First came the cheesecakes from Uncle Tetsu, which hit us in the face in August like a pillowy cloud. Now another popular Asian dessert chain is coming to Sydney, this time with Hokkaido-style baked-cheese tarts.
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart stores are incredibly popular in Japan and there are permanent queues outside in Shang Hai, Brunei, Singapore, and Malaysia. Food company ST Group is bringing the franchise here. It has also launched PappaRich (originally from Malaysia) and NeNe Chicken (Korea) in Australia. The group has big plans for the chain; as this stage we believe it is opening four stores in Melbourne and one in Sydney.
The idea behind the tarts is simple. Like Uncle Tetsu cheesecakes, they aren’t very sweet. They favour the savoury nature of cheese and have a sweet finish. They’re made with three different kinds of cheese and are set in a shortcrust shell – crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle. They’re the melt-in-your-mouth kind of tart.
Hokkaido, Japan’s northern-most island, is renowned for its dairy products; it produces half of all Japan’s milk and 90 per cent of its natural cheese. What we’re getting here will be a close replica, made with local cheese. The tarts taste completely different heated compared to when they’re served cold (we suggest you try both). You’ll know when they’ve arrived, just follow your nose (or the queues).
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart will open at Sydney's World Square and Melbourne Central, QV, Chadstone and Box Hill in Melbourne by the end of the year.