You may have thought that after our Hong Kong dessert house excesses it would have been inadvisable for us to eat any more sugary delights.
Not so, my health-conscious chums. Wallets and waistline were damned as we devoured some Western-style treats, and they were so tasty that I wanted to share our shame with you.
H was staring at a Tsim Sha Tsui map when he noticed somewhere called Awfully Chocolate. We needed no more encouragement than that to stop by the next time we were in the vicinity.
Awfully Chocolate (G32-33, G/F, K11, 18 Hanoi Road branch) has a very limited product range revolving around a few choice chocolate items. Large cakes and ice cream seem to be the forerunners, and as we doubted that even us two greedy-guts could manage an entire layer cake, we purchased a single scoop of their dark chocolate ice cream.
It was one of the richest ice creams I’ve ever eaten. Creamy, custardy, chocolatey…it was chewy and smooth, and felt crammed full of fattening ingredients. Supremely delicious, but one scoop between two was about right for me.
As we strolled away from our ice cream experience, we walked right past a Paul Lafayet shop (G23, G/F, K11, 18 Hanoi Road branch).
Drawn to the beautiful creations within, I stepped in for a look round and H found it easy to persuade me that we had to purchase a macaron or two. At some expense we walked out with a raspberry, a sesame, a ginger and an earl grey.
We saved them to eat for later, and they were a delight. Delicate outer layers, beautifully flavoured fillings; it is just as well they cost so much or I would eat a boxful.
I have made macarons myself a few times with varying success. Oven temperature and mix consistency are paramount, and while I have turned out a few creditable examples, I have managed far more cracked, wonky or sandy efforts. It makes me far more appreciative of a good macaron, therefore, and in my opinion, these were excellent.
The final outlet to grace this post is the slightly less fancy but still delicious Orangi-Yo (41C-41D Granville Road).
We first encountered piped frozen yoghurt at Pinkberry on a trip to the USA in 2007. Since then, I have been spotting this pure style of fro-yo all over the place. Sometimes it is sold very plain and the toppings add flavour. At other places, one can choose a fruit to be added to the yoghurt before it is piped out.
Orangi-Yo introduced something we had never seen before. A serve-yourself array of different flavours and toppings, where the customer pays by weight but is otherwise free to create a total car-crash of a dessert if that is what they desire.
Hence the somewhat unappetising creation you see photographed above. H got a bit carried away and we ended up with three flavours of yoghurt (coconut, vanilla and red velvet cake), one sauce (caramel milk) and 4 different toppings (mochi pieces, two types of bursting boba (tapioca pearls with a liquid centre) and nuts).
The concept is genius in that it gives control to the consumer to make exactly the kind of dessert they think they want, even if it later turns out to be a huge mistake. Luckily the constituent parts are pretty tasty, so that may rescue any truly ill-advised combinations, and the fun of operating the machines and carefully creating a masterpiece will no doubt ensure repeat business (we went twice and I think H would happily have gone there on a daily basis).