The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

back to Egg Custard King Cafe and Alice's Tea Cup

I was fiddling around at work last Friday, probably not doing much actual work, when JJ messaged me asking if I were free for lunch.

HELL YES. [cue dancing robots]


It was back to Egg Custard King Cafe for us where we witnessed men in white shirts and pants bring up endless trays of freshly baked egg custard tarts from some mysterious, underground egg custard tart lair to the display counter where another employee would pop them out of the metal tart molds and place them in paper cups before arranging them on plastic trays for the hungry custard-craving public.

That was a long sentence.

side view innards
source of mouth scortching

We noticed a tray of freshly baked Portuguese egg custard tarts, so we thought it best to start with those. These are a real health hazard, folks; the consumption of these tarts resulted in achey burnt tongue and mouth syndrome. BUT IT'S SO WORTH IT! Seriously though, wait for these babies to cool down a bit before sinking your teeth into the silky thickened egg-based mixture. I've inflicted all kinds of abuse to the roof of my mouth and it still hasn't recovered.

sandwich spam and egg
condensed milk and peanut butter, spam and egg

JJ ordered a spam and egg sandwich ($1.75) while I went for the sweet, condensed milk and peanut butter sandwich ($0.75). You don't get much, but you don't pay much either. I assume that the spam and egg combination is a somewhat old Chinese thing (influenced by...COLONIALISM? Like condensed milk) that I never grew up with. Really, I can't recall ever having eaten spam before.

sammich innards

It's pretty good! I won't dream over the pink, raw meat-colored slabs of processed meat on a regular basis, but I'd eat it again. The egg was cooked much better than how I could do it, which goes to show how much I suck at cooking. To tell you the truth, I like my eggs overcooked. I'm fine eating them undercooked too, but I don't care either way, thus I always overcook my eggs for the easiness factor (well...easy beacuse I don't really give a crap about what I'm doing). My condensed milk and peanut butter sandwich was alright, but would've been much better with twice as much CM and wait, five times as much. Yes'm, you know you want it.

salt and pepper squid
salt and pepper squid

We also shared an appetizer that we had spied on someone else's table the last time we visted: salt and pepper squid. From the name alone I wouldn't guess that it's deep fried, but apparently "salt and pepper" is code for deep fried. Alrighty.

squid innards crispy bits
innards and crispy bits

The dish was tasty as most freshly fried things coated in salt and pepper mooshed with crispy garlic bits would be, but it was definitely tougher than most humans would prefer and not cleaned very well either (the tendon-y things inside the tubes that should've been taken out after cleaning the squid were...still in there). Despite that, we happily ate it all. I'm not going to complain for $5.

hot Ovaltine

I finished my meal with a hot cup of Ovaltine at JJ's suggestion. She was surprised that I had never tried it before (she's been surprised by a lot of things I've never god, I'm so not Chinese, it scares me, because then what am I?!) and I figured it wouldn't hurt to try. I think Ovaltine, which is made of sugar, malt extract, cocoa, and whey, could use more sugar and cocoa, but then I guess that would make it hot cocoa. It's a mildly flavored drink that's pleasant to sip, but I can't imagine getting a hankering for this like I would for hot chocolate. Or water.

Our final bill came to $12. Woohoo! Sometime I love being cheap, although no so cheap that I'm living off of ramen and pop tarts. I purposely requested that we not eat much since I had a dinner to go to that night, but it's hard to spend a lot of money at this place even if you are really hungry.

Where did I go that night? Oh ho ho...well, you already know since you read the title. I invited seven friends (Janet, Diana, Nathan, Sarah, Tristan, Patty, and William) to eat dinner together at Alice's Tea Cup on Friday night and thought it best to make reservations. However, I found out that reserving a table for eight or more people meant that everyone had to get the same $25 Mad Hatter platter. I also found out that Alice's is less crowded at dinner than lunch, so we probably wouldn't have a problem getting a table, even as a group of eight. The woman on the phone told me that if we walked in as a group, we could order whatever we wanted...

