UFO Tart of Sandakan

UFO Tart
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If you visit Sandakan, just ask any local there, “Hi! I want to eat Cow Dung (or UFO). Where to get one?” and they will show you the most famous dessert of Sandakan city (of Sabah, Malaysia), UFO Tart. UFO Tart got this name because it looks like flying saucer. Chinese also nicknames it as “Cow Dung Tart” (牛屎挞) as they think this name is more amusing. (I’m thinking.. Isn’t “Bull Shit Tart” funnier?)

UFO tart
You can find UFO Tart easily in Sandakan. Many coffee shops, even night market, sell UFO. I hope UFO will land in Kota Kinabalu city soon.

cow dung tart (牛屎挞)
UFO Tart has a soft and vanilla-flavored cake base topped with sweet creamy custard. You can have the whole tart in one bite. For me, it tastes like butter-rich cookie with rich aroma of egg and vanilla. UFO Tart goes very well with a cup of hot coffee. UFO tart costs about RM1.50 (≈USD0.50) each. It is not cheap because it takes many tedious steps to create this delicacy.

close-up of UFO tart
The born of UFO Tart is simply an accident over 50 years ago. In 1955, a Hainanese cake baker named Fu Ah On (符和安) was making tarts as usual one day. While busy mingling, he overbaked his tarts. Surprisingly, the burnt tarts tasted good. Then he introduced this new tart and people loved it hence it became a traditional cake unique to Sandakan until today.

Below is another UFO tart I saw in other coffee shop.
UFO tart

eating Cow Dung Tart

Syn Ming Hing Cafe & Cake (新民兴)

There are many Sandakan restaurants where you can enjoy UFO tart. The local recommended Syn Ming Hing Cafe & Cake (新民兴) to me.

Syn Ming Hing Cafe & Cake
Though it’s a Chinese restaurants, many Malay and Muslim come here for breads and noodles too.

Syn Ming Hing (新民兴)
Syn Ming Hing is a great place for tea time, due to its rich variety of fresh breads and buns. Oh boy, the following photos will make you mouth-watering.. Too bad, you only can “eat” them with your eyes here.

variety of bread, pastry and bun

bun

Timing is the most important for breads, pastries and buns. They taste the best when they are still hot and come out fresh from oven.

breads and buns

egg tart

Besides UFO tart, another best selling item of Syn Ming Hing is Cream Puff.

cream puff
Pic: Cream Puff

close-up of cream puff

Cream Puff has sugarly crunchy outer layer but sweet, soft and creamy inside.

content of cream puff

eating cream puff
Pic: look at the overflow cream!

Though I’m not a bread & pastry lover, I really miss UFO Tart and Cream Puff. Whenever I go to Sandakan, I’ll order them.

breads

bread with sweet cream

It is already nice just by looking for them. Their breads have many styles and flavors such as butter milk, red bean, chocolate, coconut and peanut.

breads covered with meat floss and peanut crumb

curry puff and chicken bun (咖哩角 & 鸡包)
Pic: Curry Puff (咖哩角) and Chicken Bun (鸡包)

content of curry puff
Pic: content of curry puff

content of chicken bun
Pic: content of chicken bun

Syn Ming Hing Cafe & Cake is located at Jalan Dua of Sandakan city center (Click Here for location map). The restaurant opens from 7:30am – 5:30pm (Mon – Sat) and 7:30am – 2:00pm (Sun), and they might close on Public Holiday. You can call them at +60 89 212779 (Woo Yuk Mei) to confirm.

Do you like UFO too? Please recommend other places where you can find excellent UFO Tart.

Photos taken in Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia Borneo

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By Murphy Ng
  • Anon

    I would have to add that not all UFO tarts are the same. In fact I truly believe the local do think the ones you have are NOT the original recipe as the original recipe was never passed down due to the baker having a heart attack and took it to his grave. All the ones good or bad are all experiments over the years to get as close as possible to it. I personally wouldnt eat them except for the one at Syn Min Hing and they apparently have a sister shop in KK…only theirs taste like the original. My two cents worth! haha

  • http://www.mysabah.com/ Murphy

    Thanks for the info. Yes, seem like this tart has so many forms and styles in the market, hard to tell which one is original recipe.

  • Obsessed with Food

    Great blog and you are obviously very passionate about your Sabah….they are now available in sydney made by Sandakian…if you ever drop by sydney. Check out facebook.com/moopootart :)

  • http://www.mysabah.com/ Murphy

    Wow, thanks for the info! My Sabah friends in Australia will be very happy! :-D

  • Touchmenot Lover

    Any idea where in KK is the sister shop located? Same name?

  • http://www.mysabah.com/ Murphy

    I don’t think I see any sister shop in KK. I’ll let you know if I do. :-)