Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Packaged Surprises – 大统华面包坊–T&T Bakery

on June 19, 2012
ImageJune 15, 2012
大统华面包坊 – T&T Bakery, Richmond BC
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咖喱肠仔丹麦酥 (Curry Sausage Danish)
起酥肉松包 (Dried Pork Bun w/ Puff Pastry)
菠萝葱花肉松包 (Dried Pork & Green Onion Pineapple Bun)
菠萝花生奶油包 (Peanut Butter Pineapple Bun)
叉烧包 (BBQ Pork Bun)
洋葱蘑菇芝士包 (Mushroom Onion Cheese Bun)
韩式炸花卷 (Twisted Donut)

火腿肉松三明治 (Dried Pork & Ham Sandwich)
绿豆蓉蛋黄荷叶面包 (Green Bean Paste w/ Salted Egg-yolk Lotus)
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T&T Bakery honestly never ceases to disappoint me. Ever. Even if some of their products are not my favourite or the best I have tasted, overall, both quality and quantity are more than satisfactory. We were there Thursday night to get their discounted, packaged mini buns. For around $5.50, they give you a mix and match of seven buns so it is a really good deal, especially if you are okay with a variety of what they have left each day. The only downside is that they do not offer this deal until around 9p.m., and by then, it is usually so late that we are already home and not prepared to go out anymore. It is always exciting, however, to see what exactly is in your buns as many of them have fillings that vary from BBQ pork, red bean paste, and dried pork fluff. They usually have a lot more buns left over around this time on weeknights, especially Thursdays, so on this particular day, we got three bags to share with my aunt.
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First, the 咖喱肠仔丹麦酥 (Curry Sausage Danish) was a good quality pastry. However, as I am not a fan of danishes and puff pastry in general, this was really not my type of treat. The shape was certainly quite unique and unlike a traditional danish. The layers were nicely made, not overly greasy but still with enough buttery flakiness. The curry was very mild with the pork in little cubes. I would have preferred a more intense flavour to make it slightly more complex. For me, it was a bit bland for a curry. However, the filling was in good ratio to the pastry with quite a bit of meat inside. The sausage was tender, but it tasted like it was cut up from a regular, store-bought hotdog wiener. This made it unable to soak up the curry flavour. It was nothing gourmet and was certainly processed meat. I do not mind it, however. Sometimes, it is nice to go back to the ‘cheap’ food that was once considered to be gourmet because it came in a package and easily cooked. I still remember how such foods used to be considered very elaborate, high-end foods when I was little.
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The other puff pastry, the 起酥肉松包 (Dried Pork Bun w/ Puff Pastry), was more suited for me. I love dried pork fluff and its sweet and savoury blend. It could have included a bit more of the pork fluff but still, the amount they had inside was decent and much more than you would normally find at other bakeries. The bread was dry though, but that could be partially attributed to the fact that it was baked the day before I had tried it. Still, it should not have been as dry and hard as it was. The layer of puff pastry on top was still buttery and flaky, especially after heating it up in the toaster oven. It was quite a large topping but I thought the concept was kind of odd as the puff pastry seemed slighlty out of place. The ones in the showcase that are kept warm and sold individually usually has the puff pastry actually puffed up so the entire bun was huge. Cooled, however, it was just a square of pastry dough placed on top of a bun and sprinkled with black sesame seeds.
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The 菠萝葱花肉松包 (Dried Pork & Green Onion Pineapple Bun) is exactly what the name says. It is an Asian pineapple bun with green onion bits in the pineapple topping along with a large amount of dried pork fluff for the filling. Again, I am very pleased with the amount of dried pork fluff. The texture is light and fluffy and the blend of savoury and sweet is always so addicting. The bread of this bun was very dry and hard though. I would have loved it to be moist and soft. However, this is perhaps because of the special pineapple topping. Unlike tradition Hong Kong or Taiwanese-style pineapple toppings, it had green onions in it and was thin and hard. Instead of being crumbly, it was more like a crust. Shiny on the top, you can almost peel it off the bun. It was not exactly sweet either – definitely more savoury than sweet. With the lovely aroma of the scallions, the entire pastry was more like a filling dinner bun rather than a breakfast item. I think I still prefer the traditional, chewy and moist bread, but the pineapple layer was certainly more chewy and dense than normal and just as good. Image
Another bun blending sweet and savoury was the 菠萝花生奶油包 (Peanut Butter Pineapple Bun). It had a ground peanut coating on a bread with an almost tasteless pineapple topping. The peanut stuck to the bread that was coated and filled down the centre with Asian whipped cream, acting on the surface as the ‘glue’ since the pineapple layer was no where near obvious – a shame actually. When I say Asian whipped cream, I mean the traditional kind that the Chinese used when imitating that of western whipped cream and put in all of the Chinese cakes. It is light but quite ‘oily.’ It is not, however, dense or buttery – more like using slightly too much vegetable oil rather than butter, and definitely not enough sugar. Too much of this kind of cream will make me sick, but a bite once in a while just reminds me of traditional Asian western-style desserts. The bread was light and soft but on the dry side. Added to the dry peanut coating, it was even drier. The cream made is acceptable and added a nice sweet flavour to the otherwise savoury treat. This bun may seem light, but even with only that little bit of whipped cream, it was quite filling for me.

