Over 5 years ago I used to work in London, and would very occasionally walk down to the Golden Gate Cake Shop in Macclesfield Street to purchase a sweet Chinese bun. From all the varieties available, my preference was for one filled with thick, slightly grainy, butter-yellow custard.
Hong Kong is home to a plethora of similar bakery shops, and they are the ideal place to pick up a snack or light breakfast.
H and I grabbed the odd bun here and there on our travels. I wasn’t able to find one filled with custard, but this plain bun topped with a crunchy sugary layer was pretty good. Online research suggests this is called a bolo bao (meaning “pineapple bun”). There was no pineapple contained within, so I assume the name refers to the topping’s resemblance to the skin of a pineapple.
It shared the same addictive chewy dough as my beloved custard bun. The bread isn’t rich like a brioche, but the subtle sweetness is very pleasant and the shiny surface you can see peeping out from under the coating just cries out to be torn off in large pieces and jammed into one’s mouth.
There are many kinds of bun to try, so you should, though something else to note is that sweet sits alongside savoury in these shops, so if it looks like a hot dog poking out from a bun, it probably is.