Of Macau Egg Tarts, Hong Kong Tofu Flower and Black Sesame Puree!


#1

Hearing a few of our FTC’ers chat about the Macau (and Hong Kong) Egg Tarts, we suddenly had the urge to try them all out. :slight_smile:

Kee Wah Bakery

Signature Crispy Egg Tart:

This was the Hong Kong-style Egg Tart, seen in many Dim Sum restaurants. Kee Wah’s version was fresh-tasting, creamy, with a light flaky crust. It was thankfully not that sweet. :slight_smile:

Portuguese Egg Tart:

We could taste a more Vanilla, creamier filling. This was also pretty good, but unfortunately we weren’t there when they just finished making a batch, so these were room temperature already. I’d imagine if they were just out of the oven they’d be even more amazing.

Prices run $1.30 for standard Egg Tart and $1.50 for the Portuguese Egg Tart.

Kee Wah Bakery
150 W. Valley Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel: (626) 280-2515

China Red

This was a place that was recommended for its surprisingly good Dim Sum offerings and their Egg Tarts.

Baked Egg Tart:

These were sadly at room temperature. :frowning: We were hoping for them to be piping hot or warmed. They were pretty good, but I’d imagine if they were hot, they’d be pretty great.

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling (Har Gow):

A classic dish at Dim Sum, we had to order one to see how it compared. The Dumpling Skin was relatively soft, with plump, meaty Shrimp inside.

Pork & Shrimp Dumpling (Siu Mai):

Juicy, meaty Pork & Shrimp Dumplings, these were also very solid.

It was $3.68 (+ tax & tip) for 3 Egg Tarts.

Overall, if we’re driving all the way out to the San Gabriel Valley, I think we’d rather go to our favorite, Sea Harbour, but China Red’s dishes we tried today were respectable.

China Red
855 S. Baldwin Ave.
Arcadia, CA 91007
Tel: (626) 445-3700

Jim’s Bakery

Recommended by @TonyC, I’ve had this bookmarked for a long time. We finally got a chance to try it. :slight_smile:

Egg Tart:

This is their Hong Kong-style Egg Tart. It was warm, nice and straightforward. Pretty solid, clean, Egg Custardy taste.

Po Tart:

This is their Macau / Portuguese-style Egg Tart. This was very warm (but not piping hot), so it was probably relatively newly baked. It was delicious! :slight_smile: It was richer, creamier, and the flaky crust was spot-on.

2nd visit:

Egg Tart:

The 2nd time, their Egg Tart was at room temperature still, bummer. :frowning: It wasn’t bad, but we were hoping to get their Egg Tart warmer / fresh out of the oven. Maybe one of these days.

Po Tart:

This was really hot, the server said it was a newer batch within the last 30 - 45 min. It was still very warm, custardy in the center with a flaky outer crust. It was delicious! :slight_smile: It was a richer, milkier center than the standard version.

Jim’s turned out to be the cheapest price for all of the Egg Tart places we tried, running only $1 for the HK Egg Tart and $1.20 for the Macau / Portuguese Egg Tart.

Jim’s Bakery
400 S. Atlantic Blvd., #200
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Tel: (626) 573-5757

V P Tofu

A specialist making their own Soy Milk, Tofu and other Soybean products from scratch in-house, V P Tofu was another place we had bookmarked a while back and never got a chance to try until now. We went once a few weeks back, only to find out they sold out of their famous desserts already. :frowning:

Hot Soy Bean Pudding with Ginger Syrup - “Tofu Flower”:

I miss this dessert. It seems the Dim Sum places we’ve been going to no longer carry it, I wonder why? Sea Harbour, J Zhou and one other place we went to recently didn’t have it on the menu.

But regardless, the Housemade Soy Bean Pudding is light, airy, delicate and so silky! It’s served hot, so it’s unlike any usual American-style Dessert. But beyond the Tofu Flower (as my friend told me it’s called in Chinese), which sounds so much better and more poetic, :wink: their Housemade Ginger Syrup is fantastic!

A beautiful Ginger infusion, just the right amount of sweetness, this was fantastic! :slight_smile:

I can’t believe a very good size portion is only $1.50! :slight_smile:

Sweet Black Sesame Puree (+ Coconut Milk):

And they make a Sweet Black Sesame Puree, served hot. @paranoidgarliclover I immediately thought of you when I took the first bite! Wonderful, super fragrant nuttiness from the Black Sesame Puree, and the complimentary Fresh Coconut Milk added a nice tropical note (just a touch) with each bite.

