After having heard people raving about Sift's cupcakes and claiming Sift's to be THE Red Velvet Cupcake in Hong Kong, I had to go and give it a try.
So last Thursday I made my way to Sift's Patisserie in Wan Chai and got my Red Velvet Cupcake. While in the store, I found out Sift not only has cupcakes but also all sorts of gorgeous petit fours. Well, what was my delightful suprise on this first-ever visit to Sift when I discovered a small tag on the counter saying "Ispahan: Homage to Pierre Hermé". You should know that my favorite treat in the whole world is Pierre Hermé's Ispahan. I couldn't believe my eyes! Even if there was nothing behind the label (the Ispahans were all sold out), I still couldn't keep my joy just at the thought of knowing the Ispahan existed in Hong Kong! I decided to go back as soon as possible to get hold of this divine treat, so there I was back again on Sunday. There were three Ispahans left!!! I got one and a Hazelnut Chocolate cupcake.
Sift's Red Velvet Cupcake: (4*)
A perfectly moistened cake, however lacking flavour. A cream cheese frosting that is not as tasty as it should be. Very good texture for both the cake and the frosting, but overall lacking chocolate flavour.
Sift's Hazelnut Chocolate Crunch Cupcake: (3.5*)
A very good cake with enough chocolate flavour. A frosting with strong hazelnut flavor, yet a bit too creamy. About the crunch part, I'm guessing it was the Valhorna chocolate pebbles that topped the cupcake. I personally would not repeat on this one.
All in all, Sift Cupcakes feel very light. After eating one, you feel as if you hadn't eaten any, so two cupcakes per person for an afternoon treat is definitely the way to go.
Finally, the masterpiece: this is heaven! It may not reach the perfectionist level of Pierre Hermé's, but it's certainly very close. Ispahan is one of Pierre Hermé's astonishing creations, consisting of a 7-cm wide rose macaron, filled with fresh raspberries, rose petals buttercream and lychee, topped with a fresh rose petal. Nowadays other patissiers offer this on their repertoire, but the creation is to be attributed to Pierre Hermé exclusively. I was so lucky to live in Paris for a whole year and get to eat this so often. I probably had an Ispahan twice a month, and was always looking forward to go back!
I would be so grateful if someone can tell me whether other patisseries in Hong Kong offer this exquisiteness called Ispahan. Meanwhile, until Pierre Hermé decides to come to Hong Kong, let me tell you, you can't miss out on this showpiece, so plan a short visit to Wan Chai, and pray for Sift to have an Ispahan left! UPDATED: I found another Ispahan in town! Check it out here.
Visited on: 09 August, 2012 & 12 August 2012
Overall Quality: 4.5*
Value for Money: 5*
Price: 1 Cupcake: $25, 1 Petit Four: $40
Would I recommend it? Totally. The cupcakes are very well priced, and the petit fours are delish!
Sift has 4 locations in Hong Kong. The one I visited in Wan Chai is the Patisserie were only take-away is available, but I believe the rest have at least a couple tables, with the one in Ap Lei Chau being the biggest with several white leather sofas for an unforgettable cupcake experience!