Desserts. Can I just say that after expensive watches, queuing up for iPhones and betting on mark six, dessert is one of the top hobbies of Hong Kong people? To be honest, I never understood the allure of queuing up hours on ends for a bowl of desserts. Nor is tucking into a small bowl of sweetness sitting on a stool that is too small, in a shop that is too cramped.
Of course, there’s always exception to the norm, and The Sweet Dynasty is definitely one of it. Granted, the cliche deco that is supposed to inspire a sense of oriental grandness, complete with somewhat tacky waitress uniform, left much to be desired.
But the desserts, to the most extent, were top notch. I will be the first to admit that I am no expert when it comes to dessert – the sugar content is the main ingredient for man-boobs – but even I could tell that this place served some of the best desserts this part of Hong Kong (and I mean Tsim Sha Tsui).
Tofu Pudding (HK$99)
If you have stomach for just one thing, go for this one. The tofu pudding was served in a mini barrel, which can take up to 20 minutes to prepare. The tofu is silky smooth and firm; ladling it up for your friends (one barrel serves up to five) can be lots of fun.
The sugar syrup (of the brown variety) was served separately. While the diet-concious may decide not to have any sugar at all, I would recommend that, just this one time, you abstain from your own rule and live a little. The tofu tasted much better with sugar. This has been tried and tested.
Baked Egg Tarts with Swallow’s Nest (HK$39)
Now, I am a fan of egg tarts, but for some reasons I abhorred the idea of swallow’s (bird’s) nest on my tarts (that sounded vaguely dirty). To me bird’s nest is an unnecessary luxury added on top my simple egg tarts, and they could do better without this congealed-looking jelly on otherwise pristine egg custards.
But… the ones at Sweet Dynasty swayed my conviction. The crust was a delicious, buttery cookie, the custard silky smooth and rich, and the bit of bird’s nest? A nice touch of contrasting texture. I grudgingly approve.
Glutinous Rolls with Fresh Durian (HK$40)
Once on the lips, forever on the hips. Alas, this is probably true for this indulgent dessert. I never really fancy durian in dessert, for most turned out to be too dry. But this… was rich and succulent, well worth the pungent aftertaste. The durian was of the sweet-bitter variety, which comes as a surprise, and the roll was slightly sweet. A heavy combo, certainly, but didn’t taste like one. Be careful, you might be gulping down these calorie bombs unthinkingly.
Also according to my friends, the (dramatically served on dry ice) mango sago is definitely commendable.
So is this papaya soup of… something.
Sorry I didn’t get its name because I was too busy with my tarts.
When we visited, we were told that Sweet Dynasty will vacate its current premise on Canton Street and move to another location due to exorbitant rent prices. Which, in all honesty, shouldn’t come as a surprise, but deep inside I was seething. Yet another Hong Kong institution going down because of greedy landlords lapping up rent money. How many more luxury stores along this street we need? How many more hordes of mainland shoppers can we tolerate?
Verdict? This dessert heaven will still be here till end of the year, so visit before they disappear!
The Sweet Dynasty
100 Canton Road
Tsim Sha Tsui