The Place If you have been a strong follower of Hong Kong food trends in Singapore recently, the famous Tai Cheong Bakery, well-known for its egg tarts, has finally opened its first dine-in concept in Holland Village after a successful launch of its takeaway counter in Takashimaya the past few months. The Hong Kong brand has more than sixty years of history since it first opened its original outlet in Lyndhurst Terrace, so well, expectations were high for us. The 42-seat cafe is located along Lorong Liput, with a separate takeaway and dine-in queue.
The Food It’s not all about egg tarts, as you can expect some familiar dishes you will find in typical Hong Kong cafes. We started with the Three Macaroni Soup with Luncheon Meat (S$8.50), which was very comforting. The tomato soup base was light and somewhat refreshing, and you really can’t go that wrong with macaroni, luncheon meat and fried egg.
The Scrambled Egg Toast Stack with Chicken Chop (S$9.50) sounds like an incongruous combination but it turned out quite well. The grilled chicken was slightly crisp, even though I thought that the scrambled egg could have been more buttery or done with more seasoning.
The French Toast (S$6.50) was so good. The texture is fluffy even though it was pan-fried. Topped with butter and coated with pure maple syrup, I was surprised this toast works for me given how picky I am with French Toast usually.
The dish which didn’t resonate well with me is the Three Coloured Silky Eggs with Rice (S$9.90), which comes with a choice of two toppings with Kai Lan – Roasted Pork & Prawns, Roasted Pork & Beef, Roasted Pork & Crispy Pork Belly. I feel that the sauce wasn’t tasty enough, and the meat lacked the tender and flavourful taste.
Another hearty dish to have here is the Beef Brisket Curry Rice (S$10.90), which consists of a six-hour braised beef. The homemade curry sauce was rich enough and went very well with the rice. Needless to say, I love the fork-tender beef. Alternatively, this dish also comes as Chicken Curry Rice (S$9.90).
For the tarts, choose from the Egg Tart (S$1.90), Coconut Tart (S$2.50) or the Durian & Cheese Tart (S$3.60). Our favourite is undoubtedly the egg tart. Unlike other renditions we have tried, the crust has a really solid and wholesome texture, filled with ultra-smooth egg custard whose wobbling made our knees go weak. Don’t doubt it, we had to join the takeaway queue immediately for more.
The Coconut Tart is probably good for sharing, though it was slightly on the dry side for our liking. And if you are a true durian lover, we recommend the Durian & Cheese Tart, generously filled with D24 durian pulp.
Rants In true Hong Kong fashion, the cramped space means you have to be prepared to wait in line for dine-in. No reservations are taken at the moment.
Will I Return Again? In all honesty, we are glad that our Hong Kong cafe scene has long gone beyond Xin Wang Cafe. With the likes of Honolulu Cafe to the latest Tai Cheong Bakery, the standards here are decently good with affordable price points. And for that, we are always up to be back for more even though we wished it is a bigger and more comfortable space.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Tai Cheong Bakery
31 Lorong Liput
Daily: 11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 9.30pm (for mains)
Monday to Friday: 10am to 10pm
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday: 9am to 10pm
Ranted by The Ranter