Discover the star chefs of Saigon’s Chinatown: Hong Kong’s egg tarts and pineapple buns. These cakes are renowned for their rich, creamy flavors and buttermilk scent since they are freshly prepared every day.

A mainstay of the breakfast scene in Macau and Hong Kong are pineapple buns. Residents who like a light morning meal or who like to have the golden-hued cakes as a snack during afternoon tea sessions are big fans of them.

Bánh có những vết nứt như mắt của trái thơm, vàng ruộm, thơm phức mùi bơ sữa. Ảnh: Phong Kiều
The pineapple bun has a golden-yellow color and a fragrance reminiscent of buttermilk. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Kieu

The golden color of the surface, which is peppered with tiny cracks that resemble a pineapple’s eyes, gives the pineapple buns its name.

The baker will add a thin layer of flour, sugar, eggs, and milk on top of the prepared cake batter. The buns take on a blossoming aspect and develop natural cracks during the two hours that they bake.

The pineapple buns, bigger than an adult’s hand, are cut open just out of the oven and stuffed with butter. The aroma of thick buttermilk blends perfectly with the heat of the bun. It is strongly suggested to match the buns with milk tea prepared in the Hong Kong manner, yellow lemon tea, or milk tea blended with coffee.

Bánh được bán liên tục, đông người xếp hàng mua. Ảnh: Phong Kiều
Freshly made buns are stored in a glass cabinet and, upon sale to customers, are packed into paper packaging. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Kieu

The Hong-Kong-style pineapple buns are a hit among diners and are only sold at the Cuu Long Quan store during the inaugural Cho Lon (Chinatown) Food Story in early December. Although the meal is a daily snack for the Hoa people, a community of Chinese descent in Saigon, other tourist groups are curious to try it.

The three-day celebration saw a spike in demand for the pineapple buns, which were priced at VND43,000 ($1.70) per piece. When compared to the average daily production of slightly over thirty pieces when the shop opens for business at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, the first hour of the event saw the sale of over twenty cakes, a significant increase.

Cuu Long Quan’s manager, Hao,

Món bánh đặc trưng Hong Kong 'gây nghiện' khu Chợ Lớn
Pineapple buns are served hot at Cho Lon Food Story festival, December 2023. Video by VnExpress/Phong Kieu

Hong Kong-style egg tarts are more popular than pineapple buns; as a result, they are consumed quickly and there is a line for each freshly prepared batch. Cuu Long’s egg tarts have a smaller diameter and cost VND 43,000 for sets of three.

Made over the course of two days, the dough is mixed with eggs and milk, frozen, then thinly layered, shaped, and then frozen again before being poured with an egg mixture and baked. It is notable for its crispy “thousand-layer” crust.

Made with a combination of eggs, milk, and sugar, this blend adds flavor and a luxurious texture. The egg tarts are aromatic when baked at a medium temperature and retain a creamy egg center that enhances each bite.

Egg tarts are not like pineapple buns.

Bánh trứng Hong Kong ngon mắt, ngon miệng. Ảnh: Phong Kiều
The Hong-Kong-style egg tarts have moist and sweet golden egg filling. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Kieu