Best Egg Tarts in Hong Kong

“The egg tart … is a pastry commonly found in Hong Kong and other Asian countries”. (1) The origins are murky, but “seems likely that they are yet another example of British tea time snacks… adapted to local Chinese tastes” (2)

Currently there are two version, shortbread version more akin to the British version and a flaky puff pastry which is regarded highly amongst Hong Kong food purists. One version provides that crisp biscuit-like bite to it, the other tends to crumble at the slightest touch. Clearly I’ve always had a bias for the flaky one – despite the ‘post-eat-disaster’ scattered all over my shirt and jeans. Both are equally full of buttery goodness and should be filled with a glistening and gooey filling that is silky smooth, scrumptiously creamy and very eggy. Egg tarts are best eaten SCALDING HOT, straight out of the oven!!! But do take it easy when you eat it – I lay no responsibility for burns. You can often tell its piping hot when the person (usually an amateur employee) trying to de-mould and bag the tart struggles with the sheer heat.

I am such a HUGE fan of egg tarts – it is a must at yum cha! Whilst I was in Hong Kong, I personally taste-tested more egg tarts than I should have, eating any that I pass by, and happily travelling an extra few kilometers to seek out the best ones around. My experience is that the type of base and quality of each component varies vastly between different stores and even within chain stores. Each claims theirs is the “best” and “no. 1″… but you have to try them yourself to be sure =).

Anyways here’s two places that I thought were exceptional:

Hoover Cake Shop (豪華餅店)
136 Nga Tsin Wai Road
Kowloon City, Hong Kong

Aside being quite far from most touristy locations and being rather conspicuous as a small corner store, if I had not sought this place out specifically with my trusty guide-book (written in Chinese may I add) I’d have no chance of stumbling upon this place on my own. I peered inside in curiosity and was shocked to find the bakery is no more than 2 meters wide. Against one corner is the oven which takes up half the space, and against the newspaper / billboard covered window was a ceiling-high metal shelf laden with all the lovely baked goodies. Amongst all of that lay a tray of newly baked egg tarts still steaming and wafting that lovely buttery aroma. The custard glistened with a deep yellow and wobbled a little as she bagged the egg tart for me. The flaky shell was just so unbelievably yuMmmm… it was that awesome that I wondered if it was only butter or was there pork lard as well??? Apparently made with Beijing eggs and French cream, the custard is oh so silky and “eggy”.

This is certainly an old-style bakery, without the sleek glamour of its chain store counterparts, that relies heavily on its modest simplicity. According to the billboard – this place has apparently been named King of tarts (冠軍之選), though my photo is too blurred for me to read into it any further. Regardless such wonders from such a little space…

Tai Cheong Bakery (泰昌餅家)
35 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central, Hong Kong

On the other spectrum of bakeries, renowned Tai Cheong bakery brings in hoards of customers at each of its many chain-stores scattered across Hong Kong. Since receiving high praise from Hong Kong’s last governor Chris Patten many years ago, it has sky-rocketed with fame. Queues are a given for Tai Cheung and it’s hard to pass a queue in Hong Kong without going: ooo am I missing out on something? Sometimes you find yourself lining up for something and realise you don’t even know what it’s for. Anyways, I’ve tried more than my fair share of Tai Cheong’s tarts (lost count at how many locations), and have come to the conclusion that the one in Central is particularly good, selling the most scrumptious shortbread version of egg tarts – with a brilliantly crunchy-buttery crust. The custard, like Hoover Cake shop, is unquestionably good.

Of course there were many others that I tried at cafes, restaurants and other bakeries – some were utterly disappointing, some that weren’t so different to the ones we have in Melbourne, and some that came pretty close to the above mentioned. Which type of Egg Tarts are your favourite?

You may also like: Best Portuguese Tarts, Tim Ho Wun – Michelin star yum cha, Parisian Patisserie.

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Comments
27 Responses to “Best Egg Tarts in Hong Kong”
  1. Regina says:

    gaaaah. evil, EVIL post. you’re evil.

    i ADORE egg tarts. there are several awesome ones here in singapore too.

    and there’s one bakery on little bourke st which also has them egg tarts, i remember always getting a mother load whenever i was in the city, when i was still in melbourne.

