While messing around on Irving Street today (five bags of stuff to Goodwill! I feel so clean!), we stopped in at TC Pastry at the request of my five year old, who enjoys dim sum (somewhat more than I do, actually). There were several items I enjoyed: deep-fried curry puff was good; the pastry was somewhat sweet (seemed to be the case with most of the meat items), which went well with the rich, not hot curry inside. I also liked the chicken pie and the baked pork buns; the stuffed tofu seemed kind of bland, and the shrimp with chive dumplings were too fishy for my taste.
BUT. The one thing that everyone went completely bonkers over were the egg custards. I really love these tarts, so I order them whenever I can. My previous favorites were at Golden Gate Bakery on Grant Street in Chinatown, and (a distant second) Alex Bakery on Clement. These blew those completely out of the water. The crust wasn't as flaky as Golden Gate's, it had a crunchier, shorter texture and seemed more buttery. The filling was what really knocked it out of the park. How did they make a simple egg custard taste so extraordinarily rich and round and full? Some egg custards are watery. This one was supple and creamy, yet without a fatty, gooey aftertaste. I wish I'd ordered a bagful to go, even as I'm writing this I can still taste it. I refused to eat anything else after I had the custard tarts; I wanted the flavor to last in my mouth forever.
Golden Gate Bakery
1029 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133
431 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118
2222 Irving St, San Francisco, CA