Takahachi Bakery – My New Favorite Japanese Bakery In NY

Takahachi Bakery is a Japanese bakery that I discovered by accident this summer because it’s very close to where I get my haircut in Tribeca.  Japanese bakeries have always been one of my favorite things since I was a kid.  However, I’ve found the ones in NY to be somewhat mediocre, so I was very happy to find a good quality Japanese bakery.

The bakery is a long a narrow space with exposed brick walls and high ceilings.  It has a large display case showcasing its goods and a small space in the back to sit and eat.  The staff is nice and is pretty helpful.

Here’s what we got:

An Pan:

An pan is a baked red bean bun and is one of the most common pastries you see in Japanese bakeries.  The version here is very good; the bread is soft and moist and the red bean filling has good consistency and is not too sweet.  The ratio of filling to bread was also perfect.  Overall, this is a solid version. 8.25/10

Mochi An Pan With Green Tea Powder:

This is the same as the regular an pan except with green tea powder on top, which gives it a slightly bitter green tea flavor and with mochi (rice dough) in the middle.  The mochi makes the inside chewy.  It’s pretty good, but I prefer the regular an pan over this.  7.75/10

Sourdough Green Tea An Pan:

This is an pan except they use a green tea flavor sourdough bun.  I couldn’t really taste the green tea and just tasted like a sourdough bun although very light in flavor.  It’s not as soft or fluffy as the regular bun with thicker and tougher exterior.  It was alright, but I didn’t think it was anything special.  7.25/10

Sweet Cheese Bun:

This is a fluffy white bun filled with a sweet cheese filling and topped with powdered sugar.  The bun is perfectly fluffy and soft and the cheese filling is really good.  It’s slightly sour, but sweet and almost runny.  This is excellent and one of the stars here.  8.5/10

Melon Pan:

Melon pan is the Japanese version of a Chinese bo lo bao (pineapple bun).  I’m not sure who actually came up with it first, but I’m pretty sure it’s Chinese originally although I did read that either the Chinese got it from the Mexicans (pan dulce) or the Mexicans got it from the Chinese.  Any which I love everyone’s version of this.  It’s a baked white bun with no filling and a hard sugary top.  The sugary top is really good and the bread is moist and fluffy.  It’s simple, but really good.  8.5/10

Sweet Potato Cone:

This is a cone shaped pastry that is filled with sweet potato filling that has been spiced with cinnamon and has sesame seeds on top.  It tastes exactly as it sounds and I love sweet potato so this was awesome for me.  8.25/10

Strawberry Shortcake:

This is just strawberry shortcake.  The cake was moist and light and the frosting is the typical Asian style frosting that is very light. However, the frosting was a bit too sweet; I’d prefer if it was less sweet.  I would’ve given a higher rating if it was less sweet.  7.25/10

Curry Beef Bun:

This is a baked bun filled with curry filling that has beef, potatoes and carrots in it and it’s topped with this savory herbal seasoning.  The bun is soft and moist as all of Takahachi’s buns are.  The curry filling is nicely flavored and the herbal powder seasoning on top is really good with the bun.  It doesn’t look that great, but it’s really delicious.  8.25/10

Soufflé Cheesecake:

This is my favorite thing here.  It’s really light cheesecake that is just slightly sweet and a bit sour.  I don’t know how to properly explain this, but it’s really good.  8.75/10

Pumpkin Roll:

This is a twisty roll that has swirls of pumpkin paste in it.  Again moist and soft and the bread goes perfectly with the pumpkin.  This was very nice.  8/10

Overall, I like this bakery a lot and if you happen to be in the area definitely give it a try.

25 Murray St (between Broadway & Church St)
New York, NY 10007
(212) 791-5550

New Kam Hing Coffee Shop – One Of The Best Sponge Cakes In Chinatown

New Kam Hing is an old school Cantonese coffee shop on Baxter Street in Chinatown.  It’s really small consisting only of a kitchen and small display counter.  It’s a true specialist only offering a handful of items and for many years it’s been known for its great sponge cakes.

It was originally run by an old Cantonese woman, but she decided to retire at one point and I heard it was going to close.  However, it appears that the Mexican worker who has worked there forever has taken over and now runs the place (he can speak some Cantonese btw), so it appears that this place will be running for a long time to come hopefully.

