SITTING on a corner of Victoria Street on Penang Island is Ming Xiang Tai, a famous bakery and pastry shop with over 30+ years of history. The original shop is along Burmah Road, and though this one is a branch outlet, it is no less popular. Just outside is a quaint mural of a boy and a girl reaching out of a window as they attempt to get some goodies from a wicker basket at the back of a (real)bicycle.
The shop is housed in an old double storey shoplot. The wooden decor gives it a rustic, old-world charm.
We entered to the lovely smells of pastries fresh out of the oven – enough to send us into an uncontrollable mouthwatering, even though we just had breakfast! Cute little baked goodies sat on a tin tray, their glossy, glazed surfaces shiny and golden, radiating heat.
Chinese pastries sat behind glass displays, and a long line of customers was already snaking to the front counter as people pointed out the morsels they wanted. In the background, boxes of packed goodies lined the wooden shelves, while proud posters proclaimed the house specialties.
One of the staff delicately brushing the pastries to give it a golden sheen.
Unbaked goods waiting for the furnace to roar them to life.
There is a cramped space behind with wooden chairs and tables, where patrons can sit and rest.
Fluffy white pau (buns) waiting to be put into the steamer.
Bamboo shutters painted over with promotional wordings and pictures provide shade from the glaring Penang sun, keeping the interior of the shoplot cool.
The place is famous for its egg tarts. They also carry crispy yam puffs, siewpau (barbecued pork buns), pandan salted egg pastry and wedding cookies (lou por beng). The egg tart was absolutely delicious, with a nice, flaky outer pastry and soft, gooey egg custard center. The custard had just the right sweetness to go along with the slightly salty pastry, which, as you can see, was delicately done in many layers. Quite messy to eat, but oh-so-good.They used to be called ‘Trishaw Egg Tarts’ because back in the days, they were peddled on trishaws.
Keep an eye out for some cute landmarks around the area, such as the pink tank replica with cats on it directly across the street from Ming Xiang Tai.
Ming Xiang Tai Pastry Shop
26 Gat Lebuh Armenian
133 Jalan Burma
Tel: 04-227 9880
Opening Hours: 8am-11pm