How much would you pay for a premium Hong Kong pineapple bun? Pricey treats at market spark online debate

“It is not an ordinary pineapple bun – it’s a very expensive pineapple bun,” another wrote.

But Tai On Coffee & Tea Shop, which ran the stall, defended the pricing of their premium-range products which are a twist on the traditional version, noting that its egg tarts included unique flavours such as Hong Kong-style milk tea and taro coconut milk with sago, while its pineapple buns were filled with matcha chocolate or white chocolate.

Another staff member at the stall said there was a misunderstanding on Friday as people took pictures of a price tag displayed next to a plain bun on the cabinet, but in fact they would only add the fresh fillings after receiving an order.

The Post observed that the price tag had already been removed on Saturday.

Responding to online comments, the shop said their ingredients were imported from overseas with high costs and the pastries were handmade without machines.

“We used matcha powder of high quality from Japan, and white chocolate from French brand Valrhona,” confectioner Hedis Fok said. “We also take steps to make sure the chocolate is smooth and put whiskey in the white chocolate, which adds layers to the taste.”

Confectioner Hedis Fok puts the finishing touches on one of the pineapple buns. Photo: Sammy Heung

They expected to sell 200 egg tarts and 36 pineapple buns per day, she added.

Staff also said the pricing of the pastries was similar to what was found at their physical shop in Yau Ma Tei, which is a mix between a cha chaan teng and a cafe.

The Urban Jam Festival, organised by the Lee Gardens Association, brought together around 50 businesses including Tai On, vintage clothing shops, barbershops and tattoo artists with stalls set up along Kai Chiu Road, Yun Ping Road and Pak Sha Road in Causeway Bay.

Yvonne Ma, 40, who works in the marketing sector, said it was the best weekend market she had seen since the reopening of the mainland China border with Hong Kong following the pandemic, lauding its lively atmosphere and the thoughtful choices of businesses.

“For other weekend markets, the shops can be commonly seen across the city,” she said.

“At this festival, the businesses we see here are start-ups of great quality, but which may not have the ability to rent a retail space at a good location.”

Ma said the pricing of the food was “reasonable” as it was comparable to other weekend markets in the United Kingdom or United States.

“I think it is not just about shopping, but to chat with creators in Hong Kong, which I enjoyed the most,” she said.

The festival will be held during the two weekends from May 17 to 19 and May 25 to 26. It is also one of the events under the government’s “Day x Night Vibes @ 18 Districts” initiative to promote the distinctness of the city’s neighbourhoods.

Brain Wong, a 30 year-old retail worker, said it had been a long time since he saw such a big crowd on the streets.

“There are many eye-catching elements such as tattoos and barbershops,” he said. “They make the festival more carnivallike, unlike the other markets that only have food and dried goods.”

Alison Lau, a 24-year-old clerk from Guangzhou, said it was worth visiting the festival but it was not so different from those organised on the mainland.

She said the HK$45 pineapple bun was out of her budget.


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