When planning our trip to Hong Kong, we originally made reservations for a different dessert place. After seeing photos on Instagram though, we knew we had to cancel those and make sure to reserve a spot in ZUC.CCH.ERO. Because of the rigorous planning of said trip, we reserved our place via Facebook months in advance, which turned to be an unusual event for the dessert bar – nevertheless our reservation was kept. In fact, when we made the reservation via Facebook Messenger, the person on the other side of the keyboard (and on the other side of the world) turned out to be Karen, one of the co-owners. She was nice and kind both online and offline.
Karen opened ZUC.CCH.ERO with two partners, one of which has ten years experience making desserts. While she doesn’t handle the artful making of their sugary delicacies, as front-of-the-house, Karen did make sure our service and experience were very pleasant and personal.
But wait – we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning.
Located on the 18th floor of a high rise in Hong Kong Island’s Causeway Bay, ZUC.CCH.ERO’s is a dessert bar which specializes in molecular sweets. The rather small interior is dominated by a long bar which enables patrons to watch how their intricate desserts are constructed by the skilfull staff. The decor is young and hip, with a matching chill atmosphere augmented by posters, graffiti and light pop music playing in the background.
After we got comfortable, Karen explained us about the different dishes and what kind of flavors they have. She told us all desserts are not too sweet, which made me especially happy because it meant I would be able to taste more dishes without being overwhelmed. There are several options in ZUC.CCH.ERO:
- An Adventure Set for 278HKD ($36 / 137₪) which includes a 3 course dessert set with live presentation by chef. The girls sitting next to us had this adventure, and when we rubbernecked to peek it sure looked like an amazing experience. They got a complete show – some of the dishes also included projected art and music. In addition, the presentation had all kinds of interesting components such as preparation of whipped cream with liquid nitrogen and a plating a dish with “artistic” strokes of berry sauce.
- Ordering from the A La Carte menu or the Special Tasting menu, which offered “smaller portions for greater experience”.
The Adventure set did look like a tempting offer, however I’ve set my eyes, and taste buds, on some of the signature desserts so we went with a mix of regular sized desserts from the A La Carte with some smaller desserts from the Special Testing menu. Since some desserts are complex to prepare and/or are freshly baked, the menu specifies that they might take around 10 minutes to be served. We were up for a lazy afternoon so we took the time and ordered them one by one.
We started by ordering some drinks and the first of the 4-course-dessert meal we had just planned.
Strawberry Kiwi cold tea (36HKD / $4.5 / 18₪)
Cappuccino (42HKD / $5.5 / 21₪)
The coffee was not great, a bit watery and lacked in aroma but I’ve come to realize that it’s just a Hong Kong thing – The standards for coffee are lower in general than what we’re accustomed for in Israel.
Para Para Sakura – Cotton Candy | Raspberry jelly | Gianduja mousse | Chocolate cake (138HKD / $18 / 69₪)
Everything on the plate is edible, and that even includes the tree trunk supporting the cotton candy foliage, which is made from chocolate. The dessert was very good – not too heavy and not overly sweet. The base included lots of different textures and flavors that mixed well, among them berry jelly, brownies cubes and mousse, The bubble gum flavored cotton candy was yummy.
Break The Tear – Gorgonzola ice-cream | Celery ice | port wine sauce | Walnut & Hazelnut (138HKD / $18 / 69₪)
The tear shell is made out of blown sugar. Using a spoon, you break bits of the tear into the base of the dish. This allows you to modify its sweetness level – which is a nice touch.
The flavors here are unconventional and include celery flavored slushy, Gorgonzola cheese ice cream and wine sauce. Definitely original and very unique.
Okinawa Purple – Sweet potato cheese tart | Toffee sauce | Azuki red bean ice-cream (68HKD / $9 / 34₪)
This tart was fabulous. They nailed the pie crust, which was tender and flakey – and that is no easy feat. As you cut into the pie, the purple Okinawa filling oozes out as if it’s been waiting for that very moment. The filling is lightly flavored and works well with the ice cream and caramel.
King Corn – Corn cream| Caramel popcorn | Strawberry | Bulgar ice-cream | Cocoa tuile (62HKD / $8 / 31₪)
After so many desserts, Opher was ready to hang the boots but given the utter success of the previous dishes I simply could not resist. The King Corn did not disappoint, with a great play on textures experienced with each bite. The popcorn and tulle provide crunchiness as a contrast to the strawberry and ice-cream.
The final bill came up to 494 HKD / $64 / 244₪.
To sum up – ZUC.CCH.ERO provides an amazing, unique and original experience. The level of detail and finesse in every dish is truly remarkable. It is a must visit for every sweet tooth in Hong Kong that will appreciate artisanal desserts in an urban, laid-back atmosphere.
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