Chef Louie Ma See-lok (below left) has big shoes to fill. The new executive pastrymaker at the Royal Garden is taking over from Tony Wong, whose cookies and cakes were a signature of the Tsim Sha Tsui East hotel. Ma is getting some help from Japanese dessert master Koichiro Wada (below right), in residence as the Sapporo Sweets Ambassador until next month. The pair held a tasting last week to promote the hotel's catering. 'Tony's popularity certainly adds a bit of pressure on me,' Ma said. 'It will take some time for me to put my stamp on the pastries. If I change too much, I worry that customers and my colleagues in the kitchen will have a hard time coping. I joined the Royal Garden in November.' To take some of the pressure off, the hotel brought in the Japanese chef to offer his famous Fuji apple tart, green tea short cake and Japanese choux cream. 'I lived in England for 11 years when I was young, so that kind of turned me European,' Wada said. 'I don't like Japanese food ... When I returned to Japan, I discovered it was hard to find authentic European food. So I took a lot of cooking classes and that's how I learned to enjoy making pastries. It's a very creative process.' Oddly, Wada eats at the hotel's staff canteen, rather than at its excellent eateries. 'That's my hangout,' he said. 'Every day I eat there. Its variety fascinates me. I get to try really good local dishes, which I love to learn about.'