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Nov 30, 2011 10:52 PM

"Old Wife Cakes" (Lao Po Bing) at Kee Wah Bakery

Reading the thread about Old Man (or Husband) Cakes, I've gotta give equal time to the feminine equivalent, lao po bing. My favorite is from Kee Wah Bakery. Two weeks ago passing through Dublin I had a chance to pick up some. I still like them very much here due to the much more delicate and thin pastry shell and less sugary filling. Priced at $2 apiece, they should be better as that's double (or triple) what other bakeries charge.

When I lamented to the counter lady that I wished Kee Wah would open a branch closer to me in SF, she mentioned that the newest location is in Cupertino. She said that it is larger, serves beverages and has cafe seating. I'm wondering if any 'hounds have checked it out yet.

Kee Wah Bakery
4288 Dublin Blvd, Dublin, CA 94568

Kee Wah Bakery
10370 S. De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino, CA

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  1. I went to the Cupertino branch on Saturday. It is very clean, with modern design and surface finishes. The pastries are in plexiglass type drawers and open display tables. Trays with paper mats and tongs are stacked at one end with the register at the other. There are cards with the time the items were put out on each display. Wide variety of sweet and savory items, with hot stuff in a case by the register. You can see the baking through the glass at the front of the store or through the windows alongside the store.
    We liked the hotdog, baked BBQ pork bun, red bean sesame ball and green onion bun. My mom really liked the hot chicken pastry, as it had large pieces of mushroom in addition to gravy. I really liked the egg tart, which is served warm from the case.
    Some high counters and stools alongside the outer walls for seating.
    Hours are something like 8 or 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

    3 Replies
    1. re: oaktowngirl

      Thanks for painting a picture for us. No tables, only counters and stools?

      I was nodding my head "yes" going over your list of things you liked. Especially for the gai pie (warm chicken pastry), my favorites too.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Bitter+Sweet coffeehouse is in the same building, just around the corner. I often pick up a few things at Kee Wah and walk around the corner to Bitter+Sweet to pair it with some killer coffee and espresso drinks (Sightglass) in seated comfort.

        My favorites are the crunchy pork buns, the whole wheat walnut, and the various coconut offerings. Very fluffy-white-bread-style bakery items for the most part. Some think Clover is better; I find them about the same. Bitter+Sweet has a small Satura pastry selection. I'm not really a big fan of either Kee Wah, Clover, or Satura pastries, but they do in a pinch. (Bitter+Sweet also serves Humphry Slocumbe ice cream and Top Nosh meat pies).

        I'd much rather get a chocolate almond croissant from Fleur de Cocoa, but that's quite a shlep for me.

        Fleur De Cocoa
        39 N Santa Cruz Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95030

        Clover Bakery
        4342 Moorpark Ave, San Jose, CA

        20560 Town Center Ln, Cupertino, CA 95014

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          I don't remember any tables, but I was engrossed in the drawers o'pastry.

      2. came across "wife pastry" (1.75) at sogo bakery in newark. gave it a try.
        very disappointed. mostly tasted of flaky crust, butter, some sweetness, little melon prescence nor taste.

        1. Have you had the ones at Sheng Kee on Irving? I know it's a chain but they make my favorite version of these in SF. They are less dense by far then every other version I've had in town.
          A lady in Hong Kong told me not to eat too many because they are made with lard. Do you think they use lard in bay area bakeries?

          1 Reply
          1. re: kairo

            Kee Wah definitely does, that's why I like this version. Not too long ago Kee Wah added ingredient labeling on their shelf displays so you can see what's in each item. Lard is a frequent addition here.

          2. I read somewhere that Sheng Kee does use lard so I don't go there.
            I CAN tell you that there are boxes of Macau wifecakes that are sold at some Chinese grocery stores. I paid $2.49 for an 8.46 oz. box. No trans fat. The ingredients statement says that
            they use "PLAM oil". I'm guessing they meant PALM oil.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sfkevv

              palm oil is high in saturated fats. consumption of same can lead to high cholestrol