The next station is...下一站係...

Built during the British rule in the 1970s, the Hong Kong metro is in a sense London's twin with identical English announcements.

"Why are you not selling egg tarts?"

"What about selling bubble waffles?"

"Why are you selling chocolate cakes when you can find them everywhere in London?"

These are valid questions we often encounter during our preparation period for running up to the relaunch of 404 Bakery in London. Our ambition had Londoners as well as Hongkongers scratching their heads, when they learned about our background and plans.

Rather than simply responding "because that's what we do back in Hong Kong", these questions have prompted us to reflect on the deep connection between our roots and our love for chocolate.

Our shop was near The Mills, a revitalized textile factory in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has long been recognized as the meeting point of East and West, a culinary hub offering some of the world's best cuisine. Chocolate, being one of the most beloved flavors worldwide, is as ubiquitous to a Hongkonger as milk tea and egg tarts. Growing up in such a place, we were fortunate to have exposure to chocolates from all around the globe from a young age. From household names such as Cadbury and Lindt, to more premium brands such as Venchi and Godiva, to top chocolatiers such as Domori, Amedei, and of course, Valrhona. We have fallen in love with and developed discerning palates for chocolate.

Our favourite chocolate soufflé at Restaurant Petrus, Hong Kong

In addition to the taste of chocolate, like many Hongkongers and Brits, Roald Dahl’s "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" undoubtedly sparked our young minds of the wonders that chocolate can bring. This also explains why we add gold elements to all our designs. We hope our cakes bring to all of you what made Grandpa Joe leaped out of bed and yelled “Yippee!” when he laid eyes on the Golden Ticket.

Our cakes all feature a gold element.

As we discovered it was easier to find an excellent chocolate bar than an exceptional chocolate cake in Hong Kong, the idea of embarking on a global quest to find the best chocolate cakes and desserts began to take shape.

Japan, Korea, Singapore, France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Denmark, Sweden… Over the years we travelled across continents in search of chocolate cakes that would astound us.

(2014) Hotel Sacher Wien, Vienna|(2015) Confiserie Sprüngli, Zurich|(2018) Lady M, New York|(2019) Deweet, Seoul

(2016) patisserie Paris S'eveille, Tokyo|(2017) L'AVENUE, Kobe|(2018) Hidemi Sugino, Tokyo|(2019) Maruyama Coffee, Karuizawa

We have savoured the delicate, moist textures of Eastern cakes, the rich and layered flavors of Western cakes, the traditional chocolate cake recipes rooted in European traditions, and the innovative and adapted chocolate cake creations mostly found in Japan and Korea. After experiencing these marvels, the idea of starting 404 Bakery emerged—blending the best of East and West to create the world's most extraordinary chocolate cake.

Revisiting Landeau in 2022 for the original Lisbon Chocolate Cake

3 years after this idea emerged, we have already taken the first step towards our ultimate goal. With unwavering dedication, our creations won over the hearts of Hongkongers, a city known for its discerning foodies, expatriates, and chocolate lovers. 

So, let's return to the question: Why are we not selling fishballs but chocolate cakes in London? The answer is simple. As we have already been humbly fortunate to earn the title of Hong Kong's Best Chocolate Cake, we are on a bigger mission now—to conquer the palates of a larger, more international, and undeniably chocolate-loving city—London, with the proud identity of a Hongkonger.

It won't be easy, but we will keep calm and carry on.