...But. Um. No. We actually awkwardly got split into three tables (Janet brought three friends, so that worked out for her) since sitting at one table of eight people meant we'd have to go with the fixed price thinger. The table regulation sent Diana, Patty and William to sit at another table that while just a few feet from my table felt more like it was miles away. I was kind of confused, but at least my and Janet's (that sounds grammatically incorrect) combined parties, which ended up being 11 people total, got to take up the whole back room.

back room
back room


We spent about a bagillion years trying to figure out what we wanted. The other table started with some baked goods.

gluten free cupcake
cake a cupcake
gluten free cupcake, and non gluten free stuff

I didn't try any of these baked goods, but I assume they were all agreeable. The gluten free cupcake had a sad, hard, hocky puck-like frosting top that Diana chose to not eat, but she did finish the cake. If Diana eats it, it must be pretty good. She's not the kind of person that would eat food just because it's there. That', me.

salad scone
salad and scone

Diana's chicken salad looked impressive. Even I'd want to eat it, and I'm not a huge fan of salad. She and Patty shared a scone, which you can see comes with cream and jam on the side. Just like scones should be. Hell, other things besides scones should come with cream and jam. Like...all pastries. Even sandwiches. Slather on that cream like it's actually good for your health and not the complete opposite.

Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter (Tristan not included)

At some point, Tristan, Sarah and I decided to order a Mad Hatter tea set to share. $6 per person gets added to the base price of $27, which isn't too bad. Between the three of us we shared four scones, two sandwiches, an assortment of cookies, and a chunk of cake, besides that we all got our own pots of tea. Although everything was awesome (I'll go through some of the items), it was so much freakin' food. As much as we wanted to eat every last delicious carby crumb, we just couldn't do it. And we love carbs! LOVE. WE HEART THE CARBS MUCHLY! It was sad to leave behind such tasty scone morsels behind, but sometimes you have to admit defeat. The tea set destroyed us.

scones pumpkin scone
too many scones

I already knew I liked these scones, but these were the best I had had at Alice's. Why? Because....because. [thinks] Warm. Melty. Buttery. Carb chunks. If you can smell the deliciousness before you taste it, ye know it's gonna be good. Blueberry, vanilla cinnamon, pumpkin, cherry...these aren't the exact flavors (I'm using the receipt, which was written in shorthand, as a guide), but they were something like that. I can't pick a favorite. THEY WERE ALL JUST VERY GOOD, and I hope you trust my judgement enough to use that statement as a reason to eat them. They're pretty huge too; we couldn't even eat one scone each.

curry chicken sammich sammiches

The smashed, streaky remains of a dead fly on this pristine windshield of delicousness (worse metaphor ever) were the sandwiches. No, they weren't that bad, but just like my first visit, I didn't really like them, nor could I even finish my 1/3rd portions. I think it's just my preference in that I don't like these kinds of cold, tea sandwiches (which might be why I avoided eating sandwiches for most of my life). We ordered the "curried chicken salad sandwich with red onion, celery and granny smith apple on semolina with golden raisins and fennel" [takes a breath] and "smoked salmon open-faced with lemon-dill butter on black bread". I liked the curry one more, but that pesky tomato slipped out and the whole thing kinda fell apart after I took a few bites (it was a 1/3rd slice after all). The smoked salmon one in my opinion did not taste like smoked salmon, unless it was some special kind of smoked salmon that was especially hard and...not flavored with salmon-ness. However, it's probably just my taste, as Sarah liked that sandwich. Sarah informed me that it was a CUMIN CARROT SANDWICH, HAHAHAHA...HAHA...OH MY GOD, that makes a lot more sense now. (hangs head in shame)

For me, it's all about the sweets.

cookies chunk o cake (after we ate some)
cookies and cake chunk

Going from top to bottom, these cookies and cake chunk were last in our feast of carby delights after the scones and sammiches. I was too stuffed to fully indulge in these treats, but...I tried. The cookies, which included chocolate chip, chocolate macaroon, gingersnap, and other things I can't remember, were pretty good and I enjoyed the fluffy "mocha chocolate chip cake", which as you can see isn't slathered in frosting. I like frosting, but without it a chunk of cake is kind of like a muffin or other quick bread with more sugar and in slice form...which is totally cool with me since I love muffins. Oh, how I love muffins.


