Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Egg Cake or Eggette, Chinatown, London
Bet you didn't know that, huh?
All along, my friends and I have been calling this an Egg Cake, because the little ball-things look like small eggs. Then, I tried Googling it to find out what it's called, and whaddya know, it actually has a name!
An eggette is a kind of spherical pancake or ball waffle popular in the Cantonese-speaking regions of China, including Hong Kong and Macau. The food item is also referred to as an egg puff, bubble waffle or by its Cantonese name, gai daan jai and is made from egg, sugar, flour, and light evaporated milk. They are best served hot, and often eaten plain. They can also be served with fruit and flavors such as strawberry, coconut or chocolate. They are sometimes referred to as "Hong Kong cakes" in Chinatowns across America, especially in New York.
Anyhow, when the husband and I first moved to London from Manchester, we came by the Egg Cake Man in front of the Golden Gate Cake Shop in Chinatown. We bought one, enjoyed it very much, and then kinda never happened to find the Egg Cake Man again.
Then, sometime a few weeks ago, we happened to go by the more secluded bit of Chinatown by the NCP (kinda where Jen Cafe is), and you can imagine my excitement when I whiffed a whiff of the familiar pancake / waffle smell going by my nostrils.
This man was standing there, making Egg Cake for a small child who looked a little more excited than me.
He was really friendly, and for once, I wasn't yelled at while taking a photo, and neither did I have to use the 'divert and snap' method of taking photos for this blog. We started a conversation about where I'm from, and how his friend used to have kaya for brekkie, and so he started using them in the egg cakes too. Then, more and more customers started requesting for the kaya version and also asking him where he bought the kaya from.
I stood there watching him as he poured the egg mixture batter onto the lower part of the machine, and then with a swift turn of the handle, the other side of the machine was coated with the same batter that would have swirled around, creating a bubble cake.
I was wondering how he'd put the kaya into the eggy bubbles, and he himself must have pondered that quite a few times, because instead of somehow filling the space with kaya, he just slathered it on to the pancake when it was done.
See the kaya sitting lusciously on top? Mmmm it was good. Like, sweet and warm, yet slightly crunchy when first bitten into, and then soft and chewy. Oh yummy.
And, since people have been asking the guy where he gets his kaya from, I didn't wanna lose out, so I asked him it, and here is it.
This doesn't actually say where it is, but it's from one of the grocery shops on the same row as Four Seasons in Chinatown, on the main row, and it's something like New Loon Moon. The kaya itself is slightly too yellow compared to what I'm used to, but it tastes alright.