Kei’s Bakery

Matcha

Mt. Matcha 

After having the best Japanese melonpans last year at Plaire, a bakery at the Sensoji Temple in Asakusa (to which I shall later devote an entire post), I have been searching for an authentic Japanese bakery in Vancouver. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough, but there just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of these in Vancouver. I found Kei’s Bakery on Arbutus around 8th Ave, and finally paid a visit.

Kei’s on Arbutus 

Kei’s Bakery on Arbutus 

This is a little bakery run by a couple from Japan. The owner is really nice, and patiently waited as I looked at all the various cute little buns. They also had some very soft, fluffly bread loafs (white and whole grain) sitting on the counter. There is some variety here, but because they are a small bakery they make only a bit of everything for a day, so once an item is sold out, that’s it. At 2pm it appears I have arrived just in time to grab the very last melonpan (hiding behind a sign on the top left corner here):

pastries!

Cute buns galore!

Nothing looks plain and ordinary at this pakery: A lot of thought and creativity goes into their buns; everything looks beautifully handcrafted and cute. They had these little animal pan shaped into turtles and bears. And a “yakisoba sand”, which is quite popular in Japan. It’s essentially a hotdog, but in the place of the wiener there is yaki soba.

Animal buns

Animal Pan

Yaki Soba Buns! 

Yakisoba sand

Banana and others

Banana buns and others

 

Besides the melonpan I also got a banana bun and a “Mt Matcha”. The owner was threw in a free cheese stick, which was nice of him. (Although I didn’t see cheese sticks on sale, so I think it might have been left over from the day before.)

Bag 

The Goodie Bag!

A few of items, such as the Mt. Matcha, also have K’s “engraved” onto the bun itself, which is pretty neat.

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Melonpan, Banana, and Mt Matcha

 

Their melonpan doesn’t have the traditional pineapple rind pattern on the top though, which was a bit disappointing. It tasted the way I expected it to: The top was crusty and sugary, and the bun underneath sweet. The crust I found a bit on the hard side and the bun wasn’t light and fluffy. It was just OK, and if it wasn’t labeled melonpan I’d have just called it a plain old sweet pan. No where close to the orgasmic melonpans I had at Sensoji. Also doesn’t beat traditional Chinese pineapple buns.

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Melonpan sans melon crust

The banana bun had a piece of banana and banana paste inside. I thought it was a strange thing to begin with, and I don’t particularly like the color banana turns into after cooking, but I guess if you’re really into bananas… The star-shaped Mt Matcha was the best and my favorite. It looked so pretty with its sugar-powdered green tea crust on top and it’s “K’s” mark on the side. The bun was also very soft. Inside, there is a green tea cream filling. It tasted very matcha. But in a good way. Definitely a must try from this bakery.

Inside the banana bun Inside the Macha 

Bananas for bananas? And more matcha inside the mountain of matcha.

Items are at an average of $1.50 to $2 bucks each – you are probably paying for the craftsmanship. Overall, I liked their creativity and cuteness, but I wasn’t that impressed with the taste (wasn’t bad, just nothing out of the ordinary). I might go back if I was passing by and felt like some matcha-flavored buns. But then I might probably just keep going and head to a Chinese bakery where they offer a similar variety of good tasting sweet buns for less than half the price instead.

 

Kei’s Bakery

2351 Burrard St. (between 7th and 8th), Vancouver
11:00 am to 6:30 pm (Closed on Wednesdays)

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3 Responses

  1. Yum! I think I want to go check out this place :). Is it open on weekends?

  2. Yup, it is. They close at 6:30, so make sure you go relatively early to get a good (fresh) selection because they don’t keep churning out buns!

  3. […] this scene brought back memories of my recent visit to Kei’s Bakery (but it is reminiscent of many Asian French-inspired bakeries […]

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