Header images courtesy of Sweet Tooth and Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel
Meals just do not feel complete without a generous plate (or bowl) of dessert, but settling on a spot that everyone’s going to enjoy can cause quite a headache. A surefire way to succeed in your search for the ultimate sweet compromise is to head to a quality dessert café—and these are our favourites in Hong Kong.
When it comes to a treat to beat the heat, Shari Shari Kakigori House (氷屋) is considered the best in the city by many, and for excellent reason. Our personal favourite is the Earl Grey milk tea shaved ice—served with milk tea syrup, cookies, and Hokkaido milk pudding, it comes across as sweet, but not too sweet, and the cookie crunch on the inside keeps each bite from ever being monotonous. Other fan-favourites include their strawberry special and matcha cream special.
While it’s true that Shari Shari’s desserts are incredibly pretty to stare at, they melt quite quickly once they are served, so don’t gawk at the icy spectacle in front of you for too long and just dig in!
Via Tokyo is a spot-on match for matcha lovers—prepare to be wowed by their massive list of green tea desserts and their must-try Cremia ice cream. It’s rare to find that perfect, creamy texture in ice cream, and that’s exactly what you get with Cremia—it’s not too sweet but just rich enough for you to get absolutely hooked.
For those who want something softer and room temperature to chew on, try the Uji matcha cheesecake and matcha roll from the special cake series. On that note, after taste-testing the matcha menu items, be sure to try the Cremia mini sundae, too.
Via Tokyo, Shop 1A–1B, Leishun Court, 106–126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 2895 1116
Anyone who has dabbled in their fair share of desserts surely already knows about Lady M and their signature mille-crêpe cakes. With more layers than you can count, their famed desserts are handmade with light pastry cream that dissolves in your mouth.
For a popular option, try the delectable Earl Grey mille-crêpe cake. If it’s not just crêpes you’re into, opt for the playful selection of cakes—a slice of chocolate checkers cake does the trick. Cheesecake lovers aren’t going to feel left out, either! Try the airy and light gâteau nuage—the French rendition of the classic cheesecake that translates to “cloud cake”—with a graham cracker crust.
Mong Kok’s Sweet Tooth (甜牙牙) offers a wide list of photogenic desserts that could tempt even the most diet-dedicated person you know. For those who wish to share the joy, they have curated their waffle party desserts, with flavours like chocolate, matcha, mango, and more to choose from.
Another dessert to get for you and your friends—or if your sweet tooth feels particularly insatiable—is their Waffle Tower 6, served with three kinds of waffles, ice cream, and whipped cream on top! It looks great, and no matter how you eat it, it packs quite a punch. To make things sweeter, they also have the classic chocolate lava cake, chocolate soft pancake, crème brûlée, and many more, so if you are not keen on getting a massive portion for sharing, you’ll have one that's perfect for keeping to yourself.
Sweet Tooth (甜牙牙), Shop 4, Paradise Square, 3 Kwong Wah Street, Mong Kok | (+852) 2662 6890
At Dang Wen Li (當文歷餅店), what you see is not what you get—be ready for the hyper-realistic illusion cakes they serve that look a certain way, but taste completely different! Brought to you by award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel, Dang Wen Li defies expectations with creative and novel sweet treats.
A cake that looks like a lemon juice box is actually Earl Grey bergamot cake, and what seem like two soufflé pancakes with some butter on top is actually a maple banana pecan cake. Dang Wen Li also has a coconut, pineapple, and passionfruit cake that looks identical to a pineapple bun, a mango-looking glutinous rice sponge cake with coconut ice cream and fresh mango compote, and lots of other cakes that are sure to fool anyone before they take their first bite.
With over a hundred years of pastry experience since its establishment in 1920, Pasticceria Giovanni Pina knows exactly how to make the dessert to make any meal spectacular and unforgettable.
Boasting beyond 10 exclusive flour recipes, Giovanni Pina has tried and tested the best ways to make cakes, like the signature Saint Honoré cake and sacher all’Italiana. Other beautiful and breathtaking desserts you can try include the mimosa, chocolate mimosa and other classics, like the tiramisu and Milano cheesecake, among several others.
If you want to spend your afternoon at this swanky restaurant, it also serves a tea set that includes two portioned cakes of your own choice, half a dozen assorted handmade mini tarts, an authentic Italian snack platter, and drinks, so bring a friend to share them with!
Hailing all the way from Japan—the haven for soufflé pancakes—A Happy Pancake brings authentic and award-winning pancake recipes to Hong Kong, which explains its immense popularity among the dessert-loving community. Without taking any credit away from the rest of its delightful menu, you truly need to try the signature Happy Pancake; it’s fluffy and soft, with just the right level of sweetness. If you want to step up the experience, opt for the indulgent pancake with cheese mousse and berry sauce.
For a one-stop solution for all of your food and drink problems, swing by HeSheEat, a popular dessert café chain in Hong Kong. HeSheEat is known for its lemon crêpe roll with yoghurt, its bestselling crêpe Suzette with vanilla ice cream, and airy soufflé pancakes, but if you need savouries to pair with your sweets, the café is just as adored for its lunch and dinner items. For those who prefer warmer desserts, bring a friend and try out the salted caramel hotcake with vanilla ice cream and their red bean and black sugar hotcake with matcha ice cream.