15 Luxury Chocolate Brands To Try In Hong Kong This Summer
While Hong Kong may not be well known for chocolate, there are many hidden gems and homegrown brands around town which come in a wide array of styles, forms and recipes––vegan, 3D-printed and curiously flavoured. Here we’re listing 15 of the best chocolate and chocolate dessert brands to try in Hong Kong this summer that promise to make even the biggest chocoholic happy this World Chocolate Day.
1/15 Casa Cacao
Since pastry chef Jordi Roca from the world-renowned restaurant in Gironaset set up his first Hong Kong pop-up at Cupping Room Coffee Roasters in January, Casa Cacao has dazzled chocoholics with flavours not commonly available in Hong Kong. Alternative flavour profiles, including sheep’s milk and goat’s milk—which contain a grassy note and taste way richer than cow’s milk—are the Spanish chocolatier’s signature. Casa Cacao is also known for producing bean-to-bar chocolate bars with beans roasted in various degrees, bonbons in Ethiopian coffee, liquorice and tangerine flavours, and thick, gooey and nutty chocolate drinks. The popularity of the pop-up has led the chocolatier to a permanent spot at Central’s Graham Street Food Hall, which opened in May 2021.
Where to find it: Shop 3, 23 Graham Street, Central. Follow them on Instagram here.
2/15 Cookie Department
The cult-favourite cookie brand has a new summer pop-up––now open at Landmark until the end of September. Apart from tiramisu cookies and cookies in a brand new format––the Cyclone––which is a vanilla soft serve handspun with the cookie of your choice, the outpost is also stocked with new and exclusive baked goods such as banana bread, lemon poppyseed loaves, a rotation of muffins, cinnamon rolls, fudge brownies and basque burnt cheesecakes. But for chocolate lovers, it would be an absolute outrage to miss out on their launch week special, the decadent Death by Chocolate S’mores. There will also be bite-sized snacks like cake truffles in Belgium chocolate flavour, and cookie butters, which come in the iconic Speculoos variety and chocolate chip.
Where to find it: Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen's Road Central, Central. Find out more at cookiedpt.com
3/15 Hakawa Chocolate
Past the beef brisket and tomato soup noodle shops in the narrow Gough Street is a tiny homegrown chocolate factory. In 2015, Mandy Wong went to a cacao farm in Taiwan and fell in love with the bean-to-bar chocolate-making process. Two years later, she decided to bring the concept to Hong Kong and create her own chocolate products in-house. She named her shop “Hakawa”, a combination of “Hong Kong” and “kakawa”, which is cacao in Olmec. The hundred-square-foot shop isn’t big enough for dining in, but there are no lack of customers who come back for Hakawa’s handcrafted products, including 74% dark chocolate, chocolate glazed almonds, pistachio, macadamia nuts and hazelnuts. It is also known for its drinking chocolate, which comes in different cacao concentrations and vegan and dairy options.
Where to find it: Shop 1B, 49-51 Gough Street, Sheung Wan. Find out more at facebook.com/HakawaChocolate.
4/15 The Peninsula Boutique
When The Peninsula first opened its doors in 1928, it introduced western delicacy to Hong Kong. Two decades later, The Peninsula Boutique made headlines again by being the first to create its own handmade chocolates. Over the years, Swiss chocolatiers have reinterpreted historic recipes from The Peninsula Archives which document the city’s very first truffles and pralines, now classics in the Heritage Collection. For the more modern and inventive recipes, look no further than the Appreciation Collection, which features jewel-shaped chocolates of exquisite flavours and dazzling names: fleur de del, basil-lemon and kumquat-saffron, passionfruit ganache, “Screwdriver” which is a vodka orange screwdriver praline inspired by Clark Gable’s favourite drink at The Peninsula Bar, to name but a few.
