There was a period in early 2016 where I went on a mini-quest to Chinese bakeries to find a good red bean sesame ball. My constant talk of them had D craving them so much that we searched for them in the shops surrounding Westpoint in Blacktown. While there was no shortage of Vietnamese bakeries, we concluded that there’s a dearth of Chinese bakeries in Blacktown. A couple of months later, when the craving had passed, we went to the grocer at Good Luck Plaza only to be reminded that next door is a Chinese bakery!
We’d seen the bakery before but dismissed it from our memories as its drab appearance, half empty shelves and limited offering weren’t the least bit enticing. But this time, D spots perfectly round red bean sesame balls in the window.
These red bean sesame balls are $1.80 each, a bit pricier than bakeries more east, but isn’t it pretty? We weren’t expecting from this tiny bakery, but these turned out to taste the best so far when compared to those at Breadtop stores, Tai Baan Bakery and Emperor’s Garden Cafe & Bakery.
These have a delicious crispy sesame coating hiding a chewy inner wall encasing the soft red bean filling. The ratio between the dough and red bean paste was just right, both in terms of texture and size so that it didn’t form a lump in a corner, leaving half the ball without filling. On our first visit, the sesame ball was cool and not the slightest bit oily. Our second visit saw a slight oiliness to the coating as they were still fresh from the fryer, but the sesame ball did not leave an oily mouthfeel. These are best consumed fresh, as the dough loses it’s elasticity and becomes tough within a day.
Another of my favourite pastries from Hong Kong bakeries is Wife Cake ($2.00).
Here, the pastry is thick, heavy and dense, while the filling lacks the flavour of candied wintermelon. But that’s to be expected as wife cake is never much to speak of outside Hong Kong, where the flavour and flaky texture of the pastry achieved using pork lard shortening has been substituted with butter, which alters the taste.
We’ll be back for the red bean sesame balls.
Good Luck Bakery is at 4/19 First Ave, Blacktown NSW 2148.