August 17, 2012
大统华面包坊 – T&T Bakery, Richmond BC
菠萝奶黄包-港式 (Custard Cream Pineapple Bun (HK))
甜奶酥芝士包 (Custard Cheese Bun)
杏片椰丝包 (Coconut Bun W/ Slice Almonds)
海苔肉松卷 (Dried Pork & Seaweed Roll)
肠仔包 (Sausage Bun)
红豆包 (Red Bean Bun)
杏仁牛角包 (Almond Croissant)
牛角火腿沙拉包 (Ham Croissant)
Yet another night of picking up various small buns from T&T Bakery. This time, Auntie came along and we spent a good few minutes picking out our bags, looking for both items we have not yet tried and our favourites. I got lucky, picking up a bit of both.
The first was the 菠萝奶黄包-港式 (Custard Cream Pineapple Bun (HK)), which I got from Auntie’s bag. By the next day, although slightly flattened out, it was still incredibly delicious. The pineapple sugar topping was crumbly and sweet, covering pretty much the entire bun. The bread was still sweet, and extremely soft and moist. I am not sure where the extra moisture came from, but the texture was closer to that of a moist cake. I absolutely loved the bread, but even better was the custard filling. It was also very moist. The light yellow was pleasant to the eye and the flavour was spot on – perfectly sweetened with the aroma of eggs and milk. I love Asian custard fillings, and this is by far one of the best I have tried.
None of us were sure what exactly was inside the 甜奶酥芝士包 (Custard Cheese Bun) when we bought it. A look at the labels on the empty shelves told me it was probably the crumbly custard. The cheese layer on top was very thin yet had a distinctively savoury cheese flavour. The bread was soft and puffy, not exactly moist but not dry either. If just biting into the cheese and bread, it would just be a savoury bun. However, the crumbly milk custard inside changed that completely. It was a very firm filling and I hesitate to call it custard. Rather, it is a milk, cream, egg, and sugar crumble that has hardened slightly. Still, it was sweet and good, even when paired with the savoury cheese.
The 杏片椰丝包 (Coconut Bun W/ Slice Almonds) was quite uninteresting, although still decent. It is a simple bread dough with a cream coconut crumble filling rolled into it, then topped with almond slices. The presentation was nice and pretty, the twists made quite evenly and the layers were evident. There was a decent amount of the coconut filling as well. It was quite sweet but with the shredded coconut and crumble texture. The almonds also added more crunch to the bread, which was slightly on the dry side by the next day. For those looking for something simple yet not too plain, this would be perfect.
The 海苔肉松卷 (Dried Pork & Seaweed Roll) was actually surprisingly simple but good. It is just their regular bread dough, barely sweet and not too moist or dry, with dried pork fluff rolled into it, sticking to the egg white-mayonnaise-sweet butter concoction. I am not sure what that sauce is actually made of, but it is transparent with a light yellow hue, only the slightest bit oily, and tastes like a sweet mayonnaise or butter but not as rich. Mom thinks it is made with egg whites but I have no clue. It is the same one that goes into their other rolls and buns with dried pork fluff and I absolutely love the combination. The seaweed wrap just gives it another, slightly savoury flavour and adds a bit of a chew to the roll.
The 肠仔包 (Sausage Bun) is perhaps one of the simplest in design T&T Bakery offers. There is nothing creative here, just a regular, small wiener inside bread, just like a hot dog. The sausage was very tender and flavourful, although it did taste like those mass-produced ones that are processed so much the real flavour of the meat gets lost. I still like them, just like how older types of bad quality food are still comforting. The bread was incredible in this bun though. It was very soft, slightly sweet, and quite moist but not too wet. Rather, it had the perfect stickiness while still maintaining the shape, and could be squished to make it denser. It just had the most perfect bread dough I could ask for in any of these rolls, neither over nor under baked.
The 红豆包 (Red Bean Bun) was another extremely simple concept. It had an azuki bean filling, with some of the beans mushed enough to form a paste. This kind of red bean paste is certainly not smooth, with whole beans or parts of beans scattered throughout. It was sweet but not overwhelming, still keeping some of the natural aroma from the azuki beans. The scattered beans actually gave the filling a nice, hard, yet still easily chewed texture, smooth and coarse at the same time. There was a decent amount of filling, though I could have easily used more since it certainly is not the sweetest red bean paste I have had. The bun was not exactly moist or sticky enough for me, but a bite or two and the dough would once again be of that perfect texture in my mouth. Even though the outside layer is slightly brown, the insides were still soft and fluffy.
The 杏仁牛角包 (Almond Croissant) is not complicated either, priced at only $1.19. It looked decent and had the buttery taste of a croissant. It had good layers but could have been slightly more buttery and soft. I like my croissants to be on the more buttery side rather than somewhat dry. It was a little over-baked and the almonds only added a little crunch and not much else to the pastry.
Finally, there was the 牛角火腿沙拉包 (Ham Croissant). This croissant was much better, more flaky, buttery, and soft. It was also a lighter, golden shade, signifying that it was not over-baked. There was lettuce, a processed cheddar cheese slice, ham, and an egg omelet inside. The egg was tender and soft while maintaining some moisture. The ham was average and slightly savoury. The lettuce was kind of wilted and I could have done without it. The cheese added more flavour to the sandwich and made it taste more western. This was the standard Asian take on a western sandwich and nothing out of the ordinary. The ingredients were of decent quality, though, and tasted fine for what it was.
I am still amazed to find that there are still a couple of buns I have not blogged about, which means I have not eaten it for at least a couple of months. Perhaps there will be time for one more round to try the last few that I want to sample before school starts again. Looking at what is in each bag and having a hard time comparing bags and finally picking out one or two is always something that I will miss when I am away; the simplicity of life from grocery shopping easily turns amusing and becomes a fond memory.