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I am glad the layer down the centre was not too thick, although I am sure some people would certainly prefer more cream.
ImageThe next bun was the 叉烧包 (BBQ Pork Bun) and it was my absolute favourite of the bunch! It was simply a bread filled with BBQ pork with a custard “S” on the top of the bun. It is a very traditional decoration and I love the sweet, light custard. I can eat a whole lot of that custard so there was certainly not enough to satisfy me. However, I cannot complain since it was only meant as decoration. The bread of this bun was also the best of the bunch. It was the most moist and chewy. I love it when it can be squished into a very dense ball of dough so that you actually need to chew it to eat it, giving your jaws a slight work out. It was also a lightly sweetened dough and thus, my favourite kind! The filling was plentiful. The BBQ pork had a very full flavour, blending savoury and sweet yet again. The cubes were small and there were relatively few fatty pieces, just enough to give it that fatty BBQ taste. ImageThose few pieces of fat were actually chewy. I absolutely love the BBQ flavour and was just extremely glad that everything about this bun is just about perfect. I have no complaints. The fact that I ate the whole thing pretty much right away says a lot about how much I love this simple, traditional, yet delicious bun!
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The 洋葱蘑菇芝士包 (Mushroom Onion Cheese Bun) was my second favourite this time. The cheddar cheese was baked and hardened. It had great flavour, not bland at all, just salty, yummy cheesiness. The texture was also quite chewy. This kind of cheese is why I love cold pizza so much. Underneath the cheese layer were mushrooms and onions. The mushrooms were tender and the onions added a hint of sweetness. Finally, the bread was still moist and soft, and still remained chewy. The bottom was also moist, which I really loved. The entire bun was not very Asian at all, but was in fact quite like a lovely pizza pretzel with a great bite to it. Chewy cheese and dough is a great combination. Seriously. This bun is definitely something I would buy again. Regular price is $1.39, which is already a very good deal. But put this in a 7-pack and it is even better! Image
Mommy’s favourite is undoubtedly the 韩式炸花卷 (Twisted Donut). It has become quite popular recently, first appearing in T&T and now also available in H-Mart. Both places make it quite decently. I like the one from T&T Bakery better, though, because it is sweeter. Both are quite oily. After all, it is deep fried sweet dough that is made with cream. The T&T one is certainly a lot sweeter, whereas the H-Mart one seems to have cream on the outside as a coating. The H-Mart one, although with a seemingly sweet coat, is hardly sweet. Nor is it exactly creamy. The coating was just bland. By contrast, T&T makes theirs with lots of sugar mixed into the dough. It does not have cream in particular but I actually prefer it this way. It was very soft and chewy and yeast-based. I am actually quite partial to this one based on what I have tried this time. It was not too oily and the inside was certainly not oily so overall, it was quite a pleasant, sweet dessert.
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If it was not for the package deal, I would have never bought the 火腿肉松三明治 (Dried Pork & Ham Sandwich). I do not like sandwiches. That has been true since day one. Actually, I just do not like the combination of lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and processed meat with bread. I have grown quite partial to fresh mozzarella sandwiches with pesto on either focaccia or some other type of artisan bread. Actually, anything without processed, sliced meat is good with me now. This sandwich was good except for the ham. I loved the thin omelet, cucumbers, and dried pork fluff. I also appreciate the bread being without the crust. It is certainly a very Asian-ized sandwich, with the white bread, light mayo, cucumbers, and dried pork fluff. Even the omelet was quite Asian. It was a rather light sandwich and I appreciated it not having lettuce and tomatoes. The bread was soft and the egg had a good, somewhat hard texture. It was decent, but still not memorable and not my favourite.
ImageI was quite surprised to find in the 绿豆蓉蛋黄荷叶面包 (Green Bean Paste w/ Salted Egg-yolk Lotus) only a bread with a mung bean and egg yolk paste centre. Mom and I first thought it was filled with sticky rice. However, when I took it out of the bag, it was

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clearly too light to be rice. The concept may be new and interesting, and although the bread had a nice lotus leaf aroma to it, it was not particular memorable. It was ridiculously huge but it was just a puffy bread. There was definitely not enough filling in this one and the bread was again quite dry and only tasted good once it was reheated in the toaster oven. It was still airy and light, though. The filling was also decently sweetened. I would have liked a smoother texture, perhaps with white lotus paste mixed into it. However, since the filling is made from mung bean paste and egg yolks, it was decent enough. Actually, the texture was quite rough for a paste and dry, but that is just the nature of egg yolks I think. I am sure that this is how it is supposed to taste. For the price they charge for this though, it is certainly good enough.
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All in all, despite some dryness to the bread – partly due to the buns not being eaten the same day they were baked and partly due to the fact T&T Bakery tends to slightly over bake the individual buns – I really appreciate the quality for the amount that they charge. I love watching the workers pack up the bread at the end of the day and debating over which bag to buy, taking into consideration the assorted buns in each bag and not knowing what is the filling of some of them. It gives you great variety and a chance to sample something you would perhaps never look at twice. Whenever Mom or I are out past 8:30, we are sure to make a trip to T&T and bring home a bag of goodies!

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