One of the highlights of the new Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong is definitely the Chocolate Library. Located on the 103rd floor, boasting spectacular views of Hong Kong and down into the 102nd floor Tosca, the Chocolate Library is a chocoholics dream. Whether you crave a delectable chocolate soufflé with iced raspberry (100 HKD) or an indulgent fondue with chocolate pasta and brioche croutons (100 HKD), they have you covered.
Not a big chocolate fan? Try one of the a la carte menu items like The Ritz-Carlton club sandwich (165 HKD), a Caesar (180 HKD) or Nicoise salad (170 HKD) and more.
Ever tried a savory chocolate dish? If only I’d had one of these years ago for an office cooking competition that required me to create a main dish with chocolate in it! The Chocolate Library has a couple of interesting items like duck foie gras terrine with coffee and cocoa nibs and toasted walnut raisin bread (185 HKD), or a smoked barberie duck breast with cantaloupe melon confit and chocolate balsamic dressing (185 HKD).
One note on the regular menu items — we did not find the chocolate pancake stack or the signature lobster omelet that Melanie Nayer wrote about in her Huffington Post article. We were there for the soft grand opening and now that The Ritz-Carlton has had its official grand opening in May, the menu might be different now. I was really looking forward to those chocolate pancakes!
We also inquired about the special chocolate humidor pictured in her article that you could have engraved and personalized, but alas, not yet available. Not surprisingly, since it was the soft opening weekend, no one really understood what we were asking about. Finally the manager came out and said they did not have the chocolate humidors. He could not provide an expected date, but I have to guess with the official grand opening complete, they should be available now or relatively soon. (We also asked Melanie when we saw her later that day, but she didn’t have any additional information either).
Since we struck out on the pancakes and humidor — it obviously meant one thing. We were meant to come for the Chocolate Afternoon Tea rather than breakfast on Sunday!
Sunday morning, we nibbled a bit in the Club Lounge and asked about reservations for the Afternoon Tea since we now had someone joining us. One of our favorite food bloggers from Hong Kong, 3starbackpacker, was eating at Tin Lung Heen that morning and we’d made plans the day before to meet up for an afternoon at the Chocolate Library.
Unfortunately, it turns out they were not taking reservations (even from hotel guests) as they expected it to be busy. Brett and I decided to go early to ensure we didn’t miss out — they would not seat people for the tea until it was close to 3pm, so we sat in the lobby for about 30 minutes to ensure we snagged a table.
No problem getting a table and it was surprisingly still only about half-full when we left at 5pm. One note though — I have since heard from several readers that it is impossible to get reservations now due to its popularity — in fact, I heard from one person they are booked out until August! If the Chocolate Library is on your list, be sure to contact The Ritz-Carlton directly and find out what availability they have. If they are indeed booked up that far out, you may be disappointed if you just show up with hopes of walking in.
Now, for the food! 3starbackpacker decided to try their chocolate soufflé, and Brett and I ordered the Chocolate Afternoon Tea set of course. As with any good soufflé, it takes 20 minutes so we started off with a round of drinks.
Eight words for you…
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Signature Dark Chocolate.
Oh…my….god. It was hot chocolate nirvana. Incredibly rich, decadent, and worth every calorie!
While obviously not as extensive as the Chinese tea offerings in Tin Lung Heen, the Chocolate Library’s tea menu is decent. There are several selections of black tea (Puer’h included), a classic Tie Guan Yin Oolong tea, and several green tea varieties. All specialty teas are 70 HKD each. English style tea fans will find traditional selections available as well.
3StarBackpacker’s soufflé came out perfectly done and our Chocolate Tea Set was much more than we were expecting. It was rather huge and I recommend coming hungry, otherwise you may experience some difficulty in finishing. A couple of the desserts on the tea set were in the Club Level Lounge as well, so I knew which one(s) to skip if I couldn’t finish.
Here’s a look at the tea set — there are two savory sandwiches and the rest are rich, decadent, desserts that are worth every bite!
Would we go back again? Absolutely, but I recommend if you are staying on a floor with Club Level access and looking to maximize your dining opportunities — skip the tea set itself (since many of the desserts will likely be available in the Club Lounge) and try some of the other menu specialties you can’t get elsewhere on the property.
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong
Chocolate Library 103rd floor
International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West
Kowloon, Hong Kong (Kowloon Station MRT)
Phone: +852 2263 2263
The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong Website
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