7 Must-Try Hong Kong Desserts (And Exactly Where To Find Them)
So you know you need to eat dim sum and Chinese barbeque (or siu mei) in Hong Kong, China, but if you’re a sweet-tooth like us, you’ll be wanting to get at what comes next – and dessert in Hong Kong is next level.
Hongkongers have no qualms about taking a break from a busy day and enjoying in a little sweet something, so you, being on holidays as you are, should definitely make the most of these local treats. Here’s the best of what you need to eat when it comes to dessert in Hong Kong.
#1 Pineapple Buns
Traditional pineapple buns actually include none of the tropical fruit – they’re so-called because of the cross-hash pattern that often decorates the top layer. The buns are part sweet Chinese-style bread (the lower half) and part crispy cookie-type dough (the top half). Often they’re served with a slathering of butter for the extra guilty pleasure.
You might even find varieties guest-starring fried chicken.
Where: Kam Wah Café, 47 Bute Street, Mongkok
#2 Egg Tarts
This tart, a local speciality of Hong Kong and Macau, is a little like a cross between a Portuguese tart and and English custard tart. Some varieties have flaky pastry casings and others you may find have a crumbly biscuit-like casing. Both are delicious, with the sweet egg filling resembling custard.
Where: Tai Cheong Bakery, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
#3 Wife/Sweetheart Cake
A traditional Cantonese pastry, you can find these cakes in bakeries all over Hong Kong. Under a thin crust of pastry, you’ll find a sweet filling made with candied winter melon, rice flour and sometimes desiccated coconut and almond paste.
Local legend says that the original recipe was made by a woman in Guangdong province, and highly praised by her husband, who would say they were his “wife’s cakes”. The name stuck.
Where: Hang Heung, 64 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long
#4 Mini Egg Puffs
Like a local type of waffle, this dessert-street-food is sold from holes-in-the-wall around Hong Kong. It’s made from a sweetened egg batter cooked in a waffle-like mould, creating a treat that’s crunchy on the outside an soft and warm on the inside. If you like variety, egg puffs have also been known to be made in chocolate, strawberry and coconut flavours.
Where: Master Low-key Food Shop, B3, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan
#5 Dessert Soup
You’ll have to trust us on this one – dessert soup is absolutely a thing in Hong Kong. Red bean soup is a traditional Chinese dessert, which is sweet and light, being served hot or cold.
Another variety of dessert soup is the white fungus and pear, which is particularly popular in winter. The snow mushrooms used have a naturally gelatinous texture, and the pear adds a light sweetness to the mix. To cook it, chefs combine the ingredients in a bowl which is then stewed for hours.
Where: Yee Shun Dairy Company, 506 Lockhart Rd, Causeway Bay
These are a combination of dumpling and dessert – what’s not to love?! Made mostly of rice and stuffed with a sweet filling like peanut, bean paste or sesame, they’re also often served in a sweet soup which can be flavoured with black sesame, ginger or sweet potato.
They’re traditionally eaten as part of the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the Lunar New Year as the represent family reunion and unity.
Where: Luk Lam Dessert, 77–79 Un Chau Street, Sham Shui Po
#7 Milk Or Tofu Pudding
These are some of the most classic Hong Kong desserts. Steamed milk pudding was invented in the Qing Dynasty and is similar to other puddings like crème caramel. Made with egg white, sugar and milk and served cold or hot, it’s often paired with other ingredients like red bean or ginger.
Tofu pudding uses a soft variety of tofu, and is traditionally accompanied by sweet ginger syrup. These days, red bean, coconut milk or any range of sweet somethings are added to the pudding.
Where: Kung Wo Soy Bean Factory, 67 Fuk Lo Tsun Road, Kowloon City
Now you know what’s in store for your sweet side, check out our guide to Hong Kong’s Michelin-starred street eats, some of which are cheap as chips.
(Lead image: Hong Kong Tourism Board)