I’ve lived in Hong Kong for the last 10 years but I’m still a true blue Singaporean at heart especially when the Lunar New Year comes around each year. Each year, I faithfully head home to stock up on my favourite pineapple tarts – both open-face and closed, love letters, kueh bang-kit, cashew cookies and those incredibly addictive spicy shrimp rolls that I just can’t say no too! And then I sit back after the season, 2 kgs heavier and ask myself regretfully why I don’t possess greater self control!
It’s not that Hong Kong lacks it’s fair share of new year nibbles, because quite honestly .. Hong Kongers love their desserts and sweets! The fragrant harbour, most certainly has it’s very own cookie culture, which is not just limited to the New Year season but instead, available all year round. So, if you are a cookie-monster or a buddy to a lot of friends who appreciate food gifts then here’s my list of notable cookie stores that you should look out for the next time you pop by to visit the 852!.
Just a tip that if you don’t want to go on a wild goose chase, the cookie stores that I have listed below, can mainly be found in Kowloon, particularly in Tsim Sha Tsui along Peking Road, Lock Road, Carnavon Road, the K11 mall and around this general vicinity where I have noticed several cookie companies, recently setting up shops.
1. Jenny Bakery
Jenny’s is probably Hong Kong’s most famous cookie brand. It opened to incredibly enthusiastic and long queues in Singapore last year in the heartlands of Ang Mo Kio. In Hong Kong, there were two stores, but at the moment only one store seems to be operating from the slightly seedy Mirador Mansion area along Peking Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. Jenny’s has no shortage of devotees in Hong Kong and has emerged as the most sought-after, queue-worthy cookie company with multiple resellers and counterfeit retailers touting their wares to unsuspecting tourists and mainlanders, all sealed in seasonally different but the familiar signature Teddy bear-themed tins.
In Hong Kong there sometimes is a 4 box quota per person, especially during peak seasons like the Lunar New Year or Christmas period. But still the queues are there – probably because the cookies are butter and cornstarch-rich, melt-in-your mouth good and the price tag for a 4-mix of their famous Butter Flower, Shortbread, Raisin Oat and Coffee Flower cookies starts at only HK$70 per 320g tin. In Singapore the same tin size and mix, starts at double the price of its Hong Kong flagship at $25 (HK$125). Just saying, that if I was visiting Hong Kong from Singapore, that fact alone, would inspire me to stock up and cart them back.
Also worth picking up (as it’s not sold in Singapore) is a ton of their lesser known rectangle-shaped 8-mix nut cookies (great crunch and good flavour) And their 7 piece tin of Macadamia Cranberry Nougat Candy.
Jenny’s Bakery Hong Kong is at G24, Ground floor and Shop 42, 1st floor at Mirador Mansion, Tsim Sha Tsui,
Jenny’s Bakery Singapore is at 422 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, #01-2534, Singapore 560422
2. Glory Bakery
My latest cookie craving is definitely for a tin of these lovelies from Glory Bakery. I am a new convert to this brand and I plan to take a few tins home to family this year! True, that they are not half as buttery as Jenny’s but they are most definitely unique.
For starters, I really like the yellow tin design which looks premium and the cookies come beautifully packaged inside with a lovely catalogue and there are 15 different and unusual flavour combinations from Horlicks Macadamia Nut, Lemon Tea, Ovaltine, Linseed to Coffee Chocolate, Charcoal Sunflower Seed and Cranberry.
There are several themed cookie combos. If you like a Hong Kong flavour to the cookie mix in the box, pick the Cha Chaan Teng combo or else, there is the Tea Time selection or the Nuts and Seeds box. Slightly more expensive than Jenny’s, they start at HK$98 (S$18) for a small tin (320g).
Also selling, are their delicious Jams with flavours like Papaya Passion Fruit, Mango, Apple and Pineapple, a selection of Roasted Nuts, Brown Sugar Walnuts, Seaweed Walnuts, Dried Fruits, Raisins and Cranberries.
