Egg tarts have been a notable part of my weekends since I was a little girl. My mom would take Ellen and me to the famous Golden Gate Bakery in San Francisco for a batch of egg tarts to bring home after a day in the city. When we eventually moved to LA, we’d pick up a few from the also-famous Kee Wah Bakery after buying groceries. Thinking back, we sure put a whole lot of these golden, flaky, caramelized crème brulée-ish pastries into our little bellies…
Well, the tradition continues now that I’ve moved to Shanghai and there’s a Lillian Bakery right around the corner taunting me with the bewitching aroma of butter and honey every time I pass by. I swear it’s the best egg tart around these parts – my personal favorite at least. And Lillian should know what she’s talking about because her egg tart sleeve states “Original Recipe from the 1800s, Lisbon.” The egg tart was born in Lisbon, Portugal, and introduced into the Hong Kong dim-sum scene in the 1940s via neighboring Macau, a Portuguese colony.
Lillian’s egg tarts are baked fresh around the clock, so chances are good you’ll get a piping hot one, as long as you don’t come at the tail end of the day. I’ve noticed a high turnover rate in the afternoon, but especially around 5pm, Lillian Bakeries everywhere (and there are many) are lining up with young professional women like myself, who know a good post-workday dessert when they smell one. At 5 RMB per tart (less than a buck), it’s the perfect treat to eat immediately or take home to enjoy with a glass of wine.
You could also get a box to share, but sometimes you just want them all to yourself. Below: 2 egg tarts, party of 1, thank you very much.
Lillian Bakery / Wujiang Road, Shanghai