Emperor’s Garden Cake and Bakery sits behind the tiger-
I had this bakery in my sights as I was on a quest for jian dui without having to go to yum cha. Specifically, I was after the deliciously crunchy and chewy sesame encrusted sphere. Find it I did, only there were two similar looking items under the ever helpful signage of ‘Dim Sum’. The staff member putting the items out didn’t speak English and merely grunted at the questions posed by an Anglo-Saxon family, so I got both. After all, what’s the worse that could happen? More delicious crunchy and chewy sesame dough? I’ll take those chances!
This is the 4cm sphere is the salty egg yolk custard jian dui ($1.40).
The dough here takes on a yellow colour, though there’s not much of a difference in taste from the white dough you’d expect. More importantly, this easily satisfied my requirements for a chewy and crispy shell. While the jian dui was fried long enough for the sesame seeds to take on a moreish toastiness, it did leave greasiness. The salty egg yolk custard was also thick, making the eating of the jian dui a clean experience, yet I prefer the messiness of a more runny custard.
This is the 6cm sphere, a red bean filled jian dui ($1.70).
This one uses the typical white dough in jian dui. It’s quite a big sphere, with the rice flour wrapping the red bean paste having detached from half of the interior of the same chewy and crispy shell. The red bean paste is a generous dollop and perfectly smooth in texture, although it’s so thick that you can chew it like candy.
This is the sweet melon cake ($1.60) or more traditionally known as Wife Cake.
The pastry was hard without the fluffy flakiness that I’ve come to love. Particularly, on the base, the pastry was like a cookie. The sweet melon filling lacked winter melon flavour, and so became just a sweet nondescript filling, although I did enjoy the addition of sesame seeds.
And finally, this is the custard egg tart ($1.40), which is decent, although the custard was very thick and stiff. I prefer a more buttery and flaky pastry with a more wobbly egg custard. Perhaps they should fill their egg tarts with the custard they use to fill their custard puffs?
Emperor’s Garden & Bakery is a decent Chinese bakery, although none of the items are particularly amazing.
Emperor’s Garden Cake & Bakery is located at 96 – 100 Hay St, Haymarket NSW 2000