Rich, velvety, full-bodied and dreamily decadent… Is it ever too hot not to have hot chocolate? Given our love for the sweet stuff, it’s a question we look forward to putting to the test as Hong Kong’s weather start to heat up – but in the meantime, let’s make the most of the current cooler temps (and a blast of air-con where necessary) to sip on the very best hot chocolates that Hong Kong has to offer.
Cupping Room, Harbour City
Tear yourself away from those highly Instagrammable harbour-view windows for just a minute… Cupping Room has teamed up with luxe Spanish chocolatier Casa Cacao, the creation of renowned three Michelin-starred restaurant El Cellar de Can Roca, to brew up a super-special hot chocolate creation.
Currently only available at Cupping Room’s Harbour City location as part of their Casa Cacao pop-up, this ultra-exclusive drink showcases the chocolatier’s signature 72% single-origin cacao, cultivated and fermented in Kerala, India. Unusually, the only other ingredient in the hot chocolate is water, but even without milk or cream, it’s still silky-smooth and glossily indulgent. The resulting hot chocolate is intense, fruity and complex, with notes of raisins and apricots – definitely one for true cacao connoisseurs.
Cupping Room, Shop OC309, Ocean Centre, Harbour City, 5 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 9446 8699
If you’ve spotted Cookie Vission’s crazily-decadent cookies on Instagram over the last few months, you’ll know this isn’t a place that does things by halves – and with their new Tai Hang store serving up a selection of homemade drinks, that’s definitely the case for their hot chocolate too.
This playful hot chocolate is practically a meal in itself, with a giant toasted homemade marshmallow that melts into a gloriously gooey delight as you drink. The chocolate itself is cooked at a low heat to achieve its beautifully thick texture, with a rich flavour that balances out the sweetness of the marshmallow – and goes down a treat with one of the store’s freshly-baked chewy cookies.
As one of Hong Kong’s few homegrown bean-to-bar chocolatiers, it’s no surprise that Hakawa’s hot chocolate drink is also pretty exceptional. While they offer a 100 percent variety for any cacao purists out there, the 74 percent is probably the more crowd-pleasing choice – with the option to be blended with whole, soy, almond or oat milk, depending on your preference.
Made from cacao beans sourced from a Sri Lankan organic farm cooperative, their hand-crafted hot chocolates are available either straight-up or in seasonal flavours such as ginger or fresh mint, which use real ingredients rather than artificial syrups. We opted for the Earl Grey-spiked version, which made for an exquisitely fragrant, multi-faceted, well-balanced hot chocolate – smooth, sophisticated, and not too sweet.
If you’re doing it for the ‘gram, Dang Wen Li should be top of your hot chocolate hit list. Renowned pastry chef Dominique Ansel has brought his famous blossoming hot chocolate over from New York, but given it a unique Hong Kong twist exclusive to the café’s Harbour City location.
Get that camera ready; each drink comes topped with a handmade marshmallow double-layer chrysanthemum flower, which “blooms” when it hits the hot chocolate within, revealing a tasty little chocolate bonbon surprise in its centre. Delicious and photogenic… what more could you ask for?
Dang Wen Li, Shop OT G63A, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 2613 8618
The Lounge, Four Seasons Hong Kong
For a hot chocolate that pulls out all the stops, look no further than Four Seasons Hong Kong. The hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef Ringo Chan has created a deliciously decadent concoction starring Venezuelan dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fresh vanilla and cinnamon; these ingredients are melted together and frozen into cubes, with each hot chocolate comprising 13 cubes blended together with full-cream milk.
The result is divinely rich and comfortingly indulgent, with just the right shimmer of cinnamon warmth. Each drink is also served with an array of mix-ins, including vanilla cream, homemade marshmallows and crunchy chocolate pearls (which you may find yourself just inhaling on their own). Still not quite extravagant enough for you? Simply ask your Four Seasons server for a richer blend, and their chefs will add a few extra chocolate cubes during brewing to deliver an even more intense cuppa.
The Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, 8 Finance Street, Central , Hong Kong, +852 3196 8820