Sponge Cake:

There is only one thing to order here and this is it.  This is an egg-y sponge cake that will remind you of an egg-y version of angel food cake.  The version here is moist, egg-y and quite good.  The only version I’ve had in NY that is close to it is Ka Wah, which you can read about here.  While pretty-self-explanatory this is definitely quite good.  One thing to note is that they are significantly better when they are freshly baked as opposed to when they have been sitting around (I suggest warming them up in the microwave if you come when they have been sitting around for a while).  8.5/10

Overall, while not a destination spot if you’re in Chinatown during the day this is a great place to pick up a nice light snack.

119 Baxter St, Ste B (between Canal St & Hester St)
New York, NY 10013
(212) 925-0425

Mitsuru Café – Great Imagawayaki (Taiyaki), Homemade Mochi And Other Japanese Treats in Little Tokyo

Mitsuru Café is one of three Japanese places that I can literally remember going to for as long as I’ve been alive; the other two being Sakae Sushi and Sakura-Ya in Gardena.  All of these places serve very simple Japanese dishes that I love and fondly remember.

Mitsuru Café is a little café located in Japanese Village in Little Tokyo.  While they have renovated the outside, the inside still looks like it’s from the 60s with old faded walls with specials taped on them, a counter with an open kitchen and old wooden tables.  At the front window they have a griddle that cooks the imagawayaki as well as a display case showing a variety fried foods and other stuff such as dango.  Its super old school and really brings you back.  I rarely sit down and eat, but when I’m close to Downtown LA I almost always stop by and get some food for myself or to bring back to my family.


This is what you will see people waiting in line for.  Imagawayaki is a pancake cooked in a griddle with red bean in the middle.  More commonly you will see taiyaki which are the fish shaped ones.  The key to a good imagawayaki are being fresh off the grill, good tasting batter and the right batter to bean ratio.  Surprisingly, I’ve had a hard time finding a good one in Asia even in Tokyo and Taipei where they are very common.  One of the three characteristics is always wrong; it’s a cheap snack and most of the vendors just don’t take them seriously.  Mitsuru still makes the best one for me.  They are really fresh, hot and slightly crispy, the batter is not too thick and has a really good flavor.  The only knock is that the an (red bean paste) is a bit too sweet.  I highly recommend trying these.  8.5/10


Ohagi are a type of mochi with red bean on the outside and a rice ball in the middle; definitely one of my favorite.  The ones here are true home style and taste like the ones my family made when I was a kid.  They’re pretty ugly, but the beans are really fresh and the rice balls are very nice as well.  It’s a simple confectionery, but you’ll notice the difference versus the ones you buy in the super markets.  8.25/10

Daifuku / Yomogi / Black Sesame Daifuku:

These are also homemade.  The daifuku are the standard white ones, the yomogi the green ones that use mugwort (one of my favorite) and the black sesame daifuku are the ones covered in black sesame.  All of them have red bean in the middle.  Even though these are homemade honestly they don’t taste much different than the major local brands like Mikawaya.  They are still good, nicely fresh and taste just like they sound.  While not exceptional like Sakura-Ya, they are quite good and worth eating if you happen to be buying other stuff.  7.75/10


Inari are a type of sushi that look like footballs.  They are marinated tofu skins stuffed with sushi rice and sesame seeds.  They are fresh and pretty decent although they’re not great like the ones at Sakae Sushi.  Again these are good and worth checking out if you’re here, but not going to blow you away.  7.75/10


These are the sushi rolls that have tamago (sweet egg omelet), takuan (yellow radish pickle), this pink sweet stuff that looks like cotton candy and pickled gobo (burdock root).  The ones here are pretty standard and while tasty not out of the ordinary.  These are another one worth checking out if you’re here, but not worth going out of your way for.  7.75/10

Overall, if you want to try some great imagawayaki and homemade mochi, I’d highly recommend coming here because this is the type of stuff that one day you will not be able to find anymore.  Also please note that they only carry the ohagi and mochi on the weekends.

