Happiness comes in many forms, and today, happiness takes on the shape of layers of puff pastries, custard, and a name that we sometimes struggle to pronounce. That’s right, we’re talking about mille-feuille! Traditionally composed of three layers of puff pastry with layers of cream in-between, a mille-feuille is a French dessert that is quite similar to the Italian Napoleon cake. Here in Hong Kong, the distinction between the two can sometimes be blurred, but as long as the dessert has the perfect ratio of crunchiness and sweetness, we’re happy to include it in this round-up. Which begs the question: What is the best way to cut a mille-feuille?
The newest restaurant and bar venture in PMQ is also a great place to get comfortable with your friends. With an outdoor seating area, a bar, all-day dining, and a fine-dining area, you are sure to find something that works for your particular taste at Louise. Serving homely French cuisine courtesy of celebrated chef Julien Royer, their signature Mille-feuille à la Vanille de Madagascar ($128) is what makes us live. They use Madagascar vanilla for their custard cream filling, accompanied by salted caramel ice cream and caramelised pear, to create a dessert so outstanding that we are happy to go to the restaurant just to order it on its own if they let us!
Louise, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central | (+852) 2866 0300
Butterfly Pâtisserie is arguably our favourite place in Rosewood Hong Kong—besides their Instagrammable toilets. Chef Holger Deh re-interprets classic desserts with unique creative flairs, such as the Tahitian Vanilla Mille-Feuille ($68), an unusual mille-feuille presented on its side featuring layers of non-traditional baked puff pastry interspersed with unctuous Tahitian vanilla cream filling. You can also have a Tahitian Vanilla Mille-Feuille Large ($520) as a cake for celebrations. The vanilla cream has just the right amount of sweetness and the rich vanilla flavour always reels you back in for more.
Butterfly Pâtisserie, Rosewood Hong Kong, G/F, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon | (+852) 3891 8888
Café Life is a boutique café presented in the style of a Japanese pâtisserie. Their lavish baked goods have made them a household name for most patrons because of the extravagant ingredients used, such as a mountain of Muscat grapes or whole Japanese peaches. With every seasonal ingredient they feature, they also incorporate it into their mille-feuilles, such as the Japanese Strawberry Mille-Feuille ($75) or the Chestnut Black Currant Mille-Feuille ($65). Though they may be on the pricey side, the quality of the ingredients and the work put into balancing the flavours according to every seasonal ingredient definitely makes the mille-feuille worth it.
Café Life, Shop B–C, 251 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan | (+852) 2810 6755
Belon is a neo-Parisian bistro showcasing French-rooted yet locally-influenced cooking that gives you the feeling of what home could be like if you were French. Chef Daniel Calvert runs his restaurant under the motto of cooking “whatever he likes as long as it is inherently excellent,” which we can definitely see and feel in his Mille-Feuille (starting from $128). The fillings of the mille-feuille may range from bergamot and meringue to Sindhri mango and lime depending on what’s in season, but the airy layers of pastry are the real highlight. Flaky and light—it’s time to dig in and get messy!
Belon, 41 Elgin Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2152 2872
As their name suggests, LA PÂTISSERIE des IDÉES is a place of passion and ideas. The chef gained his experience in France and Japan, so he likes to combine characteristic of different cultures into his creations for the sweet tooths of Hong Kong. One of the crispiest mille-feuilles we have ever sunk our teeth into, their Mille-Feuille ($48) comes either with popular Madagascar vanilla pastry cream, Uji Matcha pastry cream, or coffee pastry cream. If you would like to gorge on a whole cake (starting from $230), there are two additional flavours to choose from: Strawberry and Mango, which comes with fresh fruit, taking the mille-feuille to the next level!
LA PÂTISSERIE des IDÉES, Shop 224, 2/F, D2 Place One, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok | (+852) 9282 6827
Nestled along Caine Road, Central, Meltly Place offers a scrumptious selection of mouth-watering dessert, carefully crafted by Louie Ma, who has spent over three decades in the world of pastries. The mango Napolean named Sunshine ($48) is the classic choice: Huge chunks of mango meat are mixed with the pastry cream and a special layer of caramel sits atop the puff pastry layers to give it an extra bit of crunch. They also have seasonal flavours for whole cake options, with past creations such as the chocolate Napoleon named Secret Garden ($380) that are sure to impress.
Meltly Place, 55 Caine Road, Central | (+852) 2643 0084
With proud roots in Hong Kong since 1928, The Peninsula has become an icon in the world of travel and hospitality. Likewise, the Peninsula Boutique has been through the ages, first as a grocery store and now a boutique store for the hotel’s signature sweets, tea, and souvenirs. Their Mille-Feuille ($60) can be enjoyed as a slice as or a whole cake ($488). The caramelised puff pastry is filled with delightful Madagascar vanilla cream and Tahitian vanilla gel, all made with the confidence of long-standing tradition and love.
The Peninsula Arcade, 22 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2696 6969
Lady M may be most famous for their mille-crêpe cakes, but have you tried their Strawberry Mille-Feuille ($62 per slice, $420 per cake)? Made with literally a thousand layers, you can slice all the way through and find perfect folds of delicate, flaky puff pastry and fresh whipped cream with a just hint of kirsch (brandy). Between the layers of puff pastry, you will also taste the irresistible sponge cake and subtle slips of strawberry jam and fresh strawberries tucked between the cream.
A celebrity amongst cake shops in Hong Kong, the Mandarin Cake Shop also has an extensive selection of high-quality baked goods. Their head chef was awarded the title of Pastry Chef of the Year at the World Gourmet Summit in 2017, so you know you are in for a real treat. Their Vanilla Mille-Feuille ($388) is made with two layers of vanilla diplomat cream and three layers of caramelised puff pastry, all packed together to give you the most satisfying bite.
The Mandarin Cake Shop, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central | (+852) 2825 4008
Our favourite cake shop that reminds us of our childhood, Zoë has been around since 2002, sharing their passions for pastry and perfection with everyone. The owners occasionally even experiment with different ideas and sell their pastry creations in-store. 1459 ($43) is their rendition of the mille-feuille, made up of three layers of puff pastry and vanilla custard filling in-between.
Having accumulated forty years of pastry-making experience, Tony Wong is a bit of a celebrity in the world of pâtisserie, having published numerous cookbooks and appearing on several television shows. He constantly challenges his creativity with creations such as the Strawberry Napoleon ($52), made with fresh strawberries mixed with fresh cream, a layer of jellified strawberry on the side of the puff pastry, and lime marshmallows on top. And finally, our question answered: We find that it is so much easier to cut it if the mille-feuille is on its side!