Monthly Archives: February 2012

Culinary Competition – MLA Black Box Challenge

I feel so bad for taking so long to publish this post, it had been lying in my ‘Draft’ folder for such a long time, it’s not because I had writers block…it was more because I was a little overwhelmed by the 600 photos I took and the thought of having to go through them just gave me a headache :P I’ve told you I’m very lazy ~

Anyhow, a few weeks ago Win Win and I were very lucky to be invited by Leon and Mercury from Ringe Marketing to attend the MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge held at the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Hotel. For my lovely readers in Australia, you may have heard of ‘MLA’ which is the ‘Meat & Live Stock Australia Association‘ in the news, they provide producers with the latest news on the industry.

MLA Black Box Ingredients ~

To quickly explain the MLA Black Box Challenge, its been running for 15 years and is basically like a Masterchef black box challenge, where young and aspiring chefs from five-star hotels and culinary schools are given a black box full of ingredients, in which they need to create a full 4 course meal using these ingredients. The MLA Black Box Challenge tours around the world to various locations such as the USA, Japan, Hong Kong and winners from these locations will then compete at the Grand Final held in Hobart this year in May. For more information please visit their website :)

In Hong Kong this year, there were 10 establishments that joined the challenge:

1. Hong Kong Jockey Club – Derby Restaurant 2. Hong Kong Jockey Club Shatin
3. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel 4. Hong Kong Disney Hollywood Hotel
5. Intercontinental Grand Standford Hotel 6. Intercontinental Hong Kong
7. Ritz Carlton Hong Kong 8. Café Deco Group
9. Hong Kong Culinary Academy 10.  Vocational Training Council Hong Kong

I was trying to take  photos of every single team and all the dishes they made, that’s why it took me so long to compile the photos hehe :)

Cinderella Ballroom so pretty!

The event was held at the Cinderella Ballroom at the Disneyland Resort Hotel, it was my first time here! Soooooo pretty! It was a long day for the team, who started cooking in the morning and tastings for guests started at 4pm, while the gala dinner that followed started at 7:30pm. I was a little overwhelmed when I saw a camera crew from TVB channel doing a cover of the event :) Hope they didn’t catch Win Win or me on film, how awkward if we saw ourselves on TV :P

The judges ~

They had some pretty impressive judges such as Alan Palmer on the left, who was the head chef of a De Vere Hotel in the UK and a member of World Association of Chefs Societies. The judging process was a serious one, they had a judging room and the judges spent a considerable amount of time deliberating after each dish was sent in for them to taste.

Working very hard ~

I felt sorry for the young chefs, having to work under such immense pressure and everything was immaculately plated :) They did a great job though most dishes looked great! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try all the dishes as the teams only produced one dish for all guests to try, I think it would have been better if they had produced mini portions for all guests ~

However, Win Win and I got to try the whole 4-course meal by Cafe Deco Group because that was the team catering for our table.

Appetiser - Basil crushed lamb saddle and lamb jus terrine, shaved broccoli, apple jam and mesclun greens

I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but even though we’re Aussie, neither Win Win or I eat lamb lol so I can’t really review this dish. I did try a little piece of the lamb saddle but it was just too gamey for me :P

I really liked how the soup was served ~ I thought we just scooped it out from the cylinder case lol

Liked how it was served ~

Soup - Wild mushroom soup with pumpkin cheddar flan, broccoli and scallop relish

I’ve always been a fan of mushroom soup, so I really liked the strong mushroom flavour, however, it was a little salty. The texture of the pumpkin cheddar flan was a little weird to me, and I couldn’t really taste the pumpkin flavour. I really liked the broccoli and scallop relish though, nicely cooked and went well with the soup.