  2. I’ve tried Tai Cheong’s tart but honestly, I’m not such a huge fan…maybe it is an acquired taste? Ben loves them, I just don’t get it. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough! 🙂
    Heidi xo

  3. Clara says:

    I’m impressed with ur egg tart quest, even I (100% HK grown) haven’t been to those two bakeries! I guess I should re-explore HK like a tourist this time when I go back. 🙂
    I prefer flaky puff type too, esp portuguese egg tarts. I also absolutely heart milk tarts and steamed milk pudding!

    btw, why is it that email address is required to post a comment, so user-unfriendly!

    • AS IF not been to them… sigh sigh sigh. YEH, there’s SOOOOOOOOOOOOO many places that I didn’t even get to try, sobs.
      And you probably need to go to Macao for the best portuguese tarts YUMMMM, maybe I should write a post on that too – I probably had half a dozen of those too LOL.
      I haven’t a clue why you need email address, I didn’t design wordpress. I think it might be to prevent spam?? and that way if people want to leave “bad” comments, then at least they can be emailed back…well that’s what “I” think…

  4. I’m a fan of both types of pastry! And like you, I do prefer them hot =)

    I have yet to try the ones from that little place former Governor Patten liked so much – think it’s in Sheung Wan? Or was it somewhere in Central…?

  5. Heidi – Pork lard sure sounds gross (I had the same response), but really if you think about it, if you like pork, wagyu, asian dumplings or the like… they are full of animal fat =P… and conventional asian cooking uses pork lard as the oil (rather than the current veg / olive oils). Sure it’s terrible for your arteries but the aroma is unbelievably good =). Just don’t have too much hehe.

    Mademoiselle delicieuse – Governer patten tried the one at tai cheong at the original store (not sure if that’s still there), that’s why its so famous now.

  6. I so love egg tarts. I always get them when I go for yum cha. I’m on Team Flaky Pastry too!

  7. i know that I love the ones from yung kee. it has this nice balance to it. there is enough egginess in the custard. the custard is light and melts in your mouth as soon as you bite into it. The pastry is light and airy. the size is not huge but tiny because calories of one egg tart = one bowl of rice.

  8. Stephanie says:

    My boyfriend really likes egg tarts, maybe more than I do but I can’t say no to one when offered 😛

    We’re heading down to Hong Kong at the end of this month, I’m going to take him on a scavenger hunt to look for both this places without telling him what its all about but I think he’ll be very happy with the end product 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this!

    • awww thats nice! i may be able to post the rest of my “asia trip eatinG” in a few weeks time, when exams are over =). so keep an eye out. HEHE

      • Stephanie says:

        where else have you been in Asia?

        I have been to Hong Kong twice now but yet to venture out to try all the delicious food *drools*

        I have also travelled to Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore…to name a few, I love Asia 🙂

      • i see you are well travelled =P. to answer your question, only this year was i fortunate enough to go through southern india, malaysia, singapore, macao, hk, and eastern canton in china .

  9. Agnes says:

    Oh man, I love egg tarts. I prefer the shortbread type crust, probably because it was more common when I was growing up. 🙂 I wonder how many places in Melbourne do egg tarts (not counting yum cha joints)…. we could do an egg tart tasting!

  10. Min says:

    ooooH!! wish i saw this before going to hong kong myself!! haha. u shoulda given me a list of places to go and saved me time on researching! 😛 like u.. i went all out looking for egg tarts ( and bolo bau’s as well!!) love the one at tai cheong(yung kee’s custard is a tad ….eggish..)… their pastry is phenomenal! guaranteed to have lard in it.. lol.. oh.. and almond flour for that particular crispness. did u try their donuts, chicken pie and century egg/lotus paste pastry as well?? the latter two really showcase their mastery of pastry…. 😀 crisp, flaky, buttery and melt in the mouth…lovely biscuits and nut candies as well…..definitely need another trip back…

    • haha, damn yeh i shouldve given you a list. Though the list would’ve been VERY long HAHAHA. Basically half the places were places recommended by “choi lan” – which meant a lot of lard containing food… never thought i’d be so lard inclined @_@.
      yeh i remember trying their chicken pie mmmm. actually i was meant to post about macao’s awesome portuguese tarts as well….LOL…

  11. Hey dude! Love your stuf…always so detailed and well written. Are there any good tarts around Melbourne?^^ *fingers crossed cos i think its unlikely :(….but still hoping 😀

  12. Oh and ive tried the one in lil bourke st…its OK..BUT…yeh, nothing like HK egg tarts!

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