One of the best Black Sesame Desserts we’ve had in recent memory. :slight_smile:

The smallest size is double the portion of the Sweet Tofu Pudding, and it was only $3.50 (a bargain). So good! :blush:

Note: The Tofu Flower can sell out by around 1 p.m. or so on weekends (sometimes).

Note 2: Black Sesame Puree available on Saturday and Sundays Only.

(Cash Only)

V P Tofu
237 S. Garfield Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Tel: (626) 572-9930

Update 3:

As we were visiting Sam Woo BBQ, we ended up doing a bang x bang to get some delicious Desserts out in the SGV. :slight_smile:

V P Tofu (Revisit)

Hot Soy Bean Pudding with Ginger Syrup - “Tofu Flower”:

This seriously has to be one of the best bargains for tasty Desserts in the SGV. :slight_smile: V P Tofu’s Tofu Flower is served hot, with the delicate, airy, silky texture of their fresh, Housemade Silken Tofu perfectly matched with a lightly sweet-spiced Ginger Syrup. :blush:

Their Small size is plenty and it’s just $1.50. :slight_smile:

We were bummed they sold out of their Sweet Black Sesame Puree early today (sorry @paranoidgarliclover), which made us really sad (it is so good!). :cry:

V P Tofu’s fresh-made Tofu Flower is still as delicious as always. You can also pick up various size bottles of their fresh, Housemade Soy Milk as well (which tastes of the Soybeans and has a more robust flavor than most of the commercial versions of Soy Milk on the market).

(Cash Only)

V P Tofu
237 S. Garfield Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Tel: (626) 572-9930

Jim’s Bakery (Revisit)

And just a few minutes away is Jim’s Bakery, so we wanted to see if we could catch them when they released a fresh batch of Egg Tarts.

Egg Tart:

Their standard, traditional Egg Tart is lightly warm, with the cashier saying this batch was made a couple hours earlier. It still tastes fresh and has the familiar, classic Egg Custard taste. :slight_smile:

Po Tart:

This one looked slightly overcooked and was also only barely warm, darn. Like before, their Po Tart is creamier and rounder than the standard Egg Tart, so it depends on which style you like more. When it’s barely warm it tasted just OK compared to the previous visits.

Follow-up visit:

But on a follow-up visit (same time as our last visit to Sam Woo), we arrived around 2:00 p.m. and they just finished a fresh batch of their Po Tarts! :open_mouth: We ordered one immediately.

Po Tart:

It might be hard to see in these photos but the Jim’s Bakery Po Tart was piping hot! It was so fresh out of the oven I had to let it sit and then blow at it a few times to cool it down enough to even bite into it. :slight_smile:

And that first bite…

I can see why @TonyC was so enamored with Jim’s in a post a while back. There’s the fragrant, hot, flaky outer pastry crust, and it gives way to this hot, almost molten, incredible Egg Custardy filling! :heart: Wow! It tasted nothing like the usual Egg Tarts that have sat around a while. It was like eating a piping hot Flan or something with a flaky crush. So good! :blush: This was $1.50 well spent. :wink:

Even when it’s warm, the Egg Tarts are pretty enjoyable, so hopefully you’re able to stop by Jim’s when they make a fresh batch (either first thing in the morning, or throughout the day). Be sure to ask them if they just made a fresh batch. They might have some in the back even if they have a few left up front in the case from a previous batch.

Jim’s Bakery
400 S. Atlantic Blvd., #200
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Tel: (626) 573-5757

Kee Wah Bakery (Monterey Park)

While we usually stop by the Kee Wah Bakery on Valley Blvd., this time we decided to try their Monterey Park location to see if the Egg Tarts were better or worse in comparison.

Signature Crispy Egg Tart:

Kee Wah has 3 types(!) of Egg Tarts, and they were down to a few of their Po Tarts at this location (and they said it had been maybe 3 hours since a batch), so we decided to try their Signature Crispy Egg Tart this time.

This was much more flaky, almost like a variation of the Puff Pastry in a Mille-feuille. The filling was the standard Hong Kong Egg Tart filling, an even, lightly egg-y, lightly sweet filling, but their outer crust was what made it stand out.

One of these days we’ll be able to finally try Kee Wah Bakery’s Egg Tarts when they arrive fresh out of the oven, but until then, even at slightly warm temperatures for $1.60, their Signature Crispy Egg Tarts are a nice way to finish an afternoon in the SGV.

