Review: Black n White Dessert Cafe
Creative chocolate desserts and more by Chef Jeffrey Koo
We all know what TST stands for (Tsim Sha Tsui), but what about TKT? We believe that Tai Kok Tsui, the neighbourhood around Olympic MTR station, should be added to every foodie's vocabulary, not only for its spread of excellent hotpot, barbecue and Thai restaurants, but for the sinful and decadent chocolate desserts at Black n White dessert cafe.
Opened by Chef Jeffrey Koo, the former executive chef at VERO and current television host of "Sweet Corner" on TVB, Black n White definitely stands out on Ivy Street, sharing its location with local Hong Kong eateries such as tea restaurants (cha chaan tengs), congee shops and noodle joints.
Atmosphere: The first thing you'll notice about Black n White Hong Kong is how Western it feels (it is in Kowloon, after all). Unlike its neighbours, the cafe is spacious, modern and slick, with a black and white interior and row of tables along the left side of the cafe. Rattle-like whisks with little numbered balls are used to identify the tables, which you'll need to take up to the cashier to place your order.
Black n White stands out among its neighbours on Ivy Street with its modern Western design.
On the right side of Black n White are Chef Koo's latest creations for sampling, which range from shortbread cookies to chocolate covered nuts and jam. The waiters are young, local Chinese and yet, well-versed in English, and even made small talk with us as we enjoyed our treats.
Food and drink: Dessert fanatics will find it tough to choose something from Black n White's menu, which includes everything from rich chocolate pots, homemade gelati and yogurt parfaits to berry-topped cheesecakes, tiramisu cups and brownie-filled crepes. We say go with a group of friends and order everything to share.
Must-try: The 'Sinking Island' chocolate drink (HK$38), which comes in white, milk and dark chocolate variations, is a perfect mug of sweetness especially on a cold winter's day. The name refers to a netted chocolate dome that sinks into your drink to create an even more chocolatey drink, which you can mix in with an adorable mini-whisk.
Pair your Sinking Island hot chocolate with a freshly baked muffin.
We also loved the new muffin collection, which includes a dark 72% chocolate, cinnamon blueberry, lemongrass, raspberry rosemary and our favourite, the salted caramel. All muffins are freshly baked to fluffy perfection with a hot, liquid chocolate centre. Normally priced at HK$20 each, try all five for HK$88 or pair with a Sinking Island drink for HK$48 per set.
Those looking to try some of Chef Koo's artistic creations should also order the 'Around The World' dessert platter (three days in advance). Priced at HK$190 per person for a minimum of two, the desserts on the platter are ever changing to reflect the pastry team's creativity.
Verdict: Black n White is a great addition to Tai Kok Tsui and Hong Kong in general, which, in our opinion, could definitely do with more Western dessert and cafe bars that stay open late. Chef Koo's unique and passionate creations will more than satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth, and although it's "all the way" out in Kowloon (to be fair, it's only eight minutes from Central), it's definitely worth the trek over.
Black n White Hong Kong, 88-102 Ivy Street, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 2789 1330, www.blacknwhite.com.hk