All egg tarts are good, but not all are great. We’ve rounded up our top ten egg tarts in Hong Kong, because why settle when there are so many amazing ones out there?
The egg tart is Hong Kong’s answer solution to British custard tarts, and we have to say that we’re pretty big fans of the 852 version. Still, as with every good dessert, it is of utmost importance to weed out the ones that are merely good, and give praise to those that are life-changing.
The first thing to note about egg tarts is that there are three distinct varieties: the Portuguese egg tart, the short crust egg tart, and the puff pastry egg tart. Neither are better than the other, and it’s all down to personal preference, but we are partial to a great Portuguese egg tart.
For this article, we have tried so many egg tarts that we are now 99% egg tart and 1% human, so you can trust us as we proudly present: The Best Egg Tarts in Hong Kong…
Lord Stow’s Egg Tarts at EXpresso *now closed*
Topping our list is the best Portuguese egg tart you can find in the city. Found at EXpresso, a small cafe at The Excelsior, Hong Kong’s only Lord Stow’s franchise serves up the most amazing Portuguese egg tarts, which are every bit as good as its Macanese sisters.
When we say “best”, we mean the best. It has everything you could ever want in a dessert: a shatteringly crisp, buttery croissant-like shell, a creamy, luscious filling (with just the right amount of “egginess”), and an artfully charred top. Your day will be made when you catch one fresh from the oven, golden and glistening and piping hot. The buttery scent that lingers on your fingertips after you’ve devoured it all– it’s like sweet torture – one that you can’t bring yourself to get rid of.
Be sure to get your tarts early because the café tends to sell out way before closing time. When we stopped by, the tarts had run out by 4pm on a Sunday, which caused us quite a great deal of heartbreak.
Price: $11 for 1, $42 for 4, $60 for 10.
Hours: Monday to Friday: 7am – 7pm, Saturday: 8am – 7pm, Sunday: 8am – 6pm
EXpresso, Lobby, The Excelsior Hong Kong, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2837 6777, www.mandarinoriental.com/hong-kong/the-excelsior/fine-dining/cafes/expresso
Door Door Bakery
Door Door has been churning out traditional, no-frills treats for the lucky residents of the Mei Foo neighbourhood for over 40 years. We simply had to go try its Portuguese egg tarts after hearing great things about them from more than one foodie friend. Our verdict? It is much better than average Portuguese egg tart, but a tad behind Lord Stow’s. The crust is blander than we had hoped, but redeems itself by being flaky and crisp. The filling is good enough, not quite as creamy and luscious as our favourite’s, but at least it isn’t overly sweet. The tarts were lukewarm when we got there, so we imagine they’d be better fresh from the oven. We’d say that it’s a nice treat to grab if you’re in the area, but not so good that you must make the trek for one.
Also available were puff pastry egg tarts, which were super cheap, but unfortunately rather disappointing. The pastry was pale and bland, while the filling was too sweet for us. So, we recommened sticking to what the shop is known for.
If you decide to pay Door Door a visit, don’t miss its huge range of nougats (our favourite is Crispy Chocolate) and butter cookies, which are like melt-in-your-mouth shortbread.
Price: $7 for Portuguese egg tarts, $3.50 for puff pastry egg tarts
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 6:15am – 10pm
Door Door Bakery, 65 Broadway Street, Mei Foo Sun Chuen, Mei Foo, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2148 3117, www.doordoorbakery.com
Sai Kung Cafe & Bakery
Sai Kung Cafe & Bakery’s Portuguese egg tarts might be a little on the pricey side, but are definitely worth the price. This popular little bakery’s tarts are so buttery that some critics on Openrice think it’s too much (we, on the other hand, think there’s no such thing as too much butter), and come filled to the brim with a custard dotted with charred spots here and there for maximum flavour. The buttered pineapple buns are equally amazing here – think plump, fluffy rolls fresh from the oven, completely blanketed with sweet, crunchy tops and stuffed with ice-cold slabs of butter. Bliss.
It’s worth noting that you’re required to buy a drink if you dine in here, so we’d suggest that you order your treats to-go and enjoy them by the sea instead.
Hours: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 9:30pm
Sai Kung Cafe & Bakery, G/F, 6-7 Kam Po Court, 2 Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung, New Territories, Hong Kong, 2792 3861
Swiss pastry chef Grégoire Michaud has once again blessed us with another of his scrummy creations, this time in the form of a sourdough egg tart. We had high expectations of Grégoire (he was the executive pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hong Kong!), and this new little treat did not let us down. Made with the same dough as the shops celebrated sourdough croissants, Bakehouse’s egg tarts have a buttery, flaky shell with the slightest tang from the sourdough. The filling is silky and lush without being runny, like a good crème brulee. We also adore the double chocolate cookie– a 4-inch deep-brown disc of rich, dark chocolatey goodness with crisp, sandy edges and a soft, chewy centre.