The Peninsula opened a new boutique and café this May, which offers a range of contemporary sweet treats delights. The discreet space–– which is tucked away from the iconic, grand lobby above where the traditional British afternoon tea is served––offers their signature Page Hats. These 3D-printed chocolate shells are filled with smooth ganache in passion fruit, raspberry and smoked cocoa flavours, as well as vegan parfaits and all sorts of chocolate pastries and collections.
This is a popular weekend one-stop shop where you can do all your confectionary and culinary ware shopping, or, if you fancy the classic affair, indulge in the Afternoon Indulgence tea set served in a porcelain The Peninsula page hat.
Where to find it: The Peninsula Arcade, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Find out more at peninsula.com
See also: The Peninsula Boutique & Cafe Opens, Offering A Contemporary Alternative To The Historic Afternoon Tea
With its iconic blue jay egg and white colours on its boxes, Sugarfina was first set up in Beverly Hills by husband-and-wife Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick in 2013. On their third date, while watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory outdoors, the couple dreamt of creating a “candyland” fit for grown-ups. That explains their signature bento box of cocktail-inspired candies, sparkling rosé bears imported from Germany, Parisian pineapple gummies made in France and long stem rose gummies, all packed in exquisite small boxes. The brand launched its first overseas boutique in Hong Kong, which offers a good handful of chocolate selections, perfect for wedding or birthday gifts. For something stronger, opt for the single malt scotch cordial with a liquid centre of real scotch, or the vodka cordial and tequila cordial with a dash of liquor. For something more casual, try the limoncello cordial, which is white chocolate holding a shot of Italian lemon liquor, or the cold brew cordial, which is filled with a shot of nutty coffee.
Where to find it: Shop 1023 on Podium 1 of IFC mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central, and Shop 3327, 3/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui. Find out more at sugarfina.com
6/15 Chocolates by Ryan L Foote
Ryan L Foote has more than one trick up his sleeve. Based between Melbourne and Hong Kong, this design studio owner, who creates contemporary tableware, design objects and food art, is also a chef. Prior to his culinary career, Foote was a fine arts graduate at the Victorian College of the Arts who made his name by producing runway sets and launching parties for multiple fashion festivals and brands. His installation art often involved sound, light and fashion. Later, he started playing culinary elements to his art and partnered with chefs and catering firms. In 2018, he set up Chocolates by Ryan L Foote, focusing on experimenting with chocolate.
With a background in design, you can only imagine that his chocolate is both about looks and taste. Each piece of chocolate is 3D printed with fun, geometric shapes. Foote’s Hong Kong Collection offers some uniquely local flavours, including egg tart, milk tea, French toast with peanut butter, caramel char siu, red bean and milk, coconut tart and seven-year-old mandarin rind. Paying tribute to his other home, Foote also has the Australian collection which offers a taste of Australia with the Vegemite caramel and smokey eucalyptus chocolates.
We also recommend the Ruby Collection, which contains no berries or berry flavour or colouring. Its burst of berry flavours comes from growing the cocoa bean in the Ecuador, Brazil and Ivory Coast regions which geographic and climatic conditions are making the natural magic.
His other luxurious products include the Whisky Collection, frothy drinking chocolate that comes in three flavours (Hong Kong, Australian and dark) as well as 3D printed porcelain cups and plates to pair with.
Find out more at chocolatesbyrlf.com
7/15 The Chocolate Club HK
Katie Chan probably has the best job in the world. The chocoholic is a professional chocolate connoisseur, which means her job is to curate artisanal chocolate brands to widen the selection of high-quality chocolate products in Asia as well as to promote chocolate appreciation to the masses through education. Chan worked at a UK confectionery trading company as Food Product Developer overseeing the mass market chocolate products for the chocolate brand Awfully Chocolate. The numerous trips inspired her to specialise in chocolate, so much as that she even earned a certified qualification from the Chocolate Tasting Institute in London.
