Hong Kong legislator launches plan to save last British governor's favorite cake shop

A lawmaker said Thursday he has stepped in to help save a famous Hong Kong cake shop favored by the last British colonial governor Chris Patten.

Tai Cheong Bakery, which is known for its egg tarts, faces closure after its landlord more than doubled the monthly rent for the downtown outlet to more than 80,000 Hong Kong dollars (US$10,300; Ђ8,030) a month, according to lawmaker Tommy Cheung.

Cheung, who represents the catering industry in the legislature, has launched a search for an alternative location for the shop, saying Hong Kong shouldn't lose Tai Cheong's culinary delights.

"Its cakes are delicious. I hope to preserve them. Otherwise, how can we be a food paradise?" Cheung said.

Cheung said he took 50 egg tarts and 50 donut-like treats from Tai Cheong to the 60-member legislature Wednesday and they were snapped up in 15 minutes.

He said one developer had already offered him a shop - and at half its market price.

Business was thriving at Tai Cheong - which displays Patten's photo and correspondence from the former British governor who ruled Hong Kong until it was returned to China in 1997 - following news of its possible closure.

About five dozen people queued up at the shop Thursday afternoon. A man who answered the phone at Tai Cheong around midday Thursday said the owner was too busy to take a reporter's call.


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