The quintessential street snack known as Gai Dan Zai, directly translated meaning ‘little chicken egg’ aka. Egg Puffs, Egg Waffles, Bubble Waffle or Eggettes, is one of Hong Kong’s favourite treats. Plopped in a paper bag and fresh off the grill, your first bite should have a crispy exterior and an airy, moist lower half. A good egg puff is pipping hot but impossible to stop eating.
Thought to have come about in the 1950s, it is said to have been invented by a shopkeeper who couldn’t sell broken eggs. Instead of leaving them to waste, they mixed the eggs with a touch of flour, custard powder, evaporated milk and a sprinkle of sugar which is then poured then into a waffle maker. The iconic shape only came later, created by who? That’s a mystery.
Between original, chocolate, matcha and all the other flavours available today, everyone has their favourite. You can find decent and moreish egg puffs on just about any street corner, but here’s a list of real standouts.
Tai O Charcoal Grilled Egg Waffles
One of the last stores to use the OG charcoal grilling method, if you want to take it back to the 1950s, this is the place to be. With a slightly smokey flavour and crispier outer layer, these egg puffs are as famous as they get. Also made in Uncle’s signature get up: wife-beater, socks with sandals and sunglasses.
Where: 59 Kat Hing Street, Tai O, Hong Kong
A franchise that gets it right every time, Mammy pancake even have a Michelin recommendation to back them up! They specialise in creating unique flavours with the freshest ingredients like green tea with chocolate chips, sweet potatoes, and match with azuki. Their branches can be found all across Hong Kong.
Where: 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
Not your typical egg puff, Oddies Foodies pair their waffle treats with a good helping of ice-cream. Like a match made in heaven, the warm egg puff and cold scoop really do the trick! With their long list of inventive waffles and ice creams, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Where: G/F, 45 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2750 2111
Look them up: www.facebook.com/oddiesfoodies/
Master Low-key Food Shop
Not so low-key with a line around the block. These egg puffs are well worth the wait and never disappoint. They’ve got the classics down to a fine art.
Where: Shop B3, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan.
Look them up: https://www.facebook.com/-1446624562283257/
Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Ball
Another Michelin recommendation for the list! Kee Keung Kee offers up a crisper bite and a sweeter batter. A little pricier than your average street vendor, but well worth it for those with a sweet tooth.
Where: 492 King’s Road, North Point; 178 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.
Eat With Me
A little quirky, a lotta fun. Eat with Me’s egg puffs take shape in both sweet and salty flavours. Their creative recipes include curry chicken to a wide variety of ice cream flavours. The way they’re served up, you’ll want to snap a quick pic!
Where: Shop D, G/F, Nga Chi Building, 12 Sze Pei Square, Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong
Look them up: www.facebook.com/eatwithmehk
So, which egg puff tickles your fancy most? Are you original, no questions asked? Or a little bouji with ice cream and decorative fruits?