Monday, April 20, 2009

Taiwanese Bakery Goods (including ChiaTe Bakery)

Stir-fried Noodles Bun

Pretty nifty idea for a bun, eh?

The moment I saw these stir-fried noodles buns on display, I knew I had to buy one.

From what I can discern, they simply are stir-fried noodles in a bun, topped with Japanese (QP) mayonnaise. It was pretty good!

That bun gives you a window into the world of Taiwanese Bakery Goods (not to be confused with Hong Kong bakery goods).

The buns are usually soft and slightly sweet, and there are no qualms about putting different ideas together in one bun. There are savory items and sweet treats as well.

Here's a little sampler, including descriptions to the best of our abilities.

Pork Floss with Seaweed and Sesame Seeds Bun
This is a variation on the classic Pork Floss Bun. This did not have Japanese (QP) mayonnaise.

We forgot to take a picture of a standard Taiwanese Pork Floss bun!

Tuna Salad and Potato Salad Sandwich
OK, this isn't technically a bakery item, but this is one of those sandwiches filled with potato salad, as mentioned when we made our Mashed Potato Burger.

Look, there's potato salad on one side, tuna salad on another. Each salad is wrapped with ham, and there's a cheese divider!

Cuttlefish Pizza Bun
Usually, pizza buns would have tomato sauce and cheese, among other things. In this case, I'm not sure if there are actual cuttlefish pieces on the "pizza." Also, I'm guessing that the bun is black because of cuttlefish ink?

(Anybody who can read the description and is able to help, please do so. Thanks!)

I don't know what this is! But, it sure does look nice.

I'm not sure if this is the same as the above; it doesn't seem to be, but they look very similar. In any case, this has some sort of rose flavoring, I think.

Oh yes, you've read right. This is Chocolate Cake & Bread!

I understand the thinking: sometimes a chocolate cake is too dessert-y, but just plain bread is too... well, plain. Why not combine the two in one slice. Genius.

Scrambled Eggs with Ketchup Bun
This is a breakfast bun if there ever was one. Too bad they had that acetate film covering the egg/ketchup filling; it doesn't make for a nice picture.

Breakfast is what I most associate with these buns. On the days when we wanted a quick breakfast, we would just walk down any street to find a bakery shop. I love the choices available and I love the fact that I can have sweet and savory buns in one breakfast. With a cup of coffee purchased from any convenience store (the coffee at 7-11 is surprisingly good, better than Starbucks), these make a very satisfying breakfast.

Baking Room @ Hi-Life
This is where we had the best buns during our trip.

Hi-Life is a convenience store, à la 7-Eleven, but they had a section or room in this branch with shelves filled with Taiwanese bakery goods.

This was on our last morning in Taipei and we chanced upon this Bakery Room while waiting for our shuttle to the airport. This was just across the Burger King where we espied the poster for the Mashed Potato Beef Burger.

Black Sesame Bun
Isn't it pretty?

left: Ham and Corn Bun
right: Pork Floss with Green Onion Bun

Ham and Corn Buns are a standard item. This was very nice indeed. In fact, we aren't usually attracted to ham and corn buns in general, but this one called to us!

This Pork Floss and Green Onion Bun is shaped slightly differently. It seems that the dough was flattened, topped with pork floss, then rolled into logs. Green onions are a popular ingredient in Taiwanese buns.

Dream Lovers
I don't actually know what these buns are! But, what a name, eh? They looked so nice that I took a picture.

From what I can gather, its ingredients are flour, eggs, milk, some other dairy product(?), raisins, and perhaps cocoa?

While we were sitting at a table in this "Baking Room" section in the store, a couple of men in bakers' outfits came in and started having a loud discussion about some of the products on the shelves. It seemed like a "professional" discussion. In fact, this "dream lover" bun was one of the items they were referring to. Perhaps they wanted to refine their technique or change this bun?

When we finished eating our buns, we exited the Baking Room and went into the convenience store proper. At one end of this Hi-Life branch was the reason all these buns were so good.

These were the two men. They baked all the goods right on the premises. On the premises of a convenience store. Top that, 7-Eleven!

I loved the pork floss bun here! It was the best one I had on this trip -- and in quite some time.

ChiaTe Bakery

Pineapple Pastry/Cake
Apparently, ChiaTe Bakery is "the best" in making Taiwan's famous pineapple pastry. (Not to be confused with pineapple buns.)

