Tag Archives: sweets

Pilgrimage to Tony Wong’s Kingdom

28 May

Patisserie Tony WongExcuse the exaggeration of my title, but it sure seems that way nowadays with Tony Wong opening more and more stores in Kowloon City. First there was Cookies Quartet…then he opened this patisserie, then more recently he opened a froyo store called Smile. Why has he enjoyed such great success? One can speculate. More at the end of this post as I know you want me to talk about the food. 😉

The first cake I got was the Mixed Berries Napoleon (千層酥). For any overseas readers, we call mille-feuilles, Napoleons, in Hong Kong.  Also, unlike in Paris, Napoleans in HK are almost always filled with creme AND fruits, especially mangoes, which really should be our city’s official fruit as Hongkongers are so obsessed with it lol. I choose the mixed berries Napoleon because it was the only one which looked vaguely traditional, as opposed to the circular cherry Napoleon and mango-laden Napoleon.

So, back to this Napolean. Was it any good? Frankly, no. I know many locals rave and shower praises on his Napoleans. But even if you’ve just had ONE mille-feuille from a patisserie in France, even a random neighbourhood patisserie, you would be completely dissatisfied with this. The pâte feuilletée is really thin, compact, and even slightly soggy where it touches the similarly thin and meagre layer of custard. It didn’t taste or feel like the lush, generous crème pâtissière in Parisian mille-feuilles, like the one I had at Pain de Sucre. At least the berries were sweet. And there were real vanilla seeds in the custard, although the custard was too diminutive in amount to actually taste it.

Patisserie Tony Wong One Two Tea

The One Two Tea is one of Tony Wong’s recent creations. From top to bottom: white chocolate plate, Earl Grey Crème Brulée, Earl Grey Mousse, Sponge Cake, Earl Grey Crisp. The flavours were quite good in this one, unlike the too sweet Starbucks Earl Grey cake. On the other hand, it’s more than 50% more expensive, so I’d expect the flavours to be better. The pale layers were smooth and tasted like a milky Earl Grey, slightly floral in nature. Not as smooth as the Pierre Hermé Tarte Infinitement Vanille though. Damn I miss that. The bottom layer had tea leaves in what was supposed to be a crispy layer (I think), although it was quite soggy when I ate it. This was an enjoyable cake. My only gripe is its size; for the same price, I can probably get something bigger and more interesting from a patisserie in Paris. But I guess they don’t have HKD$2 eggtarts over there either, so I won’t complain too much.

Read on for more thoughts on Tony Wong’s success…

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Cake Day

25 May

My cake obsession hasn’t been sated even after coming back to Hong Kong!! So here goes. For some reason, everywhere I went today, they were out of cakes I wanted…Lucullus, Cova, even Pappagallo (!!). So I ended up at Starbucks. Since I’ve already tried their lychee mousse and red velvet cake, I took their 3rd new offering – the Earl Grey Mousse Cake, and an old favourite, the Hazelnut Coffee Roll.

Only when I got home did I realize I JUST had an Earl Grey cake yesterday (full review to come later)…which would make for good comparison. 2 different calibers of cake shops, obviously…but how did they fare?

The Starbucks one is covered with a sweet gelée which tasted like…..sugar. And it was more jelly than gelée. Well, I suppose that increases shelf-life and makes it more sturdy, which makes sense as Starbucks is not gourmet. Inside, there were 5 different components. First, the main component was a light brown Earl Grey mousse. It actually tasted like a very sweet and mild HK milk tea, which is what Earl Grey tastes to me sometimes :S So I guess they succeeded….? lol. I enjoy my Earl Grey without milk/sugar usually. The texture was a bit gelatinous too.

Next was a sponge cake layer, which had hints of citrus. Since Earl Grey is infused with bergamot, this makes sense. I actually quite liked this layer…it’s moist and fragrant. Following another mousse layer was a crunchy feuilleté-like layer, which serves to provide textural difference. It was actually really sweet as well, like nutella. Then, another thin layer of mousse, and then chocolate sponge cake (without the citrus tang). Finally, the base is a tender hazelnut biscuit, which was moist, a bit too moist in fact.

For the price of the cake ($2x), it was thoroughly enjoyable. Obviously, one can’t compare it to the delicate One Two Tea I had yesterday, but that was almost double the price. The Starbucks one, owing to its sturdier textures, was more filling too….I always think Starbucks is a good bargain! I actually also liked how it was super sweet….good for when the sugar craving hits. Can see this not faring well with the Asian palate though.

The hazelnut coffee roll was very strong on the coffee taste and totally lacking in the hazelnut taste. The roll layer is pale white, which means it was probably made just with egg-whites (and less guilty). The filling is a hazelnut buttercream mixed heavily with coffee granules. I didn’t detect any hazelnut, and the coffee taste was overwhelming. Oddly, the cake was also specked with what appeared to be chocolate chips, but tasted like nothing. If you really want a coffee hit from your cake, this is your cake. However, if you expected some hazelnut tones…prepare to be disappointed.

Pierre Hermé Collection

23 May
Box of 12...minus 1 that I ate

Box of 12...minus 1 that I ate

So I finally published the last of my backlog of drafts from my Paris trip lol…back to the present. Well, this was not so present. These were the Pierre Hermé macarons I brought back from Paris for myself. As you can see, the round flimsy box doesn’t travel so well…even though I packed it in a tin box which was stuffed with scarves.

Such a cute box!

Such a cute box!

This box of 8, however, travelled really well and was pretty much crumb-free with no cracked macarons. Obviously, it’s a bit more expensive too. But it’s so cute so it’s worth it. And yes…I got myself 20 PH macarons (in addition to the Ladurée box of 8…and the dozen I polished off during my last 2 days). I got these at the Lafayette basement outlet, and they usually have 12 flavours on display in a day.

I can’t decide if I like PH macarons better or Ladurée. They’re quite different. PH is heavy on the filling which can be quite thick in texture and quantity. The shell is very crisp and the texture of the biscuit is quite light. He also has some savoury and “weird” flavours. Ladurée, on the other hand, has a slightly chewier and more almondy shell, with lighter fillings (in texture), but a very strong taste. I like both. Here are the flavours I’ve tried, in the order of my preferences:

Asperge Verte & Huile de Noisette: The hazelnut flavour was SUPER strong…loved it. I guess the oils of a nut make the flavour eh? Wow this was like a punch in the eye….er…tongue…in terms of hazelnut flavour. The ganache was kinda oily in texture. The asparagus was found in dried asparagus bits in the ganache, which didn’t really contribute to the flavours. This is totally worth getting just for the noisette hit.

Huile D’olive & Vanille: Wow…what a surprise! This has bits of olive pieces inside, which I surprisingly liked! Very pronounced savory AND sweet tones. The olives balanced the sweet vanilla very well. PH seems to enjoy surprising us with green macarons…

Arabesque (Abricot & Pistache): The apricot flavour in this was very strong and real…couldn’t really detect the pistache, unfortunately. It’s a very pretty apricotty colour though. Smells heavenly too.

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