Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel will close its Hong Kong stores at the end of this month. The Hong Kong-specific bakery brand will bring down the shutters on its flagship store on Queen’s Road Central and its Pacific Place boutique in Admiralty on January 31. Customers with Dang Wen Li vouchers can use them until the bakery’s last day of operation.

In an announcement on social media, representatives from the bakery said, “The time has come for us to bid farewell (at least for now), with the hopes that we will all meet again soon. We are proud and honoured to have had an opportunity to welcome you and share what we do here in Hong Kong through some difficult times, and supporting it through spreading simple joy in pastries.”

The name of the store is a nod to famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s first name in Cantonese. Ansel, who is best known for inventing the cronut, put an 852 spin on his menus at the city’s outlets, with offerings like cookie shots that look like Yakult bottles, pineapple bun mousse cakes, and peanut mochi chaussons. 

“I have always loved Hong Kong. But for me, it did not make sense to copy and paste our menu from New York into Hong Kong. Food is about memories — a recollection of a moment, a time, an icon. And that’s why it is so important in making pastries that it relates to the people there,” said Ansel when he opened his first store in the city, explaining why his famous cronut would not be on his Hong Kong menus.

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The cronut was so revolutionary that it was named one of Time Magazine’s best inventions of the year in 2013. Ansel followed this achievement up by being crowned the World’s Best Pastry Chef for 2017 by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. He has several international stores — Dominique Ansel Bakery and Dominique Ansel Workshop in New York, as well as Dominique Ansel Las Vegas. Ansel also opened a bakery in Tokyo that shut down in 2019, which left Hong Kong as the only Asia outpost for the brand.

Header image credits: Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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