We stared at the remains. Do we eat it? Take home the meager remains? We decided it was best to leave them there since we'd certainly scarf them down against our stomachs' wishes if we did get them wrapped up. Sometimes you have to know your limits.

...Alright, days afterwards Sarah and I were still thinking about how sad it was that we didn't take any leftovers home with us. Oh, the regret.

sammich time

Nathan ordered "alice's BLT with blue cheese spread on toasted black bread". I think he finished it, so it must've been pretty good. I hope his sandwich eating experience was better than mine.

I forgot to mention the tea. In all honesty, I am so not a tea person. It's not just tea though; beverages don't really capture my heart in any way. I love water, but I think that's because I truly need it for my body to function. My description of tea (well, unsweetened and un-milked Chinese tea) is that it tastes like dirty water. Some people might be aghast at such a description (please don't shoot me), but...come on, you leave a bunch of leaves in water and that's supposed to taste good? I don't feel like tea is something you love from day one, but rather force yourself to like by drinking it excessively or from the necessity of needing some kind of simulant/relaxant (which are two functions of tea...depending on what kind it is and how its brewed, methinks?).

teapot tea
oh yeah, the TEA

Anyhoo, I got tea because we were at a tea place. Also, it came with the tea set. I ordered Phoenix Dessert something or other (can't find it online) that was listed as having a bunch of flavors that I couldn't really discern. After adding three packs of sugar, it transformed from "tastes like tea" to "tastes like awesome"! Haha! Cream probably would've made it more awesome. Sarah's chai tea was really tasty (sugar and cream, hooyeah) but Tristan said his tea was tasteless. I didn't try it to confirm, but I'm probably not the best person to do that. Tristan actually likes tea. Actually, just about everyone I know likes tea, coffee, or both

And then there's me. Sitting in the corner. Along. With a pointy hat that says, "WARNING: THIS GIRL DOES NOT <3 THE TEA, APPROACH WITH CAUTION."

humans, not food!

Diana loves taking photos of people (as opposed to food, which is my thing—it's kind of funny how we both love taking photos, but with very different purposes in mind), so...she did. She staged the photo of Patty and William, but at my table we just happened to look like that. For better or worse. Sarah is on my right, which is why you can't see her. MY GIRTH COMPLETELY BLOCKS SARAH! Or maybe that's just the angle.

I didn't realize until I saw Diana's photos that I didn't take any photos of just people. Scones? Yes! Cookies? Of course! Humans? WHA? Not just any humans, but some of my favorite humans! How did I forget? Maybe it's all in here [taps brain].

Or not. I like taking silly staged photos of people ("STUFF THIS COOKIE INTO YOUR FACE!!!"). Seriousness and things of high artistic quality are not my strong points (yeah, can you tell?), which was apparent to me in photography class when we had to present our work to our peers. I noticed that many other people had...messages behind their photos. I told the class that any of my photos that come out good are probably out of luck. Other people had the same idea about their photos too, but really, luck is key. I wasn't trying to portray any deep messages in my photos. I'm not deep. I'm a mere puddle.

...And that was very apparent last weekend. If you think I'm silly on a regular basis (I am, kinda), then mutiply that to the hundredth power and you'll end up with however I was over the weekend. Tristan is a very dear friend of mine from out of town that I first met about one and a half years ago through his best friend Stephanie, whom I've actually been online friends with since 8th grade (and I think I met Stephanie through another longtime online friend who I may meet for the first time this summer!...whoa, is this getting complicated?). Our friendship is mainly online based, so for anyone (like my mum) who thinks two people can't get to know each other really well or develop a strong friendship online...just stop. Most people reading this probably have formed strong online relationships, but there are people out there who are still skeptical that such a thing could happen and it drives me insane.

Oh well. Sucks fer youuu! I'm very lucky to have Tristan as a friend, but didn't realize that until we spent three days together communicating through the power of silliness. What is the power of silliness? It'''ll know if you've done it. It's not having to second guess anything that you say. It's knowing that you can say the stupidest thing in the world and no one will care. It's being able to poke someone in the nose at random times for no reason besides that it's funny. It's knowing that you can repeatedly make insulting remarks as a joke. It's being comfortable no matter what the situation.

...Except tickling. No one tickle me, okay? Unless you want to be kicked or punched by my lack of muscle power. Good.

