Leonard’s Bakery may have malasadas on lock, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t lesser-known but worthy competitors in Honolulu. On a recent trip back to the islands for work, I carved out some time to visit Champion Malasada, a purveyor of Portuguese doughnuts with a notable reputation among the local set.
Owned and operated by Joc Miw and his wife Sandra, Champion opened its doors in 1983 serving breakfast, pastries, and of course, malasadas. Joc, who hails from Macao (a Portuguese enclave in China), grew up eating malasadas and spent time working at Leonard’s before opening his own bakery.
Champion’s malasadas ($0.80) are made using a recipe that Joc developed over the years. Whereas traditional malasadas are deep-fried just as soon as the dough is combined, Joc allows his dough to “age” some to avoid deflated, air-filled wares.
The resulting malasadas, always fried to order, have wonderfully crisp exteriors and pleasantly rich and chewy innards. Their unmistakably yeasty flavor plays well with their sugary coating. “No air” malasadas for the win!
Continue reading ‘Champion Malasadas – Honolulu (Mo’ili’ili)’
I have the biggest crush on Lincoln. Situated at the border between Altadena and Pasadena in a former machine shop, this delicious and stylish new restaurant from Little Flower Candy’ Co.‘s Christine Moore is my go-to spot for laid back lunches and pastry fixes. Three visits in and I still can’t get enough.
The menu, which is comprised of breakfast dishes (served all day!), sandwiches, and salads, strikes a balance between familiar and innovative. Whether you’re in the mood for classic or creative fare, there’s something for everyone here.
One of the highlights of dining at Lincoln is scoping out the pastry counter. Chef Cecilia Leung always has an enticing spread of cookies, cakes, scones, breads, and muffins available at all hours of the day. Try as I might, I can never limit myself to just one treat (as you’ll see below).
Pro Tip: Follow Cecilia on Instagram to see what irresistible delights she’s currently baking and serving.
Continue reading ‘Lincoln – Pasadena’
I have never been particularly stoked about Pasadena’s dining scene in the seven years that I’ve called it home. Don’t get me wrong, Pie ‘n Burger and Lucky Boy will always have a very special place in my heart-slash-stomach, but one cannot live on cheeseburgers and breakfast burritos alone.
Recently, however, the city has experienced a surge of exciting openings that have my sentiments shifting. New additions to the culinary landscape like Union (pasta!), Lincoln (pastries!), 85 Degrees (taro buns!), Little Sheep (hot pot!), Blockheads (shaved snow!), 800 Degrees (pizza!), and Copenhagen Pastry have made Pasadena tastier than ever before. Score!
Following the success of the original Copenhagen Pastry in Culver City, owner Karen Hansen opened a second outlet in East Pasadena this past December. The specialty here are Danish pastries like the ones she grew up eating in Denmark.
Nearly all of the pastries here are made from laminated dough—yeast-leavened dough that’s folded 27 times over with layers of butter. The pastries are filled with various ratios of almond paste and custard, along with cinnamon, almond flakes, and fruit.
On my first visit to the bakery, I selected half a dozen pastries to share with The Astronomer. The most visually arresting was the Morning Poppy ($1.60)—the “carpet of poppy seeds” added textural interest and a touch of nuttiness to the almond paste and flaky pastry.
Continue reading ‘Copenhagen Pastry – Pasadena’
The Astronomer and I traveled to San Francisco back in October for the super-sweet nuptials of two friends (with a side of super-sweet treats).
We don’t always have time for serious gastronomic endeavors when we head north, especially with so many friends and family to see, but we somehow manage to fit in desserts. Lots of desserts. Priorities, priorities.
After years of pining for Tartine‘s famed morning bun, I finally got my paws on one. Dusted with cinnamon and sugar, imbued with candied orange, and most importantly, perfectly flaky and buttery, the bun was as lovely as hoped.
We also indulged in a slice of cake (before noon!) along with our morning bun because that’s what vacations are for. Our choice pick featured lime-moistened genoise cake with passion fruit Bavarian cream, topped with sweetened cream and coconut. Mmm…cake for breakfast—that’s how we do.
Continue reading ‘San Francisco Sweets: Morning Buns, Russian Honey Cakes, Egg Tarts, Doughnuts and more!’