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Grandma's Tofu Pudding
Photograph: Natasha Tang

Where to find the best tofu fa outside of Hong Kong Island

Old school mom-and-pop shops that serve the best bowls of silky-smooth tofu pudding in the city

Written by
Time Out Hong Kong
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Certain sweet Hong Kong classics are always within reach, whether its pineapple buns, Hong Kong-style French toast, milk tea, or egg tarts. But others, such as tofu fa, have increasingly become harder to find. 

Tofu fa has been around for over 2,000 years and was the result of a search for an immortality elixir during the Han dynasty. While Hong Kong tofu fa is usually served with sweet syrup and brown sugar, you will find different variations around China that include tapioca, red bean and peanuts, as well as savoury ingredients such as chilli oil, garlic, and soy sauce. Southeast Asian countries have also put their own twist on it. Malaysia's version involves gula melaka (palm sugar cane syrup), or a sugar syrup infused with pandan, while the Philippines will serve its tofu pudding with tapioca and arnibal (brown sugar syrup) or strawberry syrup. Vietnam's adaptation will vary per region, with the tofu pudding being served with jasmine-infused sugar water in the North and with lychee and coconut water in the South.

While you may still be able to find the sweet beancurd pudding at certain yum cha restaurants, nothing beats an old school mom-and-pop store that has been around for decades. Whether you're looking for a refreshing reward after a hike or just a simple taste of nostalgia, here are eight of the best places outside of Hong Kong Island that will give you that warm (or cold) treat you are craving for. By Natasha Tang

RECOMMENDED: If you're looking for more sweet treats for the season, check out our roundup of the best Easter bakes and cakes

  • Restaurants
  • Tai Po

A legend in the neighbourhood, Grandma's Tofu Pudding has been around for over twenty years and specialises in all soy products, from soy milk to soybeans. The store is small but conveniently located on the main street leading to the market, so grab your choice of hot or cold tofu fa ($9), add a dash of sugar, and enjoy on a bench near the playground. 

 

  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Sham Shui Po

Another local joint serving soy products made from scratch. Kung Wo Dou Bun Chong is known for its silky tofu fa with ginger sugar, soybean milk, and tofu squares with fish paste (dishes don’t cost more than $10). The shop has been around for decades, and what may have originally started as a soybean factory has now become the destination for all soybean ingredients needed for cooking.

 

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  • Restaurants
  • Tai O

A tour of Tai O village wouldn't be complete without a stop at Zheng Kee restaurant. The fishing village may be known for its shrimp paste and dried egg yolks, but you will also find multiple shops selling tofu fa. Zheng Kee stands out from the masses by offering a sweet bowl of tofu fa topped with ginger, along with unobstructed views of the charming stilt houses.

  • Restaurants
  • Sai Kung

Whether you're looking for a refresher after a challenging hike around Long Ke Wan or are making your way towards the Ham Tin and Tai Long Wan beaches in Sai Kung, a stop by Oriental Restaurant and Bar in Sai Wan Village is a must. The beachfront restaurant has a back deck with open water views, the perfect spot to cool down and enjoy a bowl of sweet tofu fa.

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  • Restaurants
  • Kowloon City

Yee Heung Bean Product Company is a no-frills shop catering soy products for decades. Located in Kowloon City, the shop is popular among the locals and a go-to place for tofu fa and fried tofu in the area. The service may not be top-notch, but the silky soy products make it worth it.

  • Restaurants
  • Tsuen Wan

Aunt Lin – the owner of Tai Mo Shan Kiosk – is somewhat of a legend in the Tai Mo Shan area. The family-run business is conveniently located towards the bottom of Tai Mo Shan Road and provides a well-deserved post-hike refreshment stop to all those mastering Hong Kong's highest peak. Her kiosk, which serves delicious tofu fa, freshly made soybean milk and snacks galore, is considered a landmark in the area. Originally located a little further down the road, the business had to move after losing a bid on the kiosk, which is now occupied by another refreshment store. But because of Aunt Lin's active involvement in trail running races, both the trail running and local communities have stayed as dedicated customers.

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  • Restaurants
  • Lamma Island

With only a tarp serving as a roof, this open-air restaurant is the pit stop you'll need on your way back from a hot day on the beach. Located along the Lamma Island Family Walk, away from the main street, this little cafe has been able to stay as one of Lamma's best-kept secrets, solely serving creamy tofu fa and soybean milk. Fair warning, the cafe is located near a catchwater, so be ready to have mosquitoes as company.

  • Restaurants
  • Vegetarian
  • Lantau Island

While most people flock to Ngong Ping to see the Big Buddha, the Po Lin Monastery is also worth a visit, not just for the Buddhist Monastery itself but also for its food. Next to the Main Shrine Hall, you will find the Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant, offering seasonal dishes as well as a snack bar serving dim sum, noodles, glutinous rice dumplings, and of course, what the kiosk is the most known for – a delicious bowl of tofu fa with sweet syrup and sugar.

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