My family has been going to Yeh’s Bakery for years, ever since I was a little kid. We live on Long Island but every weekend my family would drive out to Flushing, Queens to grocery shop. There’s a large Chinese (and Korean) community in Flushing and it’s the best place to get great deals on fresh produce and prepared Asian/Chinese sauces and foods.
One of the stops we’d always make on the way was Yeh’s Bakery on Main Street, Flushing. They’re famous (at least in that area) for their cakes but it was always their Scallion Bread (chong bao) and Curry Puffs that we’d get.
Recently I realized that I’ve been eating their baked goods since I was in grade school and had never eaten any of their cakes. I’m 30 now and figured it was about time I did. Now or never.
My sister’s birthday was a week ago and I decided to order one of their chestnut layer cakes for her.
Yeh’s also sells cake slices by the piece for $1 each so I decided to grab one of those as well as a Chicken Roll and a Curry Puff. I believe the last two were $1 as well.
I’ve heard so much about their sponge cakes that come in strawberry, green tea, or vanilla. They sell slices of the individual flavors separately but when I saw that they sold a multicolored cake with all the flavors together I had to get THAT! What a good way to try everything all at once.
Here’s my sis’s birthday cake (I’ve photoshopped out her name with the smudge tool to protect her privacy). It’s a layer cake with vanilla sponge cake that has a subtle scent of lemon zest. In between the layers is a filling of slightly sweetened chestnuts that have been creamed smooth, but not so smooth it’s like baby food.
Instead of sugary sweet frosting, the cake is covered with a just barely sweet coating of whipped cream.
My sister doesn’t like flowers or fruits on her cakes so we ordered the cake without any embellishments, not counting the birthday message scrawled across the top of the cake.
Yeah, we’re eating off of plastic lids. So ghetto! But my sister arrived really late after everyone had gone to bed and we didn’t want to wake everyone else in the house by pulling the plates out of the cupboards. There were some clean plastic food storage lids nearby so we just used those.
My sister loved the cake but I have to say I was a little disappointed. I like that the whip cream was subtly sweet but I wasn’t impressed with the chestnut filling which was the main selling point; it actually tasted like taro to me. The layer cake tasted good — also not too sweet — but was a bit dry in my opinion. Not to toot my own horn but I can make a moister cake. And did I mention that the price was $32 for an 8″ diameter chestnut layer cake? I think that’s way too much!
The ham and egg sandwich seems to be rather popular; there were only a few left on the counter. There’s a hospital down the street so I suppose this is a good grab-and-go option for the doctors, nurses and hospital staff in the mornings. As you can probably guess, I wasn’t too blown over by it. It tasted good but it’s something anyone/everyone can make and isn’t unique.
What you see is a slice of strawberry, green tea, and vanilla sponge cake. I believe the outer layer that wraps around the center layers is vanilla also — at least that’s what it tastes like to me — but colored orange. Separating all the layers is a thin layer of slightly salty sweet whipped cream.
Again, the cake didn’t impress me. I found the multicolored cake a little dry as well, especially the orange layer, and all the different colors tasted the same. I really couldn’t taste the strawberry in the pink layer. And where was the green tea?! The green layer didn’t taste like green tea at all. So sad.
Finally, here’s the Curry Puff and Chicken Roll pastry.
The outside of the Chicken Roll is a flaky pastry. The inside of the pastry is supposed to contain chicken but I couldn’t really find any. There was a lot of soft, almost mushy, chopped onion; a bit of chopped carrots and peas were thrown in too. The filling was overly sweet (probably because of the carrots and onions) and very soft and pasty. Meh. Definitely not a fan of the texture. It needed some actual chicken to give it some texture.
The only winner was the Curry Puff which is still as yummy as ever.
If you ever go to Yeh’s Bakery I’d recommend getting a few of the Curry Puffs and Scallion breads. Those are the best, and continue to be the best, items on their menu in my humble opinion.