CHEAP & GOOD

Pastries that pop

Leung Sang’s egg tarts (in front) boast a buttery, flaky pastry and creamy egg custard.
Leung Sang’s egg tarts (in front) boast a buttery, flaky pastry and creamy egg custard. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

With new bakeries, cafes and restaurants opening almost every day, it is easy for older brands to lose their shine.

I believe it was at least five years ago that I first tried the pastries at Leung Sang Hong Kong Pastries when it was located at Sago Street in Chinatown. It was love at first bite with its Hong Kong-style egg tarts back then.

Fast forward to July this year and while walking by a stretch of shops in Jalan Membina by chance, I do a double-take when I spot Leung Sang.

I find out from the staff that this is the only Leung Sang shop left, as both its Chinatown and Bukit Merah outlets have closed.

  • LEUNG SANG HONG KONG PASTRIES

  • Block 18 Jalan Membina, 01-06 (MRT Exit A)

    Open: 7.30am to 8.30pm daily

    Info: Call 6271-6056

    Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I don't think twice, and buy an egg tart in a heartbeat. The tart, as with every other item in the shop, costs $1.20.

The familiar flavours of the creamy egg custard and buttery, flaky pastry hit me instantly. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and I am bursting with joy.

I scrutinise the other items available and am happy to see that they are pretty much the same as before.

The roasted chicken pastry, which is similar to char siew sou (char siew in a flaky pastry) served in dimsum restaurants, is another of my favourites. The generous chicken filling is fragrant and, like the pastry, not overly sweet or dry.

A new favourite is the lotus paste century egg pastry, a popular item in Hong Kong. It is something I wouldn't normally order, but after trying and liking Peony Jade's century egg mooncake for the recent Mid-Autumn Festival, I give this one a shot.

Of course, Leung Sang's version can do with a lot more century egg - one of my colleagues could barely find it in her pastry. But I can forgive that since it is only $1.20, and the smooth lotus paste is not too sweet. Plus, it's available the whole year round.

There is also a small selection of bolo buns with a buttery crust - plain, custard and curry. Surprisingly, the curry filling in the curry bun is spicier and tastier than I expect, but I find the flavours jarring with the slightly sweet bolo bun crust.

I'm not particularly fond of the other buns, but then again I'm not really a bun person.

The shop gives a free pastry with every purchase of 10 items, packed nicely in its signature yellow box. Since I have rekindled my lost love, I guess I'll be buying these pastries by the dozen.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 11, 2015, with the headline 'Pastries that pop'. Print Edition | Subscribe