We know. We've all done it. Home alone with a block of cheddar, a few scraps of brie and a lone Kraft Single. It all seemed so promising. When your mum/housemate/significant other returned, though, the truth became apparent. You'd made a cheese quagmire in your microwave, hadn't you? Hadn't you.
Fortunately, the guys behind PappaRich, the ST Group, are now getting set to help you realise all of your cheese dreams without the weird kitchen smell three weeks later — they're bringing Malaysian chain Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart to Australia for the first time. With multiple stores in Kuala Lumpur and other areas of the country, the cheese tart connoisseurs will expand to open not one, but five Australian stores by the end of the year — four in Melbourne and one in Sydney.
Their namesake is the cornerstone of their offering: a savoury-sweet three-cheese situation encased in a shortcrust shell, designed to be eaten either hot or cold. The cheese, while made with local produce, is based on the distinct taste and texture of the dairy products of Hokkaido. The Japanese island is known for their dairy — it produces half of Japan's total milk and a huge 90 percent of their natural cheese — and HBCT have worked tirelessly to replicate it. Malaysia has gone nuts for it; people have been queuing out the door to get their hands on one (or 12). If the popularity of Sydney's Uncle Tetsu Japanese cheesecakes is anything to go by, punters might do the same here too.
For those of you interested in more than just shovelling ludicrous amounts of cheese and pastry down, the tarts themselves will apparently be "displayed like precious gems, much like an elegant high-end jewellery shop". We're waiting for a self-serve option that makes you feel like you're committing a diamond heist.
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart will launch from 11.30am on Saturday, December 10 at Melbourne Central, and December 17 at QV Melbourne, with Chadstone and Box Hill, as well as Sydney's World Square on dates TBC. For more info and to look out for an opening date, keep an eye on their Facebook page.