Shun Heung Yuen pastry factory
As I was growing up, I loved all the Chinese-style pastries packed into small little bags, simple packaging yet so tasty. Sesame biscuits, egg rolls, Ma Zai and many more. Do you remember seeing the label "Shun Heung Yuen"? I am amazed that this everyday brand is right on our doorstep. Shun Heung Yuan, the only Chinese pastry factory left in Hong Kong has been around for 35 years. Every day at dawn, a couple of elderly pastry chefs start their day at work. Their owner Uncle Ma originates from Chiu Chow, a hard working man who was determined to start his own business, and insists on keeping the production line in HK to have guaranteed standards and quality. He uses a light canola oil to ensure Ma Zai doesn't have an oily taste.
The pastry chef responsible for these popular sweets is Chef Yeung, nicknamed Grasshopper because of his kung fu connections! Looking at him, so fit and able, it’s difficult to imagine he's been making pastries for more than 40 years. He takes care of the end to end production, from mixing the dough, to rolling it flat, cutting and dicing it carefully into even pieces, and then frying them at a high heat before submerging them into the sugary mixture. All this can't be achieved without having a strong physique. Or maybe it’s doing this for 40 years which has given Grasshopper his strong physique! He told me that years ago he was having to manage three jobs a day just to help bring up his family.
Nowadays he is able to devote all his energies to the pastry-making and usually makes between 60 and 80 sets a day. He feels so proud and pleased when customers mention how much they loves his Ma Zai. The amazing spirit of old Hong Kong.