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Oct 20, 2013 12:59 PM

Taiwanese Bakery Opens in Chinatown

The dozens and dozens of bakeries in Manhattan Chinatown remind me of 1970s disco music, where it was difficult to tell one song from another. However, the new Audrey Cafe/Bakery does seem to distinguish itself from the pack, with a little more upscale, higher quality (and price) product. You do see a lot of the same selections as at other bakery cafes (e.g., curry beef pastries, hot dog buns), but the sweets are more refined. This is no 85°C Café (those of you familiar with California know what I mean--I won't torment those who don't), but it is a step up for Chinatown. Audrey is at 12 Chatham Square.

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    1. Wow! I live in Chinatown and I didn't even know this place had opened. I'll be sure to check it out soon...

      1. I don't think it's Taiwanese although they do have some Taiwanese items such as egg yolk moon-style cakes. I went a couple of weeks ago and asked if they were Taiwanese and they told me they were a Taiwanese style HK cafe - whatever that means. I don't know what you mean by a step up for Chinatown. There are better bakeries.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Peter Cuce

          If you look at the Hong Kong and Taiwanese style bakeries in the Los Angeles area there's plenty of similarities. Certainly not the wide gulf there is between Taiwanese and Hong Kong cuisines. So you wouldn't expect an extreme product differentiation, unless you're copying 85°C Café.

          1. re: Chandavkl

            They've been open for a while now right? I think 2 months, maybe more.

            With regards to HK versus Taiwanese bakeries they're basically synonymous, as the chefs are generally trained and cut from the same cloth.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              A couple months sounds right. Found them on the bakery sweep I normally do on the day I fly back to LA.

              1. re: Chandavkl

                I only say a couple of months b/c I recall them having a "bakers dozen" sale during Labor Day weekend.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  First Yelp review was mid-August, so that's just about right.

          2. re: Peter Cuce

            Which bakeries do you think are better?

          3. i walked in to this place the other day, thanks for the report!

            1. do they sell wife cakes? does anyone in nyc? i've yet to find any outside of cali or taiwan!

              9 Replies
              1. re: paddlestick101

                Ka Way and MW, and probably many others in/around Chinatown.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  thanks i'll check those out! whenever i've gone into chinatown bakeries (even flushing too) they don't even know what wife cakes are when i ask (i unfortunately can't speak chinese--even though i am).

                    1. re: paddlestick101

                      Try asking for "winter melon cakes" instead. Most of the bakeries in Chinatown have them.

                      1. re: laurie0225

                        im not sure they're going to know what a winter melon cake is either, i think you're best off just saying "do you have lao po bing"

                        1. re: Lau

                          I think it's well worth a shot.

                          1. re: laurie0225

                            i mean its not that hard to say the name in chinese which will have a 100% hit rate (its a fairly easy chinese pronunciation), not like saying an entire phrase or sentence.

                            1. re: Lau

                              Just don't say "old wife cake"

                              Might get slapped and have them call NYPD on you.

                  1. re: paddlestick101

                    paddlestick101 - almost every single bakery in chinatown sells wife cakes, say it in chinese "lao po bing" (pronounced exactly how it's spelled) and they'll know what you're talking about. its one of the more common old school cantonese pastries served. That said the quality varies hugely and it also depends how fresh they are. I like the ones at double crispy (best when they are fresh, i'd recommend taking them home and sticking them in the microwave for a bit)

                    btw if you ever happen to be in SF, Golden Gate Bakery actually makes the best one ive had outside asia