6 Sumptuous Afternoon Teas To Tuck Into In Hong Kong

If the tai tai life is what you are after in Hong Kong or if it just means that you have the perfect excuse to sit down and refuel after that fast and furious shopping trip with your girlfriends at one of Hong Kong’s many seasonal sales then Afternoon Tea is just the meal that you don’t want to miss out on … here are 6 lovely locations where you can book your table now …

The Langham’s Honey Afternoon Tea

… is a collaboration between The Langham Hotel in TST and beauty brand Guerlain who have launched a few new products that incorporate royal jelly and honey as part of their Abeille Royale Collection.

The Hotel’s Honey Afternoon Tea is served on a unique honeycomb stand and features honey from an organic bee farm in Hong Kong. Sweet morsels include The Bee, a golden macaron filled with dark chocolate and honey nectar, Chocolate, a mini tartlet made with salty caramel, honey ganache and milk chocolate and Honeycomb, an Earl Grey crémeux, honey and orange jelly, topped with chunks of homemade honeycomb and sprinkles of gold dusted white chocolate pearls. The spread also features Mango and honey mousse, a French Mille-feuille with honey cream infused with vanilla and yuzu. Not just sweet, but also savoury, there is a delicious Lavender-infused Honey Glazed Duck Breast, Cucumber and Cheddar Cheese Sandwiches and a Norwegian Smoked Salmon Dome Stuffed with Crab Salad on Corn Bread. On top of everything, there is a selection of exquisite afternoon tea blends to go with the food, the comfort of the lovely ambience of one of Hong Kong’s classiest tea lounges where you can just sink into the forever of their plush and lovely sofas and just spend all having a chi chi afternoon catch up.

Available at The Palm Court Lobby Lounge from NOW till end 30 September 2017 at HK$348 for one person and HK$598 for two persons, subject to a 10 per cent service charge

Served: Weekdays from 3:00 to 5:30 pm and on weekends and public holidays in two sittings, from 2:15 – 4:15 p.m., and 4:30 – 6:30 p.m
Call: (852) 2132 7898

 

The Cakery’s Guilt Free Afternoon Tea

Is there such a thing as a guilt free afternoon tea? Well, for those with a conscience, step into The Cakery. Owner, Shirley Kwok serves up a 100% gluten free tea that uses natural, nutrient- rich ingredients like brown rice flour, tapioca flour, millet flour, almond flour, buckwheat flour, oat flour and Arrowroot flour to create the pastries on her special menu. All her sweets are also made with low-sugar or refined-sugar free, and there are vegetarian and vegan items featured.

Presented beautifully on a fan-shaped three-tiered sleek white tray, find Truffle Chouquettes which is an Italian truffle cream cheese mousse with gluten-free choux pastry, Mini Pizzas made with sweet potato, baby corn, red onion, mushroom, parmesan cheese, tomato sauce, Lobster Crepes featuring US lobster galette, cream cheese, gluten-free crepe, Salmon and Cream Cheese Sandwiches made with gluten-free vegan chia bread. The sweets include Bite-size Cupcakes except that these are gluten-free and/or dairy- free, egg-free, low-sugar and low-fat. There are also Lemon Tarts made with gluten-free pastry and White Chocolate Goji Berry Mousse Pots and Mini Chia Puddings, Gluten-free Scones served with homemade strawberry raspberry basil jam, clotted cream. Enjoy all that with homemade Red Date & Goji Berry Tea or a Ginger Spice Tea or The Cakery’s Tea and Organic Coffee selection and go home guilt-free (well, almost!)

Available at The Cakery Lee Gardens Two, from NOW at HK$388 (per set for two persons)

Extras: Make a booking a day in advance and get a 10% discount.

Served: Daily from 2.30pm to 6.00pm daily, subject to 10% service charge.

