+ two varieties of egg tart
+ staff handles baked goods
After visiting half a dozen bakeries in Chinatown, I found it here at Kowloon - egg tart with short crust base. All the other bakeries offered only the puff pastry variety (some looking sadder than others) but I've always been a fan of the short crust base. Imagine my delight when I finally found it here at Kowloon, and they look perfectly formed! Not to mention oh so tasty.
The other positive is that the staff handles all the baked goods so you know the food stays relatively hygienic.
Ever since my first egg custard tart in the foodie wonderland of Hong Kong last year, I've had a hankering to find one closer to home that hits the same spot. If I hadn't had that specific treat in mind I'd have been in big trouble, as boy is there some yummy looking stuff in here!
Ignoring the fact that at almost 6ft I felt like more of a giant in there than usual, the tricky part is figuring out the non-obvious serving 'system' which kinda adds to the experience. Basically just push your way over to a server as soon as you see one free, as you won't be beckoned in. Point out what you want (literally) and they'll load you up a box of goodies whilst you go pay at the cash-only till. Pick up your box. Enjoy.
Ok I confess it was actually my housemate that figured that out whilst I was looking around drooling. There's huge choice, both savoury and sweet, and all looks enticingly fresh (not like those places you go in and suspect some things have been sitting there for a week). Also a small seating area at the back though it looks like most people take away.
At £1 a pop the mark-up on the custard tarts versus HK is noticeable but hey inevitable, and we picked up half a dozen to satisfy the cravings! Firm pastry, light custard, not too sweet and with a good amount of wobble, so I'll definitely be hitting this place again to taste test some more. For now though I still have 3 left in the box to deal with before my housemate gets home... mmm.
They adon't put it in individual plastic wrap which is annoying.
Alot of choices but they didn't have the ones I wanted
Actual bread is pretty good, but i dont think its as good as delicious patissiere
Great selection of baked goods here, so many to try!
On my last visit we were just in and out, which I really appreciated as the place was full of people waiting for their pastries. The workers were efficient in the process. And everything we got was quite tasty!
I love this bakery!
The quality of Kowloon's pork buns and sausage croissants is excellent. The dough is light and pork filling is super sweet - making the perfect pork bun! However if you are westerner you may be shocked by the sweetness of Kowloon's pastry. A lot of Asian breads tend to be very sweet. However, if you can get past this - you will be able to enjoy these little delights!
Kowloon reminds me of many Asian bakeries in Singapore and Australia.These types of bakeries are littered everywhere in Singapore and Australia! I was determined to find one in London, because I missed these bakeries so much! By comparison to Singapore - Kowloon is just as good!
You have to try this place next time you're in Chinatown. I certainly will be going back for more!
I have a bit of an inferiority complex. I am good at shopping in Tesco, I know how to do it -- but anywhere else I feel inadequate. Especially in this place -- because it's a bit bizarre.
Firstly; when you arrive in the door, you get ignored for about six minutes.
But you're not allowed to grab at the food yourself, they get it for you.
And eventually they notice you.
But you're a dumb ignorant English idiot, like me, so you don't know the name of what you want or what's in it --- so you do the pointing thing.
You point at the thing.
They pick up the wrong one.
You point at the other one.
They think you're retarded.
You get what you want, they put it in a little bag and they give you a little slip of paper to take to the cashier.
You hand over the slip, but they want the food item instead. Unless;
You hand over the food item.
In which case they want the slip.
And you're just pathetic. You have no idea how to buy one of those round things with the seeds with the stuff in the middle.
But they taste so nice.
And you keep going back.
I never know what to order when I go to one of these Chinese bakery type places. Most of them just don't seem right, as neutral and unbiased as that sounds. And whenever I go eating with my Chinese friends, it's almost always for dimsum or real food. But then last weekend I met just the right person; a fine Englishman, who wanted to run home in anguish after the London Pride parties in Soho made him borderline claustrophobic. "Would you like to pick up a Cha Siu Bau?" he asked. "Would I what...?" I replied, and in instant recognition of my Chinese bakery evangelist, I jumped at the idea and him lead us (there were seven of us) to Kowloon on Gerrard St, which was teeming with even more human flesh than Soho.
We wriggled our way into Kowloon as we received half baked greetings from the demi attendants who were not amused by the mass intrusion of what looked like decisively low revenue targets. An aggressive Chinese woman asked us what we wanted and before the answer was attempted in full, there was a paper box taped up with a threatening bill for a little lesser than £10.