Main - Plum sauce marinated wagyu beef topside coated with mix berries, carrot puree, choy sum, pickled pear and veal jus cream

The soup was pretty filling, so I was glad that it wasn’t a large piece of ‘steak’, but smaller pieces of wagyu :) It was a little disappointing though, the wagyu was overcooked, even though it looks nice and pink in the photos. It was quite tough and even harder for us to chew. It would have been a much better if the wagyu wasn’t overcooked and there was more seasoning.

Dessert - White chocolate and orange mousse, cream cheese ice-cream, cranberry dark chocolate marshmallow, strawberry chips, pineapple sauce

I’m sure you all know that I’m a dessert queen :) I never skip dessert ~ but this dessert really confused me. I wasn’t sure what was the main component of this dessert, was it the cream cheese ice-cream or the marshmallow? I liked parts of the desserts such as the ice-cream and the white chocolate and orange mousse. But the marshmallow had a very strange texture like it was too chewy and it was covered in a type of confectionary that burst in your mouths which was weird ~

Sadly, Cafe Deco didn’t win any awards that night, however, it was a good try, I just think they needed to fine tune some parts of their dishes and they may have been able to score an award ~

Now to the highlight of the night! The winners :) *DRUM ROLLS*

The winner of the MLA Black Box Culinary Challenge for Hong Kong 2012 is:
Hong Kong Jockey Club –  Derby Restaurant

Winner :)

Appetiser – Lamb with Wild Mushroom and Lamb’s tengue, spiced pineapple and pear chutney, mescium salad and plum sauce dressing
Soup – Pumpkin and Apple Veloute, red wine poached egg, white onion confit and crispy ventreche ham
Main – Shiraz Braised Wagyu Beef, English cottage pie with cheddar potato puree
Dessert – Kirsh scented white chocolate ganache, strawberry sable Breton

In First Place we have:
Ritz Carlton Hong Kong

In First Place :)

Appetiser – Lamb in two ways, roasted with plum sauce, pan-fried with X.O sauce with mixed fruit salad
Soup – Broccoli cream soup with crispy cheddar cheese
Main – Braised Waygu beef topside, mashed pumpkin, stuffed mushrooms with red wine sauce
Dessert – Carrot Cake and marshmallow with carrot ginger ice-cream

In Second Place we have:
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Hotel 

In Second Place :)

Appetiser – Lamb saddle terrine and Asian spice stewed with glazed pineapple, mesclun mix and natural lamb dressing
Soup – Organic pumpkin soup
Main – Slow cooked and braised Wagyu Beef topside with mixed vegetables and veal jus
Dessert – Chocolate mousse cake with sea salt tuile and strawberry sauce

The Best Dessert award goes to the Hong Kong Disneyland Hollywood Hotel  :D

Best Dessert of the challenge ~

I’m so sorry I didn’t get the name of the dessert and didn’t get the chance to try it *cries* but I know it’s a chocolate mousse cake with some sort of ice-cream ~

Overall, the MLA Black box challenge was intense but also  exciting to see the chefs compete with each other. I wish the Hong Kong Jockey Club the very best at the Grand Finals in May and hope they will win many more awards ;)

Would like to say a special thank you to Mercury and Leon for inviting us ~ it was definitely another ‘first time’ experience attending a culinary competition!

Win Win and Daisy @ Nevertooweet attended the MLA Black box challenge as a guest of MLA, Ringe Marketing and Walee Walee.com

First Interview – Gregoire Michaud

Three months ago…when I started the blog…I never thought I’d have so many ‘First’ times – first time blogging, first time entering a challenge and having the opportunity to interview a pastry chef for the very FIRST TIME :D

I was ecstatic and literally jumping up and down, when Leon from Walee Walee.com invited me to meet and interview Gregoire Michaud the executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong. For those who are not familiar with Gregoire he is also an author of four cookbooks and also like us a ‘Blogger’ ~  I have been following Gregoire’s blog and Twitter (@gregoireMichaud) for a while, so to get the chance to meet him face to face was just too exciting :)

We met up on a Thursday afternoon, and while waiting at the lobby, I was so nervous, going through the questions in my notebook over and over again ~ I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself hehe. Gregoire met us at the lobby, then kindly took us up to the executive business lounge where he had prepared an afternoon tea set for us to enjoy while we chat :)

Here’s the interview ~ 

Me: Hello!

