Mouthful of Sunshine

Satisfaction in every bite

Specials, Specials, Specials – Dunkin’ Donuts

ImageMarch 13, 2013
Dunkin’ Donuts, Philadelphia PA
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Irish Creme Iced Coffee
Irish Creme Donut
Angus Steak & Egg Breakfast Sandwich
Angus Steak & Egg Wake-up Wrap
Big n’ Toasted
Hash Browns

Lucky Mint Donut
Cinnamon Cake Donut
Apple Cheese Danish
Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Chocolate Chip Muffin
Corn Muffin
Caramel Latte Lite
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ImageWith a bunch of coupons in my possession, St. Patrick’s Day promotions, and featured steak menu items, I basically had a day of just Dunkin’ Donuts food. Well, it was nice to share sweets with a friend, but still, the sandwiches were filling. However, I love breakfast all day long so it was no problem. Image

The Irish Creme Iced Coffee, which I had with some skim milk, was creamy and sweet. I loved the traditional Irish creme flavour that was quite prominent, especially near the bottom of the cup. Image

The Irish Creme Donut was filled with a flavoured cream that was just as sweet and just as good. It looked very plain and unappetizing though so I think a warmer brown or a different colour altogether would have been nice. Image

The Angus Steak & Egg Breakfast Sandwich that I got on a plain bagel – just like their advertisements – was just okay. The bagel was nicely toasted and I liked the simple cheese and freshly fried egg. However, the steak was a little dry. Image

The Angus Steak & Egg Wake-up Wrap was the same, with a good toasty tortilla, gooey melted  cheese, half an egg patty, and dry steak. I really wanted some juicy meat so this was disappointing. 

The Big n’ Toasted was pretty good. The toast was nicely browned and thick enough. I liked the egg and cheese combination with the bacon. The bacon could have been a little crispier, I thought, and it was not as big as I had expected it to be, especially since the bread got moist again after being in the bag. Image

The Hash Browns were actually not bad, just too greasy. They were just the right size and crispy on the outside while the inside was mushy. It had decent seasoning, too. Image

The Lucky Mint Donut was certainly prettier than the Irish Creme one despite having the same, delicious filling. It was green and thus perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.Image

The Cinnamon Cake Donut was a little dry and a little bland on the inside. However, I did like the sweet cinnamon sugar, though it was messy to eat. 

The Apple Cheese Danish was nice and flaky, with some chew and density to the pastry. I liked the apple filling but could have used more sweet cream cheese inside to amp up the sweetness of the glaze and icing drizzle a bit.Image

The Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookie was not that good. I prefer an ooey, gooey, and very soft cookie but this was only slightly soft and moist in the center. The edges were a little crunchy hard for me although the different kinds of chocolate was nice. Image

ImageThe Chocolate Chip Muffin had a lot of chocolate chips inside but the batter was a little dry, especially on the edge. I did like the sugar topping on top though to give it more sweetness.Image

The Corn Muffin was like a cornbread and moist and crumbly at the same time. It was not overly sweet but you can definitely get that corn aroma coming through.

Finally, the Caramel Latte Lite had a faint but nice caramel flavour. It was a decent latte that I probably would not have gotten had it been for the coupon. I just do not think their espresso is as good as those at other places.Image

There are so many more options to choose from at the store in 30th Street Station. The one on campus is just a little limited. Both seem rather clean and accommodating though. So many coupons that it was all for great value. 

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Cheesy by the Beach – Starbucks

ImageJanuary 4, 2013
Starbucks, Lahaina HI
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Cheese Danish
Gingerbread Biscotti
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What a beautiful beach at Whalers Village! All the lovely, relaxing resorts. I can totally stay here for a couple of weeks and just sit back, relax, and enjoy life! Sip on a cup of iced coffee in the morning with some delicious pastries and voila, there is the perfect start to a vacation day.

The Cheese Danish was the best danish I have had, not just at Starbucks. The sweet and creamy cheese was so delicious even Mom liked it. The pastry dough was flaky yet chewy and not overly greasy. I loved it. That cheese made the treat special, though!Image

The Gingerbread Biscotti was a Christmas special. It was hard and crunchy with a very aromatic ginger flavour. I loved the spice with the sugar frosting. It was simple but still very good. 

You have to know what to order at Starbucks. This particular one at the Marriot’s Maui Ocean Club villa had particularly expensive sandwiches and wraps. I would have tried them if I were staying there for a couple of days, though!

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

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!

Osaka Supermarket 大阪超級市場 on Urbanspoon

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Nostalgic Place and Taste – 美心饼店-Maxim’s Bakery

March 9, 2012
美心饼店 – Maxim’s Bakery, Richmond BC
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栗子包 (Chestnut Bun)
吞拿鱼丹麦酥 (Tuna Fish Danish)
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This bakery has been here since we came to Canada I think. At least I do not remember it ever not being there. We used to get curry buns and egg tarts and my old favourite, the pineapple and cherry danish, from there when we lived in our rented townhouse. Ahh, those good ol’ times. They closed down a couple of years ago but reopened and every now and then, Mom and I would drop in to take a look as we got tired of shopping and looking at clothing racks.

This time, I especially was not in a shopping mood so off we went inside the bakery. What did we find? Some nostalgic, new bakery items that are absolutely scrumptious. Well, at least these specific ones were not available at T&T, where we get most of our delicious Asian bakery goodies.

First, we spotted the 栗子包 (Chestnut Bun). Chestnut paste cake was what we started with (along with Black Forest Cake) in T&T bakery way back when. Chestnut paste is just good. End of story. However, Auntie discovered last year that Maxim’s had a better cake than T&T. This time, it was not a cake but a bun. Moist and chewy break rolled up with my favourite chestnut paste in a butterfly shape. It looked delicious and tasted great, too! I can just never get enough chestnut stuff!

Next, Mom wanted to try the 吞拿鱼丹麦酥 (Tuna Fish Danish). I am still not a big fan of tuna, but the way the made the tuna salad with canned tuna and mayonnaise is exactly like what Mom used to make ten years ago. It tastes good now because it reminded me of something so long ago, even though I didn’t care for it much back then. The glaze on the top gave it a nice sweetness, though I have never been a fan of layered pastry dough and danishes (I like danish fillings, not the dough). Perhaps this is not close to my favourite bakery goodies but it was nostalgia seeping through and through.

Maxim's 美心餅店 (Richmond) on Urbanspoon

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