Clement Bakery & Deli in San Jose
The other tip from my auntie for Milpitas was the opening of Clement Bakery & Deli in the California Ranch Market. She recognized the name from the two-part store in San Francisco, and confirmed it with one of the employees. The address is actually in San Jose, just across the street from the Milpitas city limit, sharing a parking lot with Target and Walgreens.
Auntie recommended the baked pork bun, $1.25, here, saying it was comparable to SF’s Café Bakery. I picked up a couple yesterday and agree with her. These are big, about 4” wide and 3” high, and solidly packed with lean barbecued pork (char siu). They’re nicely browned and glazed, and the bread is less sweet than Café Bakery’s. The diced meat filling seems leaner, and a little harder in texture therefore, to me with a slightly sweet gravy pulling it together.
I also tried a daan taat (custard tart), $1, to compare with the one I bought from Golden Bakery. Golden Bakery won this taste-off by a mile. With limp and pale crust and starchy custard, I can’t recommend the one from here
“Yellow chicken” aka yellow-crowned chicken or wong mo gai was offered as a special at the barbecue stand: $11 whole or $6 for a half. This was a good version, cooked red at the bone with taut skin and showing off the firmness of the free-range bird. The counter man chopped and re-assembled it carefully in the box.
I’ve had the sense that this type of baked pork buns and take-away Cantonese barbecue stands like this are hard to come by in the South Bay. This piece of San Francisco in San Jose should be popular as the word gets out.
California Ranch Market
2115 Morrill Ave, San Jose, CA
30 S Park Victoria Dr, Milpitas, CA
Clement Bakery & Deli
2115 Morrill Ave, San Jose, CA 95132
The char sieu bow at Clement Bakery is closer to Café Bakery's bow in San Francisco of any other that have been encountered previously in the South Bay. It is striking at first glance, because it is bigger than the ones at Café Bakery and You's in San Francisco. The Clement bow has a very attractive, shiny, perfectly smooth, glazed exterior. The frozen, thawed Café bow (only what is available at hand for comparison) is not as perfectly rounded, has a few wrinkles (due to freezing and thawing?) and does not have a shiny appearance. The Café bun is more densely packed, chunkier cubes of pork, no voids; the Clement bow is more loosely packed and has an air pocket. The filling on the Café bow has a clean, distinctive, sweeter, taste and suggestive of some rice wine mixed in perhaps? The Clement filling is less clean in that it tasted a bit pasty or starchy. Taste-wise, there is an edge favoring Café Bakery. Overall, however, Clement's bow is very good and very comparable to Café Bakery's; the differences are rather subtle such that if one didn't have both in hand for A-B comparison, it would be difficult to differentiate between them.
1. Clement bow (fresh)
2. Café Bakery bow (thawed from freezer)
3. Side by side comparison
You sent me digging for my old poston GGB's pork bun, found it,
Golden Gate vs. You's pork bun
I like GGB's about the same as Clement's. What they have in common is that the bread has some texture and tastes like bread and not cake. Clement's is bigger and doesn't have as much 5-spice.
Golden Gate Bakery
1029 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133