Gregoire: Hi… Hello (Putting on an Australian accent)

Me: Could you please introduce yourself briefly?

Gregoire: Hi my name is Gregoire I am the pastry chef of Four Seasons in Hong Kong, I’ve been baking and cooking for 20 years, I’ve wrote 4 books and I blog.

Me: That’s great! (I think I was a little nervous I kept looking at my notes lol) how long have you been working in Hong Kong for?

Gregoire: A total of 12 years, in different hotels, including 7 years at Four Seasons

Me: What is the main difference in taste and preference of desserts and pastries in Hong Kong, compared to Europe such as France and Switzerland where you come from?

Gregoire: Sugar…much less sugar and I think it’s great to actually to be able…to be forced to use less sugar because it brings the real flavour of ingredients out much more…for me I think working with less sugar is actually better. So now when I go back to Europe and try their pastries, it’s very sweet….everything is sweet… I think I have gotten use to local tastes here in Hong Kong.

Me: Where do you get your inspiration for new desserts?

Gregoire: I read books…I read magazines…I watch TV. But it’s not always food related…I like to read design magazines, photo magazines, art magazines and books…then I get inspired from shapes and concepts and then I bring them into pastry. Flavours and ingredients are what is seasonal and what is available in the market and that defines what we use. We don’t fly pears from the moon J So yeah that’s my inspiration.

Me: What’s your favourite dessert? (I knew this was a tough question :P)

Gregoire: *Eyes Widen* Its that one (pointing to one of the lovely pastries on the cake stand)… I always answer this question with my mother’s apple pie…apple tart…. she’s made it since I’m a little boy and still do the same and it just tastes different from anywhere else. Probably the recipe she uses for the dough and the sugar, cinnamon, the apples she uses and the way she cooks and bakes it…just for me it is just the best. It is also because it is my mum’s apple tart I’m use to it. It is also where I started to be inspired to become a pastry chef. She was always doing pastries, jam and cake and everything at home. So naturally, I wanted to learn how to do that so I can eat more. I eventually learnt how to make basic cakes and then thought…why not I do this full time…

Me: Last question any new books on the way?

Gregoire: *GRINS* Yes there is…it’s on the way I am currently writing it…it’s going to be pairing desserts and wine or wine and other beverages. Mainly based on alcohol and liquors J so desserts may not be made with liquor or wine but it will be matched. We’ve worked with some professionals to actually pair them. I enjoy wine but they know better than me.

Me: Thank you very much!

Gregoire: You’re welcome!

So it seems like Gregoire has slowly assimilated and adopted Hong Kong people’s taste with using less sugar ;) and there’s a new book on the way YAY!

I just had post this photo ~

Gregoire definitely surprised me with his wittiness and openness to answer any questions we had :) Somehow I pictured pastry chefs to be stern and strict , he was anything but these two things :P

Delicious scones

Did you know that it takes Gregoire and his team 3 days to make these scones?!? No wonder they taste good! Check out his video where he shares his secret techniques in making these scones :D

Afternoon Tea Set For Two

You can also enjoy this lovely Afternoon Tea Set daily at The Lounge daily from 3pm to 5:3opm :D

Thank you once again Gregoire for spending a wonderful afternoon with us. I have learnt so much about being a pastry chef and  that you must be truly passionate about something to be able to succeed ~ I wish you the very best with your future endeavours!

