As a tea-loving Hong Kong newbie, I jumped at the chance to taste the Afternoon Tea Menu at The Night Market in Elements. We’ve already raved about The Night Market here, so I couldn’t wait to try their afternoon tea too. The Night Market has been in Stanley Street, Central, for a few years and opened up at the swanky Elements Mall in December 2013. They serve up delicious Taiwanese cuisine that everyone will enjoy in a blissfully chic setting.
Their new Afternoon Tea Menu, at $85, is a reasonably priced alternative to Dim Sum if you’re looking for your fix of Asian bites. Before I get kicked into what’s on offer food-wise, it would be an injustice to overlook the decor. Alexi Robinson has expertly created the interior, a Hong Kong-based designer driven by ”principles of authenticity”. The attention to detail is definitely impressive! Yep, if this is what home feels like, I certainly wish I lived here. The long tables are an ode to lengthy family feasts, perfect for sharing.
First up was the bubble tea. Now, I am an overt fad hater and a secret fad worshipper (chia seeds, anyone?) so I asked what the whole deal was with bubble tea. I wanted to know what lay behind this Hong Kong favourite, so I asked who came up with it first. All the while I reluctantly enjoyed a burst of strawberry yoghurt melting in my mouth like a culinary berry fiesta! Resham from Plug PR set me straight, telling me that bubble tea is actually Taiwanese and has been around for quite a while now. Taiwan 1, Eleanor Nil.
Up next was the ‘dim sum alternative’, the food. I’m talking Oyster Pancake Rolls (you should see these things, it’s like Prada on a plate!), Omelette Wrapped Fried Rice and my personal fave – Three Cup Chicken Mochi Balls. I loved them so much that one of the other guests sat across from me actually suggested I got a doggy bag. I laughed it off all the while thinking that’s an incredible idea, how much could I feasibly carry on the MTR? They don’t use MSG and incorporate solely foods with names one ”can pronounce” – a strong mantra if ever I heard one. No MSG? Wonderful – you can feel guilt-free, with all the more room for their Brown Sugar Steamed Buns.
The staff were excellent at The Night Market and certainly know their onions from their Wagyu Leek Spring rolls. And when I asked to have a little taster of the Purple Rice and Sweet Potato Cake, they happily obliged. Within seconds I was presented with three beautiful squares of deliciousness.
As I made for the exit, determined to nip all this gorging in the bud, I was presented with their new range of beers and ales. I took a couple for the road, (it would be rude not to) and waddled happily away, nursing a very large, but MSG-free, food baby.
I would be hard pressed to find a criticism of the whole Night Market experience. Perhaps I am rather too easily pleased, but the whole package was really well put together. You get a good haul for your money, and it’s one afternoon tea that won’t break the bank! I love the casual atmosphere and can’t wait to get back there in the evening and check out the buzz.
The Night Market, Elements Mall, Shop 1028, 2807 2292, www.thenightmarket.com.hk