Call: (852) 2816 1838

 

Yeh! Shanghai Afternoon Tea at The W Hotel’s Woo Bar

Here’s a promising mini food tour around Shanghai whilst you are in Hong Kong at the W Hotel’s WOOBAR! Their Afternoon High Tea has a Shanghainese theme and the Yeh! Shanghai tea set starts with delicious morsels of crispy suckling pig, fermented bean curd paste and caviar, transferring you to a traditional Chinese BBQ restaurant, however only for a second before you move onto succulent seafood treats such as the prawn cocktail with light spicy sesame soya sauce and sago.  Not just savouries but also sweets, the set includes black sesame dumpling with white sesame tuile and chocolate and cinnamon croissant twist.  The favourite item being their signature “Xiao long BAO” – a cake consisting of vanilla-pistachio mousse, raspberry jam on feuilletine.  On weekends, expect an Afternoon Tea Buffet spread.

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Drink’s wise, the Hotel is not just stopping at a simple cup of Chinese tea but has used the Chinese inspiration of four flowers, each representing four different seasons with the Chrysanthemum representing Autumn in its beverages and alcoholic drinks. There are concoctions like The Qipao, a fresh blend of Belvedere Vodka, Lemon juice, Chrysanthemum tea and a unique blend of Osmanthus syrup, The Shanghai Pour, served in an oriental teapot and cup with a mixture of Chinese white wine, The Wild Flower, a fresh combination of egg white, lemon juice, gin with a Yuzu paste flavour or The Pearl, perfect for the whisky and date lovers.

AvailableNOW to 31 October 2017 at The Woobar at The W Hotel

Served: An Afternoon Tea Set is served on Monday – Friday (except public holidays) from 2:30pm at $418 + 10% for two whilst an Afternoon Tea buffet is served on Saturday and Sunday including public holidays from 2:30pm – 5:30pm at $330 + 10% per person. Cocktails are priced at $140+10%

Call: (852) 37172889

 

‘The history of Whoo’ Afternoon Tea at The Intercontinental

If you are into Korean culture, cosmetics and food, the Lobby Lounge at the Intercontinental has also partnered with premium Korean skincare brand, ‘The history of Whoo’, to launch an Afternoon Tea Set that is all about consuming ingredients that preserve one’s beauty and prevent ageing, all inspired by Korean royal court beauty secrets which kind of reminds me of a throw back to that immensely popular K-drama, ‘Jewel In The Palace’ some years back.

Their Afternoon tea is both savoury and sweet so there are items like Ginseng chicken rolls, an Angelica slow cooked Pork belly on brioche bread and a Comfit Foie Gras and goji berry chutney on crispy bread, served alongside pastry items like the Whoo Macaroon, a Calvados Jelly Apple Pie, Almond Cream, Tea Cakes, Panna Cottas and Scones.

Available at The Intercontinental Hotel’s Lobby Lounge 18 Sep to 30 November 2017

Served: There is a Weekday Afternoon Tea set at $608 for 2 persons (Monday to Friday) and a Weekend Afternoon Tea Set at $628 for 2 persons (Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays)

Extras: The Tea Set is inclusive of two special ‘The history of Whoo’ Bichup Royal Anti-aging Kits (valued at $500 each) plus two gift cards with special offers for products at “The history of Whoo” shop in Harbour City. Beauty afficianados who bought items at ‘The history of Whoo’ with a receipt can also enjoy 20% off of the Afternoon Tea Set for 2 persons.

Alongside this, the Hotel has arranged a series of Korean Handicraft Workshops on how to make simple Korean style accessories like Dried Flower Bracelets on Friday, Sept 22, October 27 and November 24  and a Korean Knots Workshop on Friday, Oct 13 and Nov 10. Details here.

Call: (852) 2721 1211

 

A Van Cleef & Arpels Nature-Inspired Tea at The Peninsula

With a new boutique just opened at the iconic Peninsula Hotel’s Arcade, jewelry brand Van Cleef & Arpels have gone the extra mile to commemorate the occasion by launching a high tea that aims to serve up a range of treats that is almost as exquisite as the jewelry they sell.

Presented on a silver platter, there are fruit tarts like the Lemon and Basil, Chocolate Tarts with Milk Chocolate Chantilly, apricot macarons, a mango and passionfruit choux that reflects the brand’s 3D heart shaped petals in their collection and savouries like the nicoise salad, croquet monsieur, smoked salmon rolls with lemon cress and carrot bread and the Pen’s all time favourites, the dill-marinated cucumber sandwiches and their freshly baked scones with organic strawberry jam and clotted cream.