117 Japanese Village Plz Mall
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-1028

Tai Cheong – A Hong Kong Dan Ta (Egg Custard) Institution That Lives Up To Its Reputation

Tai Cheong is a very famous bakery in Central District, Hong Kong. They’re well known for all of their pastries, but they are particularly famous for their dan ta, which are Chinese egg custard tarts. I’ve been coming to Tai Cheong for over a decade, but I haven’t been in my last two trips to Hong Kong. Back in the day Tai Cheong was a rundown bakery with lines out the door; fast forward to today and it’s been bought by a publicly traded company (Tao Heung Group), expanded to have branches all over Hong Kong and totally renovated so it’s very nice inside now. What does that sound like to me? It sounds like a recipe for a massive decline in quality. However, I had to give it a try to see if that was actually the case or not.

Here’s what we got:

Dan Ta:

Drum roll…so how was the dan ta? Thankfully the answer is that they are as good as ever. They are definitely one of the best if not the best I’ve ever had. The flavor is amazing; the custard is very egg-y tasting and not as sweet as most versions, which I like better. I got mine hot out of the oven, so it was really soft and delicious. The crust is great as well; it’s not overly buttery or oily like many are and it’s also more solid as opposed to flaky, which is different than most places. Even though I normally prefer the Portuguese style ones where it’s burnt on top (normally get them from Lord Stow’s) these are definitely of my favorite versions anywhere. 9.25/10

Chicken Pie:

This is another pastry Tai Cheong is famous for. It’s a buttery thick pie crust filled with chicken, mushroom, peas and maybe a couple other vegetables in a thick semi-creamy sauce. It will remind you of a much less soup-y version of chicken pot pie. The crust is pretty moist and a bit salty. The inside tastes just like it sounds. I’m not the biggest fan of these in general, but it’d been a long time I’d had one and Tai Cheong’s version was better than most. 7.75/10

Overall, while it turned into a chain and the bakery got a lot nicer, the dan ta still taste exactly like I remember them and I highly recommend giving them a try if you’re in Hong Kong.

G/F, 35 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central 中環擺花街35號地下
Phone: 2544 3475
[button url=”https://www.taoheung.com.hk/en/brands/tai_cheong_bakery/index_p_2.html” target=”_blank” color=”grey-lite’]Website[/button]

Boubouki – Amazing Homemade Greek Pastries at Essex Street Market

Essex Street Market is one of my favorite places in the Lower Eastside.  It’s a closed air market with all sorts of mom and pop vendors.  This is something that you do not really find in Manhattan, it’s very unique and reminds me of something you might find in Asia or Europe.

There are several vendors here such as Shopsin’s (restaurant), Roni Sue’s (chocolate shop) and Saxeby Cheesemongers (cheese shop) that serve great product and I plan on writing about all of them over time.  However, my first post is going to be on Boubouki, which is probably my favorite vendor in Essex Street Market.

Boubouki is a tiny stall that is basically just a kitchen that is probably 10×10 at biggest.  The owner is the only employee and she specializes in various Greek pastries.  She is very nice and you can tell how much care is put into all of her wares and everything is baked fresh daily.

Here’s what I’ve tried:


This was a savory pastry made of phyllo dough filled with chopped spinach and feta cheese.  The phyllo dough was nicely crispy and the filling was great, the combo of spinach and feta went really well together.  I got it reasonably fresh and I’d imagine this would be really amazing straight out of the over.  Overall, while this was a simple pastry it was really good. 8.5/10

Pear Cake:

I really like pear desserts, so this was something I knew I was going to like.  It’s a simple cake with pears baked into the bottom of it and powdered sugar on top.  I thought the cake would be dense, but instead had a wonderful spongy consistency that was very moist and slightly crispy on the outside.  It was sweet, but not overly sweet and the pear and powdered sugar paired perfectly.  This was one of the better pastries I’ve had in a long time.  8.75/10


While I like baklava, it often ends up being a very sweet, sticky and heavy mess (maybe I just don’t know where to buy it).  However, the version here is different.  While it is sweet from the honey, it’s not too sweet and the honey is nicely liquid-y and not a sticky mess.  The phyllo dough was so good; it was light, flaky and delicious and the ground nut mixture was delicious as well.  This was probably the best baklava I’ve ever tried.  8.75/10

Almond Cookie:

The cookie was nicely crunchy, the chopped almonds complemented it well and the powdered sugar was the perfect complement to the cookie.  While it was very simple, it was quite good. 8/10

Carrot Cake:

This was not your normal American carrot cake.  It was more like banana bread except with carrots.  It had a spiced flavor similar to normal carrot cake, but it was lighter and not as dense.  I thought this was excellent. 8.5/10

Overall, I really like this place and I’m looking forward to trying more of her pastries.


