Here at Foodie, we’ve long been fans of this gem in Shek Tong Tsui (click here to read a review), and we think that Café Malacca serves up the most authentic Malaysian and Singaporean food in town. We’ve been there for many a relaxed lunch and dinner, so we were super excited to hear that the eatery has recently introduced an afternoon tea set ($288 for 2) that’s the perfect between-meal pick-me-up.

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More on the savoury side than the usual scone-and-jam afternoon tea affairs we’re accustomed to, this tea set, available daily from 3–5pm, showcases seven SE Asian small bites, which can also be ordered à la carte:

  • pie tee: crispy pastry cups filled with stewed yam beans, carrot and prawn – the homemade chilli sauce was the crowning glory for us
  • chwee kueh: our surprising favourite of the set, these rice cakes had a lovely, smooth texture complemented by a preserved radish-sambal sauce that had great depth of flavour, tasting akin to XO sauce
  • murtabak: Malaysian-Indian stuffed pancake squares filled with a sweetish potato-and-chicken mixture
  • curry puffs: fried to golden brown, these potato-and-chicken puffs had a spicy kick that we loved
  • kuih dadar: pandan-flavoured crêpe rolls stuffed with fresh grated coconut and palm sugar – these were light and moreish
  • kaya toast: in terms of comfort food, it’s hard to beat Café Malacca’s homemade pandan-flavoured kaya (coconut jam) with lashings of butter sandwiched between toasted bread
  • durian pudding: you either love it or hate it – although we fall somewhere in the middle – but Café Malacca’s durian pudding is lauded for its smooth, creamy consistency (substitute sweets are available if you despise durian; just ask!)

Kopi-o (coffee) and teh tarik (Malaysian “pulled” tea) are included with the set. We opted for the tea, which had a rich texture and pleasing bitter undertone and was not as sickly sweet as some HK-style milk teas can be.

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If you’re still hankering for something more, we recommend the ice kacang ($68/$82 with a scoop of vanilla ice cream), newly introduced for the hot-weather months. Popular in Penang, this crushed-ice dessert is flavoured with rose and sarsi (sarsaparilla) syrups, with the sarsi syrup taking the lead with its refreshing, minty, liquorice-y flavour. Dig dip in your bowl, for lots of goodies are waiting to be unearthed, including corn, grass jelly, red beans, agar and palm seeds. A very Asian dessert indeed.

2/F, Hotel JEN by Shangri-La, 508 Queen’s Road West, Shek Tong Tsui, 2213 6613

This write-up is based on a complimentary media tasting provided in exchange for an honest review and no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed here represent the author’s.

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