An oft-heard lament of recent expatriates to Hong Kong is the dearth of quality Western-style bread. Wholemeal options in supermarket bakery sections are still light years away from their equivalents back home, with no comparison on depth of flavour or fullness of texture. Take a step away from the flabby, anaemic supermarket loafs and take a step towards some of Quintessentially’s top bakery picks instead!
Levain Bakery G/F, 39 Arberdeen Street, Central
2559 0889 www.levain-bakery.com/
This Aberdeen street opening brings artisan bread to Hong Kongers craving that distinctive sourdough character. Adding to the basic theme of big pillowy loaf, Levain also offers a range of more creative breads to whet your appetite, from an apricot and fig bread, to lychee and tea. Located just next to the SoHo dining district, Levain is in a perfect spot to bring some of that Sunday brunch vibe home. Their sourdough loaves start at around HKD$40.
Le Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon Shop 2045A, Podium Level 2, ifc mall, 8 Financial Street Central
2234 7422 www.robuchon.hk/
Hong Kong’s only boulangerie serving 3 Michelin-star worthy bread, Robuchon’s La Salon de Thé is known for the high quality and consistency of its product. Chef Boulanger Norihiko Takei has worked in conjunction with other Robuchon bakers in Paris, Tokyo and Vegas to develop the best recipes, with 70% of his ingredients sourced from France and Japan. Try the hearty pain de champagne (from just HKD$8 for a roll) that comes out fresh at 8am every morning, or their supremely popular baguette (HKD$25), which is baked no fewer than 11 times daily and still can’t keep up with customers clamouring for more!
Classified 108 Hollywood Road, SOHO, Sheung Wan
2525 3454 classifiedfoodshops.com.hk/
While Classified might be more famous for their gloriously smelly Gallic cheeses, they have also created an addictive range of accompanying breads to help you scoop in the goodness and really get the serotonin running. The handmade breads are fabulous on their own, or served with some of their delectable quince paste (about HKD$39 per 100g). Start with the basic baguette at HKD$18, or dive into a sourdough round loaf at HKD$20, a white farmhouse tin loaf at HK$22, a bloomer at HKD$25, or a healthy wholemeal bread sliced loaf for HKD$35.
Ali Oli Bakery G/F, 11 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung
2792 2655 www.alioli.com.hk/
It’s not just Central dwellers who can enjoy the pleasures of a fresh baked quality loaf – Sai Kung boasts its very own home-grown bakery, bringing country-baked goodness to country living. Established in 1986, Ali Oli bakes wholesome bread, starting from basic French at HKD$20, HKD$28 for crusty white, whole wheat and sultana loaves, to organic wholegrains at HKD$35, and the rustic country grain brick at HKD$42. Adding an urbane note to the menu are the range of bagels at HKD$10, including cinnamon & raisin, poppy seed and sesame seed. City slickers looking for a taste of the good life can order Ali Oli breads via their hotline, with a delivery charge of HKD$60 to HK Island, and free delivery for orders over HKD$400 (fee waivers for The Peak or Shek O are charged at a minimum order of HKD$500) – place orders one day ahead before 4pm.
The Mandarin Cake Shop M/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road, Central
2825 4008 www.mandarinoriental.com/hongkong/dining/cake_shop/
No mention of Hong Kong bakeries is complete without a mention of the Mandarin Cake Shop, producing superb loaves for in-house guests and hungry bread aficionados since the 1970s. Though the location within the hotel has changed, it continues a strong tradition of baking, with a comprehensive range of products, from delicious dinner rolls at just HKD$15 (including butter, granary, mixed sesame bread and raisin rolls, plus plain brioches), to the swathes of French baguettes, cheese twists, raisin-walnut loaves, rye and whole-wheat offerings from HKD$45. If that isn’t enough to establish the Mandarin Cake Shop as a must-do for carbaholics, the last time we visited, we shared the queue with Anthony Bourdain.
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