about the place and hence, find no excuse not to visit this pastisserie tucked within the streets of Ang Siang Hill. But before I do that, I thought about creating my own version of Fromage Melon, harnassing inspiration from Kki’s original work, rather than a re-creation or an adaptation.
Strictly speaking, this can’t be called my own recipe, as its quite simply a collage of several recipes for the various components in this creation