There’s nothing we love more here at Magpie than meeting the people who contribute to the awesomeness of our favourite magazines. That’s why when we were in Hong Kong recently, we knew we had to hit up Nicole Fung, aka That Food Cray !!! – not only is she one of our favourite food bloggers, she also happens to write a column (naturally, called That Food Cray !!!) for Fricote, the pop culture-heavy French/English food magazine.
Read on to find out how her column came about, her HK must-eats, and how we came to conclude that the food spots featured in Fricote are totes legit.
PS. Don’t forget to save that jar of Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie Butter for us, Nicole!
How did you get involved with Fricote?
My really good friend, Wu Yue, is an artist in Paris. He works a lot with Fricote and introduced me to Julien [Pham, EIC of Fricote]. I’ve been contributing since issue 10 – the first column I did was on Wasabi KitKat.
How do you decide what to feature in the column?
It usually doesn’t require too much planning. I feel like with food, you’re always trying something new; you eat three times a day, so it’s just whatever inspires me at the time.
At first, I wrote about snacks cos I had so many at home and needed to do something with them. Julien was like, do whatever you want, I trust you. So I did about three snack reviews, and sent him a box of snacks too.
After that, I wanted to do something different. This was right after my husband and I went to Thailand, so I asked Julien if he’d be cool with me doing a travel guide, and he said yes. [Ed’s note: That Food Cray !!! In Bangkok appears in Fricote issue 14]
We were also in Paris recently, so we met up with Julien and he took us on a full-day food tour all over Paris. He brought us to a bakery called Michalak Masterclass & Takeaway [Ed’s note: Ahem, also in issue 14 of Fricote] – it’s really good; they try to do next-level stuff, not your traditional Parisian baked goods. Pretty much everywhere he took us, I think he’s included it in Fricote at some point.
That’s great – it means the places they feature are legit. How do you know where to eat when you travel?
Instagram helps a lot. For example, I follow this guy called @lennardy from Singapore – he eats well, cooks a lot at home and his pictures are really nice. So before our recent trip there, I asked him for a list of recommendations and he sent me this huge list, from high-end places to hawker centres. I also try to post a shot on Instagram when I’m in a new country, so people will send me recommendations; that helps too.
How was your trip to SG?
I loved it. It was mostly a food trip and I had everything pretty much scheduled for our three or four days there. Anything we needed a reservation for, I made them in advance; everything else, we played by ear. I took over Fricote’s Instagram when we were there too.
What was the best dish you had on the trip?
Jaan’s 55’ Smoked Organic Egg for the win! It was amazing, so good.
Can you tell us your favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner spots in Hong Kong?
Breakfast: Kam Wah Cafe for the pineapple bun. The lady boss there is really intense, she takes her buns seriously.
Lunch: Lan Fong Yuen, a cha chaan teng. The milk tea is really good, and I usually get the instant noodles with chicken steak, green onions and a fried egg on top. It’s greasy, good HK food.
Dinner: I have a few different ones, it depends on the cuisine. I really like Tung Po, a dai pai dong (an open-air food stall) on the top floor of a wet market in North Point. The food is pretty good but it’s the atmosphere that is really fun. The guy who owns it has a crazy personality. When it hits 8 or 9pm, he starts busting out crazy music, moonwalking, and going around tables and making people drink. So go later, when he gets rowdy; and the boss, Robby, has to be there, obviously. That is the coolest HK experience. It’s usually better in groups, so we go there when we have about 8 or 9 people.
The other place is Yardbird: it’s really fun, another place that’s all about the atmosphere. The food is consistently good; it’s one restaurant where you can always have an amazing meal and an amazing experience.
Ok, last question. What would your last meal consist of?
Appetiser: Jaan’s 55’ Smoked Organic Egg. Eggs are one of my favourite things.
Main course: Pho, cos I eat it whenever I go home to Canada. I can’t remember the name of the actual spot in Calgary cos it’s some hole-in-the-wall, but these are just as good – Song Que in London and Pho Huong Lan in Honolulu.
Dessert: Lady M’s Green Tea Mille Crepe Cake with a side of Hokkaido milk soft serve from Via Tokyo (a Japanese dessert café in Hong Kong)!