Tag Archives: best dessert hong kong

La Creperie restaurant review – why every day should be Pancake Day

Whenever my friend Mirander and I meet up, we fall into incredibly girlie stereotypes. We gossip, we shop, we eat desserts. You’ve already followed our expedition for high tea at Robuchon, but now for one of our favourite pit-stops… La Creperie.

Unassumingly tucked away on the first floor of some nondescript serviced apartment building mid-way between Admiralty and Wan Chai, La Creperie is probably Hong Kong’s most authentic purveyor of French crepes – specifically buckwheat pancakes, galettes hailing from Brittany (thinner, larger, darker and crisper than the more conventional ones). Sweet, savoury, seafood, salad… they’ve stuffed them with anything they can get their hands on here… great news for greedy cochons like me, who can opt for crepes as both a main course and dessert!

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Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon high tea set review – one sandwich short of a picnic?

One of life’s laziest pleasures has to be high tea. Being able to enjoy a mid-week afternoon tea set basically signals ‘Hey, I’m a jobless slacker!’ but that’s all part of the fun, right?

My BFF Mirander (studying so not a jobless slacker btw) and I (freelancer, so technically not a jobless slacker either) have a fondness for long afternoons spent shopping with occasional – and even longer! – dessert pit-stops, so we decided to check out the Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon after I heard lots of good things about it on Twitter.

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Orchard Garden Café & Restaurant review – bloomin’ marvellous?

If you thought the crockery at Crabtree & Evelyn’s Tearoom was pretty, be prepared for chintzy china overload at Orchard Garden Café & Restaurant. Fans of floral prints rejoice – this lot practically puts the Chelsea Flower Show to shame!

We popped into Orchard Garden Café on one of my frequent (as you’re rapidly discovering!) pit-stops for afternoon tea. The cuisine is Japanese Western and, yes, there were the as-usual bizarrely heavy tea set options, but their desserts and drinks menus appeared to be as long (if not longer) than the one for main meals – meaning it’s clearly my kinda place!

I’d already had the inkling that it would be my kind of place when my magpie instinct kicked in upon entering the premises. Similar to my experience at Pomme, I wanted to steal almost everything inside – from the sprigs of flowers on the tables to the colourful splashy artwork, the squishy white sofas to the telephone number of their interior designer. It almost makes the steep climb up several flights of stairs to get there worth it; amongst the mayhem of Mong Kok, it’s a refreshingly light bright modern space, best enjoyed in the quiet lull of the afternoon.

I chose my Honey Apple Tea ($35) simply because it had the prettiest crockery in the menu – a teacup and saucer emblazoned with royal purple pansies. I spent so long cooing over it that I barely had time to be impressed by the fact it was served with slices of genuine fresh fruit and a jar of golden runny honey (rather than being made with a shop-bought formula out a pot, a Hong Kong speciality). It was a sweet, summery tea, made all the more so by the delightful ware in which it was served. My auntie’s Ginger Lemon Tea ($32) was similarly splendid – an exquisitely decorated teacup, a dish of fresh fruit and a piping hot, fragrant cuppa.

Meanwhile, the size of the desserts (a vast array of waffles, pancakes and sundaes were available) was somewhat at odds with the dainty china; the portions seemed designed for hulking sweet-toothed giants whilst the crockery arrived straight from a pixie’s tea party. I went for the caramel custard (known by the more discerning diner as a crème caramel, $28) simply because it looked like the only dessert I could polish off on my own. That was true enough but on tasting it, I didn’t want to. Overly-sloppy, overly-sweet, a bobbing slobbery mass marooned in a sea of syrup with an odd powdery aftertaste to boot, it didn’t even have flowery crockery to redeem it.

Much better were my auntie’s Crispy Fruit Rolls ($48) – think sweet spring rolls and you’re halfway there. Crispy filo-pastry encasing a medley of fresh strawberries, blueberries, banana and mango with a squirt of whipped cream, served warm, with a bizarre dip of custard sauce. The flaky crunch of the golden pastry matched with the gooey fruity mess inside made for an inspired combination but it was still too big and too filling for even the pair of us to finish. On the plus side, the contemporary cornflower plate may have been my favourite yet.

Whack on a 10% service charge and it’s frankly a little too dear to justify not being more delicious (in fact, it cost more than our lunches combined, which can’t be good). It would probably be better if you’re sharing as a group… or if they installed a lift… or if they allowed you to simply purchase the pretty plates instead of the superfluous desserts that came with them!

See all Orchard Garden Café & Restaurant locations in Hong Kong here

Dessert of the day – get a Sift of that!

So you’ve already worked out my predilection towards afternoon tea and its cakey delights. Well, I’m not fussy. I can do afternoon tea in the comfort of my own home too!

