Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Green Land Tea House : Philadelphia

**Edit Jul 27, 2009** Appended zong zi.

I saw a brief mention of Green Land Tea House in Chow, stopped by and inexplicably got a good vibe from the place. I'm not sure why exactly. I found the layout to be kind of strange and not as welcoming as the more open K.C. Pastries. And the location on 9th St seems a bit lonely, away from the main action on 10th St.

But I really wish I had looked through or asked about Chinese bakeries on Chow earlier. I'm going through some older Chowhound threads now on Greenland and other Chinatown bakeries (See here, here, here and here), am learning a lot and it really makes me want to run through all of the bakeries in Chinatown now to see which one is tops, since there hasn't been much activity of late.

Anyways, here's a few nuggets of info. Greenland apparently stopped serving what some considered their best and most unique buns, Mexico buns, peanut butter coconut bun and swiss rolls (not quite sure on this. They had swiss rolls there). They serve zhou or rice porridge and zongzi (sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), which I'll do my best to try out. There's also a few other recommendations for Mayflower and Harmony Bakery, also both of which I'll have to try out too.

As for the Greenland buns, compared to the places I've been going to before, K.C. Pastries and Saint Honores, they're noticeably more honest tasting and less sweet. I wouldn't say these are a must-try for a visitor, but if no other bakeries pan out, I wouldn't be ashamed to say that this is my regular Chinatown bun shop.

Egg Tart - Thinner outer crust, a little on the flimpsy side and not too crunchy. Egg custard a little plain tasting, which admittedly is better and more natural than the overly sweet stuff, but could be better.

Coconut Pineapple bun - light flaky, delicate flaky covering. Inside coconut not overwhelming. Overall a really light balanced bun. Nice.

Ham & Egg - Juicy piece of ham (granted it's probably not the highest quality piece of meat). Scrambled egg. Comfort food of sorts.

Rice Cake with Bean Paste - Especially nice if you re-pan fry this, where the rice cake will have a nice crunch. Like the other buns, the inside paste is less sweet than I'm used to, tasting more like the beans they originated from, which I'm not sure I'm a fan or not. As you can see in the picture, there's also not that much filling. I'm kind of still leaning towards Saint Honores for this.

BBQ Pork - Like the others, honest tasting would be a good way of describing it. I find the bun to be better-executed than K.C. pastries, almost like a decent brioche.

Yellow Bean (HK) Zong zi & Mushroom Pork Zong zi - Yellow bean was decent, but the mushroom pork zong zi was quite enjoyable. I might get this again, when I get around to trying out their pi dan zho. (Went late in the day and they were out this time)

For an overview on all of the Philadelphia Chinese bakeries, here's my roundup.

Green Land Tea House
210 N 9th St Philadelphia, PA 19107-1813 (Map)
(215) 238-1688
($Bakery, $Brunch, $Chinese, $Philadelphia)

1 comment:

  1. I wish there was a website, though. Thanks for the honest and good review!