Three more pastries remained from our long-awaited visit to Anna’s Cake House after 6:30 for their discount. I just could not eat everything in one day. Yesterday’s cakes were mediocre and definitely not worth the full price they charge. Today’s on average were even worse.
The 核桃拿破仑蛋糕 (Walnut Napoleon) was not as bad as I thought. The three layers of puff pastry were not too bad and were decently flaky. It was kind of hard to break apart but since I am not a fan of puff pastries at all and so do not actually recall ever eating a Napoleon, I cannot judge. The cream filling in between had a decent amount of chopped up walnuts. The cream was the hard kind of Asian cream, denser than that on the cakes and more buttery tasting. Especially after slightly freezing it, it holds its shape and can almost be bitten into. It was not too sweet or too oily, though, and since I have not had this type of cream in the longest time, a bite was pleasant.
The disappointment came with the buns. Their 烟肉葱包 (Bacon & Green Onion Bun) had only the onions and bacon that were visible from the outside. It may look decent, in a fancier shape than usual, but nothing about the ingredients were good, just very very average. The bun was soft and moist despite being left overnight so that was actually not too bad. It was very lightly sweetened, or perhaps I am just sensitive to the sugar they put in Asian bread dough. At least it was chewy enough and in general not over baked.
The worst out of everything we purchased yesterday was the 吞拿鱼包 (Tuna Fish Bun). First of all, it was the bread. The dough was not as soft, moist, and chewy except for a little bit on the edge. They probably put an egg wash over this but regardless, it was over baked. The top was too dry and golden-brown for my liking. The bread on the inside was also kind of dry. The two pieces of scallion on top did not do much. The filling was just a little blob of canned tuna mixed with some mayonnaise and chopped onions. There was very little and more than half the bun was just the slightly dry bread. The tuna tasted very ordinary and the onions did not prevent it from being bland. There was not enough mayonnaise either to make it a little richer or creamier.
With so many Asian bakeries around Richmond, all the buns I have gotten so far were acceptable and of decent quality, except for those from Anna’s Cake House. Yet, they still charge $1.50 regularly for each of the buns. I can get them cheaper and of way better quality from Maxim’s Bakery or T&T Bakery any time. All three places bake their buns fresh each day but the other two manage to keep their prices down while increasing the quality – something Anna’s Cake House seriously needs to do. Even Kam Do Bakery’s buns look fresh and of great quality with low prices (I was there one late afternoon and they were still baking fresh buns!). What mystifies Mom and I are the hordes of people that wait every Wednesday to Friday for the discounts at 6:30 and then madly grab an entire tray or bag of these buns. I certainly do not see the point. It is a shame T&T waits until 8:30-9:00 before they start offering discounts but comparing the quality, I would rather wait two more hours for much tastier buns with more varieties.