Sunday, 20 July 2014

Sweet French Treat

The decadent chocolate noisette tart in the shop
After the macaron craze in Hong Kong died down (finally) as lines at Laduree evaporated, there's a new French pastry shop that has fans, though not at the same intensity.

It's called Dalloyau and yes there really was a Mr Charles Dalloyau in France, whose breads took the notice of Louis XIV and in 1652 appointed him "Officier de Bouche", the highest gastronomic title at the time.

He and his brothers were allowed to attend the king's meals, invited to official ceremonies and could take part in culinary and gastronomic research.

More pastries on display
This all ended with the French Revolution in 1789 and descendant Jean-Baptiste Dalloyau saved the family name by starting "Dalloyau, house of gastronomy" in 1802.

The name became more associated with the art of good eating, offering to prepare meals for bourgeoisie families at home, much like aristocrats used to. Dalloyau settled at Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, the current address of the Paris shop.

Since then the name has come to be associated with sophistication and quality.

A few months ago Dalloyau opened its first shop in Harbour City with an excellent fine dining restaurant called Epure attached to it. But the name Dalloyau is not only strange to pronounce for locals, but also in Cantonese sounds like "big fat ass"...

I arrived late this afternoon to pick up some pastries to take to my cousin's place for dinner and even though it was almost 6pm, people were still standing in line waiting to try the afternoon tea.

However staff were on hand to serve me at the take-away counter. I had to pre-order the pastries as the signature Opera cake is usually sold out -- layers of jonconde soaked in coffee syrup, with coffee butter cream and chocolate ganache. It's topped with a bit of gold foil for that rich touch.

Another decadent  one is the chocolate noisette tart, featuring hazelnut chocolate ganache, chocolate glaze and sesame tulle on top. The chocolate ganache isn't too sweet, but it's a dense flavour while the crust holds up well.

Our delectable selections this evening!
The same goes for the lemon tart, that had a fantastic lemon curd topped with lemon zest.

On the lighter side is the berry tart, baked almond cream and vanilla custard, decorated with strawberries, red currant and blueberries.

We also like the mango and passion fruit mousse cake, that was light and fluffy and also had mandarin and apricot compote.

Perhaps the only one that didn't hold well after being transported inside and outside was the Dalloyau, an almond meringue cake with praline cream inside and covered with crushed caramelized hazelnuts.

There's many others cakes we didn't get a chance to try which means we'll have to come back again... a big hint is to come after 7pm on weekdays, but you have to hope not everything has been sold out by then.

Shop 403, 4/F, Ocean Centre, Harbour City
17 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui
3185 8330


  1. pretty pricey for these treats. don't know how many people can afford it. one cooky is worth the price of a meal.

    1. Hi gg -- The six pastries totaled to about HK$350... from what I remember the afternoon tea set for two is around the HK$400+ mark.