A Piece of Cake

I stumbled upon A Piece of Cake after eating a lovely Chinese dinner at The Red Lantern in the International District. Despite it’s extensive neon signage, it’s overshadowed in reputation by Fuji Bakery (a half a block away). Still, I thought I’d give it a shot – it just looked so bright and welcoming on such a dark winter day.

The bakery basically has two sections: traditional Chinese buns (pork bun, coconut bun, red bean pastries, etc) and more western-style desserts that range from traditional chocolate cake to honeydew melon cake. I chose a couple from each side, starting with a mango mousse and green tea cake:

Green tea in desserts is an acquired taste, and I thought I had acquired it. But I had trouble enjoying the green tea flavor alongside the mango. I think I would have liked it better if the cake just had ONE strong flavor, and if it had a little more flour (I often find Asian-style cakes to be much too airy). I then tried a coconut-filled bun. The bread was perfect – eggy, with that lovely cotton candy texture you get in Challah bread. The coconut filling, however, was a little too heavy. I could only finish about half the bun (granted, it was pretty big). I saved my final choice, the Lotus Pastry, for the next day:

The girl at the counter asked if I’d ever had lotus before, I admitted I had not. She hinted that it was another acquired taste, and wondered if I would like it. I told her there were very few desserts I wouldn’t like, and that I wanted to try a traditional Chinese pastry. I probably should have listened to her though, because I found the lotus filling (made from lotus seeds) to be dry and oddly flavored. Or, perhaps I just need to work harder to acquire the taste?



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