Chinese and Portuguese egg tarts are two different variations of the same idea: creamy egg custard in a tasty pastry shell. We decided to try three of the most famous egg tarts in Hong Kong and Macau to see (and taste) which one is the best!
Chinese egg tarts
Chinese egg tarts come in two types of crust: flaky puff pastry traditionally made with lard, or a shortcrust pastry. The egg custard is smooth, silky and shiny. For this battle of the egg tarts, we went to Tai Cheong Bakery in Central, Hong Kong Island and bought their famous shortcrust pastry egg tarts.
Portuguese egg tarts
Portuguese pastéis de nata have a nice puff pastry crust and the egg custard is sweet, rich and caramelised like a crème brûlée. It’s hard to walk past a bakery that sells these without buying one, they look so delicious. As Portugal was a bit of a stretch to travel back and forth from Hong Kong for egg tarts, we went to their former colony right next door: Macau!
We went to two bakeries that are considered to have the best egg tarts in Macau: Lord Stow’s Bakery and Margaret’s Cafe e Nata, both of which had a long line outside the shop. Were they worth the wait?
The Chinese egg tarts from Tai Cheong bakery are generously filled with a silky smooth, mildly sweet egg custard filling. We had to let them cool down a little before eating, as they came straight from the oven. The pastry is crumbly and a little bit savoury, which adds another dimension to the mild sweetness of the custard.
Lord Stow’s and Margaret’s Portuguese (or technically Macanese) egg tarts both have a wonderfully flaky crust. The egg custard is rich, creamy and sweet – a little more custardy and less eggy than Chinese egg tarts. Sweeter as well. Between the two, I prefer Lord Stow’s egg tarts, which contain more of the custard filling – much more than traditional Portuguese egg tarts, in fact.
So who wins the final round?
Although I prefer Lord Stow’s rich and sweet egg tarts over the average Chinese version, Frank and I both agree that Tai Cheong Bakery is the winner here. Their egg tarts are not too sweet, a little more eggy and most importantly: the crust is every bit as good as the filling!
Tai Cheong Bakery
35 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central, Hong Kong