Add: 30 Sinan Lu, near Huaihai Zhong Lu 思南路30号, 近淮海中路
Tel: 6093 2058 / 6093 2052
Hours: [Tue-Thu] 11am-midnight [Fri-Sun] 11am-1am
Price: [cakes] 30~42 RMB [truffles] 10-13 RMB [wine] 38-55 RMB/glass
Visited: Nov 2011
Hof is old news, but its selection of chocolate desserts never fails to draw a steady crowd.
I arrived at 2pm sharp to claim my reservation, and was luckily given the innermost sofa seats.
The two of us went a little crazy and ordered 4 cakes and 3 chocolate truffles…but you can’t blame us, everything looked too alluring. And yes, we finished ’em all. Mmhmm.
We started with Walnut Fudge Brownie (40 RMB) with Vanilla Bean Gelato (add 16 RMB), and I must say that this is a serious competition against my old favorite orange chocolate mud.
Here’s Hof’s popular Moist Orange Chocolate Mud with Caramel and Sea Salt (36 RMB), rated as the number 1 Western dessert in Shanghai by CNNGo. Dense chocolate cake, buttery caramel glaze, orange confit, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Each element is a little bit of joy on its own, and together they make an absolutely irresistible combination. The cake is so rich that it actually does have a mud-like texture, while the sea salt gave extra depth to the flavors (excerpt from my previous post).
I remember liking Death by Chocolate Cake (42 RMB) on my previous visit, but though the recipe hasn’t changed, somehow it tasted a bit too strongly of alcohol this time.
I was already on a sugar high by the time I reached Signature Marble Cheese Cake (40 RMB), but managed to taste a few bites of this. A great choice for those who want a break from chocolates (but why come to Hof if not for its chocolate desserts?)
Out of curiosity, we each ordered a Iced Lychee Martini White Chocolate Truffle (10 RMB). Pop it in the mouth and out bursts a shot of lychee martini, followed by the creaminess of white chocolate. A fun and exciting bite, though I still prefer Hof’s dark chocolate truffles – both 72% Venezuela (13 RMB) and Osmanthus Flower Truffle (13 RMB) are excellent choices.
We finished with a glass of Tokaji, my new found love. I later learned that this Hungarian dessert wine, with its notes of apricot and caramel, goes really well with dark chocolates.
Hof is delightful as usual. The down side is that it’s always crowded on weekends, so you might want to try their more spacious Lujiazui location (open Monday to Saturday, closed on Sunday). If you still prefer the original Sinan Lu location (like I do), be sure to make a reservation and arrive on time.