In 2013, Chan founded the Chocolate Club HK, which has since then hosted Salon du Chocolat, the first international chocolate show in Hong Kong, as well as a series of coffee, whisky, cognac and chocolate pairing workshops. Her club represents four brands: Taiwan’s Fu Wan Chocolate, Thailand’s Kad Kokoa, US’s Chocolate and Ecuador’s Chocolate. The Tie-Guan-Yin tea dark chocolate and Sea Salt 70 per cent dark chocolate remain her bestsellers.
This year, Chan has also launched the Chocolate Subscription Box to lift up the spirit of the city in the difficult times of the pandemic by delivering some endorphin straight to your doorstep. Insider the box are bean-to-bar craft chocolates sourced from Southeast Asia, Mexico and all around the world, as well as wellness cards and chocolate guides to make sure you enjoy your chocolate box to the fullest.
Find out more at thechocolateclubhk.com
8/15 LMO by Freshly Baked
We know they aren’t exactly chocolate but Richard Ekkebus’s new chocolate dessert creations are too good not to include. The culinary director of Michelin-starred restaurant Amber at the Landmark Mandarin has created the Chocolate Moelleux with Maldon sea salt. Plunge your spoon into the runny centre of the dark and milk chocolate cake. If you can’t decide between a brownie or a cookie, why not opt for the brookie? This invention has the chewy texture of a cookie and the dense chocolate taste of a brownie––the best of both worlds. Orders must be made 48 hours in advance online and the baked goods will be ready for you to pick up at Amber/SOMM Reception, 7/F, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental.
Find out more at landmark.mandarinorientalshop.com
See also: Where To Find The Best Bakeries In Hong Kong For Your Bread And Pastry Fix
9/15 Sweet World
We dare you to try duck poop chocolate. Fear not, ya shi xiang (“duck poop fragrance” in English), is an oolong tea cultivated in Guangdong Province’s Phoenix Mountain. It was given an unpleasant sobriquet by a farmer who attempted to hide the secret to his delicious tea. The truth is, this oolong tea has a floral fragrance with longan and malt notes. This duck poop chocolate bar by Fossa uses wine-barrel fermented cacao from Malaysia which further enhances its fruity flavours.
This is only one of the many curious brands and flavours from around the world that Sweet World, a craft and artisanal chocolate and confectionery shop, has curated. Minal Mahtani, who founded Bookazine and Partytime, established the confectionery shop in 2014 with a very sweet thought: to pair reading and parties with beautifully packed and delicious treats for all to enjoy.
In the Admiralty and Central shops, you can find salted egg cereal blond chocolate and chrysanthemum tea chocolate by Singapore’s Fossa Chocolate, Rye Crumb chocolate by Suffolk England’s Pump Street Chocolate which reminds you of bread, Thai curry shrimp white chocolate bars by Taiwan’s Fu Wan Chocolate, rhubarb and ginger milk as well as gin and whisky chocolate bars by Edinburgh’s Coco Chocolatier.
Where to find it: L1, 113, Pacific place, 88 Queensway, 88, Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong; or Shop 343, 3/F Landmark Prince’s, Central. Find out more at facebook.com/sweetworldhk
10/15 Conspiracy Chocolate
Vegan or dairy-free? Conspiracy Chocolate, a bean-to-bar chocolate company based in Hong Kong, makes vegan chocolate from cacao sourced from the Dak Lak region in Vietnam. Amit Oz and Céline Herren, husband and wife, founded the chocolate brand in August 2018, with their passion project stemming from their common fascination for food and nutrition. Their craft chocolate is all 75 per cent or above dark with no milk, soy and gluten at all. It’s made with only cacao beans and raw organic cane sugar.
Aside from their bestselling salted caramel bar, Conspiracy Chocolate is also known for their very Instagrammable blossom bar, which is covered with pink petals. They are also releasing the maple pecan bar as their Christmas special, which has notes of toffee, cherry, spice, tobacco and peanut in their thin but dense bar.
