[Hong Kong] A Tale of Two (Famous) Egg Tarts

Egg tarts, or dan tat (蛋撻) as they are known in Cantonese, are one of the most ridiculously palate-friendly foods ever. I haven’t met anyone with an aversion to egg tarts, unless they’re allergic to eggs (poor things). It’s practically a symbol of dim sum if ever there was one, and can be found in most Asian countries. As well as Portugal, but theirs is of the pastel de nata variety (also synonymous with Macau, a former Portugese colony) which we’ll cover if I ever re-visit Macau.

Egg Tart at Tai Cheong Bakery, HKD 6.

The last British governor of Hong Kong famously declared the egg tart at Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家) to be “the best egg tarts in the world“. Which begs the question of why so many people would quote a governor’s opinion on an egg tart since it’s not like he critiques food for a living, but let’s not be rude.

Governor-backed or not, Tai Cheong Bakery is a pit-stop for many tourists, who buy these glistening babies by the dozens. This is one excellent egg tart when its fresh out of the oven, with its crisp, buttery shortcrust shell crumbling at the slightest touch. The custard is beautifully smooth and not too sweet as well, so you don’t feel gross eating more than one at a time. Or at least I don’t. I find that they don’t keep very well though. I let my dad try one after the 4 hour flight back to Singapore, and he gave me a quizzical look when I told him that these were supposed to be the best egg tarts in Hong Kong.

Tai Cheong Bakery also sells other pastries and traditional cookies. I’ve tried their butterfly cookies and egg rolls, and they were pretty good. At present they’ve got 22 outlets scattered across Hong Kong, but none of them gets nearly as much business as the flagship outlet in Central.

Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家), Central outlet
35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
(中環擺花街35號地下)

Opening hours: 7.30 am to 9 pm daily.
Tel. no: +852 2544 3475

Egg tarts from Honolulu Cafe, HKD 4.50 each.

The pastry portion of the egg tarts at Honolulu Cafe (檀島咖啡餅店) were of the flaky variety. A bed of silky egg custard sits upon 192 layers of puff pastry (that’s 100 layers more than your typical flaky egg tart), resulting in a crisp airiness that melts satisfyingly in your mouth with each bite of the tart. I really liked it as well, and didn’t find it inferior to Tai Cheong‘s egg tarts in any way.

Honolulu Cafe also enjoys some fame of its own, most notably for being a filming location of Crossing Hennessy, starring Jacky Cheung and Tang Wei. Their flagship outlet opened in the Wan Chai area in 1940, and since then 2 other outlets have opened in Central and Tseung Kwan O. We visited the Central branch during the mid-afternoon lull, where the staff were glum-faced sourpusses. At least the egg tarts were delicious.

Am unable to comment on the other menu items at Honolulu Cafe as the only other thing I ordered was a hot Coke with lemon. Yes, that’s a thing in Hong Kong. What a weird and wonderful place.

Honolulu Cafe (檀島咖啡餅店)
33 Stanley Street, Central
(中環士丹利街33號地下)

Opening hours: 7 am to 2 am daily.
Tel. no: +852 2526 8063

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