AvailableNOW till 30 September 2017 at The Peninsula’s Lobby Lounge

Served:  Daily from 2pm to 6pm at $388 per person or $688 for 2 persons. Champagne is at an extra $220 per glass. Each table gets a Van Cleef & Arpels notebook from their iconic Frivole jewelry collection, evoked by enchanting blooms (whilst stocks last)

Call: (852) 2920 2888

 

Afternoon Tea with Cody The Red Panda at The Cordis

If your kids are coming to tea with you over the weekend, then tea with Cody, The Red Panda at The Cordis Hotel, is an absolute MUST! Cody is the Cordis Hotel’s red panda mascot and he is a hit with the youngsters and will be hanging out at The Place every weekend and on public holidays during the Hotel’s Afternoon Tea Buffet.

He is endangered as red pandas are, so make sure that the time with Cody is well spent and make it an educational experience for your young ones by visiting the booth at the buffet that explains what is being done to protect the red panda. Each child at the buffet will receive a red panda backpack with different Cody themed goodies. There are activities for the kids including handicraft sessions for kids to turn some of the hotel’s recyclables into toys and a colouring contest with attractive prizes. Kids can take pictures with Cody or pick up a plush toy where proceeds go towards the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation to support wildlife conservation including the preservation of red pandas and their habitats.

Cody is a particularly generous guy so kids aged 6 years or below are invited to enjoy the buffet for free. The buffet is tailor made and filled with kids’ favourite tea time items, including Cheese Spring Rolls, BBQ Chicken Drumsticks, and Pan-seared Japanese Pork Sausages, delicious desserts including assorted Cody-shaped Cookies, Blood Orange Cody Mousse Cake, and Cody Cupcakes. Kids are also invited to make their own crepes and puffs. One of the most comprehensive tea buffets available, find Pineapple Chicken Salad, Melon Salad with Shrimp, Salmon Sashimi, Snapper Sashimi, California Maki Roll, Deep Fried Shrimp Toast, Scrambled Egg with Black Truffle Paste, Wok Fried Korean Fish Cake, Korean Dumplings with Vegetable Broth, Japanese Soup Noodles, Indian Vegetarian Curry, Hong Kong Dim Sums, Coffee Opera Cake, American Cheesecake, Strawberry Panna Cotta, Mövenpick Ice Cream and more on the menu.

Available16 September till 15 October 2017 at The Place, The Cordis Hotel at Langham Place, Mongkok at $248 for Adults and $198 for Kids and Seniors.

Served on weekends and public holidays from 16 September to 15 October 2017

Extras: Each Cordis Kid will receive a red panda backpack with different Cody themed goodies. They can also join the complimentary handicraft session to turn some of the hotel’s recyclable into toys. Each adult can bring up to 2 children, 6 years and under for free.

Call: (852) 3552 3028

 

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3 Seriously Cool Asian Restaurants To Go To In Hong Kong This Summer

Junjuu’s super cool dining room

Funky mod-Korean restaurant & bar Jinjuu, headed by TV chef and UK Iron Chef winner, Korean-American Judy Joo, has just reopened in Lan Kwai Fong after a bout of renovations and menu revamp and a happy “price adjustment”. Look forward to set lunch starting from HK$198 for two courses, and new sharing plates for dinner, featuring dishes like short rib kimchi hhotteok with Korean-style pancake, Kong bowl (HK$45) with edamame topped with chilli panko mix, Philly cheese steak & kimchi (HK$85), and whole Korean fried chicken (HK$480 for 3-4 pax). Head Mixologist Edgar Santillan rolls out summer cocktails (HK$120) ranging from fruity Purple Haze, comprising hibiscus-tinted Glendalough gin, yuzu sake, acai liquor, lemon juice, apple, orange sherbet, to The Gentleman, a boozy tipple of Buffalo Trace bourbon, lillet blanc, pedro ximenez & angostura bitters. Happy hour hits between 5 and 8pm.

