Watch Out For… Many exciting new venues quietly opened on the island side during Christmas break, one of them being Mum ( Shop G07, G/F, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Rd., Wong Chuk Hang, 2115-3348 ) at One Island South, a trendy office-slash-retail complex in Wong Chuk Hang. I went to this vegetarian resto for a casual lunch last weekend and was impressed by the modest botanic garden at the front of the shop, the high ceilings that gave the space a lofty vibe, and the reused church pews that now serve as dining table seats. Food-wise, Mum serves predominantly Asian fare, such as steamed rice with eggplant or udon noodles in soup, but you can also get a pasta dish and green tea chiffon cakes if you wanted something more western. The resto is still tweaking its dishes at this stage, so don’t be surprised if you see a totally different menu from what I described. In the Central area, French patisserie 126 Grammes (42 Aberdeen St., Central, 2886-1885 ) is poised to start a post-macaron, post-cupcake desserts craze with their offerings of delicate cream puff pastries also known as choux a la crème. (Leave it to the French to make everything sound so much more delicieux.) The choux come in many different flavors, including the exotic mango and coconut that I tried (and really enjoyed), and more classic varieties like vanilla, dark chocolate and caramel. Madeleines, financiers, cakes and other French treats are also available. Hero ( Shop 1, G/F, Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central ) has opened a third outlet, right where Café Punta del Cielo used to be. This chilled-out sandwich shop started its humble but successful beginnings in Tai Kok Tsui and has another branch in Sheung Wan at the Grand Millennium Plaza. Everything from rib-eye steaks to tuna salad to frankfurters to roasted pork chops are offered in a sandwich format, stuffed between two sub-style buns. Reasonably priced salads (all around $40 each) in a variety of flavors and combos are also offered, as well as baked potatoes and fries. Zabon Ramen ( Shop C, On Lok Mansion, 39-43 Hollywood Rd., Central, 2815-1533 ) has taken a prime spot right by the Mid-Levels escalator, offering yet another Japanese soup noodle option in a district that’s already over-populated with keen competition. The menu here is simple, with six different ramen combos on offer. Sides like gyozas are also available. It remains to be seen whether Zabon will stand out from the crowd. Talk of the Town So culinary website The Daily Meal came out with a list of 2012 trends that rocked America, and just for kicks, I decided to compare the list to fads in our own fair city. Here are some commonalities between us and the US of A: USA: Craft Beer HK: The latest retailer to join the craft beer renaissance: www.thebottleshop.hk USA : Mexican Fascination HK: Mexican Fascination. Period. USA: High-End Chefs Open Lowbrow Comfort Joints HK: Jason Atherton’s 22 Ships is one that immediately comes to mind. USA: Gluten-Free World HK: The term “gluten-free” is definitely popping up with more consistency, especially among trendy vegetarian and organic slow-food proponents. USA: “X“ is the New Cupcake (there’s a half-hearted case that X = macarons) HK: With Ladurée fresh on our shores, this definitely applies to us, too. But our new “X” could very possibly be those cutesy choux, mentioned above left. USA: Food Trucks HK: Just wishful thinking on my part. USA: Continued Marriage of Science and Food HK: The Principal and View 62 are putting this breed of “modern cuisine” category firmly in the spotlight. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter: @adele_hklife.