Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hong Kong Bakery & Bistro

There's no doubt that Ala Shanghai has set some pretty high standards when it comes to dim sum. It's one of our favorite places but for the sake of trying something new we stopped by Hong Kong Bakery & Bistro

I've stopped in the grab and go portion of the bakery before for quicks snacks and bubble tea. One of my favorite bakery items are these huge vanilla sponge cakes that are so simple yet delicious. These cupcakes are eggy and delicately sweet, no need for frosting. It's hard to eat just one cupcake especially since they are so light and airy, its texture much like angelfood cake.  Whenever my friend D is in town, she always stops by and loads up on baked pork buns for her journey up to the North Country. These for me have been hit or miss. I once stopped in toward the end of the night and wonder whether the pork buns I picked up had been sitting on the shelf too long. The bbq pork filling was a bit off putting taste-wise. Another time I stopped in the early afternoon for a buy 3 get one free bun special and they tasted much fresher and better. I was curious to try the steamed version and stopped for dim sum. 

The beauty of dim sum is that they are small, sharable plates so you can go all out and order a feast. Pressed for time, J and I went with a scaled back version. Dim sum here is advertised as made to order so I was curious to try the steamed rice rolls with shrimp and steamed bbq pork buns for comparison. I love the soft and chewy texture of steamed rice rolls. We have a similar Vietnamese dish called banh cuon that's dipped in fish sauce. The Chinese dim sum version comes in a pool of sweet soy sauce and the steamed rice rolls are the perfect canvas to mop the salty soy and bites of sweet shrimp completes this small plate. As for the pork buns, the filling is your typical sweet, gelatinous red char siu pork much like the baked version. I enjoyed the steamed versions better than the baked version mostly because it's served hot and I like the fluffy bun texture better too. 

The menu itself is quite extensive in addition to the dim sum options. Since J and I are both fighting colds we also ordered a couple of soups. One of my go to soups to cure a cold is a hot and sour soup. I'd say this was your typical standard hot and sour soup with a good balance of heat and vinegar and chock-full of vegetables, tofu, and bits of meat. All good for sweating the toxins out. J tried the beef stew noodle soup, which was a meal in itself. It's a huge portion! I can't remember if J's came with his choice of noodle but I think he got a standard egg noodle. I did sneak a spoonful of the broth with was rich yet light. He liked it too although the soup did come with mystery cuts of beef which I couldn't quite identify and neither could he. J ate the whole bowl anyway, he's a pretty adventurous eater too. Overall, we were impressed by the clean and comfortable atmosphere as well as the attentive service. If the bakery cases haven't lured you in by now, come give the bistro a try too. Hong Kong Bakery & Bistro is a one stop shop for sweet and savory treats! 

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