Just a random note, I've noticed that this wee blog has been getting a lot more hits lately. Not enough to be uber-impressive (or else I might reveal my stats), but...more than before. Thanks for coming by! If you've read this far, I'm happily surprised.


Annie / May 4, 2006 4:49 PM

You're a good writer, you do interesting things and the pictures are extraordinary. What's not to love?

Rich / May 4, 2006 5:23 PM

Yay for more traffic... I say you try to hook up some yahoo ads (since google hath forsaken thee) and CAPITALIZEEEE!~!!

Or something... heheh.

I bet it coincides nicely with study/finals week at colleges across this fine land.

Good luck with your essays and whatnot.

Gordon / May 4, 2006 7:16 PM

You went back to egg custard king??? i dunno the food there ain't all that great. i personally prefer the smaller bakeries around chinatown. But yeah, fresh hot don tots is crazy nice!

Jeanne / May 4, 2006 11:03 PM

Great post, as usual. Your food photography skills are wonderful! I also, do not like tea. It's one of the things that causes my mother to shake her head sadly, along with my unwillingness to drink brothy soups, eat avocados, and eat bitter melon. But I [heart] egg custard tarts! Once, while eating a tart from Golden Gate Bakery in SF I dropped it on the kitchen floor and almost cried. Because it was THAT GOOD.

janet / May 4, 2006 11:37 PM

haha, sorry the whole 'bringing three friends' was kind of unexpected. basically only one of those people was a good friend of mine. but had you been sitting us, you would have had a grand ol' silly time anyways! my lemon-poppy scone was not alice's best! i was shocked! i shouldl've stuck to pumpkin. aaanyhoo, more fooding, maybe with less crowds next time!

Sandy / May 4, 2006 11:51 PM

I really like your writing style!! Your pictures are sooooo....GREAT!!Have a great weekend!!

Kristin / May 5, 2006 12:31 AM

Hey. I discovered your blog last weekend and I think it's AWESOME. I went back and read a lot of the archive, sucessfully wasting 45 minutes of my time. Well, I guess it wasn't actually a waste, because it was totally fun reading your blogs!

As far as the new number of hits go here's my guess. There is a main page that pops up when you first run AIM (unless you're using one of those funny multi-platform meggangers), and they post a link probably once a week to Slashfood. Slashfood in turn wirtes an article about your awesome blog, linking you your actual site. Because of the high traffic on AIM, I'm guessing this may be the source of all your new hits. Sooo, yeah. That's my guess.

Again, I think this blog is awesome! Your photography skills are pretty amazing, I think that was the first thing that caught my eye.

Oh yeah. I'm not a huge fan of tea either, but recently I've been getting some chai every now and again. It just might be growing on me. Grr.

Anita / May 5, 2006 12:58 AM

The reason you're getting more hits might be because of this ( or at least that's how I found you.
And I'm so glad. :D

As another college-aged Asian American girl that eats too much, I find your blog very... guh. Very yummy.
I adore all the pictures you post. Seriously, I'm drooling all over my computer and terribly jealous of all that good food. (I want egg custard. Now.)

Anyway, keep up the great posts! Your writing is hilarious.

Daisy / May 5, 2006 2:16 AM

I can't remember how I found your blog, actually. But it was fun to read, and drool over the pictures the first time so I'm a returning visitor now. I even linked you on my blog. :)

Keep this up! (Gah, I sound like a teacher now haha)

roboppy / May 5, 2006 3:15 AM

Adrien: Thanks! I kinda like this site too. :)

Annie: Thanks for the feedback! There is plenty to not love, but I won't get into that here. TOO DEPRESSING.


Or something. Hm. I want people to just gimme moolah for food! Yeah.

I need lots of luck, thanks! (I do. Oh god.)

Gordon: I like the food! Then again, I don't expect a whole lot for the cheap prices. Mmwell. My salted fish thing was yum.

Jeanne: Ah ha, another un-lover of tea! I'm not a huge fan of soup either. I do like avocados though...could eat em whole. Plain. Delish. Fat.

Damn, that must've been a good tart. I don't think food has made me cry yet. :)

Marianne: Nono, that's definitely the wine. (COUGH)

janet: Nah, it was totally cool! Lemon poppy wasn't so hot? Aw...yeah, pumpkin is always good. But so were the others!