UG/F, California Tower, 32 D’Aguilar Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 3755-4868

Summery Thai-meets-South American flavours in Limewood

If you want to get into the breezy holiday mood, head to Limewood at Repulse Bay for a seriously exciting meal where Thai flavours and South American cooking collide deliciously. Tuck into summery dishes like its soft shell crab salad and Pacific lobster salad with ponzu mayo, yellow curry mayo, grapefruit and avocado; barbecued New Zealand lamb rack served with Penang curry, green peppercorns, fragrant herbs and kaffir lime, whole roasted jerked chicken with caramelized pineapple and mango habanero sauce, and its signature Charred Whole Sea Bream. Wash it all down with craft beers, shaken margaritas and “barbeque inspired cocktails”.
The Pulse, Shop 103 & 104 G/F – 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay
Tel: +852 2866 8668

Matcha tea glutinous rice balls filled with yam & crispy glutinous rice dumpling with chocolate at Hutong

Hutong at One Peking may have been around for quite a while, but this Chinese courtyard house styled restaurant continues to keep Chinese dining fresh and stylish. Just launched is its new Fēng Wèi brunch on weekends which showcases Chinese cuisine in the coolest way possible, washed with the option of free flow Veuve Clicquot Champagne and summer cocktails. Tuck into over 18 traditional dishes given a contemporary twist, such as a rich and aromatic seared foie gras with osmanthus-smoked coddled egg, shrimp, kimchi & mozzarella spring roll, 12-hour braised beef rib with aromatic herbs in lotus leaf and Matcha tea glutinous rice balls filled with sweet potato. Complementing the experience are demonstrations of traditional Chinese arts like fortune-telling by bird (as seen in the night markets of Temple Street), Sichuan face changing, kung-fu tea pouring and Chinese rainbow calligraphy. It may be kind of touristy (good for bringing out-of-town friends) but the food is definitely worth heading back for. HK$428 and additional HK$200 for Champagne and drinks option.

28/F One Peking, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
Telephone: (852) 3428 8342

Hutong’s stylish take on northern Chinese favourites

Meet Mr S.Y Punti – A Small Cafe With Big Personality

The next time you are find yourself in the increasingly trendy Sai Ying Pun enclave, drop by and say hello to a new resident there, the honourable Mr. S.Y. Punti!

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Who is he? He or rather IT is a small cafe with undeniable personality.  There are no short forms when it comes to formal introductions with this cafe. On contrary, this elusive little place is tucked behind a temporary public toilet at the end of David Lane – next to the Sai Ying Pun wet market. It took a little bit of investigative work to track Mr. Punti down but when we eventually did, my girlfriend and I were both pleased and pleasantly surprised by this little gem of an eatery which also serves coffee and alcohol.

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Cafe Manager, Bibiana greeted us warmly at the door when we arrived for lunch to try some of the traditional cha chaan teng fare that seems to have been given a nice twist in terms of preparation, presentation and the use of healthy and fresh produce instead of the usual canned fare that cha chaan tengs are so fond of using.

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The first thing we inquired with Bibiana was about was the inspiration behind the Cafe’s name. The “Mr” is just a fun formality and the Cafe’s initials. “S.Y.”, she explained, stood for Sai Ying Pun which turns out was one of Hong Kong’s oldest neighbourhoods and one of the first formally settled places in Hong Kong as it was close to where the British first landed.  It’s surname “Punti” hails from the ‘pun’ in Sai Ying Pun and also the word “punti’ which is the slang word for local dialect – a word that it’s Barrister Founder and Owner picked up in court when asking clients that he was representing whether they wanted legal proceedings to be conducted in English or Cantonese.

That done, we got down to admiring the nitty gritty – from the very retro and interesting decor to the simple but tasty menu.

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I have to say, I really liked the use of space in the venue. The eatery is essentially tiny and is housed in a small narrow shop house. Outside there is an alfresco area with seats for 2 just before you enter the premises. Inside, is a small living space that has been converted into a dining area with booths that seat 8 and  a bar area with seats for 6, whilst the back of house area hosts a rest room, an open-air air-well and the Cafe’s main kitchen.

There is a distinct retro 1960s vibe which adds to the charm of the venue. A very eclectic and quirky Hong Kong sense of style prevails here. Different elements from East and West come together almost seamlessly and effortlessly and at Mr. S.Y. Punti, it is a case of 1960s style American Diner meets 1960s Chinese vintage.