 Daisy@Nevertoosweet dined as a guest of Gregoire Michaud (Four Seasons) and Walee Walee.com

First Blog Challenge – Lemon Scones

Hello everyone :) I’m back in HK again! I had an amazing time in Taipei and I have so many good places to share with you! But before I bombard you with Taiwan posts. I’m so excited to be sharing with everyone my first ever Blog Challenge ~

Since I started blogged a few months ago, Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker has been nothing but supportive of me and always encouraging me! So when she told me about this new challenge that her friend Caroline from Caroline Bakes, I just HAD to enter and make something. The challenge is pretty simple :) each month the girls will generate a random letter and you will then need to bake something that starts with that letter. To read more about the challenge please refer to this link.

This month it was the letter ‘L’ so I immediately thought of the amazing Lemon and Blueberry scones I had in New York City at Alice’s Tea Cup. I bought their cookbook and remember tell you guys that I’ll try to share their recipe with you sometime hehe so I thought this was the PERFECT TIME!

But then I realised I was going to have trouble replicating the fabulous scones…even though the cookbook shares 19 scone recipes it doesn’t exactly share the Lemon and Blueberry! I started freaking out…then I had another problem :( the blueberries I had at home were off…at least I think they were and I didn’t want to use them. So I’m really sorry everyone, I simply omitted the blueberries and adapted the recipe to make a lemon scone with a lemon glaze :) they’re just as nice with a subtle lemon flavour ~

My mini cake stand :)

Recipe – Lemon Scone
Adapted from: Alice Tea Cup (Haley and Lauren Fox)
Makes: 10 to 12 scones

Ingredients
3 Cups of Plain Flour
1/3 Cup of Caster Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
2 1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon of Salt (I just used a pinch)
170 grams of Unsalted Butter, cubed
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Lemon Zest
1/4 Cup of Lemon Juice
1 1/4 Cups of Buttermilk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Lemon Glaze
1/2 Cup of Icing Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon of Milk

Method
1) Preheat the oven to 200° C or 400 °F.
2) In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients – flour, sugar, baking soda, baking power and salt.
3) Make sure your hands are clean and dry, using your fingers tips rub the butter into the dry mixture until it is well incorporated and resembles  breadcrumbs. Add the Lemon zest and mix well.
4) Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture, and pour the Lemon Juice, Buttermilk and Vanilla Extract into the well. Combine the dry and wet ingredients until it comes together. *Important* Do not knead the dough!
5) Sprinkle plain flour on a clean surface and gently place the dough over the service and pat it softly until it forms a rectangle that is about 1 1//2 inches thick. Using a dough cutter or knife, cut dough diagonally  to create little triangles or any shape you’d like.
6) Bake scones on a baking tray covered with baking paper, for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown.
7) To make the lemon glaze, sift icing sugar into a bowl. Whisk in the Lemon Juice and Milk until it is smooth. Taste the Lemon Glaze and add more icing sugar or lemon juice according to your own personal tastes.
8) Drizzle lemon glaze over warm scones and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Ready to be baked!

Finished Product ~

I hope you like lemon scones ~ I think they’re perfect with jam and cream or honey :) because I didn’t have any jam poor me!

Thank you once again to Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker for hosting the first Alphabakes Challenge :D

Second Chances – The Swiss Chalet

I like to think of myself as a forgiving person and I usually give people and restaurant second chances :) Because sometimes restaurants are actually good, just it was bad luck that one time I went ~ That’s why when Win Win suggested that we go to The Swiss Chalet again, I immediately agreed. But I remember our last visit wasn’t great and we weren’t that happy with the food, but it was such a long time ago, that neither of us remember when we visited.

The Swiss Chalet in TST

Win Win and I met up during her lunch break one day ~ I think they had just opened, because we got there at around 12:15pm and it was empty.

Decorated nicely with ornaments ~

We were immediately led to our table in the back of the restaurant, and looking around, for a few moments, I thought I was transported to a restaurant in Switzerland, because of all the authentic ornaments :) I miss Geneva been a long time since I’ve visited ~

I liked the paintings ~

I liked all the ornaments hanging on the wall, but I particularly liked the paintings they had around :) Win Win only has an hour and half, and had to rush back to Central, so we immediately studied the menu and quickly decided we’ll get a 3 course set lunch for $170HKD ($20.50AUD) plus 10% service charge and also a traditional fondue set for one.

