With the mercury rising here in HK, we’re craving cool ways to beat the heat… and what could be more delicious than a fantastic frozen sweet treat? Yep, we’re talking ice-cream – and since we figured last year’s list was in need of an update just in time for our sweltering summer, we’ve rounded up another top five ice-cream joints in Hong Kong for you to get your lick on! Your next big decision – one scoop or two?!
There used to be dozens of XTC counters around town… and now we’re down to only three, it makes getting that XTC fix even more special! A homegrown Hong Kong company that does everything by hand – from peeling the fruit for your Mango Paradise sorbet to individually breaking every piece of chocolate for your Stracciatella gelato – all their ingredients are 100% fresh, natural and contain no chemicals, artificial preservatives or colourings (which might explain their gelato’s somewhat softer texture; act quick, as these babies melt fast!).
We love XTC’s original, creative and ever-changing flavours – we’re talking Hong Kong Milk Tea, Chocolate Szechuan Pepper, Durian, Lavender and Thai Palm Lemongrass Coconut to name but a few! With a full array of sorbets, plus fro-yos, chocolate covered gelato sticks, ice-cream sandwiches, fresh fruit pops and even full-blown gelato cakes, you’re bound to find your signature flavour here.
Sassy’s Pick: For a refreshingly fruity burst of summer, the Red Raspberry sorbetto (studded with tiny nuggets of fruit) delivers. If gelato is more your thing, try combining Banana Caramella with Clover Honey Yoghurt for a much more indulgent take on your typical breakfast bowl!
A single scoop cup or cone costs $35; banner photo also from XTC.
XTC locations in Hong Kong:
XTC Gelato Shop 4b, G/F, 45-47 Cochrane St, Central
XTC Gelato Jasons‧Food & Living, B2/F, Hysan Place, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay
XTC Gelato Shop KP 01, Star Ferry, Tsim Sha Tsui
Hong Kong’s first – and only – purveyor of liquid nitrogen frozen ice-cream, Lab Made has become a bit of a foodie cult! The brainchild of professional pharmacists turned mad scientist, ice-cream geniuses Ronnie Cheng and Jenny Chiu, all Lab Made’s creamy concoctions are frozen right before your eyes in under two minutes… and with lots of uber-dramatic clouds of icy mist too (don’t try this at home folks!). Making them to order means that the goods are never stored in a freezer, allowing for more intense fresh flavours, whilst the theory is that by freezing your ice-cream quicker with extremely cold liquid nitrogen as opposed to more traditional methods, you get smaller ice crystals, making for a smoother softer scoop.
The crazy creative flavours change every week (I’m particularly bummed to have missed out on salted caramel with chocolate covered potato chips!) and many have a fun Hong Kong slant – like HK Custard Bun, Purple Sticky Rice, Coconut Tong But Luk and Horlicks. Look out for their second location in TST’s Knutsford Terrace opening later this year.
Sassy Pick: The Sticky Toffee Pudding ice-cream really does taste like sticky toffee pudding! Sinfully sweet and gloriously rich, this was gone in 60 seconds.
A single scoop costs $39 or $44.
Lab Made Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Laboratory G/F, 6 Brown Street, Tai Hang
Lab Made G/F, Junction of Kimberley & Carnavon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Chocoholic alert! Belgian fine chocolatiers GODIVA have just started dishing up wonderfully indulgent chocolate soft-serve ice-cream cones alongside the rest of their guilty pleasure offerings – and this stuff is goooood.
Forget the idea that soft-serve cones are purely for the kids… this is definitely ice-cream for grown-ups – beautifully rich, velvety smooth and not too sweet, drizzled with dark chocolate sauce and served in crispy cones, hand-dusted in chocolate sprinkles. OK, so these probably don’t fit into your summer detox plan, but we promise they’re worth breaking the diet for – and with around 600 sold PER DAY at the moment, it looks like Hong Kong agrees with us!
Sassy Pick: Well, there’s only one flavour available so far (and would you expect it to be anything other than chocolate?) but when you get something so right, who’s complaining?!
A chocolate soft serve cone costs $39.
GODIVA soft serve ice-cream is currently available in Hong Kong at:
Godiva Chocolatier Shop 1029-30, 1/F, IFC Mall,No.1 Harbour View Street, Central
Godiva Shop 3321, 3/F, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, 17 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Primo Artisan Gelato
The new ice-cream parlour on the block, PRIMO showcases premium gelato imported direct from Europe and made using secret Italian family recipes passed down the generations to original founders, brothers Bruno and Stefano Luchetta. The ice-cream here is light but creamy and tastes lovely and natural – fruit gelato that actually tastes like fruit as opposed to artificial fruit flavourings is always a winner in our books!
There are currently only nine flavours on offer, including Banana, Peanut Chocolate and Chocolate Mint (with more to come soon – we’re got our eye on Green Apple) so come with friends and take advantage of their current special offer to try a bowl featuring scoops of all nine – ice-cream coma, here we come!
Sassy Pick: Cheesecake Raspberry – not too savoury, not too sweet, I might just prefer a scoop of this to actual cheesecake!
A single scoop cup or cone costs $36
Primo locations in Hong Kong:
PRIMO Artisan Gelato Shop 5A, G/F, 45-47 Cochrane Street Central
PRIMO Artisan Gelato Kiosk, 7/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street Causeway Bay
Primo Artisan Gelato Shop 7E161, Level 7, Departures Level, Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport, Chek Lap Kok
Lola’s Ice Pops
We’ve been obsessed with Lola’s since we first spotted them at Island East Markets (check out our full article here) – and with the insanely hot temperatures leaving us in no mood to consider DIYing our own ice pops, the love affair shows no sign of waning! These artisanal bite-sized frozen treats are created by three Hong Kong mums who make them fresh daily, using only the finest natural ingredients and absolutely no icky additives.
Cute retro packaging, being able to support a great local business start-up and Lola’s total flair for creating genius flavour combos (Fig with Coconut Vanilla… Blueberry Lemonade… White Chocolate Raspberry – yes please!) make this a total winner in our books. Catch them at pop-up shops and markets all over town or order in bulk on their website – plus they’re now available 24/7 at Saffron Bakery in Stanley and The Bottle Shop in Sai Kung too.
Sassy Pick: Need refreshing? Watermelon Basil or Mango Lassi should be just the ticket. But I just can’t resist Chocolate with Brownie Bites – dreamily creamy and chocolate-rich with amazing chewy, fudgy, delicious nuggets of homemade brownie, this is my idea of heaven on a stick!
All full-sized pops cost $30.
Lola’s Ice Pops are available at:
Saffron Shop G04, G/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley
The Bottle Shop G/F, 114 Man Nin Street, Sai Kung
Need more ice-cream inspiration? Check out last year’s top five ice-creams in Hong Kong here!