1966 Baking Alliance Inspires Nostalgia with  Fresh-baked Modern Classics at the Revitalised Central Market

1966 Baking Alliance, a creative new concept from Maria’s Bakery, has opened in the newly revitalised Central Market. 1966 draws upon Maria’s expertise in creating high quality and constantly evolving baked goods over the last 55 years to present a range of innovative delights that bridge the gap between tradition and modernity, and local and international flavours.
Founded over 55 years ago, Maria’s was famous for being the first local bakery to incorporate Western-style breads and pastries onto their menu, a decision made by founder and namesake Ms. Maria Lee Tseng Chiu-kwan, also known as the “Queen of Cakes”, after her extensive travels and time teaching at culinary school. To this day Maria’s continues their commitment to baking on-site at every bakery location and enriching classic recipes with creative elements. 
With its mission to preserve Hong Kong’s history through the conservation and renewal of historical locations, the Urban Renewal Authority’s Central Market revitalisation project is the perfect partner for Maria’s to continue their “Freshly Baked” philosophy with a vibrant update. Set to become a “Playground for All” after more than 60 years in operation, Central Market shares 1966’s goals to preserve collective memories for the people while inspiring innovation.
New and Improved Hong Kong Flavours 
Continuing Maria’s commitment to creating freshly baked delights, 1966 is ready to serve high quality local favourites for all, whilst upholding Maria’s tradition by serving their pastries straight out of the oven and without any preservatives, ensuring freshness with every order. 
Classics like Signature Egg Tarts, Classic Coconut Tarts, Chicken Pies, Hong Kong Style Milk Tea and Coffee have been updated with 1966 Baking Alliance’s innovation to create new experiences. The tart offerings in particular now have a thinner but more fragrant and crispy tart base thanks to an improved recipe. Fans of Maria’s will recognise the signature Pastel De Nata ($12), Cheese Tart ($15), Cinnamon Apple Tart ($15) and Classic Coconut Tart ($12), and are to appreciate brand new flavours like Purple Sweet Potato ($15), Lava Matcha ($15), and Lava Chocolate ($15), with a crust still as flakey and buttery as ever. Also new to the menu are four savoury pies, including a Western combo of Broccoli, Cheese and Ham ($22) and two local favourites – the Spinach, Cheese and Ham Coconut Pie ($22) and Chicken Cream Pie ($22). 
There’s no better way to create new memories with loved ones than to indulge in 1966 Baking Alliance’s modern treats together. Enjoy the signature egg tarts in a teatime set of six for $58, or indulge with loved ones in a set of 12 ($108) and 24 ($208). For a chance to try out all the new flavours, assorted sets of six modern flavours ($72), 12 ($135), and 24 ($248) are available as well. Wash it all down with a HK style milk tea or coffee, ($22), made and bottled on site daily as the perfect accompaniment.  
Grab and Go Modern Delights 
The bustling Central office crowd is sure to appreciate the convenience of 1966’s hot lunches, available for online pre-order and ready to be picked up in store and eaten anywhere. As the humble Pineapple Bun is synonymous with Hong Kong heritage, 1966 elevates it with the popular Egg and Luncheon Meat filling, while sandwiches are filled to the brim with both local and international sandwich fillings like Pork Floss & Wasabi, Curry Beef, Egg, Ham and Cheese, and Kimchi and Luncheon Meat, a homage to Korean army stews.
For picture perfect moments, the Roll & Loaf specials and M.A.D (Muffin as Doughnuts) will not disappoint. The 1966 team undertook extensive trial and error to create these innovative treats, and laborious efforts are required every day to ensure consistency with each bake. All of the loaves at 1966 Baking Alliance use a traditional Hong Kong and Japanese “Utane” method, where 1966’s choice of Korean bread flour is slightly cooked before baking so that it absorbs and retains more moisture for a softer, fluffier loaf. There are strictly no preservatives in the loafs, so freshly baked goods like the Baby Milk Loaf ($36) and Pork Floss & Pickled Mustard Bread ($34) should be consumed as soon as possible for maximum tastiness.The Rainbow Swiss Roll, available in slices ($22/pc) or as a whole roll ($58), is made up of five naturally flavoured and coloured dough batters, consisting of lemon, matcha, blueberry, chocolate, and strawberry. The batter is painstakingly piped one colour at a time onto the baking tray before being sent into the oven, and the result is a brilliant, rainbow version of one of the first Western style sweets introduced by Maria’s Bakery. 
While doughnuts are having a retro moment in Hong Kong, 1966 has found a way to make them healthier while maintaining flavour and jazzing up textures by using an improved soft dough made with Dutch flour for an extra fluffy effect, and baking instead of frying. Sinfully delicious while relatively guilt free, these M.A.D (Muffin as Doughnuts) upgrades on the simple homestyle doughnuts are available in Bananarama, Berrylicious, Chocoholics, and Matcha & Red Bean flavours, and no one will judge if a mixed and matched set of six ($108) or 12 ($216) is devoured in one sitting.
Visit the brand new 1966 Baking Alliance concept destination in Central Market from August 23 onwards to discover freshly baked local flavours made by Hong Kongers, for Hong Kongers. Backed up with Maria’s Bakery’s 55 years of expertise in traditional and modern baked goods, 1966 Baking Alliance has got you covered from authentic childhood flavours to whimsical new creations that are made for sharing. 
1966 is located at Shop 246B, 2/F, 93 Queen’s Road Central and 80 Des Voeux Road Central, Central. Tel: +852 23716350. For more information and updates, you can join 1966 on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Marias.Bakery/) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/mariasbakeryhk/)