There is this Auntie who loves to shove our mouths with pineapple tarts every Chinese New Year, “This is the best pineapple tart in Singapore, you know. Must eat okay?” Most of the time it ends up as a calorie waster. How do you politely tell her you had better?
Because my take is: If you want to have a pineapple tart, save it for the very best.
For course everyone has their desired best brand. DanielFoodDiary.com has rounded up 8 different personal favourite brands (8 is so prosperous-sounding) – originating from Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and even Indonesia – coming in all shapes and sizes from balls, cakes to tarts.
Le Café Pineapple Golf Balls (Available at 264 Middle Road)
Some food reviewers claimed that “they are the best pineapple tarts” and “the king of pineapple tarts”. These tarts from Le Cafe Confectionery & Pastry, better known as ‘golf balls’, are big, fat and huge – almost the size of a ping pong. If you like your tarts buttery and crumbly, you would fall in love with this. Their balls are heavily packed with home-made pineapple jam which are all manufactured in-house. (Read: Le Café Confectionery Middle Road)
Crystal Jade Bolo Pineapple Tarts (Available at Crystal Jade My Bread AMK Hub, Ngee Ann City, Holland Village, Toa Payoh HDB Hub, Bugis Junction, Suntec City, Yew Tee Point, Causeway Point, Heartland Mall, International Plaza etc)
The very creative Crystal Jade My Bread has R&Ded ingenious pineapple ‘bolo’ tarts ($19.80 for pack of 16). Imagine the bolo bun in a bite-sized tart, with the same crumbly goodness, centered with delicious pineapple jam. It is just amazing how the entire texture of the tart feels exactly like the ‘bolo’ bun, except it is much smaller. Having the best of both worlds, this tart is almost unbelievable and extremely addictive. (Read: Crystal Jade My Bread Bolo Tarts)
Mei Xin Goods of Desire Mahjong Pineapple Tiled Tarts (Available at Goods of Desire Clarke Quay and Takashimaya Basement 2)
This box is for Mahjong Addicts, a collaboration between Hong Kong’s Mei Xin Fine Goods and quirky Goods of Desire G.O.D. The mahjong tiles ($38 for 16 pieces) come in a metal box with a padlock (somewhere to lock your ang bao money) with rectangular buttery pineapple tarts individually wrapped in boxes of ‘Fa Cai’ and ‘Hong Zhong’. Mei Xin is already known for their almond cookies and egg rolls, and this will add to becoming THE best-seller.
Rasa Sayang Pineapple Balls (Available at Takashimaya Basement 2, Novena Square and Raffles Exchange)
Big is not always better, and small can have its beauty. Rasa Sayang’s pineapple balls ($18) has a circumference of a 10 cent coin, makes a good ‘pop’ without filling overly guilty. The risk, you may just ‘pop’ ten pieces at a go. These are 100% handmade in their confectionary in Jakarta, following a Dutch inspired recipe using Holland butter for the crust. The butter fragrance does make you feel like you are having kueh lapis at times.
Kele Cake’s Pineapple Tarts (Available at Jurong Point, Causeway Point, AMK Hub, Parkway Parade, and factory at 15 Jalan Tepong, Jurong Food Hub #06-16 Singapore 619336)
Kele Cakes & Cookies’ Pineapple Tarts shot into fame when they won the ‘Best-Tasting Pineapple Tarts’ out of 100 entries in a search conducted by a local mall. They are a family business which has been around for almost 30 years, with the current recipe tweaked through years of experimentation and feedback. Kele has a balanced touch on the tarts – pastry not too hard or crumbly, with generous portion of pineapple jam without tilting to overly sweet or sour. It is yes, just nice.
SunnyHills Pineapple Cakes (Available at Raffles Hotel)
Though there are many Taiwanese branded pineapple cakes in Singapore, SunnyHills ($25 for box of 10) takes the lead for its quality. I have tried many Taiwanese pineapple cakes. But these made with Nantou’s indigenous pineapples, New Zealand butter, Japanese gourmet flour, and plump-yolked eggs where the chickens listen to classical music, are buttery fragrant and pleasant tasting. The jam has a mellow sweetness without being overpowering. (Read: SunnyHills Singapore Raffles Hotel)
Sweet Musings Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes (Available at Star Vista)
You won’t miss this huge machinery at this shop with chefs at work, churning out goodies which show that the Taiwanese delights are not imported, but made fresh within the store at Star Vista. Sweet Musings sells Taiwanese pineapple cakes ($22.50 for box of 10 pieces) made in-house. The ‘Lao Ban Niang’ Erica Wang says that she uses only high quality imported ingredients, such as gluten-free ‘super-light’ flour from Taiwan to achieve the texture she wants. The pineapple jam is slightly bitter, not as sweet as the other brands, good for those who likes a lighter touch. (Read: Sweet Musings The Star Vista)
Amethyst Pineapple Cheese Tarts (Available Blk 524A Jelapang Road #02-04 Greenridge Shopping Centre. Tangs Market Basement 1, Takashimaya Square Basement 2, Raffles XChange)
Amethyst Pastry & Cakes claim that they are the first to create the popular cheese pineapple tarts. Of course there are many copycats but few can compare to the original. The cheese on the outer layer adds a tinge of saltiness which makes a fine blend with the sweetness of the fillings. While the pineapple filling may slightly too jam-my and sweet, they got the crust and size right.
The focus of this pineapple tarts series is on commercial brands where you can still get access to. I attest that sometimes the best ones, at home-made by the grannies with love back in the kitchen.
Tell me which is your favourite pineapple tarts, and why. So that I may just buy a box for Auntie and tell her, this is THE BEST.
Other 5 Best Entries
Singapore’s Old School Cake Shops from the 60s
5 Best Liu Sha Bao aka Golden Custard Buns in Singapore
5 Best Hotel International Buffets In Singapore
5 Favourite Zi Char Places in Singapore
5 Best Korean Fried Chicken in Singapore