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Just open the secret drawer built into one of the eatery’s standard American diner booth tables and help yourself to the eclectic mix of Chinese vintage style cutlery. Whilst you chat and eat, Faye Wong’s sultry tunes add to the relaxing ambience in the distant background. It is an unusual mix, but yet nothing feels odd or misplaced.

The menu and fare is simple with items that one would expect at a local Hong Kong eatery but decently priced, well-presented, hearty and minus that greasy after-taste that brings on the food coma you usually suffer from, after leaving a Hong Kong cha chaan teng.

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We started with what the locals call Cheong Fun, an order of Panfried Rice Rolls with Eggs and Bean Sprouts (HK$32).

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After that came the Panfried Lotus Root Cake made from mushrooms and minced pork served with Mini Greens (HK$36).

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This was followed by my favourite – Dumplings, a combination of three different types of dumplings – one with Minced Pork, one with Shitake and the last variety with Chicken and Celery (all for HK$38) served in a lovely homemade Chicken broth.

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All three items went well with the Cafe’s signature Yu Kwen Yick chilli sauce. It turns out that the Cafe was previously the actual ‘factory’ venue where this iconic made-in-Hong Kong chilli sauce was actually manufactured – fermented in wooden barrels.

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Dessert was a French Toast with Peanut Butter (HK$35) and Sesame Balls or Tong Yuen served in Iron Buddha Tea (HK$35). I really liked this unusual combination where the tea had a delicious roasted flavour and was gingerly poured over the sesame balls. Again an unusual combination that somehow, mysteriously worked.

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We ended our meal with two cups of Olympia Graeco-Egyptian coffee which barista-trained – Bibiana, personally prepared.

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Definitely, a cute spot to retreat to in the day, for a quiet girlfriend chat – over Almond Tea (HK$35) and a Cappuccino (HK$35), away from the hustle and bustle of busy Sai Ying Pun. Or this venue would also make a lovely spot to host a private party for about 20 people, after hours. Also, an ultra-nice nice venue to pop into for an evening, after work drink where Blue Girl Beer is on tap and a glass of wine starts at only HK$48.

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Nice to make your acquaintance S.Y, we hope you don’t mind us dropping the ‘Mister’ and now that we have been formally introduced, we would love to come back and say hello and get re-quainted. This time, perhaps on a first name basis!

Mr. S.Y Punti is at G/F No. 4 David Lane, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong – Tel: +852 29158885 

 

Edible Flowers And Afternoon Tea At The Langham

Everything is coming up floral and pretty at The Langham, Hong Kong this Spring. If you have an occasion to celebrate, be it a girly catch up, a girlfriend’s birthday or Mothers’ Day, then we recommend that you make a booking for their specially themed, ‘Blooming Afternoon Tea’ at The Langham Hotel’s Palm Court.

Here’s a tip to book for the 25th and 26th of March when British illustrator, Tanya Bennet will be there to design guest portraits for you to take back. If you are wondering why her ultra-cute illustrations look so familiar, its because you’ve seen these water colour sketches and fashion vignettes commissioned for use by brands like Christian Louboutin, Cartier, and Lane Crawford, all of whom have engaged Tanya for various campaigns.

We love the ambience at Palm Court. The setting is just intimate, classy and sublime. The plush armchair lounge creates an inviting and relaxed atmosphere where you just want to sit back and sink in, take genteel sips of your favourite tea (pinkies pointed up) and chat to your hearts content against the melodic tinkling tunes from the pianist, playing live in the background. Definitely a nice place to feel magically transported from the crowds, stress and humdrum of the everyday.

Executive Pastry Chef Matthieu Godard and his culinary team have designed a selection of five exquisite pastries decorated as a bouquet of blossoms and the tea has an overall floral theme from the exquisite wedgewood platters on which he serves his creation to the fact that he uses real flowers as decorations, all edible.

Jasmine is a pistachio and white chocolate macaron filled with a dash of jasmine tea flavoured cream. Rose is a decadent vanilla panna cotta with luscious rose and strawberry mousse served in a glass, topped with a thin chocolate rose petal.

