I really wasn't planning on getting anymore Chinese Bakery items today. But since I was out shopping at Coscto, I figured, "why not?" I quickly made it over to Anna's Cake House on North Road because I was missing the Canucks game (the horror!). This is my 4th stop in my quest to find the best Chinese bakery in the GVRD. I've been to Anna's many times before and their cakes are definitely some of the best. I've never minded their bakery items and today was my chance to compare it with Maxim's, New Town and Pine House. Of course there are smaller independent bakeries that can be surprising; but I'll leave that to after I finish up with the bigger stores first (St Germain and T&T).
Nearing the end of the day, the parking lot in front of Anna's was quite empty. Normally, this parking lot is a mess because there are too many businesses and too few spaces. I quickly snapped a picture of the storefront and made my way in. Just as I was snapping a picture of the display case, I heard the 2 staff members mumbling in Chinese about me taking the photo. They then warned me not to take any photos (in English). Unbeknownst to them, I understood them when they were mumbling. I replied that I wrote an internet blog and it is essentially free advertising for them, especially since I like Anna's products. They both were unimpressed and probably thought I was a wacko. I know it's private property and it's their right to stop me from taking photos, but really, what am I going to do with a picture of Char Sui Baos??? When they did decide to speak with me, they tried to push the egg tarts at a discount. I guess they needed to get rid of them.
From their limited selection, we got some Egg Tarts, Coconut Tarts, BBQ Pork Buns, Wiener Buns (yes, hot dog wieners), Ham & Egg Buns and Loh Por Beng. The last one, if translated, means "old wife cake". I know, it's not a flattering name; but it was very good. It was flaky and the filling was sweet, but not too sweet. If you look at the picture of the tarts and if you are an egg tart aficionado, you'll notice that the tart shell is not flaky. Well, it wasn't and that ruins the egg tart, even if the filling was good. Mind you, that hard "pie-shell" was actually quite good with the coconut tart.
The BBQ Pork was both good and bad. From the picture, you can see that they really need to put more filling into the bun. However, the bun itself was very good, it was both soft and a bit chewy. I know this is personal preference, but I don't prefer onions in my BBQ pork bun. I believe it kills the taste of the pork. Moreover, the filling was a bit too sweet for my tastes. The one positive is that the quality of the bun itself bodes well for the other bakery items since the dough is used universally. Overall, if you take the cakes into consideration, Anna's is a solid choice for Chinese buns and pastries. Anna's products are certainly more delicate than the others; however, New Town still takes the "cake" in overall execution.
- Products are made with care
- Outstanding cakes (especially wedding cakes)
- Pastry and doughs are very well done (except for the egg tart)
- More expensive than other bakeries
- Lack of filling
- Snooty staff (according to JA, it's common at all locations)
Anna's Cake House
4333 North Road
10:00am - 6:30pm (7 days a week)