Breakfast for many Hong Kongers means picking up a pastry at a local bakery on the way to the office. Now, we know that not all bread is created equal… right? Carbohydrates are one of the most important sources of energy for your body. Your digestive system converts carbs into blood sugar (aka, glucose). Your body then uses the glucose and stores any extra sugar for when you need it. Good carbs – the ones loaded with nutrients like whole grains – are good for you, and bad carbs – white bread, white rice, and the like – are bad.
The good carbs can help fuel your brain, kidneys, heart, muscles, keeps you feeling fuller longer and blood cholesterol levels in check. What you’re looking for with the good carbs are the artisanal breads that takes time and effort with no shortcuts. Lucky for our us, Hong Kong has seen an influx of artisanal bakeries establishing a firm hold across the 852. Made using fresh ingredients with traditional techniques, these supremely talented and well-established bakers incorporate time-honoured grains that impact flavour, texture and nutrition. With a renewed interested in following classic method but with their own modern spin, there’s never been a better time to get your hands on these amazing artisanal loaves from the best bakeries in Hong Kong.
An artisanal bakery and café specialising in sourdough breads and pastries in the heart of Wan Chai, Bakehouse is the brainchild of former Four Seasons pastry chef, Gregoire Michaud, five years in the making. Longtime Green Queen readers may remember Gregoire’s incredible creations’ first appearance at our first Made in Hong Kong market back in 2013 before he made the decision to focus on growing his B2B business- so you can only imagine how excited we are. Handmade every day with flour imported from France and premium seasonal ingredients sourced both locally and around the world, their loaves requires two days to prepare which accounts for Bakehouse’s distinctive and unforgettable taste. Choose from an array of pastries like pain au chocolate, danishes or croissants (which sell out daily, btw), savory tarts and sausage rolls. Their takeaway counter by the entrance is stacked with freshly baked goods for those on the go or if you have some time, take a seat inside their beautiful café with its high ceiling, comfortable wooden tables and have a look at what the kitchen is whipping up through big, transparent windows. At the moment, their lunch menu is small but appetising: an organic free-range chicken sandwich, a grilled ham and cheese sourdough sammy, or a classic tomato, mozzarella and pesto on ciabatta bread- omnivores will also dig the grilled chicken with Sriracha mayo on a milk bun, sure to be a HK fave. Their soup of the day is a rotating selection of what is freshest at the neighboorhood wet market!
Though we’re very familiar with Gregoire’s baking prowess, his almond tart caught us off guard. A rich and tasty round tart with ground almond filling, topped with juicy sliced strawberries, we have not stopped thinking about it since – help! We are also crushing hard on the Insta-worthy cruffin- boy was it spectacular…think croissant x doughnut x choux a la creme!
14 Tai Wong Street East, Wanchai, firstname.lastname@example.org. Open Tuesday – Friday from 8:00AM – 5:00PM; Saturday and Sunday from 9:00AM – 5:00PM.
Mayse Artisan Bakery
An organic, vegan bakery that specialises in traditional Latvian and Eastern European recipes, Mayse Artisan Bakery is is run by father-daughter duo Alex and Elina. A longtime musician who was homesick for his favourite dense rye and sourdough bread (a staple of Latvian diet), Alex began baking his own loaves for his household and friends before word began to spread of his wholesome, nutritious baked goods. Looking to bring back old school taste and techniques of rye, wheat, and wholemeal breads, be sure try their bestsellers: olive, cranberry and walnut sourdough, or onion breads. Importing the best ingredients from around the world (organic flour from Europe and Japan, malt from Germany, Himalayan salt from India, and seeds from Latvia), Mayse also offers gluten-free bread and bun options for those with gluten sensitivities. But vegans should definitely visit Tai Po: Mayse also showcases vegan cakes, cupcakes and muffins and now started doing delicious vegan pizzas!
2019 Update: You can now find their bread at Live Zero stores in Sai Ying Pun & Sai Kung.
G/F, 64 Tai Mei Tuk, Tai Po (second door on the right from Jack’s Terrazza), email@example.com; Open Tuesday – Sunday from 8:00AM – 8:00PM.
On a mission to promote the traditional French method of artisanal breads and pastries, Rise Boulangerie provides professional training for individuals who aspire to become professional Boulangerie chefs and exclusive classes for baking enthusiasts who love being in the kitchen. Helmed by Chef Stephane Reinat, Technical Director of the esteemed Le Cordon Bleu culinary academy, along with notable international guest chefs their courses run the gamut from courses like learning to mix and knead dough for croissants, produce a classical pastry base for tarts, techniques to prepare galettes and much more. While not a brick and mortar (yet!) in the traditional sense, the year-old company has a seafood-themed bakery inside the Yamataka Seafood Market, combining their homemade baked breads with the highest quality seafood imported from Japan. Go there for their Lobster Roll made on an incredibly soft, buttery French Brioche bun topped with huge chunks of lobsters, colorful greens, roasted cherry tomatoes and homemade tartar sauce. It’s absolutely delicious! Rise are the exclusive bakers to some of Hong Kong’s hottest dining spots including Bánh Mi Kitchen in both Central and Wanchai, tea and dessert cafe 2DP, and Central coffee bar Nodi.
Set in an expansive 3,000-square-foot space replete with state-of-the-art equipment and an outdoor patio, Rise is the perfect training ground to get your artisanal bread game on!
3/F, Unit 304, 20 Westlands Road, Westlands Centre, Quarry Bay, +852 2703 9388, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images courtesy of Pexels (lead), Bakehouse, Mayse Artisan Bakery, and Rise Boulangerie.