Hong Kongers have always liked lapis legit – Indonesian layer cake – but crêpe cake didn’t become an obsession until Lady M shook up the scene. Now, even McCafé has introduced its version of the sky-high treat, and we had to see how it measured up to the rest.
This Japanese chain seems to have plans for world domination, with over 400 shops spanning across multiple countries in Asia. They also have an ever-expanding list of branches opening in Hong Kong. The crêpe cakes are supposedly flown in from Japan every day, but we can’t discern what makes them so special. We chose the most popular original flavour of layer cake and counted about 15 layers. The cream was sickly sweet and had an oily quality to the texture, making us wonder whether the shops in Hong Kong had ceased getting inventory from Japan altogether.
Price per serving: $34
Verdict: Eat anything else at this bakery. Anything.
Foodie rating: ☆
This little shop tucked away in Prince Edward sells out every day! If you want to ensure you get a piece of the action, you have to order a whole cake months in advance. Lamlamli dishes up the city’s first molten-centre crêpe cake, with signature flavours including chocolate and matcha tea. Dusted with a thick coat of matcha powder on top, the bitter notes of high-quality green tea cut through the cream well, and the bite was neither too creamy nor too sweet. We counted 17 layers of crêpes and loved the gooey, molten centre. The matcha variety caused an impasse among our Foodie testers, as not everyone was on board with the bittersweet combo.
Price per serving: $34
Verdict: Worth the legwork.
Foodie rating: ☆☆☆
You know a food trend has truly spread far and wide when you see it filter down into this fast-food mecca. This very wallet-friendly choice of crêpe cake comes in various flavours, including what was dubbed “dinosaur cake” as part of a Milo promotion. We’re glad we tried the special, because that was the only redeeming quality of the cake – the Milo. Coming in at only 10–12 layers, the cream was so flimsy that the cake was collapsing under its own weight. Neither the cream nor the pastry was memorable.
Price per serving: $28.50
Verdict: Given the geographic prominence of McCafé, you can grab one here to tide you over until you can get a proper fix.
Foodie rating: ☆☆
A relative newcomer to the crêpe cake scene. We’ll be honest – we were sceptical if anyone could bring anything new to the table, but we were proven wrong. Opened in November 2017, Shaz Confections is a cosy, full-service eatery in Sai Ying Pun that serves up a fantastic array of flavours. The crêpe layers totalled about 16 in this one, but if you consider the sponge cake lining at the bottom, the thinness of the pastry could rival Lady M. We tried the pandan and coconut flavours and were impressed. The tropical aromas were delicate and light, while the cream was full-bodied yet had somehow escaped being too rich. We’re guessing the sponge base had something to do with it.
Price per serving: $58
Verdict: If crêpe cake is the food of love, Shaz Confections has us infatuated.
Foodie rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
New York’s Lady M dominated Hong Kong’s crêpe cake market when it launched here in 2015. Queues are still out the door around teatime at its ifc mall location, and it’s also the first name that comes to mind when you put the words “crêpe” and “cake” together. Boasting at least 20 layers of paper-thin pastry in each slice, you really can’t fault this bakery for its texture. The dispersion of cream and crêpe gives way to a perfectly springy bite. There are some who feel floral notes in cakes are great, and those who think it’s perfume better left for toiletries, thus the rose crêpe cake polarised the Foodie office. However, regardless of the particular flavour, the cream in the cake, while delightfully aromatic in the first bite, built gradually on the palate and became a tad too rich towards the end. We found it challenging to finish the whole slice.
Price per serving: $75
Verdict: Lady M certainly lives up to its name, but with the eye-watering price, all that cream might not rest so lightly.
Foodie rating: ☆☆☆☆
For more Food Wars like this, like Foodie on Facebook