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Double Crispy Bakery – Solid Portuguese Style Egg Tarts and Wife Cakes in Chinatown

Lau Jan 30, 2012 07:33 PM

**For full post and pics**: http://www.lauhound.com/2012/01/doubl...

This is a short post on Double Crispy Bakery, which is a bakery that I found a few months ago by accident walking around Chinatown. It doesn’t look any different or offer anything particularly different than other Chinatown bakeries. It’s fairly non-descript with a bunch of shelves and display cases showing off their various Chinese pastries, cakes etc. However, I noticed to the left of the cash register a display case showing of their dan ta (egg custards) and lao po bing (wife cake). They looked particularly fresh and good so I gave them a try and I’m glad I did.

Here’s what I get:
- Dan Ta (Egg Custard Tart): Ka Wah has been my go to bakery in Chinatown for dan ta, but I’ll have to say this place maybe better than Ka Wah. They offer three different types of dan ta: Portuguese / Macau style, regular and egg white. The ones to get here are the Portuguese / Macau style. These have always been my favorite type of dan ta. They have the exact same crust and egg custard filling as the regular ones you see, but they are burnt on top, so they have a slight caramelized flavor to them. The ones here were surprisingly good, the crust was nicely flaky and the custard was warm, fresh and egg-y. They weren’t quite as burnt on top as I like them, but overall I liked them quite a bit. I definitely recommend trying these and if they aren’t already warm when you get them then take them home and put them in the microwave because there is a world of difference between a warm dan ta and a room temperature one (fyi every time I’ve got gone they have been warm). 8.25/10
- Lao Po Bing (Wife Cake): Lao po bing is a thin disc shaped pastry that has a flaky and slightly buttery exterior and a filling made of sweet dong gua (winter melon). Normally, they are fairly thin and pretty big and the interior is usually slightly gooey, but the version here is a little different. The crust is a thicker and flaky crust, but the actual pastry is quite small. The filling isn’t gooey at all, it’s a little more dense and isn’t quite as sweet as normal. They also use more salt in the crust, so there is a slight saltiness to it. I think they’re delicious and I definitely recommend trying them out. 8/10

This is a solid bakery and it’s definitely worth checking out for the items I listed above.

Double Crispy Bakery
230 Grand St, New York, NY 10013

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  1. JungMann RE: Lau Jan 31, 2012 08:49 AM

    Thanks for the tip. Do you know if they use lard to make the lao po bing here? There is a similar Filipino cookie I adore that gets its unique flavor from the addition of candied pork fatback in the filling. Lao po bing, when it is made with lard, is a good approximation.

    6 Replies
    1. re: JungMann
      Lau RE: JungMann Jan 31, 2012 08:55 AM

      i'm not sure actually, but it's likely they do, alot of chinese pastries use lard people just don't realize it

      1. re: Lau
        Humbucker RE: Lau Jan 31, 2012 05:03 PM

        Double Crispy has husband cakes, which have little nubbins of pork fat mixed in with the rest of the filling.

        1. re: Humbucker
          Lau RE: Humbucker Jan 31, 2012 06:50 PM

          yah they do have them, i got one once a while ago, but i'm not a huge fan of husband cakes generally. i'll go try it again though

          1. re: Lau
            JungMann RE: Lau Feb 26, 2012 05:17 PM

            I went back to get husband cookies. The filling has the consistency of ground pork mixed with bread crumbs and a spicy cassia flavor. I prefer the smoother consistency and milder taste of wife cakes, but it was an interesting recommendation on humbucker's part.

          2. re: Humbucker
            JungMann RE: Humbucker Jan 31, 2012 08:19 PM

            I just realized that I was at Double Crispy this weekend after I failed to procure lao po bing at the bakery on Bayard across from Old Sichuan, but I didn't see any there. Do they normally keep lao po bing and husband cake in the display case to the right of the register? Is there another name I should use when asking for husband cake? On occasion if I can't get wife cake, they'll immediately procure what I want when I ask for lao po bing.

            1. re: JungMann
              Lau RE: JungMann Jan 31, 2012 08:26 PM

              they have them to the left of the cash register on top of the small display case that has all the egg custard tarts (that's where i get all the stuff i put in my post) and i believe they have bigger ones to the right of the cash register on top of the display case that has the cakes

              if you still have trouble finding it then ask them for lao gong bing (it is prounounced just as it is spelled)

      2. a
        AubWah RE: Lau Jan 31, 2012 05:15 PM

        Lau, you must try their yuan yang

        1 Reply
        1. re: AubWah
          Lau RE: AubWah Jan 31, 2012 06:50 PM

          will do, i love yuan yang cha

        2. Chandavkl RE: Lau Jan 31, 2012 09:43 PM

          We like the lemon twists. Take some home with us the day we fly back to LA.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Chandavkl
            Lau RE: Chandavkl Feb 1, 2012 02:57 AM

            what do they look like?