Once we placed our orders, another waitress rushed up to our table, with a bread basket in her hand and offered us a piece of bread.

Soggy microwaved bread!

I don’t usually take pictures of the bread, but this one was horrific! It was limpy and soggy and judging from the warmth of the bread, I’m pretty sure they had just put it in the microwave. This really is unacceptable to me! Neither of us even touched the bread.

For the appetizer, we were allowed to change it to a small portion of the Raclette cheese ~ instead of deed fried mozzarella or potato gratin with chicken leg mushroom.

Hot Melted Raclette Cheese a la carte $60HKD($7.2AUD) for a taster portion

Win Win doesn’t really like raclette cheese and thinks this dish is always too ‘salty’ ~ but I really liked it, I haven’t had this dish for a long time and missed the rich and savoury taste of it :) I didn’t really like the pickle though…I think that’s more of a personal preference ~

Pan-friend Pork medallions with escargot and herb butter

Because it came with the lunch menu, I don’t have the price of this main sorry! The pan-fried pork medallions was cooked reasonably well, as personally I think it’s quite hard to pan fry pork chops, it’s so easy to overcook or undercook them. However, the medallions were SO salty! Win Win and I shared the two pieces, but neither of us could finish it. The escargots on top were flavoured with a herb butter, not bad, yet nothing too exciting. The pasta on the left was undercooked and then placed into the oven, so they weren’t really cooked properly :(

Traditional Cheese Fondue $198HKD ($24AUD) per person

At The Swiss Chalet, they had a wide range of cheese fondues like cheese with fresh mixed mushrooms and herbs or Vacherin Fribougeois with sliced garlic accompanied by sautéed beef tenderloin cubes. We were getting so confused with the different types of fondue’s, because we’re use to having the cheese fondue at Chesa and they only had the one type. So we stuck with the traditional fondue which was a mixture of cheese with dry white wine and served with bread.

The cheese fondue itself wasn’t too bad, but we couldn’t taste any white wine or kirsch. We’re not sure if they’ve put less in to accommodate HK people’s tastes, who may not like the taste of wine in their fondues. Win Win and I are used to having traditional cheese fondues with a decent amount of white wine. This was a major let down, because we really came back just to try the cheese fondue :(

Stale bread :(

To make things worse, the bread cubes used to dip into the cheese fondue was SO stale! I say it’s probably 2 to 3 days old…it was so tough and hard to chew. I really can’t accept the quality of bread here…I can understand if they don’t make their own bread…but they should at least put the effort into sourcing better quality bread and should never serve stale bread to customers!

Wild Berries baked with Vanilla Custard

The lunch menu also came with a dessert which was a wild berries baked with vanilla custard and vanilla ice-cream. It was obvious that the vanilla custard came out of a package and frozen berries were tossed in without any sugar. It was exceptionally sour. The vanilla ice-cream was nice though, and thankfully we could see the ‘little black dots’, which I assume are seeds from a vanilla pod, meaning that it was a high quality store-bought vanilla ice-cream and not ones made from vanilla essence.

Once we had finished with our meals, we were surprisingly given a little tray of petit fours.

Complimentary petit fours

But honestly, Win Win and I would’ve preferred if they didn’t give it to us, because it was basically store-bought goodies cut into miniature pieces and placed on a sliver plate. We’re pretty sure these have been lying out in the open for a while, as the pastry was getting so hard and tough. Sighhh major disappointment again :(

So even though we’re both forgiving and willing to give second chances, The Swiss Chalet was definitely not worth it. We’re definitely going back to Chesa when we need our cheese fondue fix ~

If I’m slow at responding I’m sorry, I’m still away but will be back tomorrow :)