Where to find it: Conspiracy Chocolate bars are available to purchase from the brand’s website as well as Coffee Academics, Eric Kayser, Spice Box Organic, Sweetworld, Organic Oasis and online on Josun and Foodcraft. Find out more at conspiracychocolate.com
See also: Tatler's Ultimate Guide To Vegetarian And Vegan Dining In Hong Kong
11/15 La Maison du Chocolat
Chocolate powerhouse La Maison du Chocolat was founded on the elegant Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in 1977 by Robert Linxe who introduced the Parisian spirit of haute culture to chocolate. Linxe’s uncle was a tailor. The chocolatier grew up encountering talents like Chanel, Dior and Balmain and looking at the colours of their dresses, which were great memories that forged his attitude towards pursuing all things exquisite––including chocolate. La Maison du Chocolat was the first grand Parisian house dedicated entirely to “designer chocolate”. This set Linxe’s boutique apart from chocolate in France at the time, which was mainly a sweet given as a gift at Easter and Christmas. The creative chocolatier’s bold decision to create dark chocolate immediately set him apart from the conventionally sugary world of chocolate.
Today, the Parisian boutique has branches in seven countries. Nicholas Cloiseau, who was awarded the Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chocolatier (Best Chocolatier Craftsman) in 2007, joined La Maison du Chocolat as head chocolatier. He takes an innovative approach in creating nearly 30 different kinds of chocolates: half of them ganaches, two-thirds are dark chocolate and one-third milk chocolate. Apart from rochers, truffles and chocolate classics, La Maison du Chocolat also has variously coloured macaron of all flavours, with raspberry and dark chocolate, of course, being their popular options.
The Parisian chocolate boutique has launched its first vegan chocolate this June. Tying in with the summer season, the vegan chocolate comes in various fruity flavours, including Noir De Cassis, which is made with coconut milk and blackcurrant from Burgundy; Chiberta and Andalousie, which are orange juice and zest flavoured; Salvador, made with raspberry purée; as well as Maracuja, which is dark chocolate fermented in passionfruit juice.
Where to find it: Shop 246, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Hong Kong; Shop 2006, ifc mall; Shop 114, Landmark Prince’s, Central; Shop B03A, Lee Garden One, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; Shop 1010, Elements, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Find out more at lamaisonduchocolat.hk
12/15 Charbonnel et Walker
London’s historic chocolate boutique was founded in 1875 by Mrs Walker, an artisan jewellery and hatbox designer, and Madame Charbonnel, an artist adept in making chocolate. For more than a century, their exquisitely designed chocolate boxes have delighted many––including the likes of royals, socialites and screen legends. Charbonnel et Walker is endorsed by the Royal Warrant as one of the few chocolatiers to Her Majesty the Queen. Its other customers have included Princess Diana, Princess Margaret and Sir Alec Guinness. Prince Francis of Teck once courted his mistress with its chocolates whereas English playwright Noël Coward requested a box to be delivered to his home every fortnight.
Since its November launch in Hong Kong, the British chocolate boutique has created some of the most indulgent treats for locals. This summer, it has also whipped up some limited-edition seasonal truffles. Its Summer House selection a variety of signature dark and classic milk chocolates packed in a gift box illustrated with a blooming garden. All are available at the brand’s newly launched Landmark Atrium location as well as at The Murray pop-up, where you can buy a single truffle if you fancy trying all the flavours.
Where to find it: The pop-up at The Murray, or Shop 216A, 2/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road, Central. Find out more at charbonnel.com.hk
13/15 Green Monday
Locally based social venture group Green Monday tackles climate change and animal welfare issues by promoting a green diet. When it comes to sweets and snacks, you can find a careful curation of vegan chocolate brands in Green Common, including Bite Society, founded by long-time vegan Simon Newstead in 2018. “We need to be able to compete with animal products, not only in taste and convenience but also in price,” he says. Bite Society creates plant-based chocolate snacks which has a milky taste but doesn’t contain dairy contents, palm oil and malt. Its signature products include milky chocolate balls, which are made from puffed rice, cocoa flour, sugar and cocoa butter, salted caramel choc balls as well as crispy rice chocolate bars.
