Monday, August 31, 2009

Bread Top House : Philadelphia

I'm closing in on the end of my Chinatown Bakery Roundup. Unfortunately, Bread Top House was one of my least favorite of the bunch.

Dan ta - Nice texture to crust ratio, with a great crunch on the outside of the crust; however, the sweetness of the crust overwhelmed the taste of the custard. The crust is all that you taste.

Cha Shao - something sweet and artificial about cha shao that is very distracting. bun is so-so

Pineapple cake - Limp was the first word to come to mind, mainly because there was no crunch to the topping. Tastewise, this was somewhat sedated.

Sesame ball - an insult to all sesame balls. Dry, pasty, really not good at all, even warmed up.

Raisin Twist - like other sweeter versions of raisin twists

Here's the rest of the Chinatown Bakery Roundup.

Bread Top House
1041 Race St Philadelphia, PA 19107-1810 (Map)
(215) 925-3802
($Bakery, $Chinese, $Philadelphia)


  1. damn, wish i read this post earlier. the shittiest food i've ever tried. couldn't eat it after one bit. btw, i really enjoy reading your posts about the philly restaurants since i'm a new to the area. i've noticed that u go to nyc a lot. i'm actually from nyc. i recommend going to joe shanghai which has one in flushing. but you should also go down to brooklyn like 8th ave or ave U. They got a lot of great chinese food there. and don't forget the pizza. brooklyn makes the best pizza. anyways keep up the good work.

  2. Dan, thanks for your kind comment and welcome to Philadelphia. I've really enjoyed the food scene here since moving here two years ago (from Boston) and I hope you will too.

    Also, thanks for your Joe Shanghai rec. I've been meaning to make my way to Brooklyn, but have yet to do so on any my much-too-short trips to NY. Do you have any favorites for dishes at JS? And for pizza places?

  3. Go to the JS in Flushing because its less crowded than the one in manhattan. definitely get the xiao long tang bao at JS. That's what its famous for. There's a bunch of other dishes I don't remember the name but I can describe it: 1) really thick crunchy noodles with chicken, vegetables and brown sauce on top. 2) the noodle is like he fen noodles except its oval shaped and has meat and vegetables on it with brown sauce... okay this description is really shitty. i'll post the names of the dish when it comes to me.

    As for pizza places, I really like Di Fara and Lombardi but they have become really crowded with tourist. Besides nyc pizza is nyc pizza. There isn't that big of a difference among the pizza parlors so I would just go to a local pizza parlor to save time to do other stuff. Afterwards you can go for dessert at Tasti D-Lite or Rice to Riches in Soho and do some shopping along the way.

    Its getting late and I can go on forever about the different places you should try out. I'll reserve it for another time. Keep up the good work =)


  4. I think I have to disagree. I've been to this bakery numerous times, and not only has the service been amazing, but the pastries have been delicious. I don't think that your pictures are representative of what is baked daily AT ALL! They look like they've been sitting out for a long time or crushed in transit. It seems unfair to depict bakery pastries after they have been packaged and brought home. The flavor of the char sui (pork bun) is excellent, and unlike other spots in town they don't add food coloring. Readers shouldn't be discouraged from giving Bread Top a shot. The chef does a great job.

  5. Blake, thanks for your comment. I'm all for trying this again, since I only tried them once. But I will say that I treated Bread Top House as fairly as I did the other Chinatown bakeries I visited. I've taken the pastries from all of the bakeries home. And I still support that decision.

    Perhaps this affects my pictures, sure, but since I do this with all of the bakeries, in terms of flavor, the main thing I'm trying to review, all bakeries should be equally put at a disadvantage. Again, I'll give this another shot, but I still hold by my original write-up, bad pictures or not.