The popularity of Matcha desserts in Hong Kong is hardly a secret, and much to dessert-lovers’ joy, more and more Japanese dessert houses are popping up everywhere – with new ingredients as years go on. This year, we’ve noticed an influx of Japanese purple sweet potato desserts, in the form of ice cream, jelly, and even waffles. It makes sense that we found most of them in the busiest areas of the city, where passersby would want a refreshing squeeze of icy goodness after a long walk in the summer heat, but we also found a few hiding in the hipster corners of the city. From Kennedy Town to Tsim Sha Tsui, egg rolls to mochi, we followed the crowds in the streets and hunted down some of the tastiest Japanese dessert houses.
Small Potato Ice Creamery
G/F, 28 Haven Street, Causeway Bay [Google Map]
As most of the ice cream here is made by purple sweet potato (yam), the taste is very rich and the texture is smooth. All the sweet potato ice cream is served in cups, alongside actual chunks of Japanese purple yam and Japanese purple yam paste. These provide three different taste textures of the purple potatoes. They provide a wide range of toppings in case the sweet potato overload is too much for you, as well as Hok- kaido milk ice cream. This is served with Himalayan Salt which enhances the taste. Small Potato is not very big, with less than 10 seats for cus- tomers, meaning you might have to stand up or get your dessert to take away. But the atmosphere is really cute, and it’s worthwhile grabbing a seat to soak it up! A great place to escape the stress of Causeway Bay.
Shop C, G/F, 52 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui [Google Map]
Newly opened in Tsim Sha Tsui, Tokyo Secret is a spanking new, Michelin-recommended dessert bar. The brand new hole-in-the-wall offers original takes on Japanese dessert classics, incorporating sauces and ingredients imported from Europe. Options range from the Okinawa in Purple, which pairs purple sweet potato with cappuccino flavours, the Mount Fuji in Snow, pairing Hokkaido milk with French blueberry sauce, and a range of red bean and chocolate choices. The Forest is a particularly interesting choice, pairing matcha with a German cake called Baumkuchen. Just prepare to queue for a while!
Sweets House Cha Cha
Branches of City Super, Tai Po Mega Mall, LOG-ON [Google Map]
Using only genuine Japanese in- gredients, Sweets House Cha Cha is a dependable, gourmet dessert stop- off point. Hence why it’s found most commonly in City Super. Although filling, it’s worth trying out all the in- gredients: Japanese mochi balls, Uji Matcha jelly and Hokkaido red bean as a base with a pastel-coloured mix of uji and Hokkaido soft serve ice cream on top. It’s a creamy, chewy, rich and filling experience. We rec- ommend you try the cream puffs and Matcha Custard Red Bean oo- banyaki; they’re well worth a taste.
Shop D, G/F, Full Harvest Building, 6-18 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Western District [Google Map]
This quaint dessert and coffee shop in Kennedy Town displays its menu on blackboards around the walls. Offering a range of waffles (green tea or purple yam flavoured, served with creamy green tea or Hokkaido milk ice cream) and coffee desserts, it’s often found overflowing with a queue of local dessert enthu- siasts. It boasts a chilled, hipster in- terior: the menu is written in multi- coloured chalk, and the furniture is an industrial steel and wood medley. Next time you get a chance to walk around the gentrified streets of KT, be sure to slip in. We recommend you try the mouth-watering banana chocolate waffle (pictured opposite), which we wolfed down in no time.