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I Fu Tang: Crispy Sponge Cakes, Pumpkin Buns, & Mochi Buns…Is There Anything They Don’t Make?!

April 21, 2007


I’ve always found Chinese bakeries quite amazing. How to do they manage to offer such a wide variety of products and sell them goods for such low prices?? Every time I pay $5 for a milkshake or slice of cake, I get this awful guilty feeling in the gut of my stomach thinking that I could have bought at least three baked goods from a Chinese bakery at that price!

In the past week, I found myself visiting I Fu Tang in Rowland Height’s Diamond Plaza rather frequently. The other day I had a Crispy Cake ($1.50) for an after dinner and dessert snack. Isn’t it curious looking?

It was great fun to bite into, first you encounter the soft, delicate vanilla sponge cake featured in many Asian bakeries, then, a thin layer of cream. But only just enough to bind the layers upon layers of crisp phyllo dough. It’s such a simple concept, wrapping sponge cake around phyllo, but alas it’s treat that’s greater than the sum of its parts. To make things even better, it’s only a tad sweet, so you don’t even feel like it is dessert!

For breakfast the next morning, I had the Pumpkin Bun ($1.75). I didn’t expect any filling inside the bun so pleasantly surprised to find a whole mountain of whipped cream cheese inside. Oh man it was sooo good, especially when toasted, the fluffy cream cheese almost melting into the warm bun, with just a the lightest pumpkin flavor.

The top is brushed with this thin custardy layer and sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg. It turned all crazy crusty after being toasted and I couldn’t get over the trio of textures: a thin nearly cracker like crust, a soft yeast bun and the fluff of a nearly savory cream cheese.

By far the most intriguing pastry to have at I Fu Tang is the mochi bun. This simple, straightforward bun studded with beans harbors the most wonderful secret ever: a layer of chewy mochi! I love mochi and I love bread even more, so it was truly a great day when I found the both together.

The top crust of the bun is also worth mentioning, I did a post on a mochi bun from different bakeries before, but I Fu Tang is the only bakery who does something magical to their bun that’s similar to Panya’s Hokkaido Bread. You end up this thin custard-like/sweet/barely crusty top that’s truly the conglomeration of all things wonderful.

If you get the red bean mochi bun (pictured), mashed azuki beans are layered upon the mochi. With the taro mochi bun, it’s a layer of whipped, sweetened taro. You can’t go wrong with either bun, but I prefer the red bean one more because the bun top is studded with lots and lots of beans! And who doesn’t like red beans? :)

I Fu Tang Bakery
1380 Fullerton Rd Ste 101
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 581-0888

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