24 Oct 2008
Bon Appetit(HKTDC Houseware, Vol 01,2009)
Hong Kong dishes up tasteful tableware that is a feast for the eyes and satisfies diners' hunger for epicurean pleasures
Be it for a grand party or just tea for two, Hong Kong manufacturers serve up fine tableware that promises to complement any dining occasion.
A leading example of Hong Kong's expertise is China Pearl (HK) Ltd's durable stoneware, which is proving popular in European and US markets. Among the firm's latest offerings is the Bali dinnerware range that blends exotic Southeast Asian flavours with timeless, simple western designs.
"This range of stoneware was launched earlier in 2008 at the Ambiente Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, where it was well received by buyers from Europe and the US," says General Manager Anna Lam. "Sales have grown steadily since."
While the exteriors of all pieces in the collection are a rich dark chocolate colour, their interiors sport different colours that divide the range into six series: Bali Yellow, Bali Mocha, Bali Carmine, Bali Carmel, Bali Green and Bali Blue.
"The collection is named after the holiday island of Bali in Indonesia, and by mixing and matching the dark chocolate colour on the outside with the earthy tones on the inside, we hope the items can bring a touch of the tropics and the feel of nature into people's dining rooms and evoke an exotic and relaxing ambience," explains Ms Lam.
"The range is designed primarily for people who lead a Western lifestyle, so it does not include chopsticks and the like," she adds.
Glazed with a glossy finish, each dinner set contains 16 pieces, although orders are also accepted for smaller sets such as one that comprises a 10.5-inch dinner plate, a 7.5-inch side plate, a 6-inch bowl and a full-bodied mug of 10.5 ounces.
Displaying more chic and contemporary style is the company's Mono range, which is also colour-divided into six series: black, white, slate, moss, cream and sky. A matt glaze finish renders an enhanced pastel effect onto the subtle colours of nature gracing this collection, which Ms Lam says appeals to European buyers.
The Mono line has similar-sized pieces to the Bali range, and both collections also include accessories such as salad bowls, sugar bowls, creamers, cappuccino cups and saucers. The two ranges meet both FDA and California Proposition 65 standards.
Fans of more classic styles will like the bone china collections from ceramic decal printing specialist Stechcol Enterprise Ltd, such as the Glazed Fruit Motif Cup and Saucer set (model S13579).
"This European antique-style tea set comprises a cup, saucer, side plate and stainless steel teaspoon," says Sales Director Chim Kim Chong. "The spoon's gold-tipped handle is made of bone china, and the set is available in a dozen colours, including blue, purple, green and sharp red."
This model, which can be expanded to 15 pieces, features a fire-glazed glossy finish, and each piece is painted in gold on the rim. The interior of the cup is hand-printed with a colourful motif of summer fruit such as peaches, berries and grapes.
"The gold content in the paint ranges from 10%-16% depending on the client's preference," says Ms Chim.
A top seller in Europe, Russia, Korea and the Middle East, the set is dishwasher-safe and, like all other tableware made by Stechcol, meets FDA standards, she advises.
Also sporting cheerful designs - but this time in the form of colourful butterflies - is a dolomite serving ware series from Winley Industries (FE) Ltd.
"The butterfly is a popular theme in Europe and the US at the moment, so this line of serving ware is selling quite well in those markets," advises spokeswoman Vivian Chan.
Set against the cream and beige background are motifs of butterflies in various sizes, which are printed using a mixture of hand and decal printing techniques.
"Apart from being a more flexible material to work with for crafting and shaping, dolomite can also channel the vibrancy and liveliness of colours more effectively," she notes, adding that the collection meets FDA standards.
Offered under the company's own William James brand, the series comprises 20-plus pieces, all with a glossy glaze finish. They include a 15.75x7.5-inch rectangular sandwich platter and a compote with a diameter of 10.5 inches. Besides, the series features a variety of bowls and platters as well as accessories such as a pitcher, a trivet and a tea pot.
Such delightful tableware from Hong Kong is certain to whet the appetites of diners, who are bound to ask for more.
TEXT BY RICO NGAI