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Originally published by Sarah Moran. Last updated by Ching Yuen.
Hong Kong’s quintessential egg tart (蛋撻; daan2 daat3) made its first appearance in the city during the 1940s and has been an afternoon tea staple ever since. A good egg tart should fulfil a few simple requirements: A puff pastry tart should be soft and loose, with clear, separated layers, while a biscuit crust egg tart should also be soft and fluffy but not so soft that it falls apart at first bite. And no matter which filling, the egg custard should runny and fragrant; some shops make theirs with eggier flavours than others. Be it the puff pastry egg tart or biscuit crust egg tart, or even the blistered Portuguese-style egg tart, whichever it is you’re hankering after, we’ve got you covered with our list of Hong Kong’s top eight egg tarts.
Treat yourself to Tai Cheong Bakery’s rich, decadent egg tarts. Established in 1954, Tai Cheong is considered the innovator of the beloved butter-flavoured shortcrust pastry that’s tender yet firm, and is famous for having some of the best egg tarts around town. Not only is the custard filling smooth and creamy without being too sweet, but the crust also crumbles right in your mouth with the perfect balance of buttery goodness. Plus, if they were good enough for Hong Kong’s former governor, Chris Patten, a famous fan of Tai Cheong’s egg tarts, then they’re good enough for us, too.
Tai Cheong Bakery, Shop C, G/F, Lyndhurst Building, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central
This old-school establishment, which has been around since the 1940s, takes pride in its mouth-wateringly delicious egg tarts. The fragrant egg custard filling of Honolulu Coffee Shop’s tarts are runny and velvety smooth, yet not overly sweet. The secret to the delectable light, flaky, crispy crust is a special blend of butter and lard, as well as nearly two hundred layers of puff pastry. Fun fact: Honolulu Coffee Shop was one of the main filming locations for the 2010 Hong Kong film Crossing Hennessy.
Honolulu Coffee Shop, G/F, 176–178 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai | (+852) 2575 1823
If you’re a fan of small, sweet bites, then Kam Fung Restaurant is your go-to for egg tarts. These dainty little morsels are smaller in size compared to your usual egg tarts, but the taste factor sure makes up for it. The puff pastry crust is buttery, flaky, and thin, while the heavy filling is eggy and sweet. It’s no secret that egg tarts always taste better straight out of the oven, and this is often the case at Kam Fung. While you’re there, don’t forget to wash them down with a cup of Kam Fung’s silky milk tea, too—some folks would argue this is even better than famous Lan Fong Yuen’s.
Kam Fung Restaurant, G/F, Spring Garden Mansion, 41 Spring Garden Lane, Wan Chai
Hoover Cake Shop is acclaimed by many as Hong Kong’s egg tart king. Using duck eggs instead of normal eggs, the custard filling of these velvety baked treats are smoother and stronger-flavoured, with a rich yellow hue and glossy shine. The heavily layered puff pastry crust tastes almost like a croissant but crispier, while the shortcrust is soft, buttery, and crumbly. If you want to learn how to recreate these delicious egg tarts at home, Hoover Cake Shop hosts baking classes taught by the shop’s very own master chef!
Hoover Cake Shop, 136 Nga Tsin Wai Road, Kowloon City | (+852) 2382 0383
Note: Hoover Cake Shop is temporarily closed while it relocates to new premises in 2023.
Opened by pastry chef Grégoire Michaud, Bakehouse is the most popular kid on the block. Among its many delicious offerings is a creative twist on the traditional egg tart: the sourdough egg tart. Made with the same dough as the shop’s celebrated sourdough croissants, the tart’s caramelised crust is thin, buttery, and flaky, with a slight tang of the sourdough. The filling is sweet, fluffy, silky, and eggy, all without being runny.
Overall, these sourdough egg tarts taste more like the traditional pastel de nata than the Macau-style Portuguese egg tart that’s usually found in Hong Kong. These babies come out of the oven at around 8 am every day and are available until 1 pm or 2 pm in the afternoon, so make sure you grab one (or two, or three…) while they last.
As the name suggests, this pastry shop proclaims to be the queen of pastries and baked goods, despite being a relatively new player on the scene. Its signature egg tarts are said to have 386 layers folded into the crust, and though we can’t accurately count that for you to prove their claim, trust us when we say it’s superbly flakey!
The layers are as thin as air and the tart just melts in your mouth, and if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, there are multiple flavours available as well. Remember to leave the tarts out at room temperature at home; if you put them in the fridge, they will become rock hard.