The Warm, Delicate Pastry That Brings Me Back to Hong Kong

March  6, 2018

Every so often, we scour the site for outstanding recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature—this warm, delicate tart brings community member checker back to traveling in Hong Kong.

Of the all places I’ve had the good fortune to visit, I consider Hong Kong my favorite city. From eating noodles while standing at street-side vendors to the five-star restaurants rapidly appearing throughout the city, there is always a culinary adventure waiting.

We had breakfast at a small bakery most mornings, where coffee with cream and sugar was a cup that contained of three shots of espresso, heavy cream, and simple syrup. And French toast was a battered and deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And at the pastry counter, you could find small tarts filled with a sweet and light egg custard.

Bet you can't just have one. Photo by Bobbi Lin

It took some research to figure out what those wonderful little pastries were: pastel de nata. Originally from Portugal, these egg custard tarts traveled to a variety of former Portuguese territories, including (the now autonomous territory) Macau, near Hong Kong. Over time, Hong Kong welcomed the tart into its own cuisine.

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I find myself craving the pastel de nata this time of year—their warmth satisfies late winter’s lingering chill, while their delicate pastry and flavor are enticing reminders of approaching spring. They’ve become a favorite treat, and a perfect way to relive the memory of visiting Hong Kong.

Do you have a recipe that's been passed down in your family? Or one you want to make sure your future generations make? Let us know in the comments and it might be featured as one of our heirloom recipes!

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  • Niknud
  • marian

Written by: checker

Someone once said, "the wise man knows that he knows nothing at all." Therefore if I spend my days seeking knowledge than I am simply trying to be a better fool. Hopefully I will eat well along the way.


Niknud March 9, 2018
These are so, so good. Was lucky enough to try one, not in Hong Kong but during the day trip my father and I took to Macau. My only (not really) regret was that I was so stuffed from the delicious Portuguese meal we had in a hole in the wall restaurant (ox tail stew! fresh sardines!) that I could only eat half of one. Remember distinctly wishing I had more room in my stomach.... On another note, I agree that Hong Kong is an amazing city in so many ways. Wonderful food, fantastic public transportation, stunning views of the bay, and all the shopping. I am fortunate that my father lives there and we can go visit occasionally.
marian March 6, 2018
Did you read my mind? I was just searching for this particular sweet, and hete is the recipe.