Kee Wah Bakery
729 W Garvey Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
Tel: (626) 281-2680

Update 3:

With all of the great suggestions of other Portuguese Egg Tarts around L.A., it was time for an Egg Tart Journey! :slight_smile:

Portugal Imports

We were super excited about this one. Hearing from @attran99 @ipsedixit that Portugal Imports offered some tasty Pastel de Nata (Portuguese Egg Tarts), we couldn’t wait.

Full disclosure: We’ve never tried Egg Tarts in Portugal, so I have no idea how authentic they are, or what they are supposed to taste like. :sweat_smile:

Portugal Imports is an interesting little shop, walking in it’s lined with groceries from Portugal (like a mini-mart), with Sardines and other items, and then they have the pastry case.

Nata de Belem:

They were sold out of the Nata de Belem when we arrived. However the cashier behind the counter noticed our disappointment, and kindly said she’d take a look in the back if they had more of the filling. She returned and said she did indeed have enough to make one for us, and she said she still had enough pastry shells already. We were excited. :slight_smile:

However, then we saw her go to the freezer and take out a box of mass-manufactured pastry shells. :frowning: :expressionless: I casually asked her if that’s the usual shell they use for all their pastries and she said, “Yes.” Oh well. :frowning:

First we noticed how burnt the top was. The actual taste? It was really sweet and sugary compared to the Hong Kong Egg Tarts and the Macau Egg Tarts we’ve had over the years.

The crust was pretty disappointing, tasting rather mediocre compared to the flaky or cookie crusts from Macau / Hong Kong Egg Tarts we’ve had.

Amendoa (Puff Pastry Shell with Chopped Almonds):

We were expecting an Egg Custard Tart with Almonds on top (and perhaps some flavoring in the middle). While this looked like an “Egg Tart” it actually was a dense, thick, semi-hard-soft (like a chewy toffee) filling based on mashed Almonds, with more Almonds on top.

I love Almonds and Almond Butter, but this was just too thick and chewy and too sweet. :cry:

Queijada de Nata (Signature Pastry - Puff Pastry Shell with a Special Custard):

And finally we had their Queijada de Nata which they proudly display as their “Signature Pastry” and the cashier mentioned was their most popular item. This was thankfully less burnt than the Belem that we just had, but we also noticed all of their Pastries are served cold normally, which feels strange (compared to eating Hong Kong or Portuguese style Egg Tarts).

Taking a bite, it’s definitely like a Creme Brulee / Custard-like filling. A bit thick, but what was most off-putting was that it was way too sweet. :sob: This was probably the sweetest Egg Tart we’ve ever had. Ever. :frowning: It bordered on saccharine.

There are a lot of fans of this place, so we’ll give it another try later, but at this point Portugal Imports was our least favorite Egg Tart so far.

Portugal Imports
11655 Artesia Boulevard
Artesia, CA 90701
Tel: (562) 809-7021

Natas Pastries

Natas Pastries was next on our list (almost like the “opposite corner” of L.A. all the way up in Sherman Oaks). Walking in, they are more of a Pastry and Restaurant Cafe compared to Portugal Imports.

Looking at the case, they have a massive selection of Pastries:

Bola de Berlin (Large House Donut, filled with Custard):

This was recommended by the manager, who said this was one of their specialties. Taking a bite, it’s apparent that their Bola is made fresh that day. It’s actually pretty light and airy, giving way to this decadent oozing Custard. It’s sweet, but still enjoyable. :slight_smile:

However, after about 3 bites, I had enough. Note though, that I can’t eat a whole Donut (it’s just too much for me). :sweat_smile: One of my best friends finished her half with no problem. :stuck_out_tongue:

Queijada (Pastry made with Ricotta Cheese, Cinnamon in Puff Pastry):

The manager recommended their Queijada as well, saying this was a popular Portuguese treat at her shop. Taking a bite, the Puff Pastry shatters (wonderful!), and gives way to a light, creamy filling. There is a note of Cinnamon, but it’s not too apparent, and the Frosting on top provides enough sweetness. It was a different type of Pastry than what we normally have.

Nata (Our Signature Pastry. Creme Brulee Custard in Puff Pastry):

And finally we got to their Portuguese Egg Tart, the Nata. First, it should be noted that if you order To Go, they provide it at room temperature, straight out of the case. The manager said that if you dine in, they will heat up the Nata for you (@TheCookie).

