In the Mood for Goldfinch

Have I ever said that if I were to be crazy enough to start a second blog, that it would revolve around "What I ate…/like to eat…"?  Well, if you didn't know, you do now and whilst I sadly don't have the inclination to start a secondary blog when maintaining one is still a challenge, it doesn't mean I'm going to deprive myself of veering off the fashion-course ONCE in a blue moon.  The moon isn't blue at the moment.  Actually, it's just invisible, which is slightly weirding me out.

Nevertheless, seeing as I recently posed a question on Twitter as to whether or not I should post a batch of food pics from Hong Kong on the blog, I got about ten 'Yays'… and I'm in full belief that Twitter peeps are ALWAYS right and good, so I'll just take that as concrete affirmation and go forth.  If comments that consist of "Oh Susie, you're such a porker…!" pop up… then erm… well, they'd be right.  I am one and I'm not ashamed to declare it here.  My secret heffer self was fully out to play whilst I was in Hong Kong where eating out isn't some big brain chore where you're calculating furiously whether dinner will render you rent-less for the next month.

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Guidebook-cover From the bounded and beautiful guide produced and written (and PDF-able here!) by New Yorkers-in-Hong Kong tailor duo j.a. daye, Cafe de Goldfinch was one of the places marked as a 'Must See/Eat' by myself and Steve.  j.a. daye waxed lyrical about it here but we had to see/eat it for ourselves too because like I said, I'm heffer-self came crawling out yearning for five meals a day whilst I was in Hong Kong and this place is truly a dying HK gem. 

Some of you may know that Cafe de Goldfinch was featured in both In the Mood for Love and 2046 by Wong Kar Wai where Tony Leung gives Maggie Cheung sexy, broody stares and vice versa.   Opened in 1962, it's one of those mint restaurants that has quite literally frozen in time and the interior and place settings can testify to that.  Cheesy Crimbo decorations, cloud sky ceilings, dim lighting,wooden booths, leather bound menus, the table cloths, the retro typography, branded wet napkins and even the choice of condiments available on the table… it all made for gratuitous photo taking…

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To be fair, we did go a little overboard with the pic taking but the staff are probably used to that and milk the fact that their restaurant has been favoured by Wong Kar Wai… so we had to indulge and get ourselves the In The Mood For Love set menu… HKD320 for two people (that's about ¬£25…?  Indulge may have been the wrong word back there…).  I think only HK-ers will really truly understand what the heck the food is all about as it was all news to Steve despite the fact that Cafe de Goldfinch is supposed to be a 'Western' restaurant.  The food blog Tasty Treats quite rightly termed the food "soy sauce Western meals"… as in Western food given a Chinese twist.  Speaking to my parents, they recalled going to places like these was like a special treat, that holding a knife and fork for a change was in itself an occasion.  I kind of forgot about authenticity or provenance and just chowed down the hefty portions and beamed whilst doing so…

Cream of Chicken Soup (with a cracker on the top, for what reason I don't know…) // Baked Mussels with Garlic, served on a bed of mash potato

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Baked Lobster with Cheese // Pork Chops in a Sweet and Sour sauce with Rice

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I may have stolen some of the napkins/sugar packets…

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Coffee, mirrors … just need some pre-noughties cigarette smoke wafting about…

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This is a post-meal satisfied heffer beam…

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Image Now of course, if I had known what a retrogading trip Cafe de Goldfinch was going to be, I might have made more of an effort with the attire despite the fact that we would be busting out of the seams… still, I do feel iffy about letting this post go out as some sort of weird alien-infested anomaly on the blog.  So to save it from becoming just a piece of concrete proof of my food fetish, I thought I'd go back and reimagine what we WOULD HAVE WORN had our wardrobes been with us and also if some sort of bug existed in our stomachs that would prevent us from feeling full and bloated.  Of course, Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung we are not (and certainly my complete and utter fear of qi pao dresses throws a spanner into that costume choice…) but we tried our best to evoke a certain feeling that befits Cafe de Goldfinch and all of its cosy, dim lit booths.

**EDIT** I might add that if I was a diminuitve size of Barbie, this Comme des Garcons Jingle Flowers print dress designed by Rei Kawakubo especially for this limited edition Barbie would also do the trick for Cafe de Goldfinching…

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(Incidentally, Steve here is wearing a suit tailored for him by j.a. daye, the very people who turned us onto Cafe de Goldfinch… along with a vintage hat I got him for last Christmas, Mr Hare shoes, Paul Smith tie, Handmade in England shirt, … you can read all three of his Made to Measure suit tales, here.. part 1, part 2, part 3)

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Ah…that's why Maggie stuck to form fitting qi paos… so that poofy skirts don't blow up like this…

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(Dresscamp printed satin top, H&M brocade floral print dress, vintage red suede gloves, Dries Van Noten heels)

58 Replies to “In the Mood for Goldfinch”

  1. Great post! You both look awesome like you’re not of this time! Have to say his slightly short trousers work very well and you look like you’re straight out of 2046, ha
    Now craving for some baked lobster and mussels…Oh and I do think you should start another food blog! Its not crazy though you seem like a very busy person and it may cause you to drink more red bulls than needed.

