Most people would say caramel is too sweet. I have a thing for salted caramel. Not just caramel, but salted caramel. When done properly, the salt cuts through the luscious intensity of the sweet caramel and makes the slightly burnt taste of sugar more pronounced. Sadly I have not found many places which do it right in Hong Kong, but when I feel like the guilty indulgence, these places are my usuals that never fail me.
For warm Saturday afternoons
You should have already seen numerous posts about Oddies last year, that famous huge sundae with chocolate sauce and egg waffles all lumped in the same cup which everybody was posting. Recently Oddies has opened a new gelato shop in the Soho area, serving ice-cream with flavors out of the ordinary. The salted caramel really stood out to me and is by far the best caramel ice-cream I’ve had in Hong Kong so far!
Oddies Foodies, G/f, 45 Gough Street. Tues – Sun 1300- 2100.
For the days stuck in the office wishing you were on holiday in France
For macarons, most people would agree that Pierre Hermé or Ladurée does it best. I agree (well, for Pierre Hermé), but if you are looking for a real caramel treat, La Maison du Chocolat has an amazingly luscious caramel macaron. The taste of their caramel is so intense it tastes a bit like burnt toffee, but then still creamy and buttery. The caramel éclair used to be my favourite, but I was told they don’t do the éclairs anymore. In fact the Hong Kong shops are going to switch out all of their existing pastries and cakes for “something new”. Stay tuned to find out!
La Maison Du Chocolat, various locations
For the evenings when you have a 2nd stomach just for desserts
Maybe rather surprising, but what Sanka impressed me the most was not their teppanyaki dishes (despite how amazing the butter-sauce abalone was). What was most memorable was their dessert, the salted caramel ice-cream with soft airy butter sponge sprinkled with honeycomb crumbs. If you happen to visit Sanka, you must make room in your stomach for this dessert! I know it could sound heavy after a huge teppanyaki meal, but trust me, you won’t regret it!
Sanka, 1/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central. +852 34602285. Opens every day 1200-1500; 1800-2300.
For the cold winter mornings
Dolce 88 has this salted caramel latte that is superbly rich and creamy yet not overly sweet. The salted caramel syrup is home-made by Dolce 88. I peeked at the barista making the coffee – the syrup was not the usual runny liquid (screams artificial!) you’d expect from coffee chains. Dolce 88 also offers a range of other flavored coffees and most of their syrups are homemade, intense in flavor but never too sweet. This is actually the only place where I would order flavored coffees in Hong Kong.
Dolce 88, Lobby Level, JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Admiralty. Opens every day 7am – 9pm