Tong Yan Gai Hong Kong Desserts @ De Garden, IpohDecember 14, 2010 | 4,682 views
Are you seeing Yellow? Somehow, the place brought to mind Hui Lau Shan, that famous chain of dessert outlets in Hong Kong. But not quite …. read on to find out why.
Before any of you starts to bend over and pick up brickbats and stones, and ready in position to hurl at Motormouth for neglecting his roots, let me share this piece of (not-so)new discovery back in Ipoh. At De Garden to be exact, and if you’re scratching your head wondering why has Midvalley’s The Gardens been fancily-spelled as DE Garden instead …. I rest my case. =_=
Anyway, Tong Yan Gai (loosely translated as “Chinese Street”), or better known as Hong Kong Desserts is one of the newest addition to De Garden’s repertoire of cafes and restaurants. Lost count now …. I think there might be at least 20 of them congregated into one centralized hub for your food and retail needs.
Aside from Strawberry Moment Dessert Cafe and Tutti Frutti, this has to be the next designated dessert cafe here, though there’s another Fruity Land (or something) that also serves various savoury items.
A set up not unlike the usual char chan teng (Wong Kok comes to mind, naturally), the seating area inside of Hong Kong Desserts isn’t your best bet if you’re in a large group.
Read on to find out their ambitious venture into the Hong Kong desserts scene; possibly the first in Ipoh. And why they still have a long way to go ….
A Mango Pudding filled with nectar-ish mango reduction within (RM5.90/USD2)
Coincidentally, this was also the first time I met up with two of the admins for the All About Ipoh Facebook page, since its inception … or maybe, since I was duly appointed as one myself sometime beginning of this year. Yup, DT himself appeared for the meet up, as well as Mashi Maro; the latest addition to the family. Ironically, none of us have ever met, though DT inadvertently bumped into me clowning around town a few times before.
One of my most memorable moment back then was tasting the exquisitely done, yet simply refreshing “Yeong Zhi Kam Lou”, a pleasant mix of mangoes and pomeloes with sago in the sweet soup. (RM6.90/USD2.30)
With no idea on what to order from their menu; consisting of mostly desserts separated into several categories like Signature Desserts, the Snowy Ice creations, Steamed Milk Egg White varieties, and even several stewed desserts (or boiled, maybe) as well as hot ones. For food, they only have light bites like fried chicken, fries and such, as well as egg tarts and puddings.
Price-wise, nothing that requires monthly installment nor mortgage of your properties. The priciest item on the menu was a stewed bird’s nest with red dates, at RM18.90 each.
Now you tell me if those jelly-like strands look like bird’s nest to you? (RM4/USD1.30 each)
We ended up ordering desserts of almost the same hues; a golden/yellowish tinge overwhelmingly messing up with my white balance; in addition to the not-so-helpful fluorescent lighting from above. So pardon me if the shots make you all sleepy and serene like watching a sun sets at dawn …
Mango Combe (RM6.90/USD2.30) – Another mango shaved ice creation, but seemed unmemorable enough to warrant an order. Try the others instead.
Aside from the mango pudding (cloyingly named “Sweet Heart Mango Pudding”) the other mango delights did not even leave an impression. Not even the bird’s nest egg tart (the normal one at RM2 each, the premium one at double the price), or the supposedly one of their signature; Mango with Pomelo Sago. Really needs to look into the matter of over-diluting the concoction with ice cubes floated on top, and the severe lack of pomelo to begin with.
And people, whatever you order …. DON’T go for the steamed milk egg white with ginger! (RM5.90/USD2) You’ll thank me for that.
Of course, seeing a whole range of steamed milk egg white (also termed “Xiong Pei Nai”, a famous Macanese dessert; you can read my Yishun post to find out the BEST there ever was) had me excited, for this is probably the first place in Ipoh serving the delightful dessert.
Whereas the usual steamed milk would have a velvety smooth texture, almost to the point of half slurping and half eating the custard, the one at Tong Yan Gai has a long way to go. But that still was not my main gripe. Just like how in Macau/Hong Kong they have this combination named “Kiong Jap Jong Nai” …. (wait for this) Ginger Syrup Crashes into Milk (hehe, sorry crudely done I know …), at Tong Yan Gai they have this too.
Just not in my wildest dream did I expect a failed crash. Or accident, if you’re more of the morbid type. Pungent sting from the ginger syrup (think there was no sugar involved here, purely ginger water) in a puddle on top of the milk custard. Failed miserably, I had problem finishing the whole portion.
Tong Yan Gai @ De Garden – They also have Papaya Boiled in Milk, Black Sesame Paste, and even a papaya stewed with hasma (you know, the Fallopian tubes from a snow frog?)
Long way to go before people can take them seriously. But winning card in hand? Come CNY 2011, you’ll see the overflowing crowd swarming every single outlet at De Garden. I just knew this, and sad to say … I might be another of those ‘coming home to Ipoh and yum cha at night at De garden‘ come the festive season. Whatever it is, I seriously hope we can see better quality restaurants at De Garden, instead of half-hearted attempts.
TONG YAN GAI (HONG KONG DESSERTS)
GR-2, De Garden,
No 3, Persiaran Medan Ipoh,
31400 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
Telephone : 605-548 7300
*De Garden is an area packed with retail stores and eateries directly opposite of Jusco Kinta City