120 Essex Street (between Delancey and Rivington)

New York, NY 10002



Double Crispy Bakery – Solid Portuguese Style Egg Tarts and Wife Cakes in Chinatown

This is a short post on Double Crispy Bakery, which is a bakery that I found a few months ago by accident walking around Chinatown.  It doesn’t look any different or offer anything particularly different than other Chinatown bakeries.  It’s fairly non-descript with a bunch of shelves and display cases showing off their various Chinese pastries, cakes etc.  However, I noticed to the left of the cash register a display case showing of their dan ta (egg custards) and lao po bing (wife cake).  They looked particularly fresh and good so I gave them a try and I’m glad I did.

Here’s what I get:

Dan Ta (Egg Custard Tart):

Ka Wah has been my go to bakery in Chinatown for dan ta, but I’ll have to say this place maybe better than Ka Wah.  They offer three different types of dan ta: Portuguese / Macau style, regular and egg white.  The ones to get here are the Portuguese / Macau style.  These have always been my favorite type of dan ta.  They have the exact same crust and egg custard filling as the regular ones you see, but they are burnt on top, so they have a slight caramelized flavor to them.  The ones here were surprisingly good, the crust was nicely flaky and the custard was warm, fresh and egg-y.  They weren’t quite as burnt on top as I like them, but overall I liked them quite a bit.  I definitely recommend trying these and if they aren’t already warm when you get them then take them home and put them in the microwave because there is a world of difference between a warm dan ta and a room temperature one (fyi every time I’ve got gone they have been warm).  8.25/10

Lao Po Bing (Wife Cake):

Lao po bing is a thin disc shaped pastry that has a flaky and slightly buttery exterior and a filling made of sweet dong gua (winter melon).  Normally, they are fairly thin and pretty big and the interior is usually slightly gooey, but the version here is a little different.  The crust is a thicker and flaky crust, but the actual pastry is quite small.  The filling isn’t gooey at all, it’s a little more dense and isn’t quite as sweet as normal.  They also use more salt in the crust, so there is a slight saltiness to it.  I think they’re delicious and I definitely recommend trying them out.  8/10

This is a solid bakery and it’s definitely worth checking out for the items I listed above.


230 Grand St (between Elizabeth St & Bowery)

New York, NY 10013

(212) 966-6929

Gaia Italian Café – Great Homemade Italian Sandwiches, Salads and Other Specialties in the Lower Eastside

Gaia is a casual cafe in the Lower Eastside that serves casual Italian food mainly sandwiches, salads and a few pastas.  I found this place fairly recently and I’ve been going most weekends for lunch for the last couple of months as the food is excellent and the prices are very reasonable for the high quality of food you’re getting.

The restaurant is in a weird location on Houston below the street level in a basement type area.  The room has walls with exposed brick and the floors are all wood.  It’s got around 6 tables with magazines on them and it’s generally a very casual place.

The owner is a nice Italian woman who does all the cooking herself.  She clearly takes pride in her food and I really like that.  I will say that while she is great, the other people there are somewhat incompetent and dealing with them can be a pain if it’s crowded as they re disorganized and don’t seem to really know what they’re doing.  However, the food is very good and the owner is great, so I don’t mind at the end of the day, but just a word of warning about that.

Anyhow, onto the food:

Bresaola Carpaccio with Arugula, Parmesan:

Bresaola is a salt cured beef.  It was tender and delicious and paired perfectly with the argula and parmesan. The owner squeezed a lemon over the whole thing, which really kicks it up a notch. This is my favorite dish here. 8.75/10

Arugula Salad with Cherry Tomatoes in Pesto Sauce with Parmesan:

This salad is self-explanatory, but it is excellent.  The pesto sauce goes really well with the parmesan and argula.  This is really good. 8.5/10


This sandwich is prosciutto cotto, mozzarella, tomato, anchioves and mustard.  As a note for all of the sandwiches, the bread that is used is homemade and is amazing (I’d give the bread 8.75/10).  It is thin and crispy and has great flavor. All the ingredients in the sandwich were good.  However, the mustard was sweet and prosciutto cotto isn’t a salty meat, so I thought it made the sandwich a little too sweet.  I would’ve liked it much better if it wasn’t sweet mustard. 7.25/10


