With pure randomness, I think I'm now on a mission to find the best Chinese bakery in the GVRD. It all started with an impromptu stop at Pine House two weeks ago. Unsatisfied with the buns and pastries from Pine House, I decided to visit New Town Bakery last week. So far, New Town has been the best. Up this week is Maxim's Bakery. Maxim's has been around for quite a long time and they have subsequently expanded into several locations in the GVRD. In fact, you can add The Boss Bakery as one of their locations too since it is owned by the same company.
For many years now, I've mainly gotten my Chinese buns and pastries from Maxim's (the Metrotown location). Not because they are necessarily the best; rather, they are the closest to where I live. I think Maxim's is pretty decent in terms of appearance and taste; however, everything seems to be shrinking in size. I'm either imagining things or they are indeed getting smaller.
Since I was in Chinatown, I decided to pick up some bakery items from the original Maxim's location on Keefer. It was quite busy and I really couldn't stand that there was no ticket system there. Essentially, it's whoever is more pushy will be the next up in the queue. The other Maxim locations have a number system; however, the Chinatown location still hasn't caught up with the times. I guess they want to retain the Chinatown feel to it, where everything is about yelling, pushing, spitting (well, not in the store at least) and fighting for things. Well, I put on my Chinatown game face and was able to barge by a few people.
I got my usual 16 pieces of buns and pastries which included: Pineapple BBQ Pork Bun, Curry Beef Bun, Curry Puff Pastry, Egg Tart and Chicken Pie. I have to say that I totally agree with Kim Ho, who writes I'm Only Here for the Food. There seems to be less and less filling in Maxim buns. Compared to New Town, it's less than half the filling for an equivalent-sized bun. Appearance and taste-wise, the stuff at Maxim's is acceptable. However, if you don't have enough filling, it's like a burger with a tiny patty. Moreover, the filling is a bit weak in flavour. The filling at New Town is much more flavourful and savory. Other than being skimpy on the filling, the Pineapple BBQ Pork bun is quite good. There is a nice crumbly top and the bun itself is not too dense. The egg tart tastes pretty good, but the crust is far from flaky. At least there is more egg than crust.
For me, Maxim's will never be proclaimed as the best Chinese bakery in town. However, it is more than respectable if you want to get some buns and pastries. Moreover, their fresh cream cakes are pretty good value. They are not as good as Amy's or Anna's, but they are less expensive. I would put Maxim's in the middle somewhere; along with Pine House, but definitely better than T & T.
- Looks the part, mostly tastes the part
- Reasonable prices
- Filling is skimpy and is a bit bland
- Buns are a bit small
257 Keefer Street
8:00am - 7:00pm (7 days a week)