Monday, 29 July 2013

agnes b. Patisserie & Chocolate

So happy that I finally got to try the beautiful patisseries at agnes b in Hong Kong this time round. I walk passed one of their shops last year but it was for take out only. I really wanted to visit one of their shops and enjoy their cakes in their French chic stylish cafe instead of buying them and taking them home because the weather was quite warm I thought it might ruin the cake and the taste. So you can imagine how happy I was when I came across the cafe this time during my stay in Hong Kong!

I was with my cousin at the time and we kind of didn't know where we were, so we decided to jump into a cab and asked the taxi driver to drop us off at the nearest underground station. He drop us off at Central station and there was a quite a big shopping centre next to the station so we decide to go in and have a wander to see if there were any good cake or dessert shops. So I was so excited to find out that on one of the shopping levels, the entire floor was all about agnes b, including their men & woman collection, accessories shop, florist, their french restaurant, chocolate boutique and beautiful sun-filled atrium cafe. 



We were spoilt for choice! Everything looked lovely and we just wanted to try all of them.

After a good five minutes we decided to pick two flavours each, so we could share and try four of their flavours. The cakes were all  lovely. The sponge inside the cakes are all very moist but not wet, as I do find with a lot of cake they like to soak their sponge with too much syrup but these were perfect with their feather light creams and mousses and not too sweet either.

I didn't realise that they had so many of their cafes in Hong Kong! I was so happy to see another one in Sha Tin shopping centre, we shop and eat there quite regularly as its close and convenient for us, so without a doubt there was a few more visits for more of their cakes before I leave Hong Kong. Although some say that agnes b cakes are nothing to shout about but I totally disagree. Although its a brand and they have over ten cafes in Hong Kong, I still think the cakes are up to my taste and have their own unique style! 

                         

Not only the cakes are beautiful and light, the cafe serve good coffee too. The creme brulee latte is lovely. 

The ones i've tried during my stay are,
Jasmine- a vanilla creme brulee with a almond sponge
Delices- a chocolate sponge cake, chocolate mousse with raspberries and feuilletine
Venezuela- chocolate sponge cake filled with chocolate ganache 
Danielle- layers of feuilletine, chocolate sponge and coffee cream mousse
Patricia- vanilla sponge cake with feuilletine and filled with pear mousse and caramel mousse
Louise- vanilla sponge with raspberry filling and creme custard cheesecake 

My favourite were Jasmine and Venezuela. The Jasmine creme brulee custard mousse was very smooth and not too sweet. Venezuela is such a cute heart shape cake and the colour is a so pretty! With a very rich ganache, the cake is so satisfying for chocolate lovers.

Agnes b. DELICES


I just couldn't resist! I had to try the chocolates too! Fresh chocolates are so expensive but I thought I should treat myself once in a while :)



The flavours I chose, Hazelnut crisp dark chocolate, pistachio creme, ccream cheese milk choclate, lychee & rose, vanilla milk chocolate, earl grey dark chocolate, double hazelnut, mango milk chocolate and green apple brandy. The pistachio creme, vanilla and mango were my favourites. Definitely fine tasting fresh chocolates.

Agnes b cafe is a perfect place to chill and satify those sweet cravings for everything sweet and is definitely one of those cafes which deserves a visit. 


Sunday, 28 July 2013

Afternoon Tea at The InterContinetal Hotel, Hong Kong

One of the must do things when I went to Hong Kong this year was to have another high tea experience at one of the top hotels in Hong Kong, after really enjoying the one at the Ritz Carlton hotel last year (you can read about it here) I was hoping to try two places but things didn't go towards planned and I only manage to fit one in during my two weeks stay. This time I picked  the Intercontinetal Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui. 
  

Afternoon tea at the InterContinetal hotel is serve between 2pm-5pm at the lobby lounge and one thing I didn't like was that the hotel will not take advance reservations for afternoon tea. We had to make sure to get there early because we didn't know how busy it was going to be and I really wanted a window seat, I would have found it frustrating if I got there and all the window seats were taken and I had to queue, as afternoon tea should be a relaxing experience but luckily it wasn't many people there when we arrived at 1.45pm. 


So since we were one of the first ones there, we had the choice to where we would like to sit. We chose a very spacious table overlooking the harbour, just what I was hoping for!


Before I went to Hong Kong I did have a quick look online for reviews to see where was the best place for afternoon tea. There was two hotels I had in mind, the Peninsula Hotel which had quite good reviews or the InterContinental hotel. At the end I chose this hotel because there was one thing the Peninsula couldn't offer me and that's the breathtaking view outside! Just look at the impressive walls of windows, so beautiful!


So glad that we got there early, by 2.30pm the lounge was filled with people.


The hotel has three sets of afternoon teas to choose from, the Champagne Set, the InterContinental Afternoon set and the Chinese set. We went for InterContinental tea set which is the classic afternoon tea set (for two) which includes selection of savoury sandwiches, parisian style pastries and cake, warm scones and a choice of mariage freres teas or coffee.


I really needed caffeine that day, so I ordered a lovely latte. The coffee art was so beautiful, I didn't want to drink it.



We ate the scones first as they were still lovely and warm. We had two each, definitely the best scones i've ever had! They were very light and even more delicious with the jam, devonshire clotted cream and the earl grey jelly.


When the food came, it didn't seem a lot but by the time I finished my scones and savouries I was actually quite full and we didn't even have lunch that day! I enjoyed all the savouries especially the salmon sandwich, the salmon tasted fresh and the bread was so soft, just lovely!

                             

By the time we got onto the cakes, I was happy that there was only one piece of each and that we could share, otherwise I would have been so full and I wouldn't have enjoyed them as much. The sweet items includes a mousse filled chocolate egg, vanilla tart, chocolate cake, raspberry cheesecake and a matcha cake. My favourite is definitely this vanilla tart. The pastry was very light and the creme patissiere filling was smooth and silky, it just melts in your mouth.


By the time we nearly finished, it was a lovely surprise when the waitress brought over these complimentary panecotta desserts over to our table. They were very light and smooth and had a lovely citrous taste, a perfect finish to our afternoon tea.




We spent about two and a half hours at the hotel. Definitely another lovely high tea experience! However service could have been better for a five-star hotel but still I couldn't ask for anything more. Food was great, comfortable seating, beautiful and relaxing views while enjoying my food and half way into our afternoon tea there was even a live band playing!



Photo taken outside. A spectacular view of Hong Kong Island. Hopefully it won't be too long before I go back :)