This sandwich is speck, taleggio and mixed vegetables.  Speck is a type of ham and taleggio is a type of cheese that reminds me of brie cheese. The sandwich tastes just like it sounds and it was quite good. 8/10


This sandwich is bresaola, goat cheese, lemon and black pepper. The saltiness of bresaola goes very nicely with the goat cheese and lemon.  This might be the best sandwich I’ve tried here.  8.25/10


This sandwich is chicken cutlet, pesto sauce and tomatoes.  The chicken cutlet is breaded and fried and then topped with pesto sauce and chopped tomatoes.  The pesto sauce is very good and the sandwich is tasty.  The only downfall was the chicken was slightly drier than I like, but still good. 8/10


This sandwich is mozzarella di bufala, tomatoes and basil.  This is a very simple and self-explanatory sandwich, but all the ingredients are excellent and paired with the awesome bread this was very good. 8.25/10

Angel Wings:

The owner bakes all of her own pastries, which is commendable as that is quite time consuming.  The angel wings are best if you can get them out of the oven and taste great with coffee.  They are not quite as good if they’ve been sitting around for a while.  8/10

Brioche with Orange Marmalade:

This is pretty self-explanatory.  It was decent although next time I’d prefer it with Nutella, which is the other option. 7.25/10

Lemon Cookie:

This was a lemon cookie with white frosting.  It was okay, but I thought it was a little flat flavor wise.  6.75/10

Strawberry Jam Pastry:

This was an almond paste pastry that was topped with strawberry jam.  I’ve always like almost paste pastries, so that was good.  However, the strawberry jam was too sweet and there was too much of it, so it was a bit overpowering. 7/10

Greek Yogurt with Strawberry and a Touch of Coffee:

This was a simple dessert of Greek yogurt, freshly cut strawberries, honey and coffee powder.  Everything was fresh and delicious.  I really liked this dessert. 8.5/10


I’m not the biggest coffee drinker, but this coffee was quite nice. 8/10

Pear Juice:

While it had good flavor and was freshly squeezed, it was sort of room temperature, which I didn’t think went over so well since it was a pear.  7/10

Overall, I really enjoy Gaia a lot and I’d highly recommend checking it out.

251 E Houston St (between Avenue A & Essex St)
Manhattan, NY 10002
(646) 350-3977

Panade – Awesome Cream Puffs in the Lower Eastside

Panade is a small café that I’ve been going to for a few years, but for some reason I never wrote a post about it.  They serve various pastries, cookies and coffee.  However, the reason I love this place are the crème puffs.

The place is run by young Chinese-American woman who is very friendly.  Originally, the shop was across the street in a very small space, but recently they moved across the street into a much bigger space.  This is great because I assume that they moved because they are doing well. The inside walls are exposed brick, there is a big counter where the food is showcased and prepared and there are tables along the back end of the store.

Banana Crème Puff:

The reason I come here is for their banana crème puff.  It’s similar to Beard Papa’s, but better. The puffs are fresh and fluffy, they dust powdered sugar on them and the filling is great.  The banana pudding filling is so good, great banana flavor and fresh sliced bananas.  These are great.  8.5/10

Overall, I highly recommend stopping by Panade as it is really good.

132A Eldridge St (between Broome St & Delancey St)
Manhattan, NY 10002

Thanh Son – Awesome Tofu / Soy Bean Milk Store in Garden Grove

I found Thanh Son via Yelp and I’ve been going every time I come home from NY.  Thanh Son specializes in soy bean products such as tofu and soy bean milk.  They also sell a variety of Vietnamese snacks.

It’s a small store in a relatively new looking strip small.  The store is actually fairly clean and new looking as opposed to most places in Little Saigon which look run down and sort of dirty.  On the left side of the store they have refrigerators that have soy bean milk, tofu and various other products they make.  The middle section has the cashier, fruits and a sort of steam table set up with a variety of fried tofu that they make.  The right side has a table of various Vietnamese snacks and dried goods.

