Photo credit: Veganbaking/Flickr
This super green tea powder from Japan is a supreme source of antioxidants, thus bolstering the immune system as well as being attributed to aiding in cancer prevention, lowering cholesterol, speeding up the metabolism and even increasing memory and reducing stress. Its radiant green colour comes from the high content of chlorophyll, with matcha owning a lineage that denotes it as a meditation aid for Zen Buddhists back in the Tang Dynasty. In short, this little powder packs a whole lot of punch.
Matcha, with its verdant hue and unique flavour, can be electrifying in the same way a luscious spoonful of uni or an oozing egg yolk can arouse eating infatuations; there’s a reason it’s come to be called food porn. When mixed in or showered atop as a scintillating meal finisher, it creates nothing short of an obsession that you’ll see well documented all over Instagram.
Here's a healthy dose of where to get that mouth-watering matcha and ignite those loving food feelings:
Via Tokyo is so well known for its pretty green sweets that it's become synonymous with matcha here in Hong Kong. The matcha soft serve is smooth, fragrant and superbly strong in its green tea flavour. If ice cream isn’t your thing, in which case you may need to see a qualified taste-bud physician, the matcha and hojicha lattes, decadently topped with skillfully drawn coffee art, never disappoint.
Shop 1A and 1B, Lei Shun Court, 106–126 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, 2895 1116
Its very first location outside Japan, Nakamura Tokichi, located in Mira Mall, is known for its long queues – and for being well worth the wait. Ingredients are freshly flown in daily from the Land of the Rising Sun, ensuring top quality and authentic taste. The Uji Kin Ice combines shaved ice topped with matcha and hojicha soft cream, served with Hokkaido red bean paste and shiratama (a type of mochi); it's the perfect sunny day treat.
Shop G06, G/F, Mira Mall, 118 Nathan Road, TST, 2426 6111
With several locations now around Hong Kong, from Fashion Walk and wtc more to Harbour City and Mongkok, i Cremeria is in demand among matcha-goers. The soft serve is very rich yet light in texture and is more icy than it is creamy. The mochi and crunchy cereal pair delightfully well with the red bean paste and matcha ice cream in the shiratama parfait, making it a popular order all year long.
川善茶居 Sinmei Tea
This tiny café located on the fifth floor of an unsuspecting office building in Sheung Wan may not look like much on the outside, but it's a haven for those who adore matcha. Sinmei does a mean matcha sizzling brownie: a scoop of vanilla ice cream sits atop it and is accompanied by a cup of matcha sauce for you to drizzle over your dessert.
5/F, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, 3690 8238
Sweets House Cha Cha
This takeaway joint was one of the pioneers of the matcha craze that took over the dessert scene in our city a couple years back. The soft serve at Sweets House is comparatively lighter and less dense than many of its competitors, making it more suitable for those who like green tea but prefer a less concentrated flavour.
cookedDeli by city'super, B1/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, 2917 7228
Another Japanese export, Cha-no-wa specialises not in the usual matcha drinks or soft serve, but instead, it’s all about pastries. The matcha roll cake consists of light, fluffy sponge layers sandwiching some of the most fragrant matcha cream your lucky taste buds will ever have the pleasure of chancing upon. A delicious substitute to a traditional birthday cake if your loved one finds their perfect match in matcha.
cookedDeli by city'super, B1/F, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, 2917 7213
Their speciality is tea, and Teakha’s green tea cheesecake is touted as one of the best in the city. The richness of the cake is a harmonious blend of the two popular dessert flavours without one being more overpowering than the other. Located on quirky Tai Ping Shan Street in Sheung Wan, this cosy little café is the ideal place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
18 Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, 2858 9185
Check-In Tokyo is new to the matcha trade but is slowly rising up the ranks. The soft serve is also on the lighter side and comes with warabimochi, a traditional Japanese sweet often sold on the streets as a quick snack. Besides matcha, Check-In Tokyo is popular for its other flavours as well, such as ramune (Japanese soda) and strawberry milk.
Shop 9B, G/F, 43P–43S Dundas Street, Mongkok
This brand-new addition to the matcha scene has a prime place within ifc mall, which is fast becoming a sweets destination, with GROM and Lady M also taking up residence. There are over 150 years of history behind this Japanese teahouse, which is especially renowned for its green tea desserts, attracting crowds from all over the globe for a sampling from their Kyoto shop. A flight is no longer necessary as their high-quality matcha cakes, puddings, blended drinks and soft serve sundaes have come to us here in the 852.
Shop 3012, Podium Level 3, ifc mall, 1 Harbour View Street, Central