Hong Kong: Pontikege (糬波波球)

Bakery: Das Gute 
Address: No.3-006, YATA Department Store, New Town Plaza 3
City: Sha Tin, Hong Kong

We went to New Town Plaza so I could check out MUJI (無印良品) and Snoopy’s World. We grabbed some sweet bread to munch on from Das Gute, which is part of A-1 Bakery that started in Japan:

In 1948, A-1 Bakery was first to establish a distinct lineup of health-conscience and fresh bakery in Osaka, Japan. In 1984, General Manager Mr. MOTONOBU YANAI imported into Hong Kong baked goods that are based on three simple key principles: 1) made only with natural and premium ingredients 2) freshly-baked everyday 3) delicious and nutritious. In recent years, our company has expanded further into the Asia market and is operating more than 50 bakery, Japanese and Western cuisine outlets in Hong Kong at present. Our company is distinctive for delicious, natural, and health-wellness foods always presented in our own originality.

Gute is presented in 2 brands; they are “Das Gute” and “Café Gute”. Both of them inherited the bread making skills from villages in South of Germany. Gute produces a great variety of natural and healthy German bread which contains high fiber. In some of our outlets, we provide dining service as well. This is the good place to spend your time with friends and enjoy a nice cake, sandwiches, salads, pastas, steak and more.

One of my friends loves Das Gute’s pontikege and wanted us to try it! There were different types of pontikege to choose from- coconut, chocolate, cranberry, sesame, and cheese. A piece was $4.5 HKD, while a bag of 5 pieces was $16 HKD.

It looks like an ordinary bread on the surface. The inside was airy, chewy, and had a mochi-like taste. I tried chocolate, cranberry, and cheese; I ended up liking it in that order. I could not stop munching after one bite! They’re addicting!

The Chinese name for pontikege is 糬波波球, which translates to ‘mochi ball’. Freebase has more info on this bread:

Pontikege is a type of bread made and sold in Hong Kong. The traditional flavor is savory and made with cheese but it comes in many sweeter varieties including chocolate and green tea with red beans. Pontikege is made from Japanese sticky rice flour and baked so that it is crispy on the outer shell but doughy and glutinous in the middle and it has the taste and texture of raw bread dough. They have a small peak at the top, similar to a meringue. Their size is about 3 inches in diameter and 2 inches in height.

Other English names are ‘glutinous rice balls’ and ‘Japanese cheese ball’. It’s similar to the Brazilian cheese bread, pão de queijo which uses tapioca flour. This sweet pontikege seems to be unique to Hong Kong, with its roots in Japan and fusioned with the Western style of bread making. There are Korean versions too, but it doesn’t seem to be as sweet as Hong Kong’s version.

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