Ice cream with a little added crisp and crunch. What could be better?
Sure, creamy cones were made for the summer, but ice cream sandwiches? The ones that come disguised as a proper meal (a healthy balance of carbs and fats)? Made for any time of the year. Savour one for junk trips spent under the scorching sun; another as the perfect accompaniment to hot cocoa on wintry afternoons. It’s ice cream made even better, if ice cream — in all its sweet, creamy, delicious goodness — needed any kind of improving. Here’s where to find the best ice cream sandwiches in Hong Kong.
Visit Elephant Grounds for its exquisitely brewed coffee, pretty terrazzo interiors and strong Wi-Fi — great for checking your inbox if you manage to beat the remote-working crowd charged with the same itinerary. But also pay a visit to the beloved coffee roaster for their rotating range of ice cream sandwiches. Signatures include anything that comes with crumbly cookie ends, but the latest addition to the pack is an exciting bite-size macaron ice cream sandwich, made with a block of lavender and honey-infused ice cream and topped off with a white chocolate chip and a generous drizzle of honey.
Elephant Grounds, various locations including G/F, Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 3580 0554
Home to the perfect bun, most are familiar with casual Little Bao at Causeway Bay. You’d come here for a bao of any sorts; savoury serves that have been miso-braised, deep-fried or slow-roasted, all snug between the signature pillow-soft buns. For after-dinner sweets, a similar ice-cream edition of the bao. Generous slabs of ice cream — green tea and salted caramel are venue favourites — tucked inside the warm embrace of golden-fried mantou ends. Little Bao also does seasonal specials, so don’t be shy to ask!
Little Bao, Shop H1, G/F, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
It’s not your ordinary ice cream sandwich at Owl’s Choux. It’s better; more decadent, made with a homemade choux pastry dusted in a light powdered sugar veil. Crisp and crunchy on the exterior, tucked within is a contrasting scoop of gelato followed by a sweet coating. A little taster for your imagination: ‘Popcorn and Rocks’ marries coffee and Orea gelato between an almond choux, topped with salted caramel sauce and crispy caramel popcorn; while ‘Praline Noir’ puts together hazelnut and praline gelato against a plain caramelised puff, swirled in with crushed Maltesers.
Owl’s Choux, Shop H, G/F, 32 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2889 8227
Whenever at Fukuro, you don’t skip out on the sweet ending. Anyone who has patronised the buzzy below-ground izakaya will be well-aquatinted with the single dessert course: Monaka ice cream sandwich. It’s a habitual ritual that follows the moreish plates of caramelised corns, sushi tacos and kimchi udon. The crisp monaka wafer shell is shiny and smooth, instantly recognisable with the pressed owl-shaped logo, tempting impatient fingertips — please, handle with care! An unexpectedly tasty ice-cream centre sits within: seaweed tinged with a savoury soy sauce kick and a final dollop of French cherry jam.
Fukuro, 1-5 Elgin Street, SoHo, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2333 8841
Holy Gaw presents a most consummate example of an ice cream sandwich; two bready ends with a creamy scoop of ice cream smushed in between. Prepared in the same stride as the restaurant’s signature Filipino serves, the sandwich is held together with sliced pan de sal — a traditional Filipino bread roll. A tried-and-true choice would be the lilac ube ice cream with the pandan pan de sal, of if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the avocado ice cream with the classic pan de sal — both topped off with a sprinkle of crushed pistachios.
Holy Gaw, 15 Swatow Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Header image courtesy of Elephant Grounds.