You know how much I love the Chinese bakeries. I mean how much pleasure is it right to expect for 80 CENTS? 80 cents! When I started out the day with a a dze bao dan go (below) still hot from the oven, I didn't think it could get any better.
Well, for the princely sum of a dollar, man can you get a mouthful of satisfaction.That's one whole dollar:
Let me introduce you to "Dan Tat and Po Tat" translation of Chinglish: Egg Tart and Portugese Tart.
Chinese Egg Custard Tarts and the Portuguese Tarts called Pasteis de nata.
The new Great Taste Bakery and Cafe at 63 Beach Street is a welcome addition to the Chinatown dining scene. It's one of those things I barely want to share because once you try it, you'll be hooked and I will be running the risk of finding my pastries sold out. But I have to share it with you - what else are friends for?
The Chinese dan tat ("Dahn" "Ta-" the second t is not really pronounced, more of a stop sign than a consonant) is a thing of beauty. The custard is very light almost like a flan barely set. The pastry is said to be either a shortcrust or a flaky pastry. Forget about shortcrust. Flaky is the way to go. There's something so intoxicatingly enjoyable about the flaky layers of pastry, similar to a very light puff pastry, shattering and sprinkling the front of your shirt that only makes the experience of eating one more enjoyable.
The Chinese are said to have acquired their love for these tarts in the 1930's or '40s from the British. And the Portuguese may have brought these to Hong Kong via Macau. In my research that's about as definitive as the explanations get. If you see these on a dim sum cart, be sure you're in a good place before ordering them. The worst in the world is an old rubbery custard and a sad crust.
Two dan tat and two Po tat (above) and (below) a single Po tat ("Poe Ta") see if you can count the layers of pastry. Impossible!
When we picked these up today, they were hot from the oven.
Two Po Tat and two Dan Tat. Close up. Can you see the blue sky reflected in the yellow sun of the Dan Tat?
My unprofessional baker's opinion is that these are made with lard for the pastry since butter would not yield the same flaky crust.
I believe the Po Tat has a bit of coconut milk and is clearly caramelized, but don't be fooled it is light as a feather, too.
All this love in a couple of heavenly bites for the earthly sum of $1.00.
How cute are the little choco mice cakes?
Tray of PoTat.
Great Taste Bakery and Cafe was also reviewed by the Phoenix' Robert Nadeau who ate in the Cafe and didn't save room for dessert (silly boy). See his review here.
Know what's even better? I just remembered there's one leftover! Bye for now!