However, given my cooking skills (I once exploded a bowl of rice in a microwave), I prefer to leave the baking to the professionals. I’d heard that Sift cupcakes were the best in town so decided to grab a few from their Wan Chai patisserie to devour back at the ranch.

Almost all the gush I’d heard had been for their Red Velvet cupcakes so they were top of my must-try list. As I weighed up my other options (there were over a dozen different varieties of cupcake to choose from, all $22), a girl giggled her way in, queue-jumped me and promptly pinched the last two Red Velvet cakes on display. Never mind red velvet, red smoke began flaring from my nostrils. ‘Are the cakes on display all you have?’ I asked counter girl #1. She informed me that this was the case. My growls probably reverberated all the way down Queen’s Road!

I was just about to do an indignant huff out of the shop, when counter girl #2 (i.e. competent counter girl) located a Red Velvet lurking round the back. I rounded up my order with a Luscious Chocolate and an Oreo (catering to my boyfriend’s specific pre-request of chocolate cake with vanilla frosting!) and skipped happily out of the shop, hoping that for $66, I was about to get the cupcake experience of my life. I wasn’t far wrong.

I’ve often found American-style cupcakes, toppling over with a top-heavy frosting to sponge ratio, have a tendency to be too heavy, too rich and simply too sickly-sweet. Indulgent paradise for the first few mouthfuls; claggy sticky death by cupcake towards the end. Sift’s, however, were none of the above. I have to complement their sponge the most – light, smooth and fluffy but moist and rich, the went down far too easily and quickly given the amount of calories involved!

The much-heralded Red Velvet (light chocolate cake dyed red, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla cream cheese frosting): The moist but feather-light sponge with a soft dainty chocolate taste was a delight but I wasn’t so keen on the topping. Admittedly, I wasn’t actually aware that it was cream cheese… An immediately potent punch of ultra-sweet, super-smooth cream, almost like custard, with a twangy tangy hit. Not my favourite but that’s purely personal taste.

Luscious Chocolate (Valrhona dark chocolate cake, dark chocolate buttercream frosting): In the words of Apprentice Season 4 winner, Lee McQueen – ‘That’s what I’m talking about!’ One for all the chocoholics out there (I’m a fully-paid, season-ticket holder), this was pure indulgence in a cupcake liner. The thicker consistency of the frosting was more what I expect of buttercream whilst the whole thing was rich, dense, dark heady hit after hit of intense chocolate flavour but without being overpowering. Yum.

Oreo (Valrhona dark chocolate cake, Madagascar Bourbon vanilla buttercream): Smells like an Oreo, tastes like an Oreo but apparently, not an Oreo… Again, the sponge was a decadent dream of deep chocolate whilst the topping was, by some strange cupcake sorcery, pure Oreo although it seems no Oreos were hurt in the making of this cake. The two sides complemented each other perfectly whilst the stiffer, more icing-like texture of the frosting made it a pleasantly less gooey gobble. The boyfriend was all smiles with this one.

So… orgasmic noises all round, much licking of chocolate-y smears from lips/fingers/plate, two cupcake-scented happy customers. Best cupcakes in Hong Kong? Definite contenders for the crown… and there’s a whole pantheon of other cakes, pastries and cookies to try yet! As long as giggling girl doesn’t thwart my plans, that is…!

Sift Patisserie, 43 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2528 0084, closed Mondays

Pomme café review – the apple of my eye

As regular readers may have established (from here… or here… or even here!), I may have a bit of a sweet tooth. Everyone knows dessert occupies a different space in the stomach, right?! So it may come as no surprise to learn that one of my favourite “meals” of the day is afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea in Hong Kong can be a little strange; whilst many chan chan tengs do offer afternoon ‘tea sets’, these often include pork chops, chicken wings, bowls of macaroni and wedges of toast about the thickness of The Bible. Not exactly jam and scones, is it? So the rise of the Western coffee shop, and a mid-afternoon pit-stop to refuel after a hard day’s shopping, is something I wholeheartedly champion!

Pomme is exactly the sort of place that comes to mind. A little haven of Continental peace and quiet in bustling Wan Chai, it’s one of those places where I find myself wanting to buy not just everything on the menu, but everything decorating the place too!

I loved the colourful pretty prints of French shops on the wall. I loved the cabinet of antique copper teaware. I loved the door handle shaped like a whisk, the baby Eiffel tower made out of baguettes and the numerous ornaments inspired by their name (French for apple). Most of all, I loved their delectable range of cakes on display at the counter – great for hungry eyes to feast on, not so great for poor decision-makers (especially when your inner 5 year old wants to go for the signature cupcake decorated to look like a donkey)!