Glory Bakery is at: 161 Sai Yee St, Mong Kok and Shop C, Ground Floor, Carnavon Mansion, 10 Carnavon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
3. Conte De Cookie
One other brand that I have seen in Tsim Sha Tsui and Wan Chai but have yet to try is Conte De Cookie.
Set up by pedigreed Pastry Chefs who come from the Peninsula, Sheraton and Mandarin Oriental, one tin of these bite-sized beauties will set you back HK$178 (for about 36 cookies) but they look tempting and are apparently are made with the finest imported ingredients including organic eggs and wheat from the US, butter from France and Australia, Valrhona chocolate cocoa powder and Cacao Berry Chocolate including Fleur de sel de Guerande sea salt, organic cane sugar, natural nuts and dried fruits. The cookies are apparently made fresh daily and have no preservatives or chemicals
There are about 16 different cookie flavours at HK$82 per packet of single flavoured cookies including unusual ones like Osmanthus and Longan, Mango Cookies, Pineapple, Fleur de Sel, Rose and Raspberry and these are combined in about 5 different tin mixes that start at HK$178.
They sell Palmiers too, which Hong Kongers seem to like a lot but don’t do much for my personal sweet tooth. In terms of Palmier flavours, there are about 7 flavours from Maple Syrup to Mixed Grains, Lemon and Almond sticks that start at HK$158 per mixed tin or a single flavoured packet of Palmiers goes for HK$68.
Conte Cookie is at G/F, 8D Humphreys Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui
4. Cookies Quartet
This cookie brand definitely has been around for some time as they have at least five outlets in Hong Kong.
There are about 25 different cookie varieties from Blue Berry and Cornflake to Devil’s Chocolate Cookies, which I really liked because of the fact that they were not too sweet and you could really taste the chocolate and they were also crunchy.
Interesting were flavours like their Sea Salt Cookies, Rose Cookies, Orange Chocolate Cookies and Cinnamon Twists. There are about 5 different types of Palmiers from Shredded Coconut and Sesame to Golden Flaxseed and about 8 assorted box sets starting at HK$158 to select from. A box of 9 different cookie flavours starts at HK$178 whilst 11 flavours is at HK$208. A box of single flavoured cookies starts at HK$82.
Cookie Quartet is here (branch locations).
5. Cookie Galerie
This cookie store also has about 7 stores in Hong Kong. The flagship store at K11, has nice counters, a large shop space and looks a little intimidating especially when you want to go in for some free samples.
But the staff are generally helpful and friendly and will tell you if they are selling out on a particular cookie. For instance, I was looking for sugar free cookies which they sell for diabetics and there was but one box left as apparently they are quite popular.
They offer about 23 different cookie flavours including Belgian Dark Chocolate 75% with sliced white almonds, Rose, Lavender, Green Tea, Pistachio and Blueberry and 16 different types of Palmiers including the Spicy Hot Pork Floss, Almond and Sakura Sticks and a variety of chocolates, macarons and crispy cakes. Buy these as individual packets per flavour or you can buy them as mixed tin sets. There are 4 cookie tin sets that start from HK$128 a box – the choices: Tea Box, Nuts Talk, Suite de Chocolat and Momordica Fruit Cookies and also 2 mixed Pamier Tin Sets.
Cookie Calerie is at several locations with its flagship at K11 Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
6. Sweet Boutique de Tony Wong
A veteran pastry chef, Tony Wong hails from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Royal Garden Bakery and set up Cookies Quartet, Pâtisserie Tony Wong and Smile Yogurt. His Sweet Boutique aims to create low-sugar and healthy sweets using organic flour, French butter and puree, French fruit, trehalose without using added preservatives.
The cookie selection is made up of a selection of Egg Rolls starts at HK$168 a box with flavours like the Chocolate Explosive Cigar, Raspberry and Earl Grey, Crispy Cookies in Rose and Sesame combinations, Sable and Tulle Cookies, a selection of Meringues and Wafers, Pineapple cake, Assorted Dragees and Raspberry Almonds. Detailed price list HERE. There is also a special Lunar New Year pack that starts at HK$268 a box.
