A while back, a friend gifted me some Tai Cheong Bakery egg tarts that she spent 20 minutes queuing for, and that was a lull day. The buttery crust and not-too-sweet egg custard caught me by surprise at the first bite, as I am frequently skeptical of egg tarts. Nowadays, I only eat egg tarts from Tai Cheong Bakery.
When I heard they opened a sit-down cafe, or cha chan teng (read: Cantonese for casual eatery) at Holland Village, I knew I had to visit. At the Holland Village outlet, there is a separate queue for takeout egg tarts; you may not place your order at your seat as each diner is limited to maximum of 2 tarts when seated. Needless to say, I had to order one tart to eat, and a dozen (from the dedicated Tart queue) to take home.
Apart from their renowned egg tart, Tai Cheong Bakery boasts Hong Kong cha chan teng mains such as instant noodles and rice dishes. Certainly, being the greedy foodies we were, we ordered 3 mains to share.
First up is the Scrambled Egg Toast Stack with Chicken Chop ($9.50). The creamy eggs went nicely with the buttered thick toast that is crisp on the toasted edge and soft inside. However the chicken chop was out of place and surprisingly dry. I suggest just sticking to the plain version.
We really wanted to try the beef and truffled mushroom rice but it was sold out that day, so we opted for the Three Eggs Rice with Roasted Pork and Prawns ($9.90). This is essentially an overpriced cai fan (read: Economical Mixed Rice in Singapore) with a large omelette, vegetable, char siew and prawns. This is not a substitute for Japanese omu rice if you’re thinking in that direction.
The next item we tried was the Beef Brisket Curry Rice ($10.90). The people in Hong Kong are serious about their beef briskets; you can find it cooked many ways in braises and curries and even soups. I had high expectations for this curry, and while the taste of the gravy and texture of the beef did not disappoint, I hated the potatoes that were big and tasteless. Perhaps it would have fared better in smaller pieces. Served with rice, this is a filling main course. My other gripe? The rice is too hard; I am much more a fan of soft rice, so this didn’t work for me.
All in all, I enjoyed my meal at Tai Cheong Bakery , and found the price point very reasonable for (1) the area, (2) the cha chan teng concept in Singapore, which typically have their dishes above $10 at least. I would encourage going early to snag a seat, or risk queuing!
Tai Cheong Bakery Cafe