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South Pacific Island Bakery -- Redwood City

Ruth Lafler | Jul 20, 200310:23 PM

On the way to today's Redwood City taco crawl I found myself doing a U-turn to check out the South Pacific Island Bakery (793 5th Ave., Redwood City, 650-306-9608).

After some discussion with the owner's brother who was waiting on me, I bought a Samoan pineapple turnover, a lamb pasty and a tray of rolls with coconut milk.

I broke out the pineapple turnover at the first taco crawl stop, and comments around the table were generally positive. The Samoan version is basically a giant empanada, in a half moon about eight inches long (the Tongan version has the same filling, but a different crust and is shaped more like a streudel). The filling was good -- not overly sweet and gloppy the way cooked pineapple can be -- and the pastry was tender and moist.

The rolls came six in an aluminum tray. They were quite simple: yeast buns with a mixture of coconut milk and sweetened condensed milk poured over them. I just cut off piece to taste for this post, and thought it was pretty good -- again, the bun had a nice texture, hitting just the right balance between being too dry and being leaden. The milk mixture didn't soak in as much as I thought it might have, though -- I think I'll poke a few holes and let them sit for a while.

Finally, they had several different types of savory pasties. I just broke off a corner of crust and a fished out a small chunk of lamb from the one I bought, but I think it's going to be pretty good when I reheat it.

The bakery also had bread (already sliced and bagged) and other sweet yeast baked goods. My impression was that although nothing I tried was exciting, it was all well made with good ingredients. Given the dearth of South Pacific foodstuffs in the Bay Area, it's a good resource to know about. The business card also says they take special orders.

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