Cue the queues. Cheese tart fever continues to sweep the country, with Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart branching into Sydney's north and inner west suburbs over the next few weeks, while also expanding into Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.
The cult Malaysian dessert chain opens its second Sydney kiosk today at Macquarie Centre in North Ryde and will arrive at Burwood Westfield on July 3.
The first Perth venue will launch in late June at Westfield Carousel in Cannington, followed in July by a kiosk at Rundle Place shopping centre in Adelaide and a Gold Coast outlet on Hooker Boulevard at Broadbeach. More venues are also set to roll out across Victoria.
Named after the celebrated dairy-producing island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, the pastry tart is known for its rich texture and distinct sweet-savoury flavour. Each 10-centimetre tart is cooked on site from three types of Australian cheeses and comes in two flavours - $3.90 for original cheese or $4.20 for chocolate. They can be served hot and fresh from the oven, at room temperature or chilled.
The cheese tart concept, already big in Asia, has taken off quickly in Australia due to customers' willingness to try new foods, Hokkaido's business development manager, Jason Leong, says.
"It's a savoury but sweet taste not many Australians have tried before," he says.
"Much like [an] Aussie pie or Lamington, the concept is simple and seriously delicious but not too fancy ... customers can have them as a sweet treat, as part of a savoury board, an on-the-go snack or bring a pack along to a party."
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart originally launched in Malaysia in mid-2016 before expanding to China, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei. Local parent company ST Group, best known for its PappaRich chain, brought the first Australian Hokkaido outlet to Melbourne CBD in December, and later to Sydney's World Square.
The group aims to open 20 Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart stores across the country and trial new flavours and products.
"We hope that in the future people automatically think of HBCT when they want a cheese tart, a quick bite or dessert," Leong says.
Macquarie Centre, North Ryde. Open June 16, Mon-Wed, Fri 9:30am-6pm; Thurs 9:30am-9pm; Sat 9am-6pm; Sun 10am-6pm.
Westfield Burwood, Burwood. Open July 3, Mon-Wed, Fri 9:30am-5.30pm; Thurs 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 10am-6pm.
Westfield Carousel, Cannington. Open late June, Mon-Wed, Fri 9am-5.30pm; Thurs 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm.
Gold Coast – shop K1017, ground level, Hooker Boulevard, Broadbeach. Open early July, Mon-Wed, Fri 9am-7pm; Thurs 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 9am-6pm.
Rundle Place shopping centre, Adelaide. Open early July, Mon-Thurs 9am-5.30pm; Fri 9am-9pm; Sat 9am-5pm; Sun 11am-5pm.