I was in Chinatown again yesterday to tour somebody and what do I stumble upon but Lord Stow’s Bakery, maker of those famous Portuguese Egg Tarts! The outlet in Ongpin was so nondescript and the signboard so unnoticeable that you can walk past it. But then again maybe I was meant to taste the heavenly egg tarts that humid afternoon,with its flaky crust and melt-in-mouth custard that wasn’t too sweet – just the right elements for my perfect dessert. The last time I tasted one was at Lord Stow’s in Banawe close to ten years ago. It is still alive up to now, along with some mall branches.
Lord Stow’s originated inMacau where a Brit named Andrew Stow deftly combined the techniques for making English custard tarts with the recipe for the traditional Portuguese pastry pastel de nata. The egg tarts,which quite resemble creme brulee and our very own Pinoy leche flan, combine eggs, sugar,milk or cream, vanilla and nutmeg. The mixture is placed in a puff or shortcrust pastry, then topped with a dash of syrup or sugar, after which it is baked in the oven to caramelize the sugar.
So this was my modest snack at Lord Stow’s – one piece of the egg tart at P30 and the mahu bun (closely resembling BreadTalk’s floss) at P35. The bakery in Ongpin sells a lot of other yummy products like the veggie pao, the whole wheat chicken pao, assorted sandwiches, pesto pine nut pasta, biscotti, cookies,even puto seko and ensaymada. It’s a wonder how they were able to cram everything in such a small space and still have seats for 10 persons. Lack of space aside,this hasn’t prevented the Chinese (mostly ladies) from hanging out in the cafe; one of the reasons being those heavenly egg tarts!!