The Swiss Chalet
 12-14 Hart Avenue,, Tsim Sha Tsui

尖沙咀赫德道12-14號地下
PH:2191 9197 

The Search Continues – Green Hotel Icon

Hello Everyone :) I’ve snuck off on a quick trip to Taiwan again with Win Win ~ I love having a sister who has to travel for work hehe I can always tag along woo hoo! This time I’m going to Taipei ~ And to make things even more exciting, I’ve got friends there that I’m meeting up with YAY! So I’m sorry if I’m slow at responding to emails, tweets, comments and Facebook ~ I’m sure there’s free wifi in the lobby, but I’m not sure if there’s going to be a time limit, I’ll try my best :D

I’m sure you remember my disappointing visit to Kisses Cupcakes. This time my search for the best cupcakes takes me to Green at the new Hotel Icon. Which is owned and funded by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University as part of their School of Hotel and Tourism Management. They use the hotel as a platform to help educate and train their students about hospitality and hotel management ~ I think it’s a fantastic idea! Once upon a time, I wanted to work in the hotel industry too but that was before I found my passion for marketing ;)

Nice, bright and spacious environment :)

Sasa and I visited a few weeks before she started work ~ we really liked the bright and spacious environment of Green which is the lobby cafe/lounge. It was so nice to have natural sunlight shining through ~ and the high ceiling which is hard to find in HK as everything is so compact.

We were a little hungry, so took a look at the menu and decided to get two tea sets, one with a savoury dish and cupcakes to share ~

Roast Beef Sandwich with Fries and mayo $108HKD($12.95AUD) +10% service charge

We actually wanted the BLT, but was given a Roast Beef Sandwich and because I was so hungry, I didn’t realise and had taken a bite, until Sasa said ‘Hold on! This isn’t a BLT’. So we told the waiter and it was taken away and replaced with a BLT ~ But I can give you a brief overview of the Roast Beef sandwich hehe, the bread was freshly toasted, the roast beef was a little too cold for my liking, but the chips were fresh and the mayo was quite yummy :)

BLT Sandwich tea set $108HKD($12.95AUD) with complimentary tea +10% service charge

Our BLT arrived at the table within a few minutes :) Once again the bread was fresh, which is always a bonus, we thought the BLT was nice, however, I would have preferred if the bacon was crispy ~ This tea set also comes with complimentary tea or coffee ~

Cupcake Cabinet $38HKD($4.6AUD) each + 10% service charge

Before getting the cupcake set which came with tea or coffee, I ducked over to their cupcake cabinet to check out their cupcakes :) they didn’t have any interesting flavours, they had the ordinaries Double chocolate, blueberry cupcake, mocha cupcake but the one that caught my eye was the ‘Green tea and chocolate’ cupcake. I’m a ‘matcha’ lover so I definitely wanted to try this ~

Cupcake Tea Set $78HKD($9.35AUD) with tea/coffee +10% service charge

Lovely green colour ~ but it was so dry!

I cut it open to show you guys ~ the cake itself had a nice green colour to it, yet in terms of texture and flavour…it really wasn’t outstanding. The cupcake itself was so ‘DRY’, this is a common issue I’ve had with most cakes in HK except the few that I’ve enjoyed. Even Sasa who’s less picky agrees that it was too dry! The buttercream on top was a major disappointment too, because I don’t really think they used any icing sugar, we could barely taste the sweetness, instead it just tasted like whipped cream that has been tinted green :(  However, I could taste the green tea in the cupcake, but not so much the chocolate…

Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcake $38HKD ($4.6AUD) +10% service charge

Disappointing buttercream :(

Sasa’s Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcake was definitely better mine ~ at least the cupcake wasn’t as dry, it wasn’t what I’d call ‘moist’ but it was more acceptable :) However, we had the same issue with the icing…it was once again yellow whipped cream and decorated with little gold balls ~ It was nice enough to eat, but maybe it needed an extra tablespoon of sugar :P