The appearance being one of an overglazed bun, I still couldn't figure out what the big deal was. The first crunch revealed sweet bread, the sweetness coming from the glaze, which as an afterthought was just about right. Sweet tenderloin oozed out of the core of the dough which an elegance almost characteristic of the finest chocolate fondant I've had in Paris. The cornstarch from the sweet syrupy sauce played in my stomach for a minute reminding me of the steamed cousin of this baby I'd had, albeit inadvertently ordered, in Chinatown, Manhattan a few years ago. Loved, loved it!! I'm a fan!
The chinese totally know how to stuff their bread.
I am reviewing the cake takeaway section of Kowloon, not the rather generic looking buffet restaurant of the same name next door.
I love looking in through the window at the treasure trove of Chinese buns and cakes just to whet my appetitie. There is a small cafe seating area but most people come for takeaway.
The space just inside the door where you place your order is rather cramped and it can be sometimes hard to see what is available in the myriad trays. However, the queueing is generally good-natured if a little po-faced at times
There are some savoury pies that will do for a light lunch like beef curry puff and some dishes that are usually dim sum dishes like savoury meat croquette. To be honest, the lovely flavours and textures are lost a bit in translation but try something new and you may be pleasantly surprised. For the sweet-toothed, there are cream cakes but I would recommend trying some Chinese delicacies like Chinese custard tarts and sesame seed balls.
The girls serving you the food will give you a bag with your goodies and a bill, which you pay at the door.
Worth a look for a treat and light lunch!
First off, this review concerns the buffet portion of Kowloon.
Reading previous reviews, I assumed this restaurant would at least be bearable.
I was woefully mistaken.
Entering the dim, slightly dirty establishment, we had our first doubts regarding the quality of the "food". Motivated by previous comments on Yelp, we soldiered on and found ourselves quarantined in the back corner away from all other recognizable signs of life.
Although we were excited about the buffet aspect, we were unhappily met with signs informing us, a la our grandmother, stating that if we didn't finish the food on our plate, we would be punished and charged a "food wasting" fee.
This proved a genuine challenge when we found the food to be utterly unpalatable.
I do not mean to be witty -- this stuff was nasty.
As I recall, amongst all of the soggy fried badness, there was only one green, yet seemingly brown vegetable to be seen. And what unhappy "broccoli" it was.
Ultimately, not only were my expectations of this well reviewed restaurant thoroughly belied, but I'm convinced that the other reviews were written by family members of the owners.
Do yourself the personal favor of frequenting one of the many other restaurants in the area and save yourself the heart burn / ache.
You can thank me later.
The display of sweet baked goods always lures me in, I just can't help walking in for a treat.
I have fond memories of this place as my late aunty used to be good chums with the owner, as a kid I was fortunate enough sample EVERYTHING! (:
They definitely have the widest selection of buns & cakes in Chinatown, sesame balls, egg tarts, pork buns etc etc.
As already mentioned, it can get busy in the little corner of the bakery, just make sure you've decided what you want & take your pick. The hustle & bustle is normal!
As the above says... Ignore the buffet restaurant next door which seems to be mainly tourists eating sweet and sour chicken. The shop itself is a tea room and a takeaway place.
The cakes and buns are always fresh. Both my BBQ pork bun and egg custard tart was still warm from the oven. A nice light snack meal for around £2. There are other items such as plain doughnuts and pandan cake.
The payment system is a little eccentric as you receive a slip with a price which is handed to the cashier for payment.
I love buying my croissants here at Kowloon. They just have that distinct, yummy taste that I really like. And that pastry that seems to melt in your mouth (I forgot the name of that stuff). I have no problems coming back a few times more.
I'm doing a review on the Bakery part of Kowloon. My husband and I love this place, I have been coming here with my dad since I was a little girl and it really hasnt changed very much over the years.
The bakery on the left side is still small but they always have a lot of fresh goodies coming out of the oven and a lot of yummy selections to choose from. The best things to get here are the Red Bean Moon Cakes (and my husband says anything else with red bean in it), BBQ Pork Buns and Coconut Custard Bread, sooo yummy especially when they have just come out of the kitchen.
Prices are very reasonable and they always pack the goodies in a box for later, or you can just eat them and walk! We can't wait to go back to this place, Kowloon Bakery DONT CHANGE!!!
It's difficult to take a step back when one has tasted perfection. So is the sad case between me and the egg custard tarts at Kowloon.
I hold all Chinese egg tarts (dan tat) to the standard set by Golden Gate Bakery in San Francisco. I want a delicate, moderately eggy custard, not over-sweet, with a nice, flaky crust that seems to be on the verge of submitting entirely to the yellow joy encased within.
These did not hold up. The crust was too thick and pie-ish. The custard, too thickly congealed and devoid of the taste of the chicken fruit I assume was used in its creation.