Viola is a playful arrangement as a bite-sized chocolate flower pot planted with Gianduja cream rich in hazelnut, and viola flowers. Marigold is a fruity dome incorporating yuzu mousse, apricot jam and lemon biscuit, while Daisy offers a buttery base of sablé breton with raspberry mousse and Chantilly cream.

Savoury accompaniments include the “pseudo” tomato patch with fillings of smoked salmon and cream cheese, chicken with Dijon mustard, and green pea hummus with sesame paste. There are also scones and cheese sticks if you want to fill up after.

And if tea lingers on to Happy Hour, we suggest you try their Garden Globe Cocktail at the adjoining Artesian Bar. 100% instagram-worthy, this create cocktail features an ice sphere with live edible flowers (almost like a mini terrarium) delicately balanced on top of the glass with a creative cocktail concoction below made with  elderflower, violet flower and black currant liqueur, as well as fresh lime juice and egg white. This cocktail is priced at HK$130 per glass and is available from 1 March to 30 April 2017.

The Blooming Art Afternoon Tea is available at Palm Court, at The Langham Hong Kong from 21 March to 31 May 2017  at HK$348 for one person and HK$598 for two persons, subject to 10 per cent service charge. The guest portrait experience is offered on 25 March 2017 at 2:15 – 4:15 p.m., 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., and on 26 March 2017 at 2:15 – 4:15 p.m. Reservations at +852 2132 7898

 

10 Noteworthy Cookie Stores To Check Out In Hong Kong

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.

Where:

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.

WHERE: 

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.

Where:

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.

Where: 

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.

Where:

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.

Where :
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.

Where: 
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.

Where: 

Blesscuit Bakery Outlets HERE

 

9. Lucullus

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.

Where: 

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.

Where: 

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. 

Restaurant Review: All Nighter Korean Chicken And Beer Delights!

It’s no secret that in the last two years, the Hong Kong fast food scene has been influenced by the growing K-Pop phenomenon.

Korean restaurants especially fast food joints have popped up everywhere capitalising on the Korean ‘chimek’ craze, combining the word ‘chicken’ with the Korean word for beer, ‘mekju’. This approach combining east and west flavours, has transformed a traditional fast food and humble fried chicken into a favourite snack that seems to have  transcended diverse cultures.

In Tsim Sha Tsui (or TST, as its fondly called) near the Mira Hotel and down from Knutsford Terrace, there is even an enclave called ‘Korean Town’ dotted with Korean supermarkets, mom and pop snack shops, eateries selling Korean fast food and Korean BBQ joints.

Not confined to just that area and relatively nearby, at Hau Fook Street – parallel to Kowloon’s hugely popular shopping area, Granville Road, we were invited to check out CHIBEE, the latest Korean Chicken and Beer outlet there. No guesses what the ‘Chi’ and ‘Bee’ in their name stands for. The big difference about this particular Korean outlet is the fact that they pull an all-nighter and they are open till 5am with a sports bar vibe that has them screening live football and sports matches till the early hours. A perfect spot for insomniacs, supper lovers and sports fans who want a place to congregate past the witching hour.

Chibee’s first outlet made its debut in Causeway Bay in 2015, It opened as a roaring success with a winning recipe of fried chicken with spicy sauces and delicious snack-style bites washed down with bottled beers and soju.

Outdoor Balcony at TST

Inspired to open another outlet, the owners have given its second branch a hip interior and a rooftop balcony so that you can chill outside, perfect for the Winter months. It opened recently in Tsim Sha Tsui’s H8 Food Mall on September 22. this year.

In terms of food, the formula is the same, but the menu has definitely expanded to include specialties that you can only enjoy at this particular outlet.

We headed over for dinner last week to try a few of their exclusive items. The first was the Fondue Chicken that comes with curly fries and a cheese fondue with a side of Korean pickles. I would have preferred the cheese to be a bit more melted and drippy but otherwise a nice snack that washes down well with a tall glass of Korean beer.

Chicken, Fries and Cheese Fondue (HK$152)

Their Dino Cheese Balls (HK$60) made of minced chicken and cheese is another item unique to the Chibee TST branch. Think of these as large-size Chicken Meat Balls mixed with cheese. They are hearty and you are meant to tear them apart to go with the dipping sauce that taste a bit like a cole slaw.

