Hong Kong Best Dessert Report (Vol 1): Traditional Desserts


We know you love our round-ups of the best desserts from Melbourne and London, and that our less-than-regular dessert reportings mean that you have been itching for updates. So, we thought it about time we do a similar round-up of desserts sampled across Hong Kong. What’s the talk of the town and what’s under the radar? Read on to find out more, and enjoy the sweet adventure in Hong Kong style — fast-paced gluttony!

A serious affair @ Fofo by el Willy

  • Dessert adventure: Spanish
  • Location: Level 20, 2-8 Wellington Street, Central, HK.

Located high above the rowdy blobs of party goers of the (in)famous Lan Kwai Fong district, Fofo is an established Spanish restaurant in Hong Kong’s landscape, with a Michelin starred-background. It’s tapas gone high class, a stark, almost clinically white space accessorized with white draped tables, weighty cutlery and uniformed service staff. A definitively ideal place for languid business luncheons or serious dinner dates. Of the desserts on offer, you could order Fofo’s apple tart signature, but hey, we want Spanish, and the smooth lushness of its Creme Caramel pleased us a lot. Served with mango, strawberries and cream, it’s a dessert for anytime of the year and executed with as much textbook precision as the preceding savoury bites.

Dancing to a modern beat @ Zafran

  • Dessert adventure: Modern Spanish
  • Location: Down the stairs, behind the faux grass doors, 43-55 Wyndham Street, Central, HK.

Whereas Fofo is a serious venture for a more conservative crowd, relative new-comer Zafran is geared towards a younger dining market. Sultry dim setting, a dominant bar zone, throbbing pulsating soundtrack, this all makes for a very very cool, chilled place. Stomach space must certainly be saved for the desserts here. The Heuvo Fritto (aka fried egg) dessert will raise eyebrows at first glance, but dessert lovers, this is one of HK’s greatest dessert adventures. Deconstructed, it’s an unexpected medley of an “egg” of pumpkin ice cream and white chocolate “egg white”, and “chips” of pineapple with strawberry and cherry “ketchup.” A new meaning to “breakfast dessert” taken at evening time! That said, our hearts belong to the “Chocolate Dessert special” – look out for it on the rotating specials menu. Chocolate, peanut, salty, yum yum yum.

A big Australian hug @ Bellbrook, Bistro Oz

  • Dessert adventure: Modern Australian
  • Location: Level 2, Carfield Building, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, HK.

God we miss home! French expats are everywhere as are Brits and Americans, Australians less so. Where to go? Two floors up from the alcohol guzzling crowds spilling out as fast as the beer taps turn onto Wyndham St (think extension of Lan Kwai Fong), the Bellbrook’s slightly rustic, slightly country-style furnishings, and very upbeat vibe reminds us a bit of Sydney’s bustle, Melbourne’s industrial chic and Perth’s rugged good looks. Although the menu verges in some areas into cringe-worthy stereotype zone (kangaroo? aboriginal paperbark? righto…), one can overlook it for the fresh lightness of food that we are used to back home, very well replicated here, the “Bellbrook Pina” cinnamon+rum+pineapple+lime cocktail which has to be one of the best in HK (not watered down like so many out there!), and wait for it…the huge Sticky Date Pudding anchored in a sea of boozy brandy caramel sauce and a globe of vanilla ice cream. Comfort dessert to the max.

Filtering through the Cantonese hype @ Duddells

  • Dessert adventure: Modern Cantonese
  • Location: Level 3 and 4, Shanghai Tang Mansion, 1 Duddell Street, Central, HK.

The month that one element of Dessert Correspondents relocated to HK, Duddell’s was the restaurant on everyone’s lips, and when we say, everyone, we mean everyone. In Melbourne, “talk of the town” means the food blogging or reviewing community. In Hong Kong, it also means traditional print media, every professional worth their salt in Central, every wannabe hipster yearning for a bit of cultural realisation. The dining space level is beautiful, spacious yet intimate, modern yet traditional, oriental yet western, and with that very very hard-to-find sense of utter serenity (if you have the fortune to dine very early in the night). Cocktails on its outdoor terrace herald such a wonderful end-of-work treat, but over-population has deterred us lately from return visits. In truth, we consider Duddell’s over-hyped. From our experiences, there are two highlights: the brushstroke Chinese artworks that grace its walls and the Baked Cumquat Puffs (or pineapple). These buttery beauties have no competitors with the rest of the forgettably bland menu offerings priced at a borderline eye-watering range. We hear the dim sum offerings are better than a la carte though, so perhaps you may have a better experience.

Searching for el Dorado flavours @ Mayta

  • Dessert adventure: Peruvian
  • Location: Level 3, Grand Progress Building, 15 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, HK.

Another restaurant venue secreted away in a nondescript commercial building away from the LKF crowds, there’s a distinctive air of inscrutability with Mayta. It might be the dark wood furnishings and dim lighting that partly invoke the Amazon, or maybe it’s simply the promise of the exotic melange that is Peruvian food. Decor aside, the crowd is young and the vibe is wonderfully relaxed and jovial, but the food is somewhat reflective of HK’s general dining malaise, hit and miss. Overlooking dishes where flavours were numbed for the local populace, we will return any day for the Suspiro de Limena, a slightly watery pool of dulce de leche embedded with an orb of olive oil ice cream, quinoa cookies and grilled pineapple. It’s sunshine on a large white plate.


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