Dense Matter: Bagels from the (one and only) GC Bakery

I was recently told by a friend at work that the only Jewish bakery in Richmond is Garden City Bakery. (He is Jewish, and lives in Richmond, so I believe him. If you know better, you can make me believe otherwise.) Now, I have also eaten a lot of their awesome apple strudels in the past. My mother, who has been an avid visitor of this bakery for years, claims they have the best bagels. For many years this is like that little nothing-special bakery in my neck of the woods… until I found out they were the only Jewish bakery in Richmond. I now see them in a different light. (Well, kinda. It still doesn’t look like much from the outside. You might just think it’s some extension of the dry cleaning place next door and not really a bakery as you pass by.)

To tell you the truth, before I developed a liking for bagels, I have never eaten bagels from here. Now that I have set out on my bagel quest, and found out that this bakery is a bit one of a kind, and getting into a debate with my mom about who makes the best bagels, I had to try some.

They look like bagels, they’re called bagels, but they’re a little different. These are almost half the weight of typical bagels of comparable size (a typical bagel weighs approximately 4oz. The ones from GC Bakery weigh about 2oz). Right away I knew they would be airier. And this was just slightly disappointing as I have become used to the fact that great bagels are dense, doughy bagels, feeling much heavier than they look. This gives them that sense of substantiality, and a fulfillment that comes with simply holding a heavy bagel in your hand. GCB’s bagels also lack that egg wash, so the surface doesn’t have that typical glean to it. I like bagels that glean.

I bite into one, and a few seconds later realize why my mother likes them so much: It tastes like a chewier version of 豬仔包*! Not the salty kind, but not sweet either. I guess somewhere between the two. (No wonder! My mom really likes 豬仔包.) It wasn’t as chewy as I would have liked my bagels to be though- just a bit bready to me. It wasn’t like they were fluffy, but they were definitely not dense enough, or had that hard exterior crust. The softness of the crust almost made me wonder if the bagels were actually boiled before being baked. (They must be, they wouldn’t be called bagels otherwise, but I wonder, I really wonder.)

They pass, but definitely aren’t the best in town. Says my palate anyway. Solly’s bagels still on top!

* 豬仔包: Literally translated as “Little Piggie Bread”, 豬仔包 is a Hong Kong-style bread. It is small and oval-shaped, and looks like a soft mini-baguette, or a cross between a dinner roll and a hot dog bun, or to some a little pig, hence the name. The crust is soft and often topped with sesame seeds. 豬仔包 can be sweet or salty, and is a chewy bread but not super dense. It is a plain bread but sometimes comes stuffed like a hot dog, or is slathered in condensed milk. There is a picture and a recipe for the salty kind here.


Garden City Bakery
In the Garden City Shopping Centre (corner of Blundell and Garden City Rd, Richmond)
A few stores down from Rogers Video


2 Responses

  1. […] right amount for me in a plain bagel. (I thought they tasted even better than the plain bagels from GC Bakery but that is probably just personal opinion! :-D)  The only thing I wasn’t super pleased with […]

  2. […] 豬仔包  – “piglet” buns (right) (the latter of which I briefly mentioned before here). Piglet buns are a Hong Kong style plain bun; often covered with white sesame seeds like these […]

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