Gourmet Trips

There’s no pineapple in 菠萝包

Waiter, there’s no pineapple in my 菠萝包 (pineapple bun)! In June 2014, the Hong Kong Government listed the pineapple bun as a part of Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage.

There’s no pineapple

From top left – Hot cross bun 十字包, cocktail bun 鸡尾包, the classic pineapple bun 菠萝包, charsiu pineapple bun 叉烧菠萝包。

A pineapple bun 菠萝包 is a kind of sweet bun predominantly popular in Hong Kong and also common in Chinatowns worldwide. Despite the name, it does not traditionally contain pineapple; rather, the name refers to the look of the characteristic topping (which resembles the texture of a pineapple).

But as the consumers taste shifted from sweet to savoury, the pineapple bun faced its first crisis from the invasions of the savoury buns from Japan. Over time, there’s been many variations on the common theme. Cafes around Hong Kong start to add charsiu, pork, slabs of butter (the famous 菠萝油), and other savoury into the buns.

The cocktail bun (鸡尾包) is said to have been created in the 1950s in Hong Kong, when the proprietors of a bakery resisted the wasteful disposal of unsold but perfectly edible buns. The solution was to incorporate these buns into a new product to be sold fresh. The day-old buns were ground up, with sugar and coconut added in, to create a tasty filling mixture; fresh bread dough was wrapped around this mixture to make the first filled “cocktail bun”.

A hot cross bun (十字包) is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins, marked with a cross on the top, and traditionally eaten on Good Friday.

Honolulu cafe

Honolulu Cafe (檀島咖啡餅店) is like any typical Cha Chaan Teng in HK serving a variety of fusion cuisine such as milk tea, French toast, instant noodles, pineapple bun, scrambled egg with toast and etc, and is a short distance from Wanchai MTR station. It is my regular stop for their flaky, delicious egg tarts.

Egg tarts fresh from the oven

The egg tart is really fresh and absolutely delicious. The crust is buttery, crispy and flaky while the egg custard is soft and smooth. However, the health conscious wife finds the custard too sweet.

Packing for home

When you’re in Hong Kong, the egg tarts at Honolulu Cafe is a must try. The buttery crust is both flaky and crispy while the egg custard filling is silky smooth. They do have other pastries like sponge cake, donuts, pineapple bun, paper cup cakes and etc but their egg tarts are the best. There’s a take-away counter for pastries, very convenient to grab one freshly baked egg tart and eat it on the go.

Braised beef tongue rice

Honolulu serves cha chaan tang style food in their cafe, and for lunch I always order their braised beef tongue rice.

Lunchtime crowd

The place can get really packed during lunchtime.


Honolulu Café Hong Kong 檀島咖啡餅
G/F & Mezz Floor, 176-178 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai (Wan Chai MTR Exit A4)
Tel: +852 2575 1823


Date Visited : May 2019

1 comment on “There’s no pineapple in 菠萝包

  1. Pingback: “Pineapple Butter, Ice Lemon Tea Little Sugar” – live2makan

Leave a Reply