While scones are a must-have for any afternoon tea, they are also great on their own, preferably with a rich slather of clotted cream if you are like us! There are many different styles of scones available but we prefer ones that are crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside. With endless options to choose from in Hong Kong, especially on the afternoon tea menus of many a hotel, it’s time to start the game of scones and unveil the best places for the perfect scones!
Psst, here’s a secret: One of our favourite places in Hong Kong for superb scones is Grandma’s Scones, a creative online bakery that makes some of the crunchiest and fluffiest scones we’ve ever had. Owner Evon graduated from Le Corden Bleu in London with a specialisation in desserts, and after working as a pastry chef in various hotels and restaurants across town, she opened her own online bakery late last year to much fanfare. Her signature flavours include Bailey’s with Lotus Biscoff ($30), taro ($25), and cinnamon apple ($25), though the shop’s most popular flavour has to be hojicha with mochi ($25).
Thinking of getting a few for yourself? Each order must include a minimum of eight scones, which come individually wrapped in a box decorated with the shop’s cute illustrated logo of an adorable grandma! It is recommended to reheat the baked items in the oven for five minutes before consumption in order to optimise the scones’ outer crunchiness and elevate the stretchiness of the mochi filling—perfect for Instagram pictures! Grandma’s Scones also offers a duo of clotted cream & homemade strawberry rhubarb jam ($40) so you can have the full afternoon tea experience in your home.
This local, under-the-radar bakery may not catch your eye at first glance, but when you walk past their minimalistic entrance, the sweet, homey smell of baked goods will definitely entice you to pop your head in for a better whiff. The Earl Grey scone ($18) at Big Grains is one of the most flavourful examples we have tried so far, made with a blend of Twinings Earl Grey tea leaves that leaves flecks and dots of black all over the scone. Heat it up in the oven to get the shell crunchy while retaining the moisture inside. From our experience, it goes best with plain fruit jams so that the fragrance of Earl Grey tea will be at its finest.
New kid in town Rosewood Hong Kong rocked the hotel scene in town when they opened in March last year with 43 floors of luxury lifestyle. Their afternoon tea set ($720 for two people) is served in The Butterfly Room adjacent to Butterfly Pâtisserie, and when you walk past the delicate and impossibly perfect stacks of macarons and decadent cakes, you know you’re in for a real treat. Scones are a must, of course, and they are served with madeleines or canelé as the third course of the afternoon tea, with clotted cream, strawberry jam, and mandarin jam on the side. While the mandarin jam is a creative and modern touch, we definitely prefer our scones with a scoop of clotted cream—call us old-fashioned, but we like the classics!
The Butterfly Room, Rosewood Hong Kong, 2/F, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3891 8888
As can be expected from an artisanal bakery, all of the baked goods available at Bakehouse are handmade every day by a team of passionate and skilled bakers and pastry chefs, led by ex-Four Seasons pâtisserie chef Grégoire Michaud, who also runs Bread Elements, a baked goods supplier for a good number of Hong Kong restaurants. Made using fine flour from the traditional Suire Mill in France, Bakehouse offers plain scone ($18) and savoury cheese & onion scone ($20) that are available after 11 am every day. Personally, we are suckers for the savoury scones!
Bakehouse, 14 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai
Befitting of his panache and style, André Fu’s newest hotel creation St Regis serves a decadent afternoon tea ($688 for two people) at The Drawing Room, and scones are hotly featured as part of the spread. With a ceiling topped at almost three stories high, The Drawing Room is grand and luxe with an obsessively symmetrical touch, from the chandeliers hanging in the centre of the room to the number of chairs and position of tables.
Here, scones are served with four different jams from St Regis’s own label: acacia honey, organic apricot, clementine, and organic strawberry. However, our loyalties will always lie with the two types of clotted cream that come as part of the set. We think the best thing about this afternoon tea is that there are so many possible combinations of toppings you can play around with!
The Drawing Room, 2/F, The St Regis Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Drive, Wan Chai | (+852) 2138 6800
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 that they mean business. Their tea scone set ($88) comes with two scones and two condiments: thick clotted cream and rose jam. The clotted cream is so rich that there there’s a crusty layer on top you have to break with your spoon—almost like a crème brûlée—and only then will you see the silky smooth cream underneath!
The Mandarin Cake Shop, 5 Connaught Road Central, Central | (+852) 2825 4008
How about enjoying your scones as part of a sky-high experience? And when we say sky-high, we truly mean a hundred and three floors into the sky. Café 103 is located on one of the top floors of The Ritz-Carlton and their afternoon tea set is what they like to call “a decadent affair.” As they regularly do collaborations with different luxury brands, the prices for their afternoon tea set varies, but scones are always a staple and a must-have in any afternoon tea menu.
Café 103, 103/F, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2263 2270
Fortnum & Mason is regarded as afternoon tea royalty, but if you don’t have enough time to sit down for a full afternoon tea and still want a taste of their delicious scones, you’ll be delighted to know that these tasty morsels are now available for takeaway! Freshly made three times a day at 12 pm, 2 pm, and 4 pm and intended for home consumption, the scones ($76 for two; $142 for four) are pre-packaged in green-and-white takeaway boxes. Obviously, the best accompaniment is your favourite blend of Fortnum’s tea. Available in plain and raisin, don’t forget to be quick—once they are gone, they’re gone!
Fortnum & Mason, Shop 022, G/F, K11 Atelier Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 3916 8181
Forming part of their popular afternoon tea set ($588 for two people), the homemade scones of the day from Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon are truly memorable. Contrary to the beloved cylindrical shapes most other restaurants prefer, the scones here are presented as novel squares, served with Devonshire clotted cream and homemade strawberry jam. We’ll be honest: This clotted cream is what got us started on our obsession, so be prepared for greatness!
Le Salon de Thé de Joël Robuchon, Shop 315, 316 & 334, 3/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central | (+852) 2166 9088