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Robbie Liang, 47, was working as a mechanical production engineer in 2009 when he decided to quit his job and move to Yunnan, China. “I didn’t like the systematic style in Singapore. I couldn’t stick to that kind of life,” he tells 8days.sg.

China appealed to him as it shares cultural similarities with Singapore. Robbie later got hitched to his wife, who hails from Shandong, and the couple now has two kids — a son, 7, and a daughter, 6.

During their 12 years in Yunnan, they ran their own F&B business selling yogurt desserts, which Robbie identified as a market niche as the majority of the Chinese population has a genetic lactose intolerance towards fresh milk. “So they go for yogurt as a source of nutrients,” he explains.

Robbie’s wife, a baking enthusiast, also came up with a Portuguese egg tart recipe out of interest, and sold them as a “secondary product” alongside yogurt. Portuguese egg tarts (also known by its native name pastéis de nata), which originated in Lisbon and is also popular in former Portuguese colony Macau, are characterised by their crispy, flaky puff pastry crust and burnt egg custard filling that’s still creamy in the centre.

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