They might seem like simple enough streetside snacks, but egg puffs (雞蛋仔 gai daai zai ) – or eggettes, or egg waffles, if you prefer – are not all made equally. Find the best of these baked delights at our favorite egg puff bakeries and stalls in Hong Kong.
Despite the name, this little shop is far from being low-key. There’s a pull-up banner you can spot meters away and unmistakably long lines. But Master Low-Key Food Shop deserves the swag: they are indeed masters in making that crispy egg puffs gai dahn jai ($15), with a half-hollow inside that’s perfectly chewy. And the cafe has mastered more than the texture – their egg puffs have a nice creamy taste as well. While you’re there, be sure to try the very satisfying egg waffles gahk jai beng ($15) with peanut butter, sugar and condensed milk.
Shop B3, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan.
Another big name in the egg puffs business, Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Ball has three branches across the city. The shop’s egg puffs ($18) are slightly drier and crispier on the outside, resulting in more of a biscuit-like texture compared with others. Lee Keung Kee’s egg puffs are also on the sweet side, so if you’re having sugar cravings then these eggettes are the ones for you. The shop, which has recently been recommended by the Michelin guide, always sports a long, long line so prepare accordingly.
492 King’s Road, North Point 178 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
The egg puffs at Modos are just the right amount of sweet, crisp and airy. And if you’re adventurous, the pastries also come filled with everything from melted cheddar cheese to dark chocolate. Although it touts itself as an ice cream shop — and you can get your egg puffs paired with the icy treat — the quintessential Hong Kong street snack is definitely the star of the show here.
Various branches, including Shop A1, 174 Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok, 9196-0393.
Tseun Wan, which is increasingly growing a reputation for its street food, is home to these unique fusion-style egg puffs ($15). The owner of Tsuen Wan Eggette previously worked in a crêpe shop in Canada and brought back some techniques to Hong Kong. Tsuen Wan Eggette offers lots of creative flavors like cinnamon raisins and lava chocolate ($20). How does he get that extra crisp? The owner adds beer into his batter, as well as buttermilk for a taste that’s more reminiscent of Western pastries.
Shop A–1, Fullytech Centre, 18 Tak Hoi Street, Tsuen Wan.
The Wan Chai takeaway shop is famous for their genius idea of pairing egg puffs together with Italian low-fat gelato. The smooth, creamy gelato goes perfectly with a bite of the crispy and tender egg puffs. Always the innovator, Oddies Foodies also puts out highly original and eye-catching concoctions, like egg puffs with pieces of preserved sausages – a surprisingly delicious combination. There is usually a 5- to 10-minute wait, but we say it’s well worth it.
G/F 45 Gough Street, Central, 2750-2111.
The small Sai Wan Ho shop specializes in egg puffs ($15) and egg waffles ($18), and is most famous for pouring in extra batter and letting large crisps form on the edge of the egg puffs. The half-empty egg puffs at Hung Kee Top Quality Egg Waffles are also nicely crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. These eggettes comes in three flavors: original, chocolate and strawberry.
Shop A34C, The 2nd Path, Tai On Lau, 57–87 Sau Kei Wan Road, Sai Wan Ho
The Egg Puff Uncle is a bit of a celebrity in Tai O, making delicious egg puffs ($15) in his traditional charcoal grill while wearing a wife-beater and his signature sunglasses. Not only does he get major points for style, but Egg Puff Uncle also makes one of the most sought-after eggettes in town. Charcoal grilling hugely affects the taste, resulting in a perfect and addictive crisp exterior with a slight smoky flavor.
59 Kat Hing Street, Tai O.
Another Michelin-recommended egg puff ($15), Mammy Pancake is run by a full-time nurse who’s also a gai dahn jai lover. Striving to create the best gai dahn jai in town, Mammy Pancake uses quality eggs from Holland and includes a generous amount of fillings. The menu keeps things a little more interesting with a host of creative flavors – think purple sweet potatoes ($22), matcha and azuki, or sesame and chocolate ($18).
G/F, Carnarvon Mansion, 8–12 Carnarvon Road, Tsim Sha Tsui; Shop 17, Leishun Court, 1–5 Haven Street, Causeway Bay; Shop K1B, G/F, 36 Man Tai Street, Hung Hom.
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[Updated April 2017]