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Hong Kong’s Best Desserts – Cool Summer Edition

Summer heat in Hong Kong can be stifling. The fact that the city is one giant air-conditioned canopy offers a welcome respite. Still, there is nothing better though than to indulge in a large serving of cold, refreshing and palate pleasing dessert in the dog days of Summer.
And when it comes to filling that sweet tooth of yours, Hong Kong takes a back seat to nobody. The locals love desserts as much as anybody else, albeit with a preference for lighter and more soupy sweet treats. Besides the local favourites, the city is spoilt for choice as an endless selection of regional and international desserts are on offer as well, making the city a dessert paradise on its own right. So, whether it's a bowl of chilled Mango sago cream, a Taiwanese bubble tea or a cone of Italian gelato one would kill for, they are all there for the taking.

Local Favourites

1. Mango Pomelo Sago: If we must pick out one local dessert that is universally popular, the chilled mango pomelo sago would be high on the list. Created by Lei Garden, a well-known Cantonese restaurant in Hong Kong, in the 1980s, this delightful dessert is ubiquitous, served in many Chinese restaurants and dessert shops in the city. It is everything you can ask for a summer treat – refreshing, fruity, light and thirst quenching. And it is yummy!
Most popular local dessert chains serve it, including Honeymoon Desserts, one of the city’s more popular ones.
2. Chilled To Fu Pudding: Also called soybean pudding or Doufufa in Cantonese, this venerable dessert is popular throughout China and Southeast Asia. The pudding is made by simmering soybean milk in a bamboo bucket till it turns into curd, then chilled and served with sweet ginger or sugar syrup. It is light and yummy, perfect for the summer.
Check out Kwun Wo Tofu Factory in Sham Shui Po which is known for making velvety smooth tofu pudding the old fashion way. Address: 118 Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui po.
3. Grass Jelly (Leung Fan): A low-calorie dessert that has a devoted following, grass jelly favourite is made by boiling and cooling a liquid made from leaves and stalks of a local plant until it turns into translucent, black jelly like . The jelly is diced into cubes and favoured with syrup or fruits and other sweet condiments. The jelly is thought to have a cooling property and is highly popular in the summer.
Try Song Kee Sugar Water Shop, a popular local dessert shop in Sham Shui Po for its choice of cold grass jelly desserts and many more. Shop CB58, G/F. Smiling Plaza, 162-188 Un Chau Street, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon .
4. Sugarcane juice: Perhaps less popular than it once did, the freshly grinded sugarcane juice is still an excellent drink for the summer. The Chinese ascribes certain cooling properties to the drink that can help with hot, humid weather.
To try the juice made the old fashion way, you must try Kung Li Sugarcane Juice Shop, a landmark on Hollywood Road in Central which has been opened since 1948. Address: 60 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong.
5. Sweet Mung Bean Soup: Often served after a meal, and not to be confused the popular red bean soup which is served warm, mung bean soup is more popular in the summer, as it can be served chilled and is thought to be “ cooling”. A bowl of nicely chilled mung bean soup satisfies both the palate and the tummy, and it is light and tasty. Try Luk Lum Dessert, another popular dessert chain in Hong Kong.
6. Shaved-Ice: Shaved ice is popular with Millennials and the younger generations. And why not, as nothing cools down the body than smooth and cold ice shavings flavoured with a creative variety of sweet toppings and ingredients. Shaved ice is also now an Instagram favourite as dessert shops try to outdo each other with the fanciest and most original pile-ons.
Visit 2Dp in Tsim Sha Tsui (address: 12 Hau Fook St) and try out its shaved ice drinks that are popular with Instagrammers. Other shops include Chung Kee above and Cheung Chau Bing Sutt (address: G/F, 19C Pak She Praya Road , Cheung Chau)



The Best Regional Favourites
1. Bubble Tea: This tea-based iconic drink that originated from Taiwan is wildly popular among locals. The drink is shaken with ice to form a bubble and small chewy tapioca balls are added to the drink. A varieties of bubble teas are offered including the more popular black pearl and green pear milk teas.
Many bubble tea-shops, many touting Taiwan roots, have sprouted up in recent years. Go visit Ten Ren Tea, a Taiwan-based company that operates scores of its tea shops across Hong Kong including the shop in Central: 34 Cochrane Street near the Mid-level Escalator System.
2. Japanese Shaved Ice: Japanese shaved ice plays no second fiddle to anywhere elsewhere, offering its own elaborate and exotic concoctions. The best-known Japanese shaved-ice shop is probably Shari Shari Kakigori House which offers a variety of milk-based drinks including its signature Macha Cream Special. Address: G/F, 47 Staunton Street, Soho, Central
3. Gelato: This popular Italian frozen dessert is fast gaining a strong foothold in the city, with scores of gelato shops opened in the city's trendy areas and shopping malls. Made with more milk and less cream and zero egg yolk, gelato is deemed a healthier option to ice-cream without loss of flavour. Gelato is also a favourite with Instagrammers
Try Venchi, an Italian dessert shop which serves excellent gelatos as well as its chocolates bars and other desserts. Address: The Pottinger G/F Shop, 21 Stanley Street, Central plus others.
4. Japanese Ice Cream: How about some fancy soft ice-cream cones that is both pleasing to the eye and yummy tasting. The i Cremeria Café, which servers Japanese ice cream, yogurt, and dessert, maybe just the place. The selections are visually stunning.
Shop 13, 4/F, Langham Place, 8 Argyle Street, Mong Kok, plus other locations.
5. Korean Ice-cream: Korean ice-cream and desserts in general are also gaining popularity. For a cold summer treat though, check out Baekmidang, a well-known dessert chain from Korea which was founded in 1964 in Korea and serves ice cream made with organic milk. Its signature Jeju Matcha with dark chocolate is particularly visually pleasing.
Baekmidang address: Shop B101A, B1/F, K11 Art Mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong
6. Thailand mango treats: Mango undoubtedly is one of the most popular fruits in Hong Kong, particularly in the summertime. If you are in the mood to just indulge in gobbling up slices of tender, succulent mangos, then you must check out Mango Mania , a popular Mango dessert chain from Thailand which opened its first shop here in Hong Kong recently. Be sure to try the Mango Sticky Rice Smoothie, among others. Mago Mania: address: Shop G18C, G/F, 21-53 Wharf Road, North Point.


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