The Ginger Ninja and I visited Ding Dong Pastries and Cafe (in Chinatown, at 321 Spadina Avenue, just south of Baldwin) this weekend and were stunned by the prices: most of the single-serving cakes and buns are priced between 60 and 80 cents. We picked up a sesame ball, two tall “paper cup cakes” (sponge cakes baked in a paper cylinder about twice the height of your typical cupcake) and a butter cake loaf, and all they wanted in exchange were $2.50. Wendy liked the sesame ball, the paper cup cakes were light and airy and reminded me of the Filipino cake called mamon and the butter cake loaf was downright delicious. They also have a number of savoury pastries, from the tradition Chinese cha siu bao (in the Philippines, we call them siopao) to spam-and-egg buns to two-bite chicken pies, all selling for under a buck.
Ding Dong seems to reflect the new aesthetic that Asian stores like T&T supermarkets are trying out: they’re actually sweating presentation and appearance and doing a good job of keeping the aisles clean. (I hate to come down on my Asian peeps, but c’mon guys — if we can do calculus and kick ass at Dance Dance Revolution, we can pick up a mop every now and again!) I expect to be a regular customer — in fact, I might grab my lunch from Ding Dong today.