As a Cantonese family, we are quite obsessed with the traditional Cantonese dim sum dessert egg tart. Egg tart as described by google is a kind of tart that consist of an outer pastry crust and is filled with egg custard and baked.
Today, this tart is no longer a Cantonese favourite but many Singaporean’s favourite tea time snack regardless of age. Of late, we started to see more establishments from Hong Kong setting up stores in Singapore with super long queues and dozens of reviews on their speciality egg tart
Tong Heng is a local Singaporean brand from the 1920s to the present day. First generation owner Mr Fong Chee Heng grew his business from a street peddler to a shop business at 33 Smith Street with an assortment of pastries and hot desserts as an accompaniment to tea and coffee. The later generations further developed the business to the current successful store at 285 South Bridge Road. We have been visiting the shop regularly since we were kids and recently the store had a facelift. The new store is modern and contemporary and reminds me of one of those new hipster bakery
Instead of the old steel display cabinets, in their place are new modern marble counter tops with minimalist display. The cakes and tarts are placed on wooden slats in perfect symmetry. The entire shop is now air-conditioned and the left side of the shop is converted into a café style seating area. While this new set up is clean and modern, the nostalgia of the old marble table and chair is lost
The packaging has also taken on a modern twist and appeals to a much younger audience with bold colours and lively visuals. There are also different colours used for boxes fitting different number of tarts and different types of tarts and cakes
With the new facelift, I was expecting an increase in price but I was pleasantly surprised that the price per tart is still the same. Egg tarts are best eaten while they are still piping hot. The tarts are shaped like a diamond which is distinctively Tong Heng. The crust of the tart is thin and light and melts in your mouth with every bite. The crust is quite fragile and flakes easily so you have to hold it quite delicately. The egg filling is more watery than I remember it to be but the balance of sweetness and the strength of the egg taste is still quite well balanced. Each tart looks a little different as each tart is made by hand. Personally I would prefer the egg filling to be just a teeny bit stiffer like before the renovations
Tong Heng Bakery
285 South Bridge Road
Operation hours: 9am – 10pm
Jurong Point outlet
1 Jurong West Central 2, Jurong Point
Operation hours: 9.30 am – 10.00pm
Tai Cheong Bakery was started in 1954 by current owner Au Yeung’s uncle who subsequently handed the business to Mr Au Yeung. Tai Cheong gained popularity in Hong Kong with tourists and locals and the popularity hit a new high when then Hong Kong governor Chris Patten started frequenting the bakery. The famous brand hit the Singapore shores in 2016 and opened it’s first outlet in Takashimaya basement. Later in the same year, Tai Cheong opened a Cha Chan Teng at Holland Village serving the popular tarts as well as other popular Hong Kong café dishes
Tai Cheong is easily recognised by their bright turquoise colour used on both their packaging as well as their store front in both the Takashimaya outlet and Holland Village café. This follows the same look from the Hong Kong original stores
Their packaging comes in a long rectangle and can hold up to 4 tarts only. The tarts are the general round shaped sitting in an aluminium cup
The crust is thicker in size and the texture is more buttery and crumbly. The crust holds better when you bite into them as it is slightly stiffer. The egg filling creamy and more like a pudding texture. The egg taste is strong but the sweetness is well balanced
Tai Cheong Bakery
31 Lor Liput,
391 Orchard Road
#B2 Takashimaya Food Hall,
Mon – Fri: 10am – 10pm
Sat – Sun: 9am – 11pm
Verdict: This is purely personal – Tong Heng is still my choice as the melt in your mouth crust is really on point. If the crust was less stiff for Tai Cheong, it could have been a tough fight.
Definitely Tong Heng for me!