1. Papa John's Bakery
A homey boutique that I had initially perceived to be a new addition to Mississauga's not-so-diverse Chinese bakery scene was actually revealed to be well-acknowledged contender to Akko Cake House. Our childhood favourite in Erindale has served us well over the years, but the staffing switchover held some two or three years back yielded inconsistent portions and taste; we gradually reduced the frequency of our visits.
Upon conducting another Insta-search (mindless browsing of the social media platform has now officially become part of my stretching and face-mask-drying routine), I discovered Papa John's. Google Maps informed me that it was extremely close to Hurontario and Eglinton, so I set out one lazy Sunday morning in search of fresh coconut buns.
Regrettably, I had not checked their opening hours prior to punching the address into my GPS - Papa John's was open from 8 AM to 7 PM on weekdays, 8 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays. Well then.
I had no other option than to turn back and shake my head in disappointment for committing such a mistake. Undefeated, I suggested a brunch visit to the bakery the following Saturday when a friend mentioned that she had a bit of time in the morning.
The bakery was bustling with action: several small families had claimed their territory at the ten small tables in the dining area and were either munching on Pineapple Bun and HK Milk Tea combos or bowls of noodle in soup. After completing my 360-degree scan of the interior, I slowly approached my bun options, equipping myself with a plastic tray and set of tongs for easy selection.
After picking out my desired selection of buns to take home, I asked the lady at the cashier if I could actually form a combo with one of the buns on my tray. She looked at me, a tad surprised, then affirmed my request. Hot takeout drinks came in three different sizes (small, medium, and large), while cold drinks were only served in one size (medium); hot dine-in drinks were all served in Stainless steel mugs.
As the my buns were gently packed into a box and my combo order had been placed, I was handed a numbered slip of paper, likely to be called out later when the order was ready. My Black Sesame was first placed in a shallow, plastic tray and handed to me. My hot Hong Kong Milk Tea was delivered to the condiment bar at the front shortly after.
Later on, I caught sight of their Pineapple Bun w/ Butter combos, or their order numbers anyway, being called by members of kitchen staff from what appeared to be the front of a brick pizza oven; I overheard the couple mentioning that the overtaken location had, in fact, been a former Italian pizzeria.
As we had both ordered milk teas, it seemed only right to compare the taste of the hot and iced versions of the drink. At first it seemed as if the temperature difference was the only difference.It was soon discovered that the hot version exhibited a lack of sweetener, while the iced variation undeniably sugary. Both cups were smooth and creamy, but, sadly, tacky as well; a generous dosage of creamer was apparent in the drinks' consistencies.
In response to the many reviews that had termed Papa John's an "old school/classic" Hong Kong-style bakery, I shall admit that the cozy, family-run space mainly offers Cantonese fare. However, I do not believe it's necessary to categorize the style of dining as "Hong Kong-style"; rather, this is just what a proper Chinese bakery ought to be like. Needless to say, I'm excited to return to try more of their products!
3. Homemade Latte + Egg Tart from Papa John's Bakery
9. More adorable Easter plushies were spotted!
11. Sunny day doodles
But there's a notably friendly bespectacled member of staff with short, wavy locks and misaligned teeth that always manages to lift my mood! "He always smiles!" I had once exclaimed to a friend, "His positive attitude is seriously contagious; I feel my spirits lifted every single time I walk in and see him."
I've purchased matcha and oolong on a variety of occasions, but I also picked up some of their edible spring goodies this time around. The two 6-pack boxes of cookies were great: sweet, buttery, and possessing a flavourful punch of earl grey and spearmint, these boxes would constantly make appearances on this space if the price point was just a tad lower.
Can you believe that there's only one more week till Easter Long Weekend?!?! HUZZAH.