Harvey Kong | August 02, 2017
Egg tarts are an iconic piece of Hong Kong cuisine, whether you are a local or a tourist, these custard filled tarts will hold a special place in your heart. For those of you who are not in the know, egg tarts are egg custard filled tarts that come in either a shortcrust pastry or a puff pastry style crust, they are commonly found in local bakeries or Cha Chaan Teng (Hong Kong-style Diner) and are served straight out of the oven.
Introduced to the city in the 1940s and 1950s by migrants, the egg tart has been influenced by elements of both Guangzhou and Macanese cuisine to create the egg tart that we all know and love. These changes and innovations are still going on today, with many bakeries and eateries offering their own spin on the tarts. They differ in the crust and the filling used in the making of the tart itself. However, despite the amount of variations of egg tarts that you can find in the city, you can still find many places offering the classic egg tart. One bakery has been doing it the same way for more than six decades, winning over the hearts and minds of the people with their rendition of the egg tart, the bakery in question – Tai Cheong Bakery.
Originally opened in 1954, the bakery has graced Lyndhurst Terrace in Central with the sweet, aromatic smell of its egg tarts and pastries for more than 60 years. They are known for their use of a cookie crust, but they were also famously known for being the egg tarts of choice of Hong Kong’s last governor – Chris Patten. With regards to his first meeting and impression of the former Governor, bakery owner Au Yeung Tin-yun had this to say in an interview with Young Post. “He was in Hollywood Road at Man Mo Temple. He asked [his driver] to stop for something to eat. He parked at the bus stop and when he walked in, I didn’t know it was Patten until the driver winked at me. We just shook hands. He was really polite.”
The bakery has seen the continuous change and development of the city, including rising rent prices, which led to its closure in 2005. Much to the relief its fans, the bakery later re-opened on the same street at a different location, continuing to offer the pastries that it was famous for. The bakery is now owned by Tao Hung Group and has 18 branches all over Hong Kong, coming a long way from the family-owned business that it once was.
For those of you interested in trying Tai Cheong’s famous egg tarts or other pastries, a list of their branches can be found on their website here. If you’re a purist like me, you can find their Central main branch on 35 Lyndhurst Terrace and enjoy their egg tarts while appreciating the history and legacy behind these lovely egg custard tarts.
As a bonus to the readers who are more gifted in baking and pastries, I found a recipe that will allow you to recreate Tai Cheong’s famous egg tarts at home. The recipe can be found at the bottom of the page here.
Thank you reading and I hope I added another place for you to visit next time you are hungry for an egg tart.
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