If you’re looking for a bar of chocolate instead of something snacky, Green Common also sells Raw Halo’s organic raw vegan chocolate which is 76 per cent dark. The dense noir bar is made with ethically grown organic cacao in partnership with a social enterprise chocolate factory. The brand also partners with One Tree Planted. For every 50 bars Raw Halo sells, one tree will be planted. Its packaging is 100% plastic-free and recyclable. You can eat to your heart’s desire while you do some good deeds for the environment.
Where to find it: Green Common can be found in nine locations in Hong Kong, including Shop B2, B/F, Landmark Alexandra, 18 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong. Find out more at greenmonday.org
See also: Asia's Most Influential: David Yeung, Founder Of Green Monday And Green Common
14/15 Jean-Paul Hevin Chocolatier
Voted ‘Best in Paris’ for his macaroons, French chocolatier Jean-Paul Hévin made his comeback to Hong Kong in 2019 after his two-year interlude from the city. Hévin began his career as a pastry chef protégé under legendary chef Joël Robuchon in Paris. In 1986, he won France’s most prestigious honour for craftsmen as “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” with his skills in chocolate making. This is followed by him being listed in the “Five Chocolate Bar” ranking by France’s Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat (Chocolate Crunchers Club) in 2003.
Inside his boutiques in Paris, six Japanese cities and now Hong Kong you can find a wide range of mostly chocolate desserts: extra dark ganaches, pralinés and milk chocolates enhanced with fruit fillings, spices, caramels and liqueurs, chocolate cakes, tarts, mousses, éclairs, fruit cakes, cocoa cakes, cheesecakes, truffles and hot chocolate, along with his award-winning macaroons.
New to his classic collection are chocolate bonbons, chocolate lollipops, truffle, palets and chocolate bars, with all products crafted from premium cacao beans sourced primarily from Venezuela, Ecuador, Colombia and Madagascar.
Where to find it: Shops 1041-1049, Level 1, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong; and Shop 3001, Level 3, Gateway Arcade, 3-27 Canton Road, Harbour City, Tsim Sha TsuiKowloon, Hong Kong. Find out more at jeanpaulhevin.com
15/15 The Butterfly Patisserie
Rosewood’s boutique, Butterfly Patisserie, created quite some noise in the local culinary scene when the hotel opened in 2019 with its innovative pastries served in a setting not unlike a jewellery shop. It shouldn't come as a surprise as the hotel's dessert department is headed by Asia’s executive pastry chef Holger Deh, who started out as a pastry chef and has now accumulated more than two decades of pastry making experience. Before Rosewood, Deh cut his teeth at prime establishments around the world, including the former two-Michelin-starred Tristan in Spain, the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur, where he launched the Mandarin Cake Shop, Raffles Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten in Hamburg, where he was responsible for the dessert menu during the re-opening phase of Haerlin Restaurant, now one of Germany’s leading gourmet addresses.
In 2011, Deh created the “Holger Deh Or Noir, 71.8 per cent” with partners in France, then implemented a first-of-its-kind ‘customised’ chocolate experience in China. Seven years later, he dreamed up a milk chocolate version, dubbed “Lait D’orby Holger Deh, 45 per cent”. This personally branded chocolate is used for most of his pastries at The Butterfly Patisserie, each being a piece of artwork. His signature Noir 71.5 per cent Chocolate Mille Feuille is a combination of contrasting textures and tastes from the crisp, golden layers and rich, dense chocolate. Deh is also launching a new series of chocolate cakes, including Mont Blanc, Or Noir 71.5 per cent Chocolate Mille Feuille, and Or Noir 71.5 per cent Chocolate Tart.
Where to find it: Rosewood Hong Kong, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Find out more at rosewoodhkshop.com
See also: 10 Things To Know About The Rosewood Hong Kong