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Tai Cheong Bakery: Holland Village vs Takashimaya

It’s been a gazillion years since I’ve posted so I’m dropping by with a quick post on Tai Cheong Bakery while the hype is still going on. If you haven’t already heard the buzz, Tai Cheong Bakery has started a Cha Chaan Teng at Holland Village selling your usual Cha Chaan Teng fare and of course, the all important egg tarts available both for dine-in and takeaway. Takeaway customers can buy up to 12 (or was it 8?) egg tarts while dine-in customers can only buy two per customer. I’ve never understood the need to impose different limits on dine-in versus takeout customers. It’s not like I’m going to hog the seats by buying 12 egg tarts and then sitting there to eat it all at once. It’s like how Tim Ho Wan makes diners do their own takeaway packing… it’s hilarious watching Singaporeans desperately trying to pack their food while hungry people stare at them from the never-ending queue. But let’s not argue with hangry food logic. 

In the span of one week, I’ve tried egg tarts from both the Tai Cheong Bakery at Takashimaya and the bakery/Cha Chaan Teng outlet at Holland Village (Yay festive feasting). Let’s see how they compare. Do note that I wasn’t in the mood to take photos on both occasions (Something is wrong with me :O) So the photos in this post are from other websites, the sources are linked if you’re curious. I’ll keep the photos to a minimum so you are forced to train your ability to read instead of skimming through articles like a virtual picture book.

Photo credits: @Weekendeatwhat on Instagram
Photo credits: @Weekendeatwhat on Instagram

Let’s start with Takashimaya. It won’t take long… because it wasn’t great. It was a disappointment. The crust tasted of cheap butter/margarine and it was overly salted. The filling was the same so that was good. But the tart crust defines the egg tart. I’ve seen the crazy queues, and this was not what I was expecting. Ah well, another hype will soon die down.

Holland Village
I had the Scrambled Eggs on Toast and a Hot Coke with Lemon plus an egg tart to dine-in. I liked the scrambled eggs (but I hardly order scrambled eggs, so I can’t guarantee that my tastebuds are accurate for this dish). But the eggs made the fluffy white toast soggy way too fast. They should serve the toast on the side so you can add the creamy eggs as you go. It was good at the start, but the longer you take to eat it, the more ‘meh’ the dish becomes. If you aren’t lazy, you can make this at home. I ordered the Hot Coke cause I’ve never had coke heated up before. It tasted like coke that was heated up. (Duh).

On a more serious note, let’s talk about their egg tarts. It was good! The crust was buttery and the filling was smooth and not overly sweet. It wasn’t hot when I ate it, but it was still good. It probably would have tasted better if it was hot. I had one there, and bought another 8 to go. (Not all for me if you were judging). I loved the packaging. If I knew what to do with it, I would have kept the box haha.

If you couldn’t already guess… Holland Village’s rendition was way better than the one at Takashimaya! But that’s probably only for this week, since the chef from Hong Kong is here to set up the Holland Village branch and make sure the egg tarts are made properly. Once he leaves, that’ll be the true test of whether Tai Cheong Bakery’s egg tarts will still be any good. After all, it is a business model. A business is only truly successful if it can function (well, if I may add) without the boss around.

tai-cheong-5Image source: GoodyFeed

Honestly though, putting branding and hype aside, I still prefer egg tarts from Imperial Treasure bakery. The crust retains it’s shape better than Tai Cheong Bakery’s. Perhaps they should work on the tart crust so that they don’t absorb the moisture of the egg custard mixture too quickly. No one likes a soggy tart. If you’re more into the flaky pastry version, I recommend Honolulu Cafe at Orchard Centrepoint instead. They do a pretty mean egg tart. Like many of the recent food trends in Singapore, it’s worth a try once, maybe twice or thrice… but at $1.90 for a tart, I’d still stick to Imperial Treasure Bakery/Honolulu Cafe/whichever above-average bakeries you were buying from before the hype came to Singapore.

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