The mercury is rising, the sun is scorching and Hong Kong’s beaches are getting busier. That must mean summer is imminent, so it's time to cool down with some of the hottest cold dishes in town. And it’s not all just shaved ice desserts and soft serve ice cream either, we've thrown some savoury coolers in the mix too. Enjoy!
The best cold dishes in Hong Kong
Brook’s Café offers a variety of top Japanese-inspired drinks and desserts – but nothing beats its matcha and lemon ice cream float. If the sun is working up a sweat, this cold treat should cool you right down. The float combines lemonade with some super flavourful green tea soft-serve ice cream and a slice of lemon. Simple, effective and totally cool. $43.
Japanese barbecue restaurant Futago is the master when it comes to serving up perfect platters of top quality beef, chicken, pork and seafood. But this Causeway Bay joint is also a maestro at creating some of the most refreshing cold soba noodles in town. The al dente dishes boast fresh, almost rich flavours and come well paired with cucumbers, sesame seeds, seaweed and chillis. $38.
The self-titled ‘rockstars of the ice cream world’ serve up some of the best icy treats in the whole city. There’s a huge array of indulgent flavours, such as the cookie monster and the salted caramel chocolate pretzel. There’re also a load of funky cones that come encrusted with rice krispies, marshmallows, fruit loops or coco pops. Your camera alone will have a feast. Prices start at $43.
Though it may not look too impressive from the outside, Chachawan serves up some darn tasty Thai food. Kick back and enjoy the larp moo in this trendy restaurant on a hot summer’s evening. The dish sports a mixed salad of chopped pork, pork skin, shallots, spring onions, mint, coriander and a spicy sour dressing. It may not be ice-cold but it does shine. $118.
There are tons of Honeymoon Desserts across town but our fave is the one at TST’s Harbour City mall. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the grass jelly at this joint. The treat is said to have actual cooling properties, according to Chinese medicine. Honeymoon offers a variety of these jellies, like the one served with vanilla sauce and green tea ice cream. The dishes come paired with coconut milk and fruity toppings like mangoes and melons. Hit up some of this grass, man. Prices start at $29.
I See I See serves innovative and handcrafted icy desserts which are both smooth and snow-like in texture. The shop renews its offerings on a regular basis but it’s the ice lollies that are a permanent hit here. Head for the strawberry Hokkaido milk and the creamy mango versions. The flavours are strong and the cooling properties, well, pop.
With a kitchen run by Korean ladies and a dining room that’s homely and casual, you know you’re in for a chill time at Joon Ko. There are some ace authentic Korean dishes here but the real summer cooler is the naengmyeon. These cold buckwheat noodles have a spongy texture and arrive topped with slices of beef and cucumber, a boiled egg and a light broth. The seasoning is spot on and the whole dish, despite being cold, warms your heart. $100.
Okay, so you can’t actually eat at this perfect-parfait Japanese café in TST just yet, as Ufufu doesn’t open until next month. But we still want to shout about it because the temperature is only going to get hotter, so you’re gonna wanna try these frozen desserts out. There’s set to be 115 varieties to choose from, all made with the franchise’s unique homemade ice cream and seasonal fruits from Japan. There are even limited edition treats made just for Hong Kong. We hear the Japanese peach parfait is the one to go for, as it boasts fresh peaches that contain soft ice cream in the middle. It won’t be cheap but it’ll definitely be peachy. $120.
It’s hard to find a decent banana split in our city. It’s even harder to find one that breaks the classic mould and offers a new take on the dish. Verde Mar, however, answers your prayers. The banana is pan-fried before being split by smooth and satisfying homemade ice cream. There’s also rich chocolate slavered over the whole affair, as well as a fresh sprig of mint. Chill out, relax and watch the sun descend as you enjoy this special sweet. $68.
Meaning ‘thinly sliced’ in Italian, carpaccio is a staple dish of meat or fish that’s been pounded thin. It’s always served cold and refreshing, but there can be some pretty innovative versions out there, like Olivier E’s red prawn carpaccio, which comes garnished with pink radishes, tomatoes and tamarillo ice cream. Sweet and zesty flavours make for a cool afternoon munch. $398.