Yen Ching Bakery, From Spicy Bacon to Coconut Creme 

Longtime downtown denizen Yen Ching has added something new to the menu--a full-service bakery.

Mike Chou, whose family owns the restaurant, invited BW down for a taste of what the confectionery, appropriately named Yen Ching Bakery, had to offer.

The bakery adjoins the restaurant but with only three small bistro tables, and long rows of baskets where the baked goods will be, it caters to a to-go crowd. We arrived expecting a few pastries, maybe a doughnut or two, and were surprised to see tray after tray of sweets, savory and spicy treats set before us.

We tasted crispy butter cookies, dainty little egg custard tarts, slices of sushi sandwiches, lovely layered milk bread and tons of buns--barbecued pork filled, spicy bacon, coconut creme, onion and more.

Chou said the bakery already sells its baked goods to a couple of the Asian markets in town and made sure we tasted their two biggest sellers: taro root buns with purple threads running through soft, airy bread and sweet dense red bean buns (the milk bread comes in at a close third).

A pastry chef and cake master--both from Los Angeles--are behind the delectable creations.

Yen Ching Bakery is open seven days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The bakery (and the restaurant) are located at 305 N. Ninth St.

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