Complimentary coffee - Mocha

I forgot to take a picture of Sasa’s drink, Sorry! I had a cup of mocha which was included in my tea set ~ I think they use ‘Illy’ coffee beans, which I know some cafes in Melbourne use too. This was a decent cup of mocha, but the chocolate and coffee wasn’t really incorporated together ~ maybe not as good as some other cafes I’ve found in HK. But it was acceptable :)

Overall, another disappointing cupcake experience, once again because of the icing and the dryness of the cake :( but I would recommend going for the sandwiches and it does have a nice environment to have a relaxing afternoon with friends~

My search continues…

Green – Hotel Icon
G/F Hotel Icon, 17 Science Museum Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
尖沙咀科學館道17號唯港薈地下
PH: 34001300

Hidden Surprise – Gioia By Chi

I’m so excited about sharing this post with you today :D I just visited this amazing patisserie in my local area – Gioia by Chi! I don’t know how I missed it, even though I’ve been in here for the past 3 months~ And I only found out because it was recommended by Gregoire Michaud’s blog – the Four Season Head Pastry chef do check out his blog when you have time :)

My new favourite place!

But in my defence ~ it’s quite easy to miss Gioia By Chi because it’s tucked in a small street in Kowloon City and its surrounded by pet stores and mechanics…it took Win Win and me, a good 5 minutes to find it, even though we’re quite familiar with this area :) Gioia By Chi don’t have a website (I know it’s strange) only a Facebook page, so I wasn’t able to find much information about them, but Gregoire’s post mentioned that Roy Chan is the master behind the new store and that it opened last year in April ~

It was really quiet when we got there yesterday at 3pm, I immediately felt at home looking around at all the pretty cakes in the cabinet hehe

Selection of cakes ~

They don’t have a large selection of cakes or pastries, but it was enough for me, they had a couple of  ‘large’ cakes for sale and the rest were little individual pieces :) Perfect for me! I wanted to try everything ~

Lemon Tart $23HKD($2.8AUD)

We started with the Lemon Tart and I thought it was an absolute bargain because it was only $23HKD, most patisseries in HK are charging over $35 for a lemon tart. As for the taste, I really liked it, the shortbread pastry case was made well, not too crumbly. The lemon filling was a little tangy and a little sour for Win Win, while I liked it ~ Maybe not as good as the one at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, but considering the price and the convenient location it’s probably one of the best lemon tarts you can find in Kowloon :)

Raspberry Cheesecake $38HKD($4.6AUD)

The next was the Raspberry Cheesecake, because Win Win and I love cheesecakes ~ and we were both surprised at how rich and dense this cheesecake was ;) I’m sure you’ve heard me complain before that cakes in HK are usually lighter and uses less sugar. While this wasn’t a really sweet cheesecake, for once we could actually ‘taste’ the cream cheese! Well done Gioia for taking the risk and making a rich cake :D we thought it was so good, that it was close to the Mandarin Oriental New York cheesecake, which is well-known in HK for their cheesecakes – a post about them coming soon :)

Hazelnut Chocolate $38HKD($4.6AUD)

I’m nuts about NUTS lol if you know what I mean :P One of my favourite would have to be hazelnuts, so I insisted that we try this ~ the bottom layer was a hazelnut sable, quite nice but would have been better if it had more crushed hazelnuts to give it a crunch. The middle layer was a dark chocolate ganache, yummy even though Win Win thought it was a little ‘rich’, then it was a thin layer of milk chocolate and topped with hazelnut flavoured whipped cream. Only thing I didn’t like about the cake, was the whipped cream, I find it a little unnecessary and I couldn’t really taste the ‘hazelnut’ flavour.

They also have cookies and chocolate for sale :)

Cookies in a jar $98HKD($12AUD)

Valrhona 16 truffles $328HKD($40AUD)

You can’t buy these individually, which is a bit of a pain ~ but once again I think they’re priced reasonably compared to others like La Maison Du Chocolate and Godiva :)

Oh and last but not least they sell Chocolate Pops!

