By Sherman Chan,
Special to The Post
Other than a few select stores, most Chinese bakeries in town are relatively similar. There are those I would like avoid, such as T&T and possibly 1st Ave Bakery, but other than that, the bakeries are all satisfactory. However, recently a friend had been raving about a little spot in the London Drugs complex on Kingsway, where Chinese pastries meet a Japanese-trained baker. The place is known for their egg tarts, so in the name of product testing, I went in one day to try the egg tarts and other pastries.
The first thing I bit into was the Egg Tart. Still warm and fresh, it was delicious. I have to commend my friend on his recommendation. Light, buttery, flaky and soft, the tart pastry almost melted in my mouth. The nuttiness of the baked shell added another layer of flavour to the silky and semi-sweet egg custard. These are definitely at the very top of the list for best egg tarts in Metro Vancouver.
On the other hand, the buns were all disappointing. With the BBQ Pork Bun, the amount of filling was not sufficient for the size of the bun, and the dough was more chewy than soft. The bun was rather flat, and while it wasn't terrible, compared to the egg tart, it was just okay.
The same can be said about both the Ham and Egg Bun, and the Pineapple Bun. I didn’t like that the egg and ham were baked inside the bun as it dried out both the ingredients and the bun itself. The pineapple bun was as flat as the BBQ pork bun. Despite not being dense, the bun ate as such because it was compressed. The bun was haphazardly made into an odd teardrop shape with the topping misaligned. On the positive side, the topping was nicely crisp and aromatic. The Matcha Red Bean Bun was as bad as the pinapple bun, except that it looked pretty.
At this point, I was wondering if the egg tarts were a one-hit wonder, but the Mango Roll and Sponge Cake changed everything. As average as the buns were, the sponge cake was heavenly. Soft and airy, it had an aromatic nuttiness from the butter and fluffiness from the eggs. It was really good. As for the mango roll, it was much of the same and it had a wonderful mango flavour.
Marui Bakery is a diamond in the rough despite the mediocre buns. The egg tarts and cakes should be enough to keep the customers coming back.
Sherman Chan is the #1 ranked food blogger on the Vancouver portal of Urbanspoon.com. Read more of his reviews at www.shermansfoodadventures.com.
3340 Kingsway | (604) 431-7707
• FANTASTIC EGG TARTS
• WONDERFUL CAKES
• BUNS ARE MEDIOCRE
• SERVICE WAS A BIT INDIFFERENT