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. Hong Kong

Cantonese desserts you must try in Hong Kong

On our recent trip to Hong Kong, Daniel and I tried as many local, authentic desserts as we possibly could. We skipped the Western desserts with chocolate, and swapped them for red bean soup, eggettes, and egg tarts!

Eggettes (Gai Daan Jai)

Eggettes, or Gai Daan Jai (้ท„่›‹ไป”) as they are known in Hong Kong, is a cute spin on the normal waffles. Instead of the crisscross pattern, you have small semi-spherical balls that make up the waffle. They’re often eaten plain, but sometimes can be flavoured with chocolate, honey, orange etc.

Eggettes from Modos in Mongkok
Eggettes from Modos in Mongkok

Where to find eggettes:

  • Modos ($) Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok
  • Mammy Pancake ($) G/F, Carnarvon Mansion, 8-12 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles ($) No.178 Nathan Road. Tsim Sha Tsui

Egg tart (dan taat)

Of course, all pastries found in the Hong Kong bakeries are to die for, but the egg tart is one of a kind. In Europe, the English custard tart and the Portuguese Pasteis de Nata can almost be considered the predecessor to the Chinese egg custard tart. In the 1940s to 1950s, lots of chefs in Guangzhou (a majority city in China) migrated to Hong Kong and brought the recipe for egg tarts with them, forging the new Hong Kong style of egg tarts.

Egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery
Egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery

Where to find Egg Tarts

  • Pie and Tart ($) - A chain that sells many tarts, not your classical egg tarts though. Some are quite creative - give the purple sweet potato tart a chance! Shop C, G/F, 77 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
  • Tai Cheong Bakery ($) - One of Hong Kong’s most beloved bakeries in the middle of the Central district. 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central

Cantonese soup desserts (Tong Siu)

For my sweet toothed friends, these are absolutely AMAZING. There’s a wide selection to choose from, so if you’re not a fan of peanuts, skip the peanut ones. If you prefer coconut, then get the coconut desserts! There’s everything from rice balls in ginger syrup, coconut in sago soup to mung bean desserts. Where to find these delicious soupy desserts?

Cantonese desserts from Kaka
Cantonese dessert soup (Tong Siu) from Kaka dessert house. Front: red and mung bean soup, far left: black sesame rice balls in ginger syrup, far right: coconut in sago soup

Where to find Dessert Soups

  • Chung Kee Desserts ($) 15 Canal Rd W, Wan Chai
  • Cao Sao Star Dessert ($) 11 Yiu Wa St, Causeway Bay
  • Kaka Desserts ($) G/F, 121-123 Parkes Street, Jordan

Steamed milk pudding (dun nai)

Steamed milk pudding, or double skin milk, is a Cantonese dessert made of milk, egg whites and sugar and can be eaten hot or cold. It is a milk custard which is a bit similar to panna cotta.

Steamed milk pudding from Yee Shun Milk Company
Steamed milk pudding from Yee Shun Milk Company

Where to find Steamed Milk Pudding

  • Yee Shun milk company ($) 63 Pilkem St, Jordan

Mango Pudding

Mango pudding is an extremely popular dessert in Hong Kong, especially as a dim sum (a small bite-sized serving of food) at restaurants. So what exactly is mango pudding? Mango pudding is made up of usually agar or gelatin, mango, sugar and topped up with evaporated milk when served. It sometimes contains fresh pieces of mango inside the pudding. Mango pudding can be found as a dessert at most yum cha restaurants. This makes it perfect for an after lunch dessert.

Mango pudding from Jade Garden
Mango pudding from Jade Garden

Where to find Mango Pudding:

  • Tim Ho Wan ($) Ground floor Seaview Building, 2 Wharf Road, North Point
  • Jade Garden ($) Level 6, MOKO shopping centre, Mongkok
  • Din Tai Fung ($) Level 4, Miramar Shopping Centre, 1320134T Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Tofu Pudding

There are several different variations of tofu pudding (also known as doufu fa in Cantonese), some salty, some sweet. The Hong Kong style version is served with a sweet ginger syrup usually, and sometimes with coconut milk. It is traditionally made in a large wooden bucket and sold as part of the dim sum cuisine, so you will often find this at yum cha restaurants along with dim sum.

Tofu pudding from Po Lin Monastery
Tofu pudding from Po Lin Monastery

Where to find Tofu Pudding

  • Cao Sao Star Dessert ($) 11 Yiu Wa St, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
  • Po Lin Monastery snack bar ($) Ngong Ping, Lantau Island