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Best egg tarts in Hong Kong?

  • K K Mar 14, 2008 11:44 AM

I see many gourmet authors and bloggers who claim the best egg tarts in Hong Kong are either

Tai Cheong (Central)

Honolulu Cafe (Wanchai)

and maybe Golden Phoenix HK cafe in Wanchai(?) but maybe more famous for a variant.

The criteria is the flakey multi layered pig oil goodness (Honolulu Cafe appears to boast 190+ layers) and of course a silky smooth delicious egg yolk center base.

I only have eaten at Honolulu or at least some place in Wanchai, but my memory has faded on that.

So what are the best in your opinion?

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  1. Tai Cheong is fine, but while I went there for their tarts the first time, we've gone back for their light-as-air sugary donuts.

    I'm partial to Portuguese-style tarts, with the tops caramelized. Shy of Macau, my favorite is from Lord Stow's outlet in a hotel in Causeway Bay. (Can't remember which, damn it - go to the eastern end of the pedestrian street in CB and hang a left.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: fpatrick

      Those sugary donuts at Tai Cheong are known as "Sa Yong".

      1. re: fpatrick

        Is Tai Cheong still around? I read that it had closed in 2005. Could you tell me where it's located now?

        1. re: prasantrin

          Tai Cheong has re-opened on Lyndhurst Terrace, closer to Hollywood Road. The crusts are closer in nature to pie crusts so very different from those at Honolulu. Personally I prefer the ones from Honolulu with the flaky crusts.

          1. re: Peech

            I just want the doughnuts! If they're what I think they are, I really like them, but haven't had any for more than 20 years. I don't really like egg tarts, but since I'm there, I may try some of those, too!

      2. Been tasting a lot of egg tarts these past weeks, and after going to Tai Cheong, they are the best I've tasted.
        Will go back to re taste them, just to make sure .....
        Must try the do-nuts next time...

        1. I'm sure you would have read that there are 2 basic types of HK egg tarts - the flaky pastry variety and the short pastry variety.

          Honolulu and Golden Phoenix do the former, Tai Cheong does the latter. Hence if you like it flaky, Tai Cheong's not for you. And in any case, Tai Cheong is first and foremost famous for it's sugar doughnuts, the tarts have always been there, but only took the doughnut's limelight away when Chris Patten (last governor of HK) became a regular.

          Many traditional cha chaan teng (HK style cafes) that have bakeries do good egg tarts - most do the flaky variety. imo, most egg tarts are good if they're fresh from the oven (let it sit for 5-10 mins - no point burning your oesophagus on egg custard, really...)

          This is very unorthodox, but I actually quite like freshly baked egg tarts from St. Honore's bakery (a chain) - short crust variety, comes in an oval shape.

          1 Reply
          1. re: e_ting

            The first random few I sampled last HK trip had the fake dairy, theatre popcorn taste, leaving me to believe many places are using some kind of cheap custard powder for the filling. One of these was at a macau restaurant. Very disappointing. I did eat fantastic ones at Tai Cheong.

          2. Had to return back to Tai Cheong and had an assortment.
            The doughnuts are really good. But would have loved some filling inside. Guess I'm just used to that.
            The white custard tarts i found to be very salty and well not really nice. Not really into egg whites.
            While the normal egg custard tarts were fab. Great sweet shortcrust pastry, well cooked and a slight wobble on the custard itself. Great.
            On Aberdeen Street there is also the Yu Yan Bakery which sells the 2nd best tarts we have found so far.
            We are still looking....
            Wanchai next ....

            1. My vote goes for the Honolulu in Wan Chai. Lord Stow's in Macau is different, but pretty good, more Portuguese-style custardy.

              1. the problem with most puff pastry tarts is under baking (to prevent over cooking the custard), if one looks at the base of the tart it's usually unappetizingly grey, the second issue is under salting or over sugaring of the custard till there is no egg flavour, finally there's the shortening, not many places still use a blend of lard and butter.

                using these criteria, my absolute favorite egg tart bakery is Sun Wah Cafe @ Cheung Sai Wan http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/co.... The
                pastry is gorgeously caramelized, the layers have puffed to full extent becoming extremely crispy yet tender. The custard is as eggy as scrambled eggs cooked slowly over a bain marie, and the buttery-lardy-ness (yup, they use a blend) is heavenly...the tarts come out every half hour so time it if you go....

                The pastry in Kam Fung (Wan Chai) www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr2.htm?s... is not bad, but one needs to salt the custard. 金華冰廳 at Prince Edward http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr... is the opposite, nice custard but gray pastry. Both these places have frequent bakings.

                The rest (including Honolulu whose sole advantage is location) is not worthy.

                -

                the variance in short crust tarts is not as large, apart from Tai Cheung and Maria in Central, Cheung Heung Yuen in Sai Wan http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr... does an excellent job

                5 Replies
                1. re: Sher.eats

                  The egg custard at Kam Fung 金鳳 is great, but I love it's chicken pie better !

                  1. re: skylineR33

                    and their (1+ice)milk tea!!

                    1. re: Sher.eats

                      I second that! The chicken pie at Kam Fung Restaurant 金鳳茶餐廳 is great. I love that first bite when the pie's fresh out of the oven...

                      In response to the original post, I love egg custards and am satisfied with most of what I find in Hong Kong (i.e. even the ones from Maxims at the subway stations are good enough for me!), but because I prefer the pie crust I definitely favor the egg custards at Tai Cheong Bakery 泰昌餅家. I thought the egg custards at Honolulu Coffee Shop 檀島咖啡餅店 were good but honestly the place was so gross and dirty (I know I know, it's Hong Kong...) that I sort of lost my appetite and forgot about the egg custards. :)

                      By the way, there are now several locations for Tai Cheong Bakery 泰昌餅家 in addition to the flagship store in Central. One of them is located diagonally across the street from Fook Lam Moon 福臨門 in Wanchai which is also only two blocks away from Kam Fung Restaurant 金鳳茶餐廳.

                      1. re: hong_kong_foodie

                        I agree the best egg tart in HK is Tai Cheong. I tried the outlet at Causeway Bay. That was after I had the best fish ball/beef ball noodle soup on the same street - Chiu Yuen. This was back in October last year. I don't usually like dessert but the egg tart was still warm and soooo delicious.

                        1. re: caitlink

                          i know cheung sai wan is far away but one must try sun wah....

                          been to aberdeen for fish balls?

                2. when i stayed at the excelsior last november, i was pleasantly surprised by the Lord Stow's egg tart available at the coffee shop in the lobby.

                  it's of the portuguese tart variety with the flaky pastry, i assume they had it shipped over in the morning. it was still nice and flaky with a nice eggy just sweet enough custard filling... but boy did it fill me up. i think it's all the fat worked into the pastry.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: doctorandchef

                    puff pastry is 1.3 fat : 1 flour =P

                    Lord stow uses a blend of lard and butter mmm...

                    1. re: Sher.eats

                      The lard content in egg tart crust something my ovo-lactic fish-eating "vegetarian" egg tart -addicted wife refuses to think about.

                      BTW, when we were in HK last October, we came across a bakery on a corner in Sheung Wan (almost cross the street from the cafe, Graze, if my memory serves me right) that had excellent Portuguese style (like Lord Stow) tarts. Unfortunately I don't remember the name.

                      1. re: fpatrick

                        Bonjour Bakery? http://www.openrice.com/restaurant/sr...

                        i'm surprised no one has made a egg tart cupcake hmmmm