Froggy Chocolate Pops $40HKD($4.8AUD)

They’re so cute! You don’t see many of them in HK and I don’t even think I’ve seen cake pops on sale here before ~

Gioia by Chi was definitely a hidden surprise for me and has immediately become my new favourite place to hang out :D, I highly recommend it to everyone in the area or those who like a ‘rich’ piece of cheesecake :D

Gioia By Chi
G/F, 35A Nam Kok Road , Kowloon City
九龍城南角道35號A地下
PH:2718 6618

 

 

Cupcake Search – Kisses Cupcakes

I wrote a Cupcakes Wars post “Crumbs VS Magnolia” a few weeks ago, and since coming back from NYC, I have been reminiscing the amazing cupcakes I had at Crumbs :) So I decided to go on a Cupcake Search in HK, that’s when I found Kisses Cupcakes that recently opened in the Soho area.

So on a sunny afternoon, Mr Bao found himself outside a very pink store, he was a little puzzled as I didn’t tell him we were going to have afternoon tea with Win Win at this new cupcake store :P I can be such a bossy girlfriend just dragging Mr Bao everywhere I go ~

Nice pink shop front ;)

The blurred face is Win Win LOL she wants to stay ‘unrecognised’, so to respect her I’ve blurred the picture hehe :) The store was painted in a bright orangey pink colour, which immediately attracted me ~

Bright and clean store ~

It was a small store, with a couple of tables for customers to enjoy the cupcakes and a cup of coffee. The lady behind the counter was really nice and told me that they’ve only been open 6 weeks and they are from New York City and work with Chikalicious  (dessert bar) to create their cupcakes :)

6 pack $145HKD ($17.50AUD)

We got a 6 pack and chose the following flavours – Almond, Triple Chocolate, S’mores, Strawberry, Red Velvet and Mocha ~ They have a wide range of flavours and some unique ones such as lychee and Ferrero Rocher (which had sold out that day).

Almond and Mocha Cupcake $25HKD ($3AUD) each

Almonds are one of my favourite type of nuts, and I hadn’t come across many almond flavoured cupcakes, so was interested to try. It was a simple butter cupcakes flavoured with almond extract and topped with vanilla buttercream and toasted almond flakes. I like the topping but found the cupcake itself to be a little dry and bland, I would have preferred a stronger almond flavour. The mocha cupcake on the right didn’t give us the ‘wow’ factor, once again the cake itself was dry and I simply couldn’t taste the chocolate or coffee flavour… the butter cream was also a weird consistency, in between runny and creamy.

Triple Chocolate $25HKD ($3AUD)

Very much the same with the triple chocolate, but this time the cupcake wasn’t as dry, because of the ganache they’ve put inside the cupcake ~ Mr Bao and I liked this cupcake, while Win Win said the “chocolate flavours not strong enough”.

Ganache inside was nice ~

I still can’t quite describe their buttercream… it’s a very unique texture… I don’t think I’ve had this type of buttercream before, it’s very watery and felt like it needed some more icing sugar to thicken it and made it a little sweeter ~ or maybe that’s just me and my HUGE sweet tooth :)

Red Velvet $25HKD($3AUD)

As you may know, I have a thing for Red Velvet cupcakes…but this was by far the worse cupcake out of them all. The cupcake was the driest, you could barely taste the vanilla and cocoa flavour, and the worse was the buttercream, not only the was texture strange…you couldn’t taste any cream cheese in the frosting! So that was a major disappointment :(

I’m sorry, but, I don’t think I’ll be going back to Kisses Cupcakes anytime soon…mainly because of the dry cake but most importantly the buttercream.

With that my search for the best cupcake in HK continues ~ my lovely readers if you have any suggestions please let me know!

Kisses Cupcakes
G/F, 24 Gough Street , Central
中環歌賦街24號地下
PH:2489 9899 

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