Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Oddies Foodies, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Alissa and Don Eat Asia)

Along with Dim Sum, Wanton Noodles and Roast Goose, the Egg Waffle must rank amongst Hong Kong's most iconic must-try dishes. Shaped as rounded bubbles rather than the gridded waffle shape more common in the west, Alissa and I ran out of time to try them during our last Hong Kong trip in 2013, and as such Alissa wanted to ensure a dessert of Egg Waffles was added to our dining itinerary this time around. Scouring blogs and Instagram feeds, Alissa came upon Oddies Foodies, a Wan Chai hole in the wall serving a particularly food porny take on the Egg Waffle.  Little more than 500m away from our ramen dinner at Kamitora, we decided to pop into Oddies afterwards for dessert.

Egg Waffles are traditionally served plain, however can be found topped with things like fruit, chocolate sauce or ice cream. The attraction of Oddies is that they take the dish further and create a complete, multi-component dessert around the Egg Waffle. The result is total hipster bait - folded over Egg Waffles sitting in a cup of soft serve ice cream sundae. Its basically screaming for Instagram attention, and a cynical part of me wondered how practical this dish would be to eat - especially given they are takeaway only.

Oddies seem to have a rotation of different Waffle and Ice Cream combos on offer, and we tried two of their signatures. I went with the Night Wolf - Italian low fat Twist Gelato, Butter Crumbs, Caramelised Banana Ice Cream, Passionfruit Panna Cotta, Brownie and Choc Chip Eggettes, Sprinkled with Crunch Flakes. The Gelato was smooth and sweet, with the Chocolate Sauce rich but not overpoweringly so. The Waffles were really well made with a nice golden crunch exterior, while the Chocolate Brownie and Choc Chip filling each of the Eggettes were nice and oozey and gooey. Having the Waffle sticking out of the cup was actually very practical - you could take a scoop of Gelato and then a bite of Waffle, a system that was ideal given the takeaway nature of their business. Digging deeper, the Caramelised Banana provided a nice fruity change of pace while also conjuring up flavours of Banana split, and the tangy acidity of the Passionfruit Panna Cotta cut through for some freshness against the richness of the chocolate.

Alissa's order was entitled The Mob - Black Sesame Mochi Eggettes, Italian low fat Milk Gelato, Apple Yuzu Jelly, Homemade Matcha Ice Cream, Citrus Crunchy Flakes and Drizzled with rich Matcha Sauce. Alissa really liked the nuttiness and fudgy texture of the Black Sesame in Eggettes, which were every bit the equal of the Waffles in the Night Wolf in terms of crunch. The Gelato seemed to be identical to that used in the Night Wolf, however its nice sweetness was contrasted and cut by the bitterness of the Matcha Sauce. As Alissa got deeper into the cup, the the combination of components made us both think of The Mob as a very complex Ice Cream Trifle. She particularly liked the effect of the Yuzu Jelly, with its tanginess providing contrast against the creaminess of the Gelato.

The Verdict: Excellent
I have to admit being a bit skeptical of Oddies Foodies - the whole Instagram-ready appearance seemed like the kind of thing that looks great in a photo but is actually impractical to eat. Thankfully, I was proven wrong - the waffle-and-sundae-in-a-cup format was actually a great idea, and one that made for an enjoyable eating experience. What's more, each of our choices proved to be well thought out, complex and complete multi-component desserts, with a lot of attention to detail and quality on display. Oddies popularity then is well deserved; these were excellent waffles, and we look forward to a return visit next time we are in Hong Kong. 

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