MUNCHIES: MICHELLE WONG
Whether filled with jelly or sprinkled with generous amounts of cinnamon sugar, deep-fried doughnuts make for the ultimate comfort food and wouldn’t be the first thing that springs to mind when someone says ‘healthy desserts’.
Munchies, which opened this June, serves up doughnuts (in innovative flavours like matcha, hibiscus and maple walnut, as well as classics like chocolate and sugar), cookies and ice cream, all made in-house, with a twist – they are all 100 percent organic and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“I feel strongly about eating organic and choosing the correct ingredients to put in your body,” says founder Michelle Wong. “Desserts are hands down the worst things to ingest because of all the sugar. Organic sugar isn’t great for you, but it’s a better alternative to processed sugar.”
Born in Hong Kong, Wong moved to Vancouver at the age of five, and spent the majority of her life there, before moving back to her childhood home three years ago. “I really never thought I would come back, but I was the last in my family to do so, and so I decided to give Hong Kong a shot,” says the 29-year-old. Wong is not only managing Munchies but also her own creative digital agency, Honeycomb, and finding time to DJ on the weekends. “It’s a big change from the West Coast lifestyle, but that’s what I’ve tried to recreate at Munchies.”
Hongkongers may remember Krispy Kreme’s short-lived time in Causeway Bay; the international doughnut chain which was liquidated within two years. Did this deter Wong? “I think people were too afraid to do doughnuts again, but it was the one thing you couldn’t get in Hong Kong that everyone craves,” opines Wong. At Munchies, it’s simple – build your own ice cream sandwiches, choosing one of their doughnuts or cookies as the sandwich, and an ice cream flavour as a filling, or enjoy the items on their own.
“People think doughnuts are super heavy. But we use quality ingredients and it makes a difference, you can feel that they’re not as dense,” explains Wong. Salted caramel ice cream pairs beautifully with a S’mores doughnut, and the brightly hued matcha or hibiscus flavoured doughnut balls look equally enticing. “We try to change it up – every week we have a special. We’ve adapted some of our original flavours to suit autumn, so we have things like Earl Grey lavender and salted caramel with roasted almonds.” The salted caramel ice cream is the most popular, pairing well with various cookie or doughnut flavours, while the S’mores doughnut is a crowd pleaser.
On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, the Shin Hing Street outpost is busy with people. A group of giggling girls snap photos of their ice cream sandwiches and two men enjoy doughnuts and coffee. “The best thing is knowing how clean it is. It just allows you to enjoy it that much more!”
Munchies, 4 Shin Hing Street, Central. See munchies.hk; follow @munchieshk