Hours: Tuesday to Friday: 8am – 5pm, Saturday & Sunday: 9am – 5pm, Closed on Monday
Bakehouse, 14 Tai Wong Street East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, www.bakehouse.hk
Just round the corner from our office in Sheung Wan, Catherine Bakery is where we head to when we want a cheap treat we can count on. The short crust egg tart isn’t the most phenomenal pastry out there, but at $5, it is a great value for money. The shell is a buttery, sandy short crust pastry, only that this sand is fine, fine like powder you would find on the beaches of the Maldives. You can also taste a healthy dose of salt in the shell, which almost borders on savoury. The filling has just the right amount of sweetness, though if you prefer an eggier tart, this might not be the one for you. Just a word of warning: the lady at the counter is known to be quite the character, so you might not want to be too fussy on your first visit…
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 6am – 8pm
Catherine Bakery, Shop 1, G/F, Fuk Sing Court, 378 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2543 3020
Tai Cheong Bakery
The first bakery in Hong Kong to use short crust pastry in egg tarts, Tai Cheong Bakery is where tourists and locals alike flock to for the classic short crust tart. A favourite of Governor Chris Patten’s, these tarts feature the best short crust shell we’ve come across in the city– crumbly, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth. The filling might be a little on the solid side (might’ve just been slight inconsistencies in the kitchen), but it’s a decent pick nonetheless.
Hours: Vary according to location.
Honolulu Coffee Shop
No list egg tart is complete without mentioning Honolulu Coffee Shop, an old-school establishment that’s been around since the 1940s. Its renowned puff pastry egg tarts consist of 193 layers of pastry, and are made with a special blend of butter and lard for the perfect balance between flavour and flakiness. We were slightly taken aback by the price of the tarts, but it did prove to be worth every penny with its eggy, flavourful filling and flaky, puffy shells. The tarts cost $1 extra if you dine in, but we think that nostalgic vibe you get from having your egg tart among the retro decor at the Wan Chai location is more than worth it.
Price: $10 (+$1 to dine in)
Hours: Monday to Sunday: 6am – 12am
Honolulu Coffee Shop, 176-178 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 2575 1823, www.honolulu.com.hk
Kam Wah Cafe
Best known for its world-famous buttered pineapple buns, Kam Wah also does a solid puff pastry egg tart. With three decades of experience under his belt, Kam Wah’s pastry chef crafts his tarts with flair, using carefully-chosen European ingredients in his 144-layer treats. You’ll love these if you don’t have that much of a sweet tooth– as the tarts have the mildest filling we’ve tried so far. Make sure you arrive before 6:30pm or you’ll miss the last batch!
Hours: 6am – 11:30pm
Kam Wah Cafe, 47 Bute Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2392 6830
Hong Lin Restaurant
Satisfy your late-night cravings at Hong Lin Restaurant, one of the very few spots that churn out egg tarts till late at night; with the last batch leaving the oven at 10:30pm. Made with Canadian flour and Dutch milk, the egg tarts are slightly sweeter than Kam Wah’s, and are a bit more custardy, with the slightest notes of vanilla. Hong Lin’s tarts aren’t the flakiest you can get, but the shop serves a fresh batch every 20 minutes, and we think egg tarts are ten times better when enjoyed piping hot. Hong Lin also make a mean pineapple bun, which we think is better than Kam Wah’s (shh).
Hours: 6:30am – 3am
Hong Lin Restaurant, G/F, 143-145 Tung Choi Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2391 8398
Wrapping up this list is your best bet for a good puff pastry egg tart. We have honestly never come across a puff pastry shell quite like Queen Sophie’s. Encasing a velvety, subtly-sweet filling is the flakiest, lightest puff pastry ever, beautifully crisp and thin (we estimate it’s ⅛ inch!), and not at all doughy. A great benchmark for whether an egg tart is good is whether you would just eat the crust by itself, and we definitely would for Queen Sophie’s little masterpiece. We were originally skeptical about the bakery’s claim that it creates 368 pastry layers in these tarts, but after our taste test, we’re starting to believe them. If you need any more evidence that these tarts are the real deal, know that each is made by hand with local flour and French butter, based on traditional techniques from the 1970s. At $10 for one, these beauties aren’t the cheapest treat on the block, but the quality and size (a little bigger than the average tart) make up for the price.
Hours: Sheung Wan: Monday to Saturday: 11:30am – 7pm, Closed on Sunday & PH; Kowloon City: Monday to Sunday: 10am – 8pm
Queen Sophie, Shop 5, Basement, Kai Fung Mansion, 2-24 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, 2269 0278
Queen Sophie, G/F, 24 Hau Wong Road, Kowloon City, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2683 1811, www.facebook.com/queensophiehk
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