Their signature is undoubtedly their Bonbons which come in flavours like Rum and Raisin, Venezuela Dark Chocolate, Kalamansi and Strawberry with Balsamic Vinegar.
Sweet Boutique has 3 branch locations HERE.
7. Patisserie Jeffery Koo
Known as PJK, Jeffery Koo also hails from the Mandarin Oriental having worked at their Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur properties. He then trained under Michelin star patisserie Chef Pierre Gagnaier and he now is the host of a TVB TV show “Sweet Corner”, teaching celebrities how to make desserts. With a baking supplies store online as well as at Chai Wan and a patisserie in K11, this up and coming Pastry Chef is well known for his French style chocolate cakes.
Popping by the K11 store, we ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ at his range of Chinese New Year cookies seasonal products that he has brought out for Chinese New Year including his HK$628 (early bird price of HK$566) for his Salted Chocolate Kum Quat Trees. Cookies in sealed jars start at HK$128 for 240g.
Shop Locations HERE
8. Blesscuit Bakery
Also in K11 Mall, is this bakery owned by Pastry Chef Kim Leung has about 5 other outlets throughout Hong Kong and 3 in Macau. It’s name ‘Blesscuit’ is the combination of the words ‘blessings’ and ‘biscuits’.
The brand’s belief is that blessings are what their customers gift through their prettily wrapped and boxed creations. We liked their colourful tins which start at a promotional price of HK$228 for 28 pieces with 6 flavours of individually wrapped cookies. The flavours are unusual with about 18 different flavours to choose from ranging from Pear Butter to Black Pepper and Parmesan Cheese, Truffle and Smoked Ham cookies. There are also limited edition flavours available each season from Morels and Wild Mushrooms to Blue Lobster which make great gifts for adventurous tastebuds.
Blesscuit Bakery Outlets HERE
My experience with this brand is the fact that you will find it usually near a supermarket or in an MTR shop location. They are no newbies and have been around for the last 30 years. There are about 13 outlets, 2 festive counters and 2 Chocolate Cafes that the brand operates in Hong Kong. They are essentially famous for their chocolates and candies but they also sell cookies throughout the year and especially at the Lunar New Year where there are very attractive box sets and hampers galore.
Typically a box set of 9 flavours of butter cookies including purple sweet potato, chocolate ginger, green tea, honey yuzu, chocolate almond, blueberry and flax seed and about 54 cookies in a box starts at HK$185.
At the Lunar New Year, they have Rooster themed hampers and cookie tins like this with 45 cookies in 10 flavours starting at HK$259 a tin. They too sell a variety of Palmiers and just for the New Year there is a cute Tangerine Gift Box with an assortment of Gold Tael Butter cookies and chocolates including Hannovers, Orange Chocolates and Hazelnut Crunches at HK$88.
Lucullus locations HERE
10. Little Bear Bakery
These cookies come in cookie tins that could easily be mistaken for counterfeit Jenny cookies. Take a second look at their Teddy Bear themed tins and you will realise that are not Jenny Bakery cookies but have the same flower shaped cookies that also come in 4 mix tin of Butter, Matcha, Coffee and Chocolate starting at HK$130.
The owners are a husband and wife team who apparently have as their mascots Teddy Bears and they tins feature their signature little bears going on journeys around the world.
Their solo shop in Tsim Sha Tsui offers cookies, chocolates and with seasonal Egg Rolls created for the Lunar New Year.
Little Bear Bakery is HERE.
Not covered in this story (but in the plan for a future review) are Hong Kong traditional bakeries like Hang Heung, Wing Wah and Kee Wah, Macau’s Koi Kee, Taiwan’s Sunny Hills Pineapple Tarts Bakery and independent local family style bakeries along Mongkok, Shanghai and Temple Street and Wan Chai like Cherikoff and the established cookie brands that are not from Hong Kong but have stores here like Dutch cookie brand Aunt Stella, US cookie brand Mrs Fields and US Famous Amos, which are also in Hong Kong.