            1. re: Lau
              Chandavkl RE: Lau Feb 1, 2012 06:39 PM

              They're long like a twisty cinnamon roll, with raisins.

              1. re: Chandavkl
                Lau RE: Chandavkl Feb 1, 2012 07:34 PM

                hmmm u know what its called in chinese?

                1. re: Lau
                  Chandavkl RE: Lau Feb 1, 2012 08:13 PM

                  No I don't and I wonder if it's a New York specialty. I've never seen it in the San Gabriel Valley, but I peeked into New Flushing Bakery on Roosevelt tonight, and they had like five things in the display case, including the lemon twist.

                  1. re: Chandavkl
                    Lau RE: Chandavkl Feb 1, 2012 08:24 PM

                    hmm ok i'll go search for it

                    it's in the big open air display case on the left when you walk in? (the one with all the buns etc)

                    1. re: Lau
                      Chandavkl RE: Lau Feb 1, 2012 09:01 PM

                      Yes, sort of in the middle (both horizontally and vertically).

          2. K K RE: Lau Feb 1, 2012 09:57 PM

            Interesting. Have you been to Egg Custard King Two Cafe at 271 Grand?


            The name of the shop is either copied from, or is affiliated with the "Egg Tart King" shop in Hong Kong.

            According to the Chinese article, there are banana, strawberry, swallow's nest...upwards of 10 varieties of egg tarts. I wonder how those taste.

            Natalie Bakery
            271 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

            6 Replies
            1. re: K K
              Chandavkl RE: K K Feb 2, 2012 04:14 AM

              I tried a couple of the varieties. I think they're more of a novelty than anything. To me, the color was more striking than the taste.

              1. re: K K
                Peter Cuce RE: K K Feb 2, 2012 08:02 AM

                They use a mix for most of those flavored ones. I don't care for them.

                1. re: Peter Cuce
                  SomeRandomIdiot RE: Peter Cuce Feb 2, 2012 08:44 AM

                  The non standard egg tarts look a lot better than they taste.

                2. re: K K
                  Lau RE: K K Feb 2, 2012 08:55 AM

                  originally they actually opened two branches, the first one on mott and then a second one on grand. however, while it's possible they were originally affiliated with them I think that changed fairly quickly as they changed their english name (chinese name is the same) and the quality fell off a cliff pretty quickly (like literally the first 6 months went down very dramatically, there was originally lines and it was really crowded and then it went to being fairly dead).

                  I think their dan ta are fairly mediocre and no different than any run of the mill bakery in chinatown, i dont think its worth trying although they do / did have a large variety of dan ta

                  1. re: K K
                    Chandavkl RE: K K Feb 4, 2012 10:47 AM

                    Hmm. I should have referred to Egg Custard King in the past tense as they closed down a couple of years ago. As your link shows, the Grand St. location is now Natalie Bakery, and they do not sell egg tarts. They do have all kinds of colorful mousse (mousses?) though. The Mott store is now a Vietnamese restaurant.

                    1. re: Chandavkl
                      Peter Cuce RE: Chandavkl Feb 4, 2012 07:46 PM

                      There is a branch in Sunset Park, although I haven't checked to see if it's still open in a while. It's on 8th Ave around 54th Street if memory serves.

                  2. Peter Cuce RE: Lau Feb 2, 2012 08:06 AM

                    That bakery has been there almost six years. I have pictures from when it first opened: http://www.flickr.com/photos/536/sets...

                    I thought it was notable back then because they offered taro tarts. Do they still have them?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Peter Cuce
                      Lau RE: Peter Cuce Feb 2, 2012 08:58 AM

                      hmm i didnt notice them, they seemed to offer to only offer the 3 versions i posted about, but I can double check next time i go (i don't usually like the non-traditional flavored ones, so i never really look for them)

                    2. Miss Needle RE: Lau Feb 2, 2012 10:48 AM

                      The only egg tarts I like are the Portuguese ones and ginger ones. I've liked the ones at Double Crispy as well. But does anybody know where to get ginger egg tarts? I love them but have had issues locating them. They used to have them at this bakery on Bowery between Grand and Canal but no longer. And I haven't found them at Egg Custard King either.

                      1. g
                        gothamette RE: Lau Feb 26, 2012 07:54 AM

                        I was in Chinatown and decided to check out the goods at Double Crispy, on the basis of this recommendation. I had a regular egg custard tart, a Portuguese and another type that was lighter than both. (Yes, I ate all three.) All three were quite good but no better than any other I've tasted.

                        IMO all the egg custard tarts in Chinatown are the same. I wouldn't be surprised if they all came from the same central bakery. I think the goodness depends on freshness.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gothamette
                          Chandavkl RE: gothamette Feb 26, 2012 07:41 PM

                          I doubt there is a bakery big enough with enough trucks to deliver these fresh a number of times a day. It's possible that a few affiliated bakeries might have a central source, though.

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