8 bone-chilling summer desserts for Hong Kong
Hot and humid like too many men in a Turkish Bath, the summers in Hong Kong can be challenging. Try lowering your body temperature from the inside out with some of the iced bonbons reviewed below, each representative of some of Asia's most food-obsessed cultures, and all available right here in Hong Kong.
Halo halo, not to be confused with an antiquated greeting by British police officers about a century ago, is a national Philippine favorite. Like several cold desserts in tropical Asia, shaved ice is at its core. A particularly authentic rendition is found at the new open-fronted C5 store on Lamma Island. The price (HK$18) is particularly reasonable, given that banana and jackfruit chunks are home caramelized. Also in the mix is mashed yam, custard pudding, kidney and garbanzo beans, jelly-like nato de coco coconut meat and condensed milk.
C5, Flat A, 2119 Tai Yuen Village, Yung Shue Wan, tel. +852 3483 5413
At Honeymoon Desserts, try an interesting tofu pudding combo. Classically served with ginger syrup, opt for the the watermelon mix (HK$22). An instant light refresher, it's served floating in a soup of ice-cold watermelon juice and fruit scoops.
Honeymoon Dessert, 9-10 Po Tung Road (and branches across Hong Kong), tel. +852 2792 4991, www.honeymoon-dessert.com
Chilled sago cream with fresh mango and pomelo
The local invention of former executive chef Lee Keung at Island Shangri-La, inspired after a trip to Singapore where ice cream was blended in desserts, is still on the menu at Summer Palace. Called chilled sago cream with fresh mango and pomelo (HK$50), the name spells out its ingredients. Another cream dessert uses vanilla ice cream in the place of milk, for a thicker consistency and extra sweetness.
Summer Palace, 5/F, Island Shangri-la, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, tel. +852 2820 8552
Vietnamese dessert soup che is served hot in the winter and cold in the summer time. The version at Saigon at Stanley is packed with all sorts of interesting and healthy components like lotus seeds, long an, barley, seaweed, red dates and kidney beans.
Saigon at Stanley, Shop 101, 1/F, Murray House, Stanley, tel. +852 2899 0999
i-thai in Tsing Yi offers something quite different to other Southeast Asian dessert menus, and dazzling in color: Thai thousand-layered pudding (HK$29). Air between the layering of glutinous rice sheets keeps the pudding a touch lighter than if it was one mass of sticky rice and the green pandanas leaf and coconut flavorings are mild.
i-thai, Shop 302, Maritime Square, tel. +852 2433 0848
The kesar kulfi (HK$45) at Gaylord is a classic example of traditional Indian ice cream that was developed to melt slowly in the blazing Indian summer. It’s made by slowly evaporating sweetened flavored milk, packing it tightly into a container and freezing it until its rock solid. Initially the moulds were made out to clay and cracked open to remove the kulfi just before serving. Gaylord’s version is flavored with saffron and pistachio, and served with falooda (rose flavored vermicelli).
Gaylord, 1/F, Ashley Centre, 23-25 Ashley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, tel. +852 2376 1001
For a modern Japanese sweet treat, try the almond pudding (HK$ 50) at Mist. Fresh milk, almond powder, agar agar, apricot syrup and osmanthus flower are blended velvety smooth. The apricot and osmanthus combination is particularly refreshing.
Mist, 4 Sun Wai Road, Causeway Bay, tel. +852 2881 5006, www.mist.com.hk
Mango pudding/cream dessert
A modern Hong Kong classic, mango pudding can be found on menus throughout town. Making the concept lighter still are the more liquid mango cream desserts. One of the flavorsome best includes an additional sprinkling of pomelo flesh and sago balls, at Shang Palace (HK$35). The fruit zestiness and rich cream is a moreish mix.
Shang Palace, Kowloon Shangri-La, B/F, 64 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, tel. +852 2733 8754