Sandy: Thanks! I'll try to have a great weekend, despite that I have to write a sucky essay in that time period. Hm.

I really like your writing style!! Your pictures are sooooo....GREAT!!Have a great weekend!!

Kristen: I wasted 45 minutes of your life? WOOHOO! That happens to me all the time...damn internets. It sucks up all my leisure time.

Ah, I use one of those multi-platform meggangers (Trillian is sweeet). I did see the Slashfood link though since I check my referrals a lot more often than I should. Yeah. I'M NOT OBSESSED AT ALL.

I wonder what'll happen if I make a post without photos. People will be so...confused.

Anita: Ah, I saw that in my referals too. I'm glad the article brought me some readers! My cousin wrote that article and I told him about my website during a family dinner some...months ago. Kinda randomly. (Well, we were eating.) Good thing I did that...

Sounds like my website needs to come with napkins.

Daisy: Thanks for the linkage! Maybe you did some drunken Internet roaming one night and ended up here? ;D

[0-0] / May 5, 2006 3:31 AM

tee hee (: I visit daily because your words make me happy and giggly (: I think it might have something to do with the way you describe what's happening ...

redrhino / May 5, 2006 5:08 AM

{quote}...I love muffins. Oh, how I love muffins.{/quote}

pssst...pssst...hey, little girl (eye's dart around making sure no one else is looking). Come here (finger waves you over).(speaking in a whisper) So, you like muffins huh? (scans for eavesdropper's, then proceeds to type) Well then, check this out.

But if you do, "BE WARNED"! (dum, dum DUM!) The following link is the equivalent to a cyber tickle. (walks away cackling)he, he, he, he

lori / May 5, 2006 5:52 AM

My god Rob, what's not to love about your site! You're funny, cute, and I'm excessively envious of everything you get to eat. Sigh. BTW, peanut butter-condensed milk sounds good to me. Here in the Philippines, we eat condensed milk on white bread all the time. Mmm.

Backyard Chef / May 5, 2006 12:11 PM

I LOVE your site. I've been lurking here for a while drooling over your pictures and sharp, funny prose....a delicious combination.

I wonder how many pounds I've put on because of you....

good enough cook / May 5, 2006 12:28 PM

You went back to the egg custard place and you didn't blog about the honeydew egg custards???!!!!

How can you do this to me?

Don't you realize that gustatorily-deprived midwesterners depend on you to vicariously satisfy their curiosity and expose them to new taste sensations?

Oh fine--I'll just go eat my brown bag lunch with someone else's blog (there's not a sammich worth paying someone else to make within a mile of my office...)

roboppy / May 5, 2006 12:40 PM

[0-0]: Happy and giggly! SWEET JESUS! Sounds like the Pillbury Doughboy. (poke)

redrhino: Oh my god...MUFFIN FILMS! I've been keeping my eye on that site for a few years, actually. ;) Yes, I am addicted to the Internet. I even have muffin films stickers!...which I never found a good use for.

lori: Thanks! I'm just as envious of all the stuff you get to eat! And you EXERCISE...which is a good idea. I'm gonna die soon, yes.

Joan: I'm glad you enjoy my blog! Don't read back too far though. The early entries are reallly craptastic.

Backyard Chef: Ooo, a LURKER! So nice of you to pop out. As for how many pounds you've put on, what about me? My tummy becomes every so much more preggers-looking with every passing day!

good enough cook: Uhoh, did you see my previous entry? The end of it was devoted to a small egg custard tart tasting. I don't blame you if you overlooked it since I smushed it in at the end, hehe. TASTE THE 'DEW!

I had a (new) sammich for lunch today. full, dammit.

Cassandra Tan / May 5, 2006 1:41 PM

Ok, quick comment about the ovaltine thing, my hubby's grandma? SHE EATS DRY SPOONFULLS OF THE CRAP. It's truly nasty. As for tea? I love it, I even blogged about my favorite, but coffee plain? I can't stand it, but if you add milk and caramel? Ummm the yummy goodness. My sis is a food photog for *insertmaghere* and rubbed off on me, we are both obsessed and think your site is very cool. However I am still in college and have yet to found my fame, but I have found my stomach.

