Monday, July 16, 2012

Tau Sar Piah: Tan Hock Seng vs Mini Toast House - Part 2

It started when my mother announced merely that she had bought some tau sar piah, and showed me a plastic carton of it. When I bit into the tau sar piah, I thought it was from Tan Hock Seng along Telok Ayer Street, and I asked mom when she went there.

"It's from Alexandra Village" she said. I went "Huh? There's a tau sar piah shop at the food centre?" I had not recalled seeing one in the hawker centre itself, and was picturing the old school Chinese bakeries opposite the hawker centre.

But the next time we went to Alexandra Village Food Centre, my mother pointed out to me the stall from which she bought the tau sar piah, and boy I was surprised.

Got newspaper cutting also... don't play play

I will admit that I had never looked closely at the items that this stall was selling, but with a name like Mini Toast House I thought that all it sold was Asian bread and buns! Having bought some tau sar piah from Tan Hock Seng a day ago, I decided to buy few more from Mini Toast House for the comparison.

In terms of size (see first picture above), if you have not already guessed, the tau sar piah on the left is from Mini Toast House, and the one on the right is from Tan Hock Seng.

The salty tau sar piah in the picture above is from Tan Hock Seng. The one in the picture below is from Mini Toast House.

They look quite similar to each other, don't they? Thin layers of outer-shell pastry with about the same amount of flakiness, and moist crumbly interior. I am not a super taster, so with my average human tastebuds, they taste quite alike - the reason I thought the tau sar piah from Mini Toast House was from Tan Hock Seng.

There were only two textural differences between the two that I could detect. First,  Tan Hock Seng's pastry shell was too dry - you'd have to eat it with hot tea, coffee, or Milo etc. - whereas Mini Toast House's was about right. Second, the green bean filling from Mini Toast House was more crumbly, and it stayed crumbly even after being refrigerated for more than 24 hours. In comparison, after refrigeration for more than 24 hours, the green been filling from Tan Hock Seng was mostly stuck together (but not unpleasantly). I do prefer crumbly though.

Pricewise, Tan Hock Seng sells 5 tau sar piah for $2.50. If I remember right, mom said that 5 tau sar piah from Mini Toast House cost her about $3. But whatever it is, I remembered calculating that the tau sar piah from Mini Toast house is cheaper, plus it is nearly twice the size of the tau sar piah from Tan Hock Seng!

In terms of packaging, the tau sar piah from Tan Hock Seng is displayed and sold in plastic bags. Mini Toast House uses this plastic carton if you order five, and gives you a plastic bag if you order less.

As for variety, I think Mini Toast House sells only sweet and salty tau sar piah? I have not really taken stock of all it sells. In contrast, Tan Hock Seng sells a variety of these Chinese traditional snacks... it also sells phong piah, beh teh saw, wife's biscuit, walnut cookies, peanut candy, and heaps of other biscuity things.

If it was just a matter of taste, I think it would be a draw between Tan Hock Seng and Mini Toast House. But bring in texture, size and pricing, and surprise surprise.... Mini Toast House wins!

Mini Toast House is certainly not as well-known as Tan Hock Seng, but do try the tau sar piah from Mini Toast House and judge for yourself.

Mini Toast House
Alexandra Village Food Centre
Blk 120 Bukit Merah Lane 1
Singapore 150120

Tan Hock Seng
86 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 048469
Tel: 65331798
Opening hours:
- Mon - Sat: 9am to 7.30pm
- Sun: 12pm to 4pm

No comments:

Post a Comment