Egg waffles, together with curry fish balls and steamed rice paper rolls (cheong fun), form the holy trinity of Hong Kong street food. Known as gai daan zai to the locals, these no-frills, unapologetically tasty sweet treats can easily be found at roadside snack stores.
The batter, made with ingredients such as eggs, flour, sugar, evaporated milk and more, is poured into a dimpled, double-sided griddle. The result is a “pancake” of hollow, pull-apart egg puffs that are best consumed hot and fresh.
We at Crave love a good egg waffle. We’ve rounded up the best gai daan zai’s in town – from the Michelin-recommended to the very creative – so you can get cracking.
Text by Iris Wong
Lee Keung Kee North Point Egg Waffles
492 King’s Road, North Point
Probably the most well known on this list for being in the 2016 Michelin Guide, Lee Keung Kee now has six branches across Hong Kong (we recommend visiting the North Point branch). Very crunchy on the outside and warm and fluffy on the inside, these egg waffles are of solid quality; though don’t expect friendly service.
The bill: $17
Shop 17, G/F, Leishun Court, 1-5 Haven Street, Causeway Bay
Another egg waffle maker who made it into the 2016 Michelin Guide, Mammy Pancake’s innovative flavours are what keep the crowds piling in. Though the texture isn’t as crispy as others on this list, we do get cravings for its green tea egg waffles with chocolate chips. Seasonal flavours, such as chestnut as well as pork floss and seaweed, are also worth a try.
The bill: $25 for one green tea & chocolate chip egg waffle
Master Low-key Food Shop
Shop B3 G/F, 76A Shau Kei Wan Main Street East, Shau Kei Wan
The misconception of this store being low-key is instantly dissolved as you realise there’ll always be a line, happily waiting, no matter the time of the day. The egg waffle’s thin, crispy outer layer is on point, while the mochi-like centre is full of eggy flavour. Its Hong Kong-style waffles (with generous amounts of condensed milk, sugar and peanut butter sandwiched in between) are also exceptional.
The bill: $16
45 Gough Street, Central
For the adventurous in need of a sugar rush, we recommend Oddie’s signature Night Wolf. This dangerously decadent dessert is made with low fat twisted gelato with butter crumbs, a scoop of gelato-of-the-day, passion fruit panna cotta, crunch flakes, and last but not least, crispy brownie chocolate chip eggettes, all served in one cup. We’ll be back for more of its delectable and photogenic delights.
The bill: $60
Tai O Egg Waffle Uncle
59 Kat Hing Street, Tai O
If we must pick a favourite, this would be it. The sunglasses-wearing “uncle” makes his egg waffles the old school way: using a single charcoal stove. His delicious creations speak for themselves when you see the dedication of those in a long line snaking down to the end of the street in the searing heat, unsheltered. The smoky fragrance and ultra-thin crunch simply cannot be found elsewhere, so the long trip to Tai O (extra points if you hike there) is definitely worth it.
The bill: $15