  2. I am so oddly in love with your outfit. It reminds me of Chinese New Years! Also the choice of lipstick color definitely adds an extra bit of pop to the ensemble.

  3. I normally hate food pics, but this post is so charming that it made me hungry – plus the great retro chic outfits… ‘I want this dress!’ I think. Only to realise it wouldn’t look good on me anyway. Sabine x

  4. They way you mix those two floral patterns is amazing! And those Dries shoes are to die for. Oh and I want those gloves.. Well, I just want the entire outfit.

  5. I quickly glanced through this post and though it so very reminiscent of In The Mood For Love :D. And then I read the text…
    So Much Wong Kar Wai love!
    Adore the dress and you look magnificent with red lipstick. Gorgeous!

  6. Susie normally I don’t comment, though I’ve been reading for years…just wanted to say this outfit is stunning. Fun and interesting but decidedly beautiful.

  7. That dress is really nice. I quite like wandering off fashion and going towards food, or some other contro subject.
    I had to rapidly follow Style Salvage, he looks cool.
    I’d love a few days in Hong Kong. :]
    J’aime

  8. At first glance I could have given my pinkie that the ansamble was an Erdem look I missed from the runway however discovering that it’s an H&M top amused me alot!
    Zhenya

  9. 1. I love food posts & In The Mood For Love — now I feel like pulling it out and watching it again.
    2. I love your outfit.
    3. I’ve been starring some of your HK posts in my Google Reader — need to check out these places the next time I’m over there!

  10. Hooray for food shots! They look DELICIOUS! I’m in love with the CDG floral dress for Barbie (do they come in adult size, hehe?), and your outfit is absolutely stunning!!!
    xx

  11. Omg, I cannot begin to express how much i love this particular post! First off I love Wong Kar Wai because his movies are sexy as hell; second you’re eating at one of the most iconic (and cheesy) HK cafes in the city :)and last but not least you and your beau (?) are recreating maggie and tony. Your outfit is perfect. Love the red gloves and your red lips. perfect 🙂
    xx
    V

  12. Zhenya: Actually, the top is by Dresscamp, a Japanese label, the dress underneath is H&M…!
    Thanks guys for not boo-ing me off the blog for veering off-topic a bit!

  13. Oh, gorgeous! I saw In the Mood for Love a few weeks ago and can’t stop thinking about it so naturally I am bookmarking this post forever. I love love love your outfit–totally the right vibe!

  14. OMG so grateful/jealous of the Cafe de Goldfinch shots.
    Love it – my adoration of Wong Kar Wai and in the Mood for Love knows no words.
    Yours and Steve’s photo shot is great, very cute and love the shoes

  15. I adore that last picture. I am happy to read about food here. Having maintained a second blog for six months or so…I wouldn’t suggest it!

  16. *PHEW!* your boyfriend’s feet were almost on the verge of doing that sensitive pigeon-toed thing that I HATE when boys do in pictures. THANK GOD…

  17. Yes! My friend has a What I Ate for Dinner group, it is aweosme. 🙂 he is as into food as I am into style…. wait and food. You both look fab, what a dapper guy you’ve got here.

  18. Eek Susie, I just watched In the Mood for Love starring Maggie Cheung today in my Asian America Cinema class! My goodness, that figure in a qi pao…just as elegant as Audrey Hepburn in a little black dress! And you look dashing as well :-D.

  19. Love the print of your dress and paired with those red gloves and bun, it’s just perfection. That baked lobster and the pork chops literally just made my tummy growl 🙂

  20. Loved your outfit!
    For some reason I didn’t get a chance to check out the cafes/restuarants or eat good food in HK, was tooo busy shopping and sightseeing. Will definitely check them out when I go back again next year :S
    Kit x

  21. I love both of your outfits! Your dress is fabulous, hard to believe its H&M – and I love those Dries Van Noten heels & the gloves are the perfect finishing touch.
    The restaurant looks yummy …I steal the sugar and napkins from special places too! I always imagine they’ll go in a scrapbook someday but I don’t have a scrapbook the usually just drift around my room and eventually get lost.

  22. This is absolutely stunning. You are beautiful! I think you’ve said red isn’t exactly your favourite colour but it certainly suits you.

  23. You look BEAUTIFUL in these photos! I love that dress on you. Also, I’ve been meaning to ask for a while – how do you do your top knot? It looks more intricate than the standard ‘stuff it all atop the head’. Would love to see a tutorial at some point. Bx

  24. your photos make me wanna go to HK nowww. 😐 gorgeous dress! qi paos can be so uncomfortable…I think I’d prefer what you’re wearing.

  25. oh you’re killing us! the dress! the red gloves! you’re such a young lady, and might i even say “sexy” and above all, cheerful! somebody already mentioned it, the 2 of you look like cast from wong kar wais “2046”.

  26. I love the food post! You could do both on this blog you know, TokyoBanhbao does that too… and that last picture of you is so much fun. You look great in red lipstick.

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