So since we dined in (there’s no minimum order, so you could probably just order an Egg Tart and grab a table), after a few minutes their Nata arrived warm-hot. :slight_smile:

Taking a bite: It’s pleasing to have it warmed up, the Puff Pastry crust is flaky and shatters. The Creme Brulee filling is delicious! Warmed, custardy, but not too sweet (maybe ~50% of the sugary sweetness of Portugal Imports), and we both devoured our Egg Tarts. :blush:

They were so good, I bought a half dozen to share with my co-workers.

Tip: The manager recommended that we just pop the Egg Tarts in the oven at 300 degrees (it works in a toaster oven as well) for 5 minutes and then serve. I did that back at the office, and each of the 6 Nata Egg Tarts came out piping hot and perfect. My co-workers couldn’t stop raving about them. :slight_smile:

Lastly, I asked the manager what time they bake their Egg Tarts (to see if we can stop in when they are fresh out of the oven). Sadly, she said that they are baked fresh, but around 5:00 a.m. or so, before the store opens, darn.

Natas Pastries was a pleasant surprise. While slightly pricier than usual Egg Tarts ($2.50), their Nata Portuguese Egg Tart (when served warm-hot) was definitely a step up from Portugal Imports and unique compared to the Hong Kong / Macau Egg Tarts that are more commonly found around town. We’ll be back to try more from their case and get more of their Nata (dining in) when we’re in the area.

Natas Pastries
13317 Ventura Blvd # D
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Tel: [(818) 788-8050

http://nataspastries.com/

Bronzed Aussie

Our last stop on this journey, we stopped by what sounded like one of the most unlikely of places for an Egg Tart: Bronzed Aussie. Thanks to our favorite Blue Smiley Face (@ipsedixit), it seems this Australian Pie Specialist offered their own version of an Egg Tart(!). :open_mouth: We were intrigued and couldn’t wait to try it.

First thing to note: Bronzed Aussie is unfortunately buried down a side alley off of Los Angeles Street, so it’s impossible to see from the street. I say “unfortunate,” because the shop itself looks like a cute hidden gem, and the Australian woman behind the counter (who seemed like the owner-manager?) was diligent, hard working and seemed like a nice person… but we were the only people who stopped by the entire time we were there (sad).

Tip: Call ahead and make sure they have the specific sweet or savory pie you’re looking for.

This was confirmed because when we stopped in, their front pastry case had 3 types of items and that was it (the rest was empty).

Custard Tart (Crunchy Pastry Crust Filled with Egg Custard.):

According to their menu, “The Custard Tart in Australia is legendary among cyclists as a reward for ascending a particularly steep mountain pass.” :open_mouth: Interesting.

We asked our server-cook-manager (she was the only person working the entire cafe) if this Custard Tart was due to the Hong Kong / Chinese diaspora to Australia, but she said it was probably due to them originally being a British colony and the English Custard Tart.

At $3.50, this is the most expensive Egg / Custard Tart on this journey, however this was huge! This was easily the size of 2 - 3 standard Hong Kong Egg Tarts.

It is served chilled (the manager said that was tradition, and that if it was heated up the filling would just liquefy).

Taking a bite… it was like a slightly crumbly, crunchy Cookie crust, which yielded to a creamy, light, delicious chilled Custard center! :blush:

@ipsedixit was right: This is a delicious Custard Tart and a nice alternative to the Hong Kong / Macau Egg Tart. It does taste like you’re eating Creme Brulee more than a Custard or Egg Tart. It tasted nothing like the Hong Kong style version, nor like Portugal Imports or Natas Pastries. It wasn’t too sweet, and was quite tasty and refreshing chilled. :slight_smile:

Thanks to all the FTC’ers for the great recommendations. I think we like the piping hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven Po Tarts (Macau Egg Tarts) at Jim’s Bakery the most (call ahead and see if they have a fresh batch, but failing that @raytamsgv @blimpbinge have recommended Saturdays after 12 Noon, or calling ahead to order in the morning for pickup). The Po Tarts piping hot from Jim’s are stunning, and only $1.25. :heart:

After that, or rather for a delicious alternate taste, try the Nata at Natas Pastries. Make sure to dine in, or bring it home quickly and reheat, and enjoy. Those were really delicious and more classic Custard in taste. Hearing @hungryhungryhippos describe the OG ones at Pasteis de Belem in Lisbon, Portugal and how much better they are from Natas Pastries makes us want to travel to Lisbon even sooner than before. :slight_smile:

