Also on my must-do list for this trip to Hong Kong was a trip to Sift Dessert Bar, on Graham Street. Sift is located in Hong Kong’s Mid-levels, Soho neighborhood, which means much of the neighborhood is on different inclines. (The walk to Sift was almost completely uphill! )
All the local people seemed to take to the inclines with aplomb, calmly walking up and down, either in heels, or with their walking sticks, or even on their phones. Not me. I just concentrated on walking. (Ok, and taking photos. Note the annoyed look on the guy’s face here. I actually was pausing for breath, and decided to hurriedly take a photo, a nano second before I realized that I was in this guy’s way!) Since a lot of the produce for the open air market is transported up and down the inclines by hand carts, I can certainly understand his annoyance (and his use of a few choice Cantonese swear words)
Without further drama, I found my way to Sift Dessert Bar, which has a discreet little sign. Sift was founded in 2006 by Jennifer Cheung, who used to be a banker, but found that her true passion was for sweets. (like me! Except for the banker part)
I was greeted by a lovely employee, who actually welcomed me into the store. She handed me a menu and let me take my time on deciding on what to order. As I dithered between ordering the Sift Chocolate Cake, or the Strawberry Vanilla Chou, she asked me about my plans for the rest of the day. As it turns out, I was planning on eating more dessert (surprise, surprise) so she suggested that I try the Strawberry Vanilla Chou, and take away some of their chocolate cupcakes for a late night snack. A perfect solution to my gluttony! She assured me that their cupcakes traveled well, whereas the Strawberry Vanilla Chou was definitely a sit down, fork and knife occasion.
As you can see, their cupcakes are pure temptation. They have been on my mind ever since I read Sugar and Spiced’s review of them earlier this year.
I paired my dessert with Earl Grey Tea. The Strawberry Vanilla Chou arrived soon after. It was a chou pastry filled with strawberry jam, vanilla cream diplomat, and topped with fresh strawberries, mint and miniature vanilla marshmallows.
Note: I had no idea what a diplomat cream was… was it a cream that had diplomatic powers? The ability to forge friendly relationships? I quickly looked it up on my iPhone, and found out the diplomat cream is pastry cream, combined with gelatin and whipped cream.
In the context of the Strawberry Vanilla Chou, it was a light, ethereal, melt-in-your-mouth cream, which provided a perfect backdrop for flaky chou, and the slightly tart strawberries. The infitesimal chunks of vanilla marshmallows also added a hint of sweetness to the dessert. The mint contributed just a tiny bit of sparkle to the dessert.
這次來香港， 讓我找到“家” 的感覺，不意外 是在一間叫做 Sift 的甜點店裡。 那一天的店員非常的 friendly. 花了很多時間跟我介紹他們店裡的各式各樣的甜點。 我選了她推薦的一個草莓口味的甜點（Strawberry Vanilla Choux)
在店裡的過程，吃這美味的甜點，跟善良，健談的店員聊天，輕鬆的感覺， 讓我覺得好像回到熟悉，舒適的綠洲。然後外帶了Sift 知名的杯子蛋糕回去跟朋友一起分享。 一個店成功的地方， 其實不是只在華麗的裝潢。 其實 Sift 的裝潢很普通， 但在員工的熱誠，對糕點的堅持，跟 attention to details. 例如， 我外帶的杯子蛋糕， 包裝也很樸實，但雖然承受了一下午的碰碰撞撞的過程，但回飯店把盒子打開，發覺蛋糕還是平安無事的完整。這些細節讓我覺得很溫馨，而且讓我想下次回香港，一定會想去嚐試新的甜點。
I also took away three cupcakes to share with my friends. The flavors I chose were Salty Caramel Chocolate, Triple Chocolate, and Luscious Chocolate.
The packaging was deceptively simple, yet completely functional. My three cupcakes survived a bumpy walk down to another kitchenware store, Pantry Magic on Lok Ku Road, a harried walk to the MTR station, being jostled around in close proximity to my new wok and assorted cooking instruments, and being crushed in rush hour traffic on the MTR. They arrived at my hotel safe and sound, without even so much as a smear in the frosting.
They also made a perfect late night snack! I ate the salty caramel chocolate one, and it was a fluffy, richly flavored chocolate cake, with a surprisingly salty caramel center. (I think I would have preferred the salty caramel filling to be more creamy in flavor) The frosting was also satisfying, creamy, and perfectly sweet. On my next trip, I can’t wait to visit either the location in Wanchai or Quarry Bay to try more of their cupcake flavors. (Red velvet, strawberry, snowball, wait for me!)
Information: Sift Dessert Bar｜Address: G/F, 46 Graham Street, Central｜Phone: (852) 2530 4288｜Hours: Wed, Thur, Sun: 1:00 pm – 11:30 pm ; Fri, Sat: 1:00pm- 00.30 am