Cantonese Ma Lai gao

I really missed eating the Cantonese hk style of Ma lai gao. Not the Malay roll ones, but like Tim Ho wan. These are popular in Hong Kong, unfortunately not here, except for the rarity at a few dim sum restaurant. Can anyone suggest bakeries that sell these Ma lai gao? Thanks.

Golden Steamer.

They have both the white and brown varieties.

Not the white and brown sugar rice cake.

Can you post a picture of what you’re looking for?

It’s the steamed Malay sponge cake sold at Tim ho wan

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It’s the same thing.

But if you don’t believe me, that’s ok.

Why not just get it at Tim Wo Han? There’s two of them in NYC, in Hell’s Kitchen and East Village.


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Yes, it’s just a simple, steamed very fluffy, spongey cake that is usually sweetened I assume with brown sugar or cane sugar for the light brown color. They used to have these in one or two Boston dim sum teahouses, but since I haven’t gone out for dim sum in a while, I don’t know if they are still offered. I think many of the first generation dim sum chefs might have been familiar with this, but it’s such an old school food that it might not have survived to be trained to the next generation. There was a great video I saw that actually referred to these old, classic dim sum foods that are hard to find in Hong Kong these days, and Ma Lai Goh (translates to Malay/Malaysian cake) was one of the ones mentioned.

Edit: Found the link to the video! [Saving Hong Kong’s ‘Endangered’ Dim Sum]


That’s from the Tim Ho Wan U.S. menu. But not under desserts, which is why I missed it the first time.

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People still make this, but it is on a decline, I don’t think it is such a popular dish to be honest. Many higher end dim sum restaurants tend not to offer it. Meanwhile, many take-out dim sum places are doing it.

Not the same at golden steamer. Ma lai gao is never white also

I only find a like 2-3 dim sum places in nyc that still offer this. J even travelled to sunset park 8ave hoping the bakeries might sell them, but all I saw were the typical buns and cakes.

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I always ask for the corner piece, too :wink:

Most places just make the Malay rolled cakes because it’s less labor intensive (no fermentation needed) and just more appealing to the public I guess. I can get the traditional Ma lai gao at a mini dim sum take out chain for 7$ hk. I even got one for my flight and was so sad to finish it. Best bite of my trip.

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So why don’t you just go to THW, as @ipsedixit suggested?

That would be too easy.

Because, you know, this is the internet.

Ha ha. Is that like having only the muffin top?

I know I can, but also wanted to know if other places, locations and price-wise.

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