Kuala Lumpur - Traditional Chinese baked goods from Fung Wong, Chinatown
I still remembered the first time I came across Fung Wong’s traditional Chinese biscuits in KL’s Chinatown – it was circa 1988, and I was visiting KL from Perth, Australia. At the time, the only previous experience I’d had with trad-Chinese biscuits were from Vietnamese-Chinese-owned delis & bake-shops in Perth’s smallish Chinatown in Roe St/Milligan St, Northbridge. Those were sugary-sweet, and with bean fillings which were dry-ish and not very fresh.
What I had from Fung Wong then was a revelation – a variety of freshly-baked goodies, with smooth, moist lotus paste filling, some hiding delicious morsels like century eggs inside, others with bits of preserved winter-melon or tasty grated coconut-candy, all encased in light-as-air flaky pastry.
In the intervening years, I never really had the opportunity to re-visit Fung Wong – in Singapore, we had our own Chinese confectionaries like “Tong Heng” in South Bridge Road and “Tai Chong Kok” in Sago Street. I was also visiting Hong Kong more often than Kuala Lumpur, and good Chinese bakeries there are legion: “Wing Wah”, “Kee Wah”, “Hang Heung”, etc., besides the pseudo-Western bakery chains like Maxims and St-Honore.
However, the recent opening in Singapore of Fung Wong’s branch at Resorts World Sentosa’s Malaysia Food Street had piqued my interest again in this century-old KL icon. I didn’t *try* anything at its Singapore outlet during my recent visit home, but promised myself I should visit its original outlet in KL.
So, that’s how I found myself back at Fung Wong in Petaling Street, KL, again yesterday. What I tried:
- Lotus Biscuit (莲蓉禧饼) - the filling was, I’m glad to report, still as smooth and moist as I’d remembered it when I first tasted it all those decades back;
- Lou Po Biscuit (老婆饼) - the so-called “Wife’s Biscuit” was flaky, and its light filling was not too sweet. I’ve had better from HK or Taiwan, but this one is definitely one of the best in KL, if not Malaysia itself;
- Coconut Tart (椰挞) – my Dad’s favorite pastry, maybe because it bore some resemblance to Bakewell tarts of his childhood and schoolboy days in the UK. The version at Fung Wong was absolutely perfect – moist, coconut-rich and baked lightly so as not to scorch the top layer;
- Lotus Seed Pastry (莲蓉酥) – didn’t quite like the crumbly pastry here, but I guess it’s got its fans. But the moist lotus paste filling was similar to the Lotus Biscuit one mentioned earlier.
I’m not a big fan of trad-Chinese biscuits and sweets, but this shop is a definite must-visit for any visitor to KL’s Chinatown.
First photo below was the entrance to the spanking-new Fung Wong bakery in Resorts World Sentosa Singapore. The second photo was taken yesterday in front of its original shop in KL’s Chinatown, plus the counters filled with all those trad-Chinese baked goods.
Fung Wong Biscuits
28, Jalan Hang Lekir
Kuala Lumpur 50000
Ah, I still remembered Messr Kloeden Snr back from his annual London trips with one of his suitcases full of Kipling goodies:- Victoria fancies, Strawberry Roly-Poly, Spotted Dick and, of course, those Bakewell tarts.
I love Tong Heng's diamond-shaped egg-tarts, it's got that "old" taste which new bakeries in Singapore could not seem to replicate. Of course, I always felt that egg-tarts in HK are always superior to the ones we have here in Singapore, and I'm not just talking about ex-Gov. Chris Patten's favourite bakery Tai Cheong, but one in Tsimshatsui, which I'm still dreaming of today. I'll buy a box of freshly-baked egg-tarts in the morning, bring it all the way home to Singapore and, when I open the box in the evening, the egg and butter smell from the tarts would fill my kitchen! My husband downed 3 or 4 of those at one go.