There’s nothing like sweets to make you feel at home — and there’s no place in AsiaTown quite so homey as Koko Bakery. This 12-year-old institution offers an assortment of treats ranging from fruit-topped tarts and Chinese doughnuts to 26 flavors of bubble tea and traditional moon cakes decorated with intricate scrolls and lettering. We asked co-owner Jianj Xu to walk us through a few tasty offerings.
Chinese doughnut: There’s no hole to interrupt your enjoyment of these simple, pillowy buns. “The important thing is the dough for the bun,” Xu says. “Our buns don’t use transfat. They’re a golden color. We deep fry it and put sugar on it.” $1.50
Creamy milk bun: Something akin to a cream-filled doughnut, these muffin-like buns are more delicately sweet than cloyingly so. Flour and eggs create the crispy outside, while the creamy filling combines milk powder, butter, powdered sugar and eggs. “It tastes sweet inside, crispy outside,” he says. $1.25
Green tea pastry: It’s like a matcha made in heaven. A light, flaky swirl pastry with just a hint of sugar surrounds the sweet green tea paste. “These are very popular with the Chinese students at Case,” Xu says. “We sell a lot for Chinese New Year.” $7.95 for four
Red bean pastry: The filling, made with boiled, mashed adzuki beans sweetened with sugar, offer a welcome balance of earthiness and subtle sweetness akin to coffee and chocolate: “It tastes a little sweet [and a little rich], like mocha,” Xu says. $7.95 for four