In the end, I settled for a chocolate hazelnut tart whilst my auntie went for lemon cheesecake (both $28). Thankfully, Pomme didn’t go for the cheat’s option of spreading the tart base with Nutella to achieve the chocolate hazelnut effect! Instead the filling was decadently rich, creamily smooth and with little crunch explosions of hazelnut pieces inside. However, although the tart shell was utterly buttery, it was a too hard and came away from the ganache-esque filling too easily.

The lemon cheesecake was a beauty. Light, tangy and neither too sweet, too tart or too heavy, it came complete with crumbly buttery biscuit base, silky smooth topping and just enough zing of lemon to keep things interesting. Textbook stuff.

Finally, a nice cuppa char to wash things down. I particularly liked how the menu told you which kind of teas were suited to which desserts – although I subsequently ignored all advice and went for the one with the prettiest name. My Vanilla Sencha (around $24) was delicately but not overwhelmingly sweet; a good clean fresh brew! I was rather taken with Pomme’s classy teacups – check out those fluid flowing lines!

Although a little pricey, it’s pretty much what I’d expect from a coffee shop in England and certainly no worse but far tastier than the likes of the dreaded Starbucks and Pacific Coffee. For the serene ambience, beautiful décor and an extensive menu I look forward to working my way through, Pomme is definitely deserving of ‘regular pit-stop’ status!

Pomme, G/F Southern Commercial Building, 11 Luard Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2527 9933

Stick Stick Desserts – oooh, stick you!

UPDATE: All Stick Stick locations are now closed.

Came across these perfect little tea-time snacks in the shopping mall at Hang Hau and just had to try them. We tried the Tiramisu, Chestnut Mont Blanc, Marble Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheesecake, Apple Cinnamon and Brownie (top to bottom, left to right).

The shop is called Stick Stick – all their cakes come in these small but perfectly-formed slices, or rather, sticks. So in-keeping with the small but perfectly-formed theme, I’ll try and keep my it brief as to why I thought this was such a cute concept:

  • Each one was $10. No messing about with cents or odd numbers. Easy.
  • The perfect size – not so big that you feel fat, bored or full but big enough to quell any dessert craving….
  • And small and cheap enough to justify buying plenty of different varieties! (As if I need much excuse!)
  • Neat and tidy – biscuit base stops it from falling apart, stick shape made it easy to pop in mouth and polish off far too quickly = no mess and no washing-up!
  • YUMMY! The cheesecakes were just the right amount of sweet, the apple cinnamon was like a delicious mini apple crumble and the brownie was gooey chocolate goodness with a satisfying nutty crunch.

Decisions, decisions… (click to enlarge)

I find a lot of HK desserts overly creamy and soft so the biscuit base of these makes for a nice change. In fact, the only way Stick Stick could get any better is if it offered a few comfy chairs and coffee to make it a great stop-off for shopped-out feet in the mall!

The proof of the pudding is in the eating – literally. So here’s a picture of my auntie enjoying her Mango Stick Stick with such gusto that I didn’t even manage to get a photo of it!

The ninja of cake-eating

Stick Stick, $10 each, Hollywood Plaza (Diamond Hill MTR) and East Point City (Hang Hau MTR). Their concessions rotate round various malls and department stores in Hong Kong, so if you find one, grab some!

Sawdust Desserts restaurant review – ice ice baby

I decided the perfect ending to our pirate jaunt would be ice cream (well, it’s the perfect ending to a lot of stuff really). We headed off to the Häagen-Dazs behind the World Trade Centre in Causeway Bay, only to discover it was closed and re-opening about three doors down, so we set about wandering aimlessly (walking off that soft shelled crab!) until we found somewhere to feed my craving – and eventually struck upon a little local place that our friend assured us sold ice cream.

This wasn’t ordinary ice cream though, this was folded shredded ice cream. It looks pretty but doesn’t really taste that much different from regular ice cream – well, once my head had got round the fact that it wasn’t eating crispy duck or shredded pork. My poor boyfriend got saddled with the strawberry one because I didn’t just want photos of chocolate and errr… that one wasn’t as nice, a bit watery and tasteless. So he sprinkled sugar on it. I’m not really sure if that helped.

I presume it’s a special machine (or a gifted origami-ist) that creates the folded effect; it seems to come out a little more sorbet like, with the menu calling it ‘snow ice’. They’re pretty cheap ($32), come with a choice of fruit and there were lots of other “interesting” flavours (Yakult, peanut) on offer that none of us were brave enough to try. You could even get some two-tone ones that would have made for nicer pictures but alas, I didn’t want to give up my pure chocolate hit for ‘plus vanilla’. Sorry!

A refreshing end to the night.

Sawdust Dessert, Shop C, G/F Shining Building, 477-81 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2893 8311