Honeymoon Dessert, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

There are two main gustatory reasons people visit Sai Kung: one is the seafood, and the other is the original location of Honeymoon Dessert (滿記甜品).

Honeymoon Dessert, Sai Kung, Hong KongOpened in 1995, the dessert house has multiplied across Hong Kong and into China with more than 20 locations and still growing.

Now, anyone who knows me knows I loathe Chinese desserts. The mere mention of the ubiquitous red bean soup (紅豆湯) will solicit my reflex of making a most juvenile and sour face, along with exaggerated gagging sounds.

But I will give anything a boo. And guess what Honeymoon Dessert is famous for? Durian desserts! Just what I said I would try this year as part of my New Year’s food resolutions.

Durian is that strange, spiky looking fruit you might have seen in your supermarket. Oh, and it’s pungent. Really, really pungent.

To durian lovers, the fruit is an exquisite waft of heaven. Some believe it’s an aphrodisiac. In Malaysia during durian-picking season, there’s a saying: When the durians come down, the sarongs go up.”

To those who despise it — and there are many — durian smells like runny cheese stored in a hockey bag. That’s been sprayed by a skunk. And left on top of a compost pile. Next to a pig farm. On a hot day.

Honeymoon Dessert, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

I happily ordered some fresh durian, mainly because it saved me from having to wrestle with the poky fruit at home and stink up my building. (Some Asian countries have banned raw durian from public transit and hotels because of the overpowering odour.)

Our scoop of durian at Honeymoon Dessert came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some strawberries, all in some coconut milk and ice shavings.

The texture is almost creamy, but the taste. Ugh. My first thought was, “Why did I stuff puréed gym socks into my mouth?”

To be fair, I decided to go for a second spoonful and focus on what my taste buds were sending up to my brain.

“Hmm… bitter metal… oh, kind of custardy … aaand … gym socks.”

So durian is not for me. Scratch that off the list. At least now I know.

Honeymoon Dessert, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

The mango pancakes were tamer but much easier to swallow. Fresh mango and fresh cream are wrapped in a glutinous rice “skin.” I really like this. The skin is soft and chewy and the filling didn’t taste like gym socks.

The green ones are durian pancakes. I passed on those.

Honeymoon Dessert, Sai Kung, Hong Kong

We also got a Thai sticky rice dessert that came with fresh mango and coconut milk ice shavings. Yes, I’ve had that before, but it’s something I know I like, as opposed to the ginger snow frog dessert soup my mom ordered.

Honeymoon Dessert, Sai Kung, Hong Kong(Also popular are hot papaya stew and hot sesame paste. Yeah, hot soup. For dessert. I’ll never understand it.)

Anyway, the snow frog dessert is made of hasma (雪蛤) which is — are you ready for it — the dried fallopian tubes of the asiatic grass frog.

The soup is flavoured primarily with ginger and rock sugar, and hasma and snow fungus (雪耳) are added for texture.

I had a spoonful, then went back to my ice cream. Can ya blame me?

Take a look at Honeymoon Dessert’s website (translated via Google) to see the dozens of sweet things on its menu.

Honeymoon Dessert, 9-10 ABC Po Tung Road, Sai Kung, Hong Kong, 2792-4991. Open 1 p.m.-2 a.m. More than 20 locations in Hong Kong and several across China.