I don't have fond memories of Taiwanese pineapple pastries as they were always sickly-sweet. However, these ChiaTe ones have converted me! They weren't too sweet, and the pineapple filling was very pineapple-y indeed.

We received this box of assorted pastry/cakes. Besides pineapple filling, these were filled with strawberry filling, cranberry filling, and another one that I've forgotten.

We were too busy eating that I forgot to take a photo of an opened little packet. Teczcape has a photo of a naked pineapple pastry.

teczcape: Taiwan pineapple cake

It was like a madhouse inside ChiaTe Bakery!

There seemed to be an air of panic among the customers, as if everybody was afraid the store would run out of items! It was loud and there may have been slight shoving. ;)

JS and I didn't understand why there was such panic, as we saw that the bakery staff were continually coming out of the kitchen, replenishing all the goods on the shelves!

According to AL, there was an incident of near rioting by the customers when the store ran out of the pineapple pastries sometime during the Chinese New Year rush this year.

Thanks to AL's and CL's parents for giving us the box of Fruit Pastries!

And finally, here are fake baked goods! Teehee. They were made of something similar to memory foam. Quite squishy and soft.

We hope you enjoyed this little show-and-tell of ours!

Taiwan trip 2009
Taiwanese Bakery Goods (including ChiaTe Bakery)
Dan Shui 淡水, Taiwan (including food)
Taipei Quick Eats: Mos Burger, Hong Ya Breakfast, Ay Chung Flour-Rice Noodle
Taipei Convenience Store Foods
Shilin Night Market 士林夜市 (Taipei, Taiwan)
Breakfast Buffet at the Shangri-La (Taipei, Taiwan)
Taiwan Beef Noodle Soup, 4 versions (Taipei, Taiwan)
Yehliu 野柳 Geopark; Dried Seafood (Taiwan)

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la prochaine fois: Sweet Taiwanese Breads
la prochaine fois: Savory Taiwanese Breads

Wikipedia: Chinese Bakery products


  1. What a great post with so many delicious baked goods!

  2. Wow...what a crazy (for me) combination of choices. Very expedient to put the salad right into the sandwich with the tuna. I must say the cuttlefish pizza piques my interest.

  3. I'm always too confused to know what to order in an Asian bakery. The egg & ketchup sandwich reminds me of the egg sandwiches we had every morning for breakfast in London

  4. This post is absolutely amazing! I've never seen such variety - not in Vancouver, for sure! Even that sandwich is something pretty special!

  5. I did, I did! That black sesame bun is beautiful-- I need to copy it somehow! :P

  6. I love that tuna/potato salad sandwich, with cheese divider! How cleaver?!

  7. Cleaver? *Whack.* *Whack.*

    Clever. I can spell. Honest. :)

  8. Loved this post.
    Funny, appetizing, inspiring.
    Isn't that enough?
    But I find your rcepies too complicated, can't you post something simple?

  9. Bakery breads is one of my favorite. Well, I do know they are more sinful than those grainy and wholemeal stuff from some of the artisan bakeries...but I'm just amazed by the variety in some of these Asian bakeries. Did you like the pineapple cake?

  10. Joelen:
    Thanks! =)

    What a great post with so many delicious baked goods!

    Joan Nova:
    Hehe, we were chuckling to ourselves sometimes while perusing their bakery shelves.

    Sometimes it's just a matter of selecting some items and hoping for the best! =) Eggs with ketchup is a common breakfast thing -- so I guess they decided to make it portable by putting it in a bun!

    Yeah! There seems to be fewer Taiwanese bakeries here, and of course, their selection is smaller too!

    Thanks. But yes, that black sesame bun is so pretty. Please do copy it so I can see how it's made.

    Wandering Chopsticks:
    Hahaha... Apparently, I've been making all sorts of typos that I don't notice in my comments. =D But teehee, I did get a kick out of that sandwich.

    Thanks for visiting! And yes, yes, we do have lots of easy recipes! We do favor dump-everything-into-a-pot recipes; start with our Mama recipes. Easy recipes are all in here. =)

    I usually don't like pineapple pastries, just because they were always too sweet and artificial-tasting. But the ChiaTe ones were really good! I think they've made me a convert! It's a good thing they're not available here, otherwise I'd just keep eating them.


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