Deb / May 5, 2006 4:35 PM

Craptastic. Ahahaha. You always crack me up, Robs.

Hey, know of any good spots by the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens?

Thanks for saving me a trip to Alice's Tea Cup. ;)

ed / May 5, 2006 5:23 PM

dunno about others, but i found your site through google, and it was ranked pretty high for an independant blog. im guessing google likes you =)

Manda / May 5, 2006 7:12 PM

I really do like your sounds a bit like the way I talk! I found your blog a while back but revisited when your cousin (?) wrote an article on Chinese desserts on

Yay for more egg custard tarts! Oh no no, won't have a giant tart - it disrupts the custard:crust ratio. Must have a gazillion palm-sized tarts incl Portuguese ones! Good gravy, no Ovaltine for me. Tastes like ultra diluted hot cocoa with healthy stuff in it.

From Our Kitchen / May 6, 2006 12:17 AM

Of all the places I've seen (or read about, I guess) you go to, Alice's Tea Cup is the one I want to go to the most. Well, I think... And City Bakery. And maybe Bouchon Bakery. Ok, all the bakeries. I wish we had more bakeries out here :(

lutkie / May 6, 2006 10:26 AM

Hehe...Robyn, I think your dissappointment about Alice's sammiches can be attributed to the fact that we didn't order the smoked salmon. You must have been on the phone talking...but we got the Cumin Carrot!!

roboppy / May 6, 2006 10:41 AM

Cassandra: Whoa whoa...WHAT? Eats...dry spoonfuls? Wuhzuh?! That's hardcore.

Milk and caramel would make most things taste better, I think. :D Hell, I'll just drink milk and caramel.

I'm still in college...unfamed...JUST EATING A LOT.

Deb: Oh man, I dunno ANYTHING in Brooklyn! Hell, I've barely found my way around Manhattan. I should move to Brooklyn so I'd have an excuse to eat there more.

Alice's is worth visiting!..although I usually just get something to go. SCONES!!

ed: Yeah, google loves me! Wee!

Manda: I type the way I speak, somewhat. I leave out the extraneous "likes" though. :)

I'd still want a huge custard tart. A VAT OF CUSTARD! OH YES. And yeah, Ovaltine does taste like diluted hot cocoa, although....not really in the watery sense. More like "hey there's other stuff in this and I gunno what it is."

From Our Kitchen: YES, go to Alice's! And CB! And...yeah...everything!...and LEVAIN, MM, COOKIES! There are too many bakeries to go to. CHINATOWN! MMM!

Sarah: HAHAHAHA OH MY GOD, CRAP. Thanks for letting me know. That sandwich was still weird though!

Mahar / May 6, 2006 4:02 PM

Augh! I love scones! I just moved, so it's been WEEKS since I've had a stable internet connection. I could've used a scone during the interminable wait.

Your pictures are sooo cute. Actually, I find your friend Tristan cute as well. Bwahahaah. I'm assuming he frequents this blog---so I am so dead. The things one does at 4 a.m., finally getting an internet fix.

roboppy / May 7, 2006 5:57 PM

Mahar: Weeks without stable internet? HOLY CRAP. So glad you're back! I dunno what I'd do (well..go insane).

Tristan keeps denying it, but deep down he knows that he's HOT. He's probably flattered by your comment. ;)

Merilla: Thanks!

Aunt J / May 8, 2006 9:43 PM

Please know that even readers in 30's are enjoying your blog.
One of my long-time friends and I are enjoying your culinary adventures tremendously AND reliving our own college years at the same time. BOGO! You could make money at this - I suggest you pitch an idea to The Food Channel.
1) Absolutely - the squid should have been cleaned. Yuck. But isn't the salt & pepper method just great? There is a dim sum house in Sacramento, CA that makes great S & P prawns and S & P spare ribs.

2) My super-spy taste buds can taste the beef broth in Ovaltine and they do not like it. But they do like a Nestle's product called Milo and you might enjoy it, especially if you drop an extra tablespoon of Scharffenberger cocoa powder in it.

3) The grammatically correct version: "Janet and my parties," just in case it happens again.

4) Tristan is adorable.

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