I also had a crispy red bean bun which was tasty... But honestly, is there actually a way to screw that up?
As a non-European visitor to London, one of the most frustrating things about visiting this amazing city is finding an decent and inexpensive place to eat while on a tight budget. Fortunately, London's Chinatown seems to be the neighbourhood my family and I turned to whenever we did not want to spend more than £7 on a dish. I came to this Chinese bakery recently with my friend and we got a few snacks.
We got some Daan Taat (egg tarts), Gai Mei Bau (Cocktail bun), and some Coconut tarts. Each piece was around 90 pence, which is fairly inexpensive for an expensive city like London. The Daan Taat was pretty good, tasted almost exactly the same as some of the best Daan Taat in Boston's Chinatown. The Gai Mei Bau was also pretty good and a couple pieces could make a filling breakfast. Inside was fairly sweet and the bun itself was soft and chewy. It tasted almost exactly the same as some of the best Gai Mei Bau in New York's Chinatown. As for the Coconut tarts, they were also pretty tasty, and I enjoyed the sweet coconut flavour.
I also came back for a second visit to get a Cha Siu Bau (Roasted Pork Bun). It was probably the most expensive version I had to pay for it (about £1.70), but this is London. However, it was fairly big compared to the versions I had back in Boston and about the same size as the ones I had in Toronto and New York City. The bun was pretty tasty, soft and chewy on the outside, and meaty and flavourful on the inside of the bun.
Overall, this is a pretty good place to get some inexpensive Chinese bakery staples in London's Chinatown, and I would probably come back again if I do not want to spend more than £4 on breakfast or lunch.
Incredible Chinese bakery in the Chinatown mall. The pork buns are excellent, along with the sponge cakes with and without filling. Most items are £1.50 or less. There isn't a queuing system, you have to push in to get served! Great for a budget late night snack.
It's so hard to find a proper Chinese bakery in London because it's not like where I live near Los Angeles where there's hundreds of Chinese bakeries vying for my custom. However, one place stands out in London. If you want fried dough, red bean buns, or sausage buns, go to Kowloon restaurant.
This place has so many pastries to choose from that I haven't gone through every one of them! It's reasonably priced and they have a good portion of drinks to compliment your pastry, including coffee-tea!
Kowloon Bakery is an institution, and the frenzy of the queues of people - Chinese and other - trying to order some pork buns and sweet lotus cakes are proof of it.
They make all manner of pastries, sweet and savoury. Slide in the front door, try to keep your place in the group of customers yelling out orders and pointing at the shelves, and you'll leave with some exceptionally tasty treats.
They've recently renovated and expanded the bakery.
Food is good value but not a great selection, adequate for a lunch though and can't complain at only £9.95 a head.
staff are rude I will admit, hovering around table is off putting, but like I say, good for the money.
Well I promised my girlfriend I would cook her dinner tonight. However, what with alot of recent excitement in and around my flat, I didn't actually find the time to shop for delicious fresh food for my delicious fresh girlfriend (forgive the crass analogy, just turning phrase for your pleasure!) so after we did some shopping in Chinatown, I said I would take her to an all you can eat buffet. What followed was a dark chapter in my life as a restaurant connoisseur.
Chinatown is an exciting place, especially for a first timer like me, but I was insistant on finding myself an all-you-can-eat as opposed to other restaurants where I couldn't eat myself to insensitivity for relatively cheap prices.. I eventually came across this place for Â£8.50 a meal and I was, as I usually am, easily satisfied. Pulling my girlfriend in, I asked for a table for two and was led to a table for eight and just placed there. Slightly perturbed, I took my seat but was told to in fact sit in a specific two-person bit of this eight-person table. Interesting...
So I sat down. I was immediately asked what I would like to drink and I waited to see what my girlfriend wanted - simply because of the unwritten rule I employ when dining with a girl.. always let them order drinks first. I always get tap water (restaurant drink prices are just criminal) so that it doesn't make me look cheap when I order tap water after they order themselves something exciting.. however, at this restaurant, they told me that tap water wasn't an available service.. the menu listed everything from water to fizzy drinks at Â£1.50 and I thought Christ, that's expensive. I decided (unwisely, as it turned out) to order the same as my girlfriend, Green Tea. It also was Â£1.50 but had free refills so i thought, awesome! So before I went and got myself some food from the buffet, my tea was on my table but too hot to drink..
