With Easter around the corner, chocolate treats in all shapes and manner (particularly, in egg / bunny form) proliferate the shelves of supermarkets. Now, Hong Kong is not very well known for chocolate – cacao trees require fairly uniform temperatures between 18-32°C to grow well, so climate (and space!) limit our ability to produce quality cacao beans. However, you can find still find some extremely good chocolate here, some locally crafted (meaning the beans are imported but the rest of the process to turn it into chocolate are completed in HK). Our volunteers Fiona and Pavrita highlight below some of the local brands/shops where you can find good chocolate (disclaimer: we are not responsible for any weight gain resulting from this article!):
I first discovered Conspiracy Chocolate a couple of years ago, when I saw a little pop-up stall selling it on Hollywood Road. One taste and I was hooked! The founders are a French couple based in Hong Kong, and they started by selling their chocolate at cafes and little pop-ups. I was delighted to find that they now have a physical space in IFC Mall, where you can taste and browse the different flavours (eg Sichuan peppercorn, genmaicha, black sesame), and also get some good whisky to pair with the chocolate. Except for certain special editions, the chocolate bars retail for HKD70 – 80+ for 50g, and generally are 75 – 88% dark chocolate. All beans are single origin from the Dak Lak, Vietnam region, sourced directly from the farm and roasted in HK. No cow’s milk is used, only oat/cashew/coconut milk so they’re good for vegans too! Lastly, the packaging is just gorgeous and would make lovely gifts – clearly attention has been paid to every single detail.
In Pic: Limited edition Easter Eggs and Evil Peanut Bunnies
In PIc: The mountain of chocolatey goodness at the Central IFC shop
Where to find: Online at https://www.conspiracychocolate.com/ or Shop 1019B at Central IFC Mall (note they will be moving after 7 May 2023 to another floor but still within IFC Mall)
The name “Hakawa” came from “Hong Kong” and “kakawa”, the ancient word for cacao. I was first introduced to this cute little hole-in-the-wall shop by a friend for a post-lunch hot chocolate. It was thick, rich, and indulgent – different from the usual hot chocolates that you get from coffee shops! Hakawa sources their beans from regions such as Ecuador, Peru and Vietnam, and completes the rest of the process in Hong Kong. Other than drinks, they also sell their own chocolate bars and chocolate-coated nuts, and recently they also stock Slok Chocolate (https://www.slokchocolate.com/), another brand crafted in HK. Prices range from HKD35 for a regular-sized hot chocolate, to HKD80+ for 100g of solid chocolate.
Where to find: Online at https://hakawachocolate.com/ or 49-51A Gough Street, Central (Tues to Sat, 1-7pm)
I chanced upon Lucullus on a stroll back home from office one evening and what drew me to It was the beautiful presentation and display – animal shaped truffles and gorgeous cakes, mousses, and pastries. They change their collection and display by the season and their chocolates are freshly made with a variety of flavours like tiramisu, brandy, mochi. Did you know this is a nearly 40-year-old brand with its roots at The Peninsula Hotel and now has around 20 stores across the city. It boasts of a perfect blend of East and West. It is gourmet chocolate at a reasonable price and who doesn’t love that. They are currently running a discount for Easter with some really cute, themed chocolates so make sure to check it out.
Image courtesy Openrice
Where to find: Online at lucullus.com.hk, stores at Central Market, Shop No. 217 and 234, 2/F. Others across HK