The drink that you see in the picture below is a definite signature to Chibee. This is called the Strawberry Cider Rita (HK$98) and features a bottle of Sprite suspended over a Strawberry and Cider mix.

Dino Cheese Balls (HK$60)

The best fried chicken dish I had that night was this most definitely this addictive number – the Fried Nongshim Noodle Chicken (HK$168). The chicken is coated with favourite Korean Nongshim noodles before deep frying, This gives the Chicken a delicious crispy exterior with that salty ‘mah-mee’ noodle taste. Pair this with a mild dipping sauce, Korean pickles and a bit of salad and you won’t stop at one basket. Heart ‘clogging-ly’ good and most certainly calorie-worthy!

Fried Nongshim Noodle Fried Chicken (HK$168)

We also had a few accompanying orders of a totally tasty hotpot noodle dish which I will not hesitate to order again – the Budaejjigae (HK$220). We also had some Shin Ramyun Chicken (HK$168), Korean Rice balls  (HK$58) which are actually triangle in shape and generously covered in seaweed, and the Spicy Tteokbokgi (HK$98) a tasty rice cake that looks like cheong fun, famously used in Korean street food.

Lunch sets are also served, and the drinks menu offers a range of bottled beers, juices, cider and trendy fruit-flavoured sojus.

Where:

CHIBEE is at 23/F of 8 Hau Fook Street, just a stroll from Exit B2 of Tsim Sha Tsui MTR. Opening hours are midday-4pm on weekdays, and every night from 6pm-5am.  Tel:  (852) 2158 1818

 

Best Place For Sushi And Origami For Kids

Here’s a great place for a weekend lunch with Kids especially if you want a light and easy intro to Japanese cuisine and something for them to do whilst the adults chat.

We walked into Shiro at Pacific Place (next to Great supermarket) in Hong Kong, last week to try their new menu for Juniors and I also got to enjoy the new items added on to their innovative Crystal Sushi menu which we wrote about a few months back. Look out for my story piece on that soon.

Back to ‘babies’ … the new Junior Menu is fun and an adventure in eating different types of food especially if you have a young child that you would like to introduce Japanese food to.

I liked the fact that its not just one thing on the menu and the restaurant did not try to reduce it to serving Japanese food on cute plates and cups with ‘kawaii’ Hello Kitty cutlery. Instead, they took the trouble to size the adult portions down, offering some nicely thought through selections on what kids would like to eat, making this a more sophisticated introduction to Japanese 101.

My daughter is only just starting to eat raw as somehow her stomach always turns renegade with undercooked food. We picked the Sakana Sushi Set (HK$128) which featured mini sized sushi from mini salmon to tomago and prawn sushi complete with miso soup and orange juice. A great choice – as besides the sushi being small and cute – each piece is served as a bite sized piece – each sushi order is also unlimited. So, if your child likes one variety more than another, order another piece and so on.

We also ordered a Bento Box which was actually almost as generous as the adult-sized portion as that offered a lot of cooked items. Offering good variety and flavour, there are two boxes to choose from:  the Chocho Junior Bento Box filled with tasty prawn katsu, chicken karaage and udon noodles or the Tatsu Junior Bento Box with prawn and vegetable tempura, chicken teriyaki ball and udon noodle soup. Each Bento Box is only HK$98.

Otherwise, if your child is into finger foods, then the posh little Mini Temaki Handrolls made for children only are from HK$15 per piece. Kids can choose to have salmon, crab and avocado, freshwater eel, Japanese omelette or cucumber.

And whilst the adults are busy chatting, each Shiro menu also turns into an origami art piece and activity for the kids.

If the service staff are not too busy, they will even come fold the pieces with your little one. Now that’s what I call service!

Shiro is at two locations in Hong Kong at: 

Shiro Pacific Place – LG1, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway
Admiralty, Hong Kong
Reservations : +852 2117 9481
Shiro TaiKoo Place – Lincoln House, 979 King’s Road
TaiKoo Place, Hong Kong
Reservations : +852 2116 4969