While it’s near-impossible for ice cream to taste bad, it’s not easy to make it truly great. These six parlours, however, succeed in taking our favourite dessert from tasty to irresistible.
Emack and Bolio’s
While Ben & Jerry’s still holds a place in Hongkongers’ hearts after their brief stint in the city, Emack & Bolio’s has taken over the “weird” flavours niche: customers can sample cake batter, Smoreo, or salted caramel with chocolate pretzel. Scoops are heaped onto unusual cones which are coated with treats like Rice Krispies and marshmallow, multi-coloured cereal, or Coco Pops, a treat unto itself.
G/F, 16 Cochrane Street, Central
If you find the sweetness and texture of ice cream too much, but don’t want to go full non-fat with sorbet, give gelato a try. An Italian breed of the icy treat, gelato contains less fat than normal ice cream, but makes up for it by being more dense and flavourful. One to try is Grom, which comes all the way from Turin, Italy. While their offerings usually change according to the seasons, the core of the menu is dominated by old favourites like straciatella, vaniglia, and (the best flavour bar none) fior di latte, which is just pure, unadulterated sweet cream.
Shop 1023, Level One, IFC Mall, Central
If you’re hankering for a more local flavour gelato, try XTC. Made entirely in Hong Kong, XTC gelato has all the old favourites Grom does, but also has flavours that Hongkongers might prefer, such as banana caramella, mango coconut, and the ever popular rocky road.
While their pints can be found in supermarkets around the city, stopping by their shops will give you a better overview of their ever-changing flavour menu, and free samples to boot.
Locations across Hong Kong
As much as Hong Kong loves ice cream, it loves ice cream with toppings even more. Of these, there are probably none more popular than mochi and red bean. Via Tokyo’s speciality is green tea ice cream, which they heap with normal and green mochi, adding a dollop of red bean on the side. For people looking for a taste of Japan during the hot summer, Via Tokyo is one of the best.
Shop 1A-1B, G/F, Leishun Court,
106-126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay
On the surface, Oddies Foodies is just another of many gelaterias that have sprung up around the island. But their speciality is not so much their style of ice cream, as how they serve it. Here, each cup of ice cream comes with a curled up cone of Hong Kong-style egg waffles. Egg waffles by themselves are good, but combining them with ice cream takes them to another level.
G/F, 45 Gough St, Central
If you’re looking for something less creamy, but super sweet, this is for you! Around the corner from Via Tokyo is the kakigori shop Shari Shari. Kakigori is the Japanese summer treat of shaved ice with syrup and other toppings. While the ice doesn’t have calories, the toppings are often sweet enough to cause a mouthful of cavities. As well as fan favourites like condensed milk and green tea, try unusual flavours like sweet potato and tiramisu.
G/F, 14 Haven Street, Causeway Bay