Everyone knows that cheese is basically a food group, and an important one at that. There are so many ways to eat it – you can toast it in a sandwich, turn it into fondue, it’s even great in cake. Heck, you can gnaw it right off the block if you like. But now there’s a new player in the formaggio-lympics, and it’s a real game-changer.
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tarts are landing in Sydney and Melbourne, and you cheddar get excited. These creamy delicacies are cult favourites in Asia, and it’s not hard to see why. Made with three different kinds of cheese in a shortcrust tart shell, they’re crunchy on the outside and gorgeously soft on the inside. We’re talking serious melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Plus they taste completely different hot or cold, so we recommend trying both (at least once – but we bet you won’t be able to stop at just one!).
These cheese tarts are going to be bigger than Brie-oncé, so keep an eye out for them in World Square and Melbourne Central. In the meantime, we talked to founder Tatt See Ghaw to find out more.
Thanks for chatting to us. Can you tell us a bit more about your background and how you ended up at Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart?
I’ve been in the hospitality industry since my university days, where I had a Taiwanese concept drink shop in Melbourne University’s student centre.
I launched ST Group in 2011 and have brought several Asian food favourites to Australia, such as NeNe Chicken, PappaRich and iDarts. I’ve been wanting to bring Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart to Australia since its first store opened in Malaysia – I knew it was a food trend that would work for the Australian market.
As you mentioned, baked cheese tarts are already an Asian food favourite, with stores in Shanghai, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia, and their popularity only continues to grow. What are the origins of the recipe?
The crafting of the recipe for our Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart has been a long process. We went through countless rounds of trials before settling on the final recipe. We knew it needed to be perfect as Hokkaido dairy has such a distinct, delicious flavor – it wouldn’t fly with our customers to make an average tart. It had to be perfect. And it is! Our customers throughout Asia will happily attest to this! Now we manage to bake the tart using Aussie cheese!
Tell us a bit more about the flavour of a baked cheese tart and what makes them so delicious.
The recipe is top secret – but what I can tell you is that we use three different kinds of cheese to create that special cheesy flavour.
Three kinds of cheese – count us in! What goes into making the perfect baked cheese tart?
You have to get the right ingredients – we use top-quality cheese and bake our tarts in-house every day so they’re fresh. Also the baking technique and timing play a crucial role.
Baked cheese tarts can be served warm, at room temperature, cold or even frozen. Which do you prefer and why?
I prefer fresh from the oven. You can’t beat that molten cheese. It’s messy, but worth it.
When you’re in the mood for something a bit different, where do you like to go for a great meal in your area?
I love a burger, and trying all the boutique burger joints popping up around is Melbourne is always an experience for me.
Other than that, the brunch places in Melbourne are fabulous for their food and coffee. Nothing beats that for me on the weekend.