The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Brunch @ Jaspas, 1600 Pandas @ PMQ and soft serve ice cream @ Godiva (Central), Hong Kong

1600 little pandas visited Hong Kong in June and part of July. This papier mâché exhibit by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and French artist and sculptor Paulo Grangeon is on a worldwide tour to bring a message of conservation and for sustainable development. 1600 is the estimated number of pandas left in the wild, and one of the main reasons that pandas have become endangered is habitat destruction. I wonder how many people around the world who have seen the 1600 Pandas exhibit learnt this fact after seeing them, because the carefully crafted papier mâché pandas are quite the sensational attraction themselves! The exhibit was set up at many landmarks for the first two weeks in HK, including several 'flash mob'-style visits at unannounced locations. When the pandas made the final stop for a few weeks at the newly revitalised PMQ, hubby remarked that we ought to bring the 5-year-old to have a look at them. Then a couple of Sundays ago, we realised that it was the last weekend to see the 1600 pandas in HK. So although I was tired after bringing both kids to the morning church service and just wanted to go home (it is exhausting going anywhere solo with an energetic 5-year-old boy and a 7-month-old baby who refuses to nap in the stroller), I sucked it up and chugged on to meet hubby in Central for brunch before visiting the PMQ. Besides, the kid was so excited to see the pandas, I couldn't disappoint him.

Because this was an impromptu outing, we were not prepared with restaurant bookings, and nearby places to the PMQ were either fully booked or didn't take reservations. So we just decided to walk towards the PMQ and try one of the restaurants on the way. Jaspas was one of the restaurants we came upon, and we were fortunate that a family of four was just paying for their meal when we arrived, so we didn't have to wait long for a table. We had a couple of good experiences with Jaspas in the past, so we knew it wasn't a bad pick - it certainly was a popular option for family Sunday brunch out because the restaurant was operating at full capacity the whole time we were there! Service was good, food was delicious, prices were affordable, and the environment was kid- and baby-friendly - perfect choice for our family.

Casual setting for a relaxing meal:

The boy's Soft-boiled Eggs with Wholemeal Toast (HK$45). "Bread & Egg" is one of his favourite lunch options at home or out, so he was a happy chappy:

Hubby chose Stacks of Taste (HK$115) - toasted sourdough topped with honey-cured bacon, poached eggs, tomato and spinach, and tarragon hollandaise. This was hearty but also relatively healthy; thumbs up for flavour:

I love avocado and asparagus and Turkish bread, and the Trim & Tasty (HK$115) had all three with two eggs any style (I chose poached) and roasted tomato. It was indeed tasty:

Smoked Salmon Salad (HK$130) - with baby spinach, romaine lettuce and honey mustard dressing. This was a good salad bowl:

After fueling up on delicious and nutritious food, I was more relaxed and in a better mood. We walked over to the PMQ, and it seemed like half of Hong Kong were there too. We made it a short and sweet visit - literally saw the papier mâché pandas, took a few snapshots, and left. We probably spent longer waiting for the lifts to enter and exit than the time spent at the exhibition itself.

Part of the 1600 pandas exhibit:

Amazing sculpting and painting detail. I can't imagine doing this 1600 times!:

On the way back to the MTR, we made a quick stop by Godiva in the IFC mall to grab a chocolate soft serve for the boy (but we also took a few bites of it, but only after asking him first). It was such an indulgent treat.

Godiva Chocolate Soft Serve:

We had a good family day out, but I was glad to be home afterwards!

Jaspa's (Central)
Ground level
28-30 Staunton Street
Soho, Mid-Levels
Central, Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2869 0733

Godiva (IFC Mall)
Shop 1029-30
Level One, IFC Mall
1 Harbour View Street
Central, Hong Kong.
Tel. +85 2 2805 0518

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