I was passing ION Orchard one day when I spotted a super long queue for this food outlet at the basement and my interest was immediately piqued. As I walked to the front of the queue, I realised that the people were queueing for egg tarts from Joy Luck Teahouse. Founded by famous TV producer Robert Chua who has brought Tim Ho Wan and Kam’s Roast to Singapore in 2013 and 2016 respectively, the Joy Luck Teahouse is his 3rd F&B establishment which aims to bring in the 3 treasures of Hong Kong; Milk tea, egg tart and pineapple Bolo buns.
There is no surprise to why their first store in ION opened in Aug 2020 boast long queues as Joy Luck Teahouse does not offer just any other egg tarts or milk tea. The ones sold in the stores are from already famous stores with long traditions in Hong Kong like Hoover Cake Shop, Kam Kee Cafe and Tak Hing Fishball.
Hoover Cake Shop has a long standing history of 40 years in Kowloon City Hong Kong and has been dishing out egg tarts to the likes of Hong Kong megastars Chow Yun Fatt and Lisa Wang. There are 2 types of crusts being offered here; the crumbly short crust and flaky puff pastry combined with custard eggs made with duck eggs giving it the rich yellow hue. It is not difficult to find Hoover Cake shop on many food recommendation editorials or blogs.
Since 1967, Kam Kee Cafe has been offering traditional Hong Kong Café (more lovingly known as Cha Chann Tengs) food and snacks to the people of Hong Kong. From their first outlet in Shau Kei Wan, Kam Kee has now more than 10 outlets all across Hong Kong. From selling their famous milk tea which was the very first item the founder sold from push carts in the 1950s, Kam Kee is also well known for their Pineapple Bolo Buns.
Located within Kowloon City, Tak Hing Fish ball has been touted as the Hong Kong Fish ball King by Hong Kong entertainer Wong Cho Lam and it is also one of the favourite stall for Megastar Chow Yun Fatt. Those who have visited Hong Kong before would know how every local or tourist loves a good skewer of curry fish ball and Tak Hing offers one of the best in town with daily freshly kneaded fish balls which are 90% fish and no added flour and additives
Back to Joy Luck Teahouse, the menu is pretty straight forward with 2 kinds of egg tarts offered just like the Hong Kong store, 5 different kinds of Pineapple Bolo bun from butter to local flavours like Kaya and Milo and curry fish ball. In terms of beverages, other than the popular Hong Kong milk tea, they also offer Cantonese favourites like Almond milk tea and Kamquat honey drink.
The pastries are baked within the outlet several times in the day with a limited quantity per batch to ensure that each tart or bun is freshly out of the oven with the best texture to be consumed. Depending on which day or timing you visit the outlet, you might find certain egg tart out of stock.
I ordered both the buttery crumbly crust as well as the flaky puff pastry and brought them home. The egg custard is basically the same with very smooth consistency and a nice eggy flavour which was not overly sweet. The crust was very crumbly and had a nice buttery taste to it. I feel that it fares better than a certain green signboard brand from Hong Kong we have in town.
For the puff pastry, it was flaky and had a nice oily texture which most puff flay pastry have and it was also more moist compared to the butter short crust version. Personally, I felt that this would fare better if you ate it straight out of the oven. As mine was tasted 5 hours after buying them, the flaky pastry was not as nice as the buttery one.
As I did not buy the bobo bun and milk tea, I will add on to this review once I managed to get my hands on them.
Overall, the egg tarts offered were a great reminder of what we missed from Hong Kong and with the travel restrictions, it is great to be able to grab some authentic items without getting on a plane.
Address: 2 Orchard Turn, #B4-61, Singapore 238801
Operating hours: 9am to 10 pm
Other outlets: Bugis Junction / Parkway Parade / Causeway Point and Chinatown