Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tong Heng - The Ultimate and Best Egg Tarts in Singapore

Traditional Chinese bakeries are a rare sight these days, and even more remote outside the confines of our Chinatown. But just on the edge of Chinatown, is this very popular shop that has made its name in egg tarts.

According to its present generation of owners, the history of Tong Heng stretches back to almost a century, and the tradition is very much kept alive today.

Walk into this aromatic place and you will be instantly hit with an assortment of Chinese pastries all neatly displayed in their glass counters.

Ranging from mooncakes, egg tarts to pastry puffs, the display is impressively tempting. Make no doubt about it, there is really a great deal of Chinese pastry history here.

Assortment of Chinese Pastries

You would think that such a traditional pastry shop will only attract the older generation, but you would be wrong as the hour that I was there, I saw mostly young executives in a never-ending queue, lapping up the egg tarts one after another.

The one good thing about Tong Heng is that there are about 3 tables for patrons to consume their gorgeous pastries right there and then. They also serve almond and red bean pastes to help wash down the good stuff.

Gorgeous Egg Tarts

The egg tart is the star of the place and what a beautiful and delicious egg tart this was! The crust was exceptionally crisp and lightly flaky and had this amazing texture when you bite into it.

And the custard was unbelievably smooth without ever being overpoweringly sweet. Every bite had a perfect balance of delicious pastry and creamy filling. Indeed, this had to be Silver Chef's best egg tart to date.

Honey Baked Ham Mooncake

The other pastry that was unique was this interestingly looking honey baked ham mooncake. There were hints of this being handmade as the carvings were not consistent among the different mooncakes.

The taste itself was unique with an interesting mix of sweet and savory. In contrast to the popular and very sweet snowskins these days, this very classic mooncake still had a touch of innovation with its honey baked ham filling.

Unfortunately, the resulting taste was a bit too esoteric for my taste, and to be perfectly honestly, it did taste somewhat off despite the unusual ham filling. Sweet and savory in this case, did not mix well. In this regard, I wished they would have just stuck to the classic lotus paste mooncake.

It goes to show that certain things need not be updated or innovated to remain classic. Tong Heng, while it is heartening to see them trying new things, should remain true to its original recipes and what they are good at, and not try to outsmart the more modern bakeries.

In the end, it is still comforting to see this traditional pastry shop continue to churn out classic Chinese pastries after so many decades and certainly, this range of egg tarts and the like should be heralded both for its classic taste and for preserving the heritage for future generations to enjoy and cherish.

Tong Heng
285 South Bridge Road

2 comments:

  1. Ian, I wonder how you find all these wonderful eateries. My fave are the Portuguese Tarts but wouldn't mind trying these too!

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  2. i have very good readers who clue me in actually, would u like to join me for the next session?

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