Here’s what I got on my last trip:

Sua Dau Nanh (Pandan Flavored Soy Bean Milk):

This is the main reason I come here.  They make great soy bean milk here.  It’s very clean tasting, not powdery, not too sweet and generally has a good flavor. I really like the pandan flavored one (hence the reason it is green). Pandan is a type of leaf that is used extensively in southeast Asian food (Malaysian, Vietnamese etc).  It has a particular flavor that I find hard to describe as it’s pretty unique, the closest I can explain it is sort of coconut-y, but not really.  It tastes so good with the soy bean milk, my GF who doesn’t even like soy bean milk thinks this version is pretty good.  I could drink this everyday.  8.5/10

Bahn Bo Nuong (Baked Rice Cake):

I randomly got this last time.  It looks like bread, but it’s actually a rice cake.  It has a somewhat glutinous texture and tastes similar to this Cantonese rice cake thing I used to eat when I was a kid. It’s sort of just sweet, not much more to it than that. It was decent, but I didn’t love it. 6.75/10

Fried Tofu:

I got the wrong one, I got one before that was stuffed with meat, noodles and mushrooms and that one was really good.  This was just fried tofu with no real flavoring to it, so it was kind of plain.  It tasted much better when you put some sriracha sauce on it.  If you go here get the one that is stuffed with meat not this one. 6.75/10

I didn’t get tofu this time, but they do have good tofu as well.

Overall, I really like the soy bean products at this place and I highly recommend it for that.

9688 Westminster Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92844
(714) 534-2100

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake – Great Cheesecake in Nolita

Eileen’s Special Cheesecake is a family run bakery that sells mainly cheesecakes with a few other pastries.  The place is a really small place that has 2 or 3 tables in it and there is a display case showcasing their cheesecakes.

I’ve been coming here for years, but some reason I never wrote it up.  It’s a really great place and definitely my favorite cheesecake in the City.  I’m not a cheesecake expert, but I really like cheesecake and I think this might be one of the best versions I’ve ever had.  I’m not sure why you don’t hear about this place more often.

Strawberry Cheesecake:

The cheesecake is so good.  It’s not really dense like some cheesecakes and not overly sour or sweet like some cheesecakes.  It’s actually very light for cheesecake and it’s always fresh as well.   The strawberry topping is good as well, the jam / sauce isn’t overly gooey or sweet and the strawberries are pretty decent quality.  The pictures below are the small and medium size; they also have a large size.   8.5/10

Raspberry Cheesecake:

Same as the previous cheesecake I described except there is a raspberry sauce and whip cream on it.  This version is excellent as well. 8.5/10

Overall, it’s a great place and I highly recommend going.

17 Cleveland Pl (between Kenmare St & Spring St)
New York, NY 10012
(212) 966-5585

Ka Wah – My Favorite Bakery in Chinatown

Chinatown is chock full of bakeries.  Most of the bakeries fall into two categories they are either a) old school style cha chaan teng (茶餐廳, cha can ting, literally “tea restaurant”) that serve various old school Cantonese buns and pastries or b) more modern bakeries that have all types of pastries, buns and crazy cakes shaped into cartoon characters.  For example, Mei Li Wah would fall under the cha chaan teng category and Fay Da / Tai Pan would fall under the latter category.  Generally, the quality can vary from pretty decent to just okay.  It is sort of hard to tell which ones will be good and which ones will just so so because they really all look very similar.

Ka Wah is a throwback and is closer to being in the cha chaan teng category.  It is an old school Cantonese bakery that is in the eastern part of Chinatown jammed in the middle of a completely Fujian neighborhood.  Based on that fact and the décor, I think this bakery must be very old.  It’s run by 3 old Cantonese ladies, who are pretty old school themselves. Sometimes I have a hard time understanding their Mandarin because they have such a thick Cantonese accent.

Unlike most bakeries in Chinatown, this place only serves maybe 8-10 different types of pastries and maybe 4-5 different types of buns.  All of it is Cantonese classics: dan ta (egg custard), dan gao (sponge cake), lao po bing (wife cake, a pastry filled with a sweet winter melon filling), almond cookies, ji wei bao (cocktail bun), bo luo bao (pineapple bun) and a few other things.  They also serve good yin yang cha (yuan yang cha, coffee and tea mixed with evaporated milk and sugar), nai cha (tea with condensed milk) and coffee.
I come here on the weekends usually fairly early around 10:30am-11am when the pastries are fresh (they taste better in the morning when they are fresher).

