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Mad about egg tarts

by Julia Khoo

inSing.com - 30 September 2010 5:23 PM | Updated 21 Oct 2010

Mad about egg tarts

Believe it or not, egg tarts are actually an adaptation of English custard tarts! The pastry was only popularised in Hong Kong later.

The most distinctive characteristic of Chinese egg tart is its unique puff pastry. Made with two kinds of dough—water-based and lard-based—the resulting pastry is crisp, airy, flaky, and melt-in-the-mouth.

Together with a silken custard centre, the contrasting textures and flavours of an egg tart create a simple but satisfying epicurean experience. Enjoyed at anytime of the day, no wonder this humble pastry is a perennial favourite for many.

Here’s where you can find some of Singapore’s best Chinese egg tarts outside of dim sum restaurants.

 

Tong Heng ConfectioneryEDITOR’S PICK!

285 South Bridge Road

Opening hours: Daily: 9am-10pm

Price: $1.40

Rating: 4.5/5

For many, Tong Heng’s signature diamond-shaped egg tart is the gold standard. What makes it so impressive is the amazingly thin crust and slippery soft custard.

Buttery, slightly flaky, and crisp when warm, the buttery crust resembles puff pastry but isn’t as crumbly. Its incredible thinness is measured by the millimeter—a culinary feat that’s hard to beat. However, the crust tasted best when eaten warm. When cold, the crust tended to be slightly flaccid and greasy.

Reminiscent of crème brulee, the wobbly custard had a strong eggy smell and was rather sweet. It also oozed water, and disintegrated easily. In spite of this quirkiness, the overall effect was most memorable. Tong Heng’s egg tart is a definite must-try!

 

Leong Sang Hong Kong Pastries BEST VALUE!

18 Sago Street

Opening hours: Daily: 8am-7.30pm

Price: $0.90

Rating: 4.5/5

There’s a wide variety of pastries available at Leong Sang, but their classic Hong Kong-style egg tart is the top-selling item.

The custard was very well-made. Smooth and not too sweet, with an immensely pleasant fragrance, the custard and pastry complemented each other extremely well.

Made with water-and-oil dough, the crust was rather thick. But it had a delightful melt-in-the-mouth quality. The pastry didn’t disintegrate too easily, yet it felt sufficiently light. This egg tart kept very well, with the crust retaining its crispness for hours.

If the tart case had been slightly thinner, this would have been a flawless egg tart. On the whole, Leong Sang’s egg tart was a solid all-rounder and offered excellent value.

 

Imperial Treasure Bakery

111 Somerset Road, #01-26 TripleOne Somerset

Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 8am-9pm, Sun: 10am-9pm

Price: $1.20

Rating: 3.5/5

The newest concept in the Imperial Treasure restaurant group, the egg tart here is different in that they use a shortcrust pastry. The tart case isn’t the crisp and flaky kind. Rich, buttery, and melt-in-the-mouth, it had a superb cookie-like fragrance.

So was the firm and smooth custard, which had a lovely vanilla scent. The sweetness was just right, and paired well with the tart base.

Although Imperial Treasure’s egg tart was not conventional, it was a refreshing change from the traditional style.


Hor Hwa Hiang Hong Kong Pau & Cakes

30 Robinson Road #01-K1, Robinson Towers

Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 8am-8pm, closed on Sat, Sun & PH

Price: $1.00

Rating: 3/5

It was better than average, but Hor Hwa Hiang’s egg tart had room for improvement.

To start with, the thick crust could have been thinner. It was also rather dense. Thankfully, it wasn’t too dry.

Moist and not-too-sweet, the custard had a subtle, natural flavour. But we thought the fragrance was too mild, it could have been bolder.

 

Crystal Jade My Bread

391 Orchard Road, B2-36 Ngee Ann City

Opening hours: Daily: 10am-10pm

Price: $0.90

Rating: 1/5

With relatively high standards for their restaurant dim sum, we had high hopes for Crystal Jade’s egg tart. Sadly, we were let down.

The most disappointing aspect was the custard. It had a artificial shade of sunflower yellow. It had neither fragrance nor flavour, just monotonous sweetness.

The tart case was rather airy and melt-in-the-mouth. But, like the custard, it was tasteless and lacked real flavour. Overall, Crystal Jade’s egg tart was visually attractive, but fell flat when it came to taste.

 

inSing.com made anonymous visits and paid its own meals at the eateries featured here.