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Sun Shine Bakery, Vallejo

Melanie Wong | Feb 26, 200401:29 AM

Opened last summer, the baker/owner hails from Hong Kong and got his start in the US working for Sheng Kee and Sogo. Many of the baked goods are identical to what you can find at those two chains, plus a few that I’ve not seen before. Sampling the wares over the last few months, I’ve had better luck with the savory items than the sweet ones.

Among the sweet baked goods, the Hong Kong pineapple bun takes its name from the cross-hatched crusty topping and contains no pineapple. A petrochemical flavor makes it a loser. The butter cake loaf, while not as rich and dense as Red Ribbon’s, is a good breakfast bread. The Spanish custard bun, filled with smoky, almost bacon fat or lard-tasting sweet egg custard, might be too idiosyncratic for some.

Shown below is the banh mi and drink combo for $3.99, plus an additional charge for a not very good cream puff (artificial filling). The bread is baked at intervals through the day so it has a just-out-of-the-oven freshness. The combo sandwich itself stuffed with bbq pork, ham and headcheese and fresh garnishes is decent. The shake, made with fresh watermelon, and firm chewy boba is the best I’ve had in this area. A value lunch deal.

Of the savory buns, the one I definitely wouldn’t order again is the pork sung bun, filled with salty dried pork fibers. The baked barbecue pork bun has plenty of meaty filling, but the chunks of pork have been hard and tough. The four-leaf clover-shaped hot dog, cheese and onion roll on a buttery base has been a favorite breakfast. The MSG-phobic should be aware that the chopped green scallions taste as if they’ve been enhanced with these initials. The French-style ham, bacon and cheese bun encases an abundant amount of those fillings in a chewy, thin-crusted flute-shaped roll. My favorite has been the Thai curry bun, which doesn’t come out until about 11:30am for the lunch crowd. It’s a rough-textured, dark brown, torpedo-shaped deep-fried chewy sweet bread filled with a mild coconut-scented creamy chicken curry. This one is absolutely heavenly when fresh and hot.

The specialty buns are marked down to two-for-one after 7pm, until closing at 8pm.

On Sonoma Blvd. near Redwood, across the road from Seafood City.


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