Here are some of the things I get:

Sponge Cake (Dan Gao):

This place probably has the best sponge cake I’ve had in Chinatown.  The cake is very light and airy with a great egg-y flavor and it’s soft as a pillow.  I really like these and they are so light you can eat them like they were nothing and they go great with some yin yang cha.  As a word of advice these in particular taste much better in the morning when they are fresh. 8.5/10

Wife Cake (Lao Po Bing):

They make a good version here.  The crust is nice and flaky and the inside is flavorful and not overly sweet.  However, this is an old school type of pastry and it’s very Chinese, so I’m not sure everyone will like this.  My GF thinks that its “old people food” and she doesn’t like it at all.  She also says I like “old people food” when it comes to desserts, so this is the type of thing I like, but I’m sure there will be a decent amount of people who do not.  7.75/10

Egg Custard (Dan Ta):

Hands down the best dan ta in Chinatown.  The crust is flaky, crispy and buttery without being overly buttery.  The custard is nice and egg-y and not overly sweet.  They sell both the small versions and large version.  I prefer the small version as I like the ratio of custard to crust better.  These are great.  8/10

Coconut Tart:

I always forget what this is called in Chinese.  I’m not totally sure why I always end getting these because I don’t love them and it’s not the version here just in general.  I guess it’s a nostalgia thing because I grew up eating stuff like this.  Anyhow, the version here is good. 7/10


I forgot to take pictures, but these guys make some of the best yin yang cha (yuan yang cha, coffee and tea mixed with evaporated milk and sugar) and nai cha (tea with condensed milk) in Chinatown.  I always get a cup of it when I come here.  7.75/10

Overall, this place is great and I highly recommend coming here before they decide to retire or something.  It is also ridiculously cheap.  Highly recommend.

9 Eldridge Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 226-0133

Lord Stow’s at EXpresso 咖啡吧 – Delicious Portuguese Style Dan Tat (Chinese Egg Custard Tarts)

Lord Stow’s is a bakery in Macau that is famous for their dan tat (egg custard tarts).  At the Excelsior Hotel in Causeway Bay, the coffee shop called EXpresso has Lord Stow dan tat.  A friend of mine showed me this place last time I was in Hong Kong.  The store itself is just a small upscale coffee shop with typical coffee shop fare, the real appeal is the Lord Stow dan tat.  They are the Portguese version meaning that the tops are somewhat burnt and so they have a sort of carmelization on top.  Egg custard tarts are probably one of the more famous and popular Chinese pastries.  They have a buttery flaky crust and a very egg-y yellow custard that is sweet.  The Lord Stow version is very good especially when they are hot.  The crust is delicious and flaky and the custard is not too sweet and has a great flavor. 9/10

I definitely recommend trying these out if you are in Hong Kong.


Lobby, The Excelsior Hong Kong, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay


Phone: 2837 6777

Bisous Ciao – Amazing Macarons in the LES

Bisous Ciao is a new macaron store in the Lower Eastside.  It’s a small store with a sleek minimalist black and white interior that only sells macarons.  I noticed it one day walking home from work and I was somewhat surprised to see it in the Lower Eastside as it seemed a bit out of place although the neighborhood food scene keeps getting better, so I’m happy to have them here.

I love macarons so I decided to pick up a box.  The guy told me that the glass case they keep it in is chilled, so I should keep them in the refrigerator until I want to eat them and then let them sit out for 10-15 minutes to let them get to room temperature.

I got the raspberry, pistachio, lemon, rose and black sesame.

Wow, they were amazing.  My gf and I couldn’t believe how high quality they were.  They were so fresh with a perfect cookie / pastry exterior that has slight crisp to it.  The fillings were amazing; the flavors tasted exactly like whatever flavor they were supposed to be.  Raspberry was my favorite, but they were all really good. 8.5/10

They are a bit on the expensive side at about $2 / piece, but I was so happy with the quality that I was happy to pay the price.  I’m surprised they don’t sell anything else and I certainly hope they can make a business out of this because the quality they are turning out is light years better than anything else I’ve had in New York.  Highly recommend.


101 Stanton St (between Orchard St & Ludlow St)

Manhattan, NY 10002

(212) 260-3463