Bon Bon Bakery – Ho Chi Minh City

Bon Bon Bakery (19 Ba Thang Hai, District 10) is a lovely sweets shoppe that The Astronomer and I discovered when we first moved here. It’s located near my old place of employment so we used go quite often during our 1.5 hour lunch break. These days, we only swing by when we’re in the neighborhood shopping at Maximark, a western-style grocery store that carries the essentials like peanut butter and cereal.

This family-run shop isn’t much to look at, but they whip up great Vietnamese cream puffs (banh kem su) for 3,000 VND. The outer shell is light and airy, while the vanilla custard filling is creamy, sweet and chilled. Each puff is stuffed to order, so the shell never loses its nice texture.

The pineapple tartlets (top picture) with sticky preserves are quite addictive, especially at 2,000 VND a pop. I have always adored Vietnamese pineapple preserves (mut thom) because it’s so ridiculously sweet. The pastry tones down some of the jam’s intensity, which helps me to consume more tartlets overall. Bon Bon also makes coconut tartlets, but I’m too enamored with the pineapple ones to try them.

After my trip to Hong Kong, I’ve been on the lookout for egg tarts. I’ve only tried two Saigon varieties thus far—one from Pham Nguyen Bakery that was mediocre and another from here. Bon Bon’s egg tarts aren’t kept warm like those in Hong Kong, but if they were, they’d be almost as tasty. Just out of curiosity, I asked the baker where her recipe came from. She didn’t give me an exact answer, but she said that egg tarts are a Vietnamese dessert. Ohhh, are they?

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