The queues for Bake Cheese Tart at Ion Orchard and Tai Cheong at Takashimaya have subsided slightly, but I used an app to get someone to help me purchase, so I didn’t queue. According to the lady who queued for me, she said that the queue for Tai Cheong was longer. Chiobu, who also queued for Bake, said it took about 20 minutes at this time. A friend’s friend actually kept returning to queue for Bake. So what is the attraction?
BAKE Cheese Tart Singapore
2 Orchard Turn, ION Orchard #B4-33, Singapore 238801
I was invited to their opening but I didn’t not go, preferring to purchase them myself to give an objective review. Bake Cheese Tart originated from Hokkaido. The cheese mousse is made from three different types of cream cheese from Hokkaido, and the pastry undergoes a two-step baking process. It costs $3.50 a piece. In addition to the Orchard Ion outlet, Bake will have another outlet at Westgate, opening on 17th Oct.
How is the tart which costs as much as a plate of chicken rice? It’s delicious! The crust is sweet, cookie-like, cripsy and slightly fluffy. The cream cream is just very, very slightly sour to give it a wicked twist. In Bangkok, the cream cheese flows (see below), which make the tart visually appealing, but Singapore’s version has no flow, but tastewise, it shouldn’t be different.
If there is a 20-minute queue, it’s worth it. But anything more, time is precious. Don’t waste your life.
Tai Cheong Bakery
391 Orchard Road, Takashimaya Basement 2, Singapore 238873
T: +65 8223 1954
Tai Cheong Bakery 泰昌餅家 first opened in Hong Kong in 1954. It gained fame when the last angmoh Governor of Hong Kong called them “the best Egg Tarts in the world.” There are now 14 outlets in Hong Kong.
In Singapore, it costs $1.90 for one, and $7.60 for a box of 4. The Singapore outlet takes pre-orders for a minimum of 10 boxes. Call the number above.
The young lady who queued up for me said the queue was longer for Tai Cheong because all the grannies were there. Lol! She, an undergrad, said that young people would prefer Bake while the older generation would like Tai Cheong. I like both Bake and Tai Cheong.
Tai Cheong’s tarts are fantastic. Compared to Honolulu Tarts, another famous Hong Kong egg tart that has opened in Singapore, the two Hong Kong egg tarts are very different. TC’s shell is very sweet, firmer, and more cookie-like, whereas Honolulu’s shell is flakier, more tender, more pastry-like. TC’s egg custard is also sweeter, and firmer, and more traditional, whereas Honolulu’s is almost molten and less sweet. Both TC and Honolulu are very good; I can appreciate them both. If you’re more traditional, you would prefer TC. But if you’re younger, you’d like Honolulu.
In my research for Tai Cheong’s history, I came across CNN’s article which includes Tai Cheong Egg Tart Recipe. I don’t usually cut and paste because I respect the integrity of hard work behind the article, but since recipes are not copyrighted, and my site is not for profit, here it is:
Tai Cheong’s egg tart recipe
Evaporated milk 2 teaspoons
Egg Custard Filling:
Evaporated milk 200ml
Pre-heat oven to 150°C.
1. Mix all pastry ingredients into a dough.
2. Refrigerate for 2 hours, and re-work it before use.
3. Portion the dough into small balls, to fit into tart shells.
4. Pour the egg custard into shells, and bake for about 20 minutes at 150°C.
Egg Custard Filling:
1. Dissolve sugar in boiling water, and set it aside to cool.
2. Stir in other ingredients.
3. Sieve the mixture and refrigerate it for 30 min.
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Written by A. Nathanael Ho.