Green Tea Temperature : Piping Hot
So I went and helped myself to some food. I was looking forward to this bit but I ended up feeling quite disappointed. They had alot of choice for the little commodities like prawn toast, seaweed, prawn crackers etc but as for the main food I am sure other places in the past have offered me at least double the amount that the Kowloon Restaurant does. With three types of staple (thinner noodles, normal noodles and rice) I chose my usual.. normal noodles with lots of meat. I was tucking in with my girlfriend when she, in her beautiful way that means she cannot be horrible about anyone or anything, said 'these noodles are a bit.. special' and laughed. She was right on the money.. an odd, almost soil like taste followed a mouthful of these noodles. I was a bit perturbed but the texture was still like normal and mixed with meat, it was bearable. The salt tally on my body was increasing sharply though so I turned to my drink for refreshment but..
Green Tea Temperature : Piping Hot
This situation had become a bit too annoying for my liking and, gasping for appropriate refreshment, I was backed into the corner of getting myself some mineral water. Expensive, I thought, but the perfect accompaniment to this salt festival in my mouth. What I ordered and what they bought me though appeared to be very different things. I expected half a litre of nice cold mineral water. What I got was a warm bottle that had less liquid in it then a can of coke does. It managed to fill a single cup to the brim and that was it. Having drank this (it took me all of 6 seconds to do so) I turned to my girlfriend and asked her where the rest of my god damn water was! She didn't appear to know either.. so through a series of events, I was pretty fuming. In the end though, it did manage to get slightly worse.
Green Tea Temperature : Piping Hot
Having finished my meal, I reclined my chair with a full belly and was slightly less peeved then before. My girlfriend thanked the waitress in Chinese for her meal and luckily she didn't catch my glowering glance as I let her and the waitress know exactly what I thought of the meal. The waitress, in turn, was disappointed in me for taking some duck meat off the bone from the buffet cart and not managing to consume the bone itself.. for this I was so sorry, I must have left my shark dentures at home! I was charged Â£2.10 for leaving these bones on my plate and instead of arguing like I wanted too I just left so that I could tell my girlfriend, and anyone within about ten feet of us, what I thought of that restaurant. If you couldn't quite hear me, I was the one with the air turning blue all around me! I am not coming back to this place... I recommend that you don't either.
Green Tea Temperature : God knows because I didn't get to drink it!
I was distracted by the pork buns at a Chinese restaurant, but my friend pulled away saying "the best ones are over here." After enjoying the Kowloon goods, I'm apt to agreed. Red bean paste buns, bbq pork buns, and more filled our takeaway box. Prices range from 1-3.50. You pick what you want, pay cash (and only cash) at the counter, and walk away with a big grin on your face as you anticipate the delicious food.
yes the staff are rude there - they're fed up with the customers who wont move aside for other customers - just get out of everyone's way and you ll be fine! :-) When they found out that I am deaf, they were extra patient with me explaining which is which :-)
Don't trust the labels (they are so disorganised) - DO ask the staff which is which - once I pointed at the buns, ending up bringing home the wrong ones!
The buns there were always great - the drawback is that they go hard in a day or two so don't order a lot of buns if it is for yourself to last a few days or even a week!
Yum. Kowloon Pork buns.so good I dream about them. Cheap too, like everything in this bakery! People will happily cue up to buy all manner of goodies from this place, if you taste the goods you'll understand why. If I am in the area I can't help but to drop by and spend the last couple of quid in my pocket on these porky fluffy pillows of loveliness!
Authentic Chinese bakery in the heart of Chinatown, this is quite an institution. Small and unassuming, it has recently had a customer-friendly refurb adding a buffet restaurant next door. This place used to famous for its abrasive Chinese service but has mellowed out recently! Nevertheless the cakes and pastries are delicious and the finest you will find in London for Chinese baked goods. Its all about the Char Siu (BBQ Pork) buns. Be warned, they're addictively tasty...
Restaurant - buffet, but with very poor selection, brusque service and huge amount of bone/gristle in the meat. Poor quality overall, however the chinese tea was good.
Bakery - used to be a lot better than it is now - as a previous commenter has said, buns were dry and a bit lacklustre. Much prefer the cakes in one of the supiermarkets down Gerrard Street further.
This place is terrible, I was hurried along and I ordered 2 egg tarts and was given a price slip immediately. I wasn't given a chance to look at or order anything else while my girlfriend was rudely shoo'ed to the side to make way for some unnecessary shelf adjustments. The egg custards were not good, the crust was hard and the custard was passable. Service is clearly lacking in the place and they'd care less if they had my business. I took my business elsewhere for buns.
decided to do a taste test of the pork buns of here vs. golden gate, and I do prefer here better. sweet savory is a good ratio, no gristle or fat. back in the states, we can get these in chinatown for $1. prices would be better in london if all the numbers listed were 1:1
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