For a more Cookie-like version filled with a smooth, chilled Creme Brulee, the ones at Bronzed Aussie in Downtown are worth trying (and we wanna go back to try their savory Meat Pies which sounded delicious). :slight_smile:

Bronzed Aussie
714 S. Los Angeles St. #A
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel: [(213) 243-0770

http://www.bronzedaussie.us/


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#2

Thanks for the heads up! :smiley: It’s quite a coincidence that you had daofu hua (I think that’s what the tofu dessert is called in Mandarin?) and the black sesame at the same place since I also love the tofu dessert! It wasn’t always super easy to get even back when cart dim sum places ruled. How intense was the ginger syrup? W/ actual ginger slices in there, I wonder if it’d be overpowering…

Was planning to visit my parents next weekend (they live in the SGV) and might just have to make a pit stop… :slight_smile:


#3

Hi @paranoidgarliclover,

The Ginger Syrup wasn’t overpowering at all. Not like, say, Gjusta’s (awesome) Ginger Lemonade or anything. :wink: It made the Tofu Flower much more interesting than the typical ones we used to try at Dim Sum places.

Hope you get a chance to try both the Black Sesame and Tofu Flower. :slight_smile:


#4

You can ask for it. At least at Sea Harbour. More often than not they will have it on hand, even at dinner.


#5

Oh nice! I just didn’t see it at least on the English menu, but that’s good to know. Thanks. :slight_smile:


#6

Just between us chickens, many restaurants when they order tofu, they will often be given gratis buckets of 豆腐花.

Just a question of whether you get it first, or whether the staff does …


#7

Thanks, @Chowseeker1999! Do try Portugal Imports in Artesia. They make the egg custard tarts and they’re fantastic. They even come in lemon, coconut, and a few other flavors. I’ve never had them fresh from the oven, though…they’re probably fabulous. I head over there when I’ve got a craving for a solid egg custard tart…in fact, maybe this weeke because of your thoughtful review.


#8

Wow, thanks for the rundown on Egg Tarts, @Chowseeker1999! Gonna have to try Jim’s sometime soon.

Thanks for also reminding me about VP Tofu; it’s been years since I’ve been :smiley:


#9

Thanks for the tip @attran99. I’ll have to check it out, or post some pics when you go. :slight_smile:


#10

Thanks @strongoxman. :slight_smile: Yah, definitely give Jim’s a try, and you can stop by VP Tofu after (they’re like 3 minutes away from each other).


#11

Dayum.


#12

If you find yourself in San Francisco hit up Golden Gate Bakery! To me it is the best egg tart/dan taat I ever had. Not even Sea Harbour and Elite can compare. Death row dessert for me. Long wait time though.

And sometimes they are on vacation/fong gaa.


#13

Thanks for the recommendation @JeetKuneBao. :slight_smile: I’ll keep it in mind if we head north.


#14

In case people were curious I updated the original post with prices for the Egg Tarts (since I already listed prices for the Tofu Flower and Black Sesame Puree). :slight_smile:

Essentially prices run from a very fair $1 - $1.50 / Egg Tart at all of the places we tried.


#15

Chowseeker, what did you like better, Jims or Kee Wah?

heh, for reference this is the godlike egg tart I had from Honolulu Cafe in HK.


#16

Thanks for the writeup. If you want piping hot egg tarts, you should ask them about their baking schedule. Jim’s usually puts them out a little after 12 noon on Saturdays. I burned my mouth with some of their Macau-style egg tarts.


#17

Hi @Ns1,

That looks amazing! The glistening custard. I can imagine them piping hot and with a nice flaky crust. :slight_smile: Lucky!

I think we liked Jim’s more, but only because we lucked out and got their Macau / Portuguese Egg Tarts almost out of the oven (still very warm almost hot). And they were so good. :slight_smile:

If we had Kee Wah’s right out of the oven they might’ve been fantastic also.

I wish these places adopted Krispy Kreme’s Neon Light “Donut Signal” (when it’s lit up, you know there’s fresh donuts! :smile:).


#18

Hi @raytamsgv,

Thanks for the tip! When we asked our server (who spoke perfect English), she told us that there wasn’t a guaranteed time except first thing in the morning when they open, so we just showed up whenever we could.

But now we know (a little bit after 12 Noon on Saturdays), got it. :slight_smile:


#19

In addition, you can order ahead the morning before you pick up, and they will tell you the earliest time it’s ready. This also applies for non-egg tart items, they will hold/make it for you if you call the morning before.


#20

Great tip! Thanks @blimpbinge. :slight_smile: