Saturday, September 20, 2008

John King Egg Tart

This week everything goes round. From donuts to tarts, siew pao and pie.

First let's look at the ubiquitous egg tart. It is a must at any bakery.
Since 1965
To many John King has made it uncommon. Being brought up in Ipoh my father used to bring me to the corner dim sum shop (now opposite to McDonald) adjacent to Central Market. It was delicious and I can still remember crumbling pastry that did not suck the saliva dry. It was moist yet not oily. The tart at John King was not smooth and feels a tad (no pun intended) starchy. This is perhaps John King pastries are lard free.

Among the health conscious lard is a no no. I remember an American friend was waxing lyrical about the 'Soong Ko' from a certain dim sum shop. He commented on the texture and the just nice porosity etc. I politely asked him whether he knew why he had the 'soong' (porous, melt in the mouth) kind of feeling. "It's the lard!" I blurted out.

His eyes rolled in disgust as he goes pork and lard free. That's the end of the conversation.

When Chris Patten was still Governor (the last) of Hong Kong he had a stomach for egg tarts! He literally eat himself into the heart of the Chinese, which is in the stomach. His tarts was from Tai Cheong Bakery. And it only costs the equivalent of RM1.50!

However, when he visited in August 2006 to promote his latest book the owner of Tai Cheong came to the Book Fair with a box of his favorite. Guess what, he turned it down. He said his present lifestyle doesn't permit him to eat that. It's the lard! (italics mine).

Egg Tart (RM1.80)
Curry Chicken Pie - not too impressive skin, dry and too much mustard oil (RM3.10)Siew Pao - Seremban's taste better (RM1.60)

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