Pastries with a touch of Hong Kong
YUEN Long, a remote district in Hong Kong, is perhaps off the radar for most tourists.
But for lovers of wife cakes and other Hong Kong pastries, the area will immediately be associated with Hang Heung, the famed cake shop which set up there in the 1920s.
And for them, it might be impossible to walk past a pastry shop or stall in Singapore named Yuen Long (there are six locations, including Block 25 Bendemeer Road, Boon Lay Shopping Centre and People's Park Complex) and not be intrigued.
So it was with me, and I ended up buying and trying all the pastries ($1 each).
Several of them, encased in smooth, flaky layers which fall apart just so, do have a touch of Hong Kong.
The range of pastries extends from the classic (the wife cake, which has a powdery crust and mild winter melon paste, and the ginger century egg pastry, which is gently spicy, slightly pungent and too mild altogether) to the wacky (the mango cake and the pandan salted egg pastry).
Must-tries include the honey-roasted char siew pastry, which is nice and juicy; the salted green bean pastry; and the Yuan Yang, which has two pastes, red bean and yam, in one lovely sesame-topped pastry.
Mr Chris Chua, 40, says he began his baking business with a Hong Kong pastry master about six years ago. About two years ago, he rebranded the business as Yuen Long.
"It's just the name of a place," he says.
Although the master has returned to Hong Kong, Mr Chua says his staff still make the pastries by hand.
But one thing they do differently is that they do not use lard, because "Singaporeans don't like it and lard is hard to find in Singapore".
YUEN LONG HONG KONG PASTRY & BUNS
01-62 People's Park Complex, 1 Park Road
8am to 10pm daily