Hong Kong's 6 Best Matcha Dessert Cafés
Trick your body into thinking it’s getting its daily dose of greens at six of Hong Kong’s best matcha dessert cafés. By Tammy Ha
Via Your Tastebuds
Via Tokyo is a testimony to the undying obsession this city has for green tea, having been part of the first wave to bring matcha desserts to the SAR. Unless you manage to catch the café on a slow day, don’t expect much elbow room at your table. Long queues are a common sight, with people vying for the famed soft serves that come with a variety of chewy or fruity toppings, as well as the refreshing matcha smoothies and lattes. They’ve recently added a line of matcha pastries as well, including napoleons and eclairs.
Shop 1A & 1B, G/F, Lei Shun Court, 106-126 Leighton Rd., Causeway Bay, 2895-1116.
On a Roll (Cake)
Owned by friendly Japanese expat Ouchi Hiroshi (who, if you happen to catch him in the shop, greets customers enthusiastically in a mix of Japanese and English), quaint café Hiroshi has quietly established a name for itself in the local matcha foodie arena. The roll cakes and parfaits are their signatures, but the award-winning green tea is not to be missed either. Your best bet is to get the matcha tea set for a little bit of everything.
G/F, The Lamma Commercial Centre, 15 Parkes St., Jordan, 2737-2665 (Moving on Aug 28 to Shop L502, The One, 100 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui).
The strong aroma of green tea floods your senses the second you step into what has been the mecca for matcha lovers in Osaka for the past hundred years—Nakamura Tokichi. At the Hong Kong branch, the sixth-generation Nakamura family has exported the authentic Kyoto experience to the rest of Asia for the first time. They literally brought everything: from the ingredients to the wooden furniture, the ice-shaver, the tea grinding instruments, the tea room, and of course, their Kyoto-style hospitality. With ingredients flown in every morning, you’ll be devouring top-notch sweets from the likes of green tea jelly to local delights such as rice cake matcha and red bean soup.
18/F, The ONE, 100 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2426-6111.
Gum Jeng x Yu Qian Shang Cha is a collaboration between the hip lifestyle label GumGumGum and the Taiwanese matcha-themed restaurant Yu Qian Shang Cha (御前上茶). Their extensive matcha menu includes parfaits, pastries, waffles, shaved ice, slushies, sweet soup, and—if that wasn’t enough—matcha tofu pudding and matcha tofu latte. The last two go so well together you find yourself surprised nobody had thought of it before.
G/F, Fashion Walk, 8-10 Cleveland St., Causeway Bay, 3486-7307.
Affogato ‘Bout It
Opened by a Japanese-Chinese couple, dessert café I Cremeria takes many influences from Italy: from its name and décor down to the affogato (this is flavored, however, with rich Japanese matcha rather than espresso). The soft serves and shaved ice are delectably complemented by a variety of toppings including chewy daifuku mochi, wagashi sweet chestnuts, jelly and pudding. There’s also a heavy focus on premium fruits flown straight from Japan: the fancy muskmelon is a signature fixture, and you can opt for a milky soft serve dished up inside a half-melon for a cool $220.
Shop OT-G03A, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-37 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2897-1118.
Sinmei, the owner of Sinmei Tea, is a renaissance chick who brings a worldly and view to everything she does, from studying tea to learning the guzheng. She matches western combinations with traditional green tea, such as the matcha molten cake, matcha brownie on a sizzling iron plate, the matcha mojito and even a matcha Hakka rice dish that pays respect to her family origins. And with the café’s stay-as-long-as-you-want policy, you have plenty of time to roam between the assortment of sweet and savory matcha flavors to find your favorite.
5/F, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, 3690-8238.