Chinese bakery items have been gaining in popularity in North America for over a decade and for good reasons — they are simply delicious and budget-friendly compared to these sweet Western bakeries.
Located in Scarborough, Ontario just inside Chartwell Plaza, Aromaz Bakery in Scarborough is leading the pack when it comes to delicious and authentic Hong Kong-style baked goods.
The bakery is loved by locals because it is a great place to get authentic Chinese pastries and bread, which are called “bao” (包).
My family and their Asian bakery-obsessed friends have been long-time customers of Aromaz Bakery. I remember my parents always buying their egg tarts and almond cookies whenever we went grocery shopping at the Chinese supermarket nearby. They actually still buy from here including other best Chinese bakery shops like Panash and Aroma (a different bakery from Aromaz). I know it can get confusing because of the “Z” at the end.
They like to stop by Panash for its wide variety of baos because they are less sweet and less buttery compared to most. On the other hand, they always make a trip to Aroma for its best-selling Winter Melon cakes (老婆餅) called “lo por beng” in Cantonese. They sell lo por beng at Aromaz too, but we can’t deny that Aroma makes them better!
Despite that, we still come to Aromaz for their well-known baked goods and we’re going to be doing a review on them today!
Aromaz Bakery (龍騰閣) Review
Similar to other Chinese bakery shops in the GTA, Aromaz bakery offers a wide variety of Chinese pastries and bread, including savory items like the classic BBQ pork buns (叉烧包), Chinese hot dog buns (腸仔包), and egg tarts (蛋撻) as well as other sweet items such as beautifully-designed birthday cakes, macarons, and red bean buns.
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or a dessert to share with friends, Aromaz Bakery (龍騰閣) has something for everyone. And with its convenient location, it’s the perfect place to stop by when you’re in the neighbourhood.
We decided to stop by Aromaz to buy some buns for the family and here’s what we ordered today. We’ll also let you know how good or bad they taste.
By the way, when you buy 6 or more items and pay in cash, you will save on the tax. And they are located in Chartwell Shopping Centre:
Address: 2301 Brimley Rd, Scarborough, ON M1S 5B8
Phone: (416) 321-3232
1. BBQ Pork Pastry (叉燒酥)
BBQ pork pastry, “char siu sou” is a popular staple at dim sum restaurants — and the one we had at The One Fusion Cuisine restaurant was so heavenly — but they are also commonly sold at Chinese bakeries.
The type at Chinese bakeries is usually rounded in shape whereas dim sum restaurants are mostly triangular.
Aromaz’s version is deliciously flaky and filled with generous chunks of sweet BBQ pork. Perfection!
If you have a knack for a hint of sweetness, or you are looking for a savoury dessert with your afternoon tea, we recommend grabbing a char siu sou over the classic char siu bao. The latter is a popular steamed bun that is also filled with BBQ pork, but it’s not as sweet as the pastry.
2. Classic Egg Tart (蛋撻)
Authentic Chinese bakery-style Hong Kong egg tart, called “dan tat” in Cantonese, features a nice flaky crumbly pastry crust filled with a sweet creamy custard that you’ll find irresistible.
Aromaz bakery is well-known for its egg tarts and they are definitely some of the best that I’ve had in the city.
What we always appreciate is that the server is always willing to give us the ones that are fresh out of the oven, which makes all the difference. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask, but if they don’t offer, we recommend you request the ones that were just made.
3. Milk Tart
Similar to the classic egg tart, the condensed milk tart will not disappoint. You can tell the difference because the milk tart is a milky white color whereas the egg tart is yellow. It’s hard to see in this photo though!
I actually prefer this over the egg tart although both are just as amazing! The buttery smooth and flakey crust will keep you drooling for more.
Every time we stop by the best local dim sum restaurants, we would always order a plate of these to share because milk tarts are the bomb!
But if you really want any type of egg or milk tart, we also recommend going to Les Chateaux Bakery located in Unionville. It’s another Chinese bakery similar to Aromaz but they are best known for their egg tarts. They also serve durian tarts which are amazing if you’re a big fan of Durian! Whenever my family is around the neighbourhood, they would pick up a box of tarts!
4. Pineapple “Bolo” Bun (菠蘿包)
A Chinese bakery staple, the pineapple bun or “bolo bao” in Cantonese, is a sweet bread that’s made with a buttery rich dough. It’s then topped with a crumbly streusel that’s baked on top, giving it a nice crunch.
Despite being called a “pineapple” bun, there’s actually no pineapple involved in the recipe. The name comes from the way the streusel topping resembles a pineapple.
The pineapple bun at Aromaz is one of the best that I’ve had in the city. It is nice and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness. And the streusel topping mainly from lard and custard powder is the perfect finishing touch. The bolo bao also brings back childhood memories because I would always pick out the streusel topping before eating the bun.
Their polo bao is always fresh and crunchy. It’s definitely a must-try!
5. Chinese Coconut Cocktail Bun (雞尾包)
The coconut cocktail bun is called “gai mei bao” in Cantonese, which is a direct translation of “chicken tail bun.”
The name is quite literal because the bun looks like a chicken’s tail.
Aromaz’s cocktail bun is beautifully made and fluffy with a plentiful amount of coconut and yellow custard inside. Warning: it can be quite sweet so if you have a low tolerance for sweets, you might want to share this with someone.
The bun is then finished with a coating of shredded coconut, making it even more irresistible!
6. Coconut Swirl Cocktail Bun (雞尾包)
Similar to the cocktail bun I just mentioned, the swirl cocktail bun is slightly different. In this type of “gai mei bao”, there is no chunk of yellow custard filling mixed with coconut. Instead, the bun is in a swirl shape with alternating layers of yellow custard and coconut filling, which is a lot less than the traditional version.
If I had to describe the appearance of this bun in words, it would resemble the shape of a swirly cinnamon bun just like these delightful ones in Toronto here.
The one at Aromaz is very sweet, just like the classic cocktail bun, but I find that the filling is a lot less and is more evenly distributed throughout the bun.
7. Dry Shredded Pork with Seaweed Bun
Also known as “pork floss bun” or pork “sung bao”, this is one of our favorite items at Aromaz Bakery. The bun is hallowed and topped with a generous amount of dry shredded pork and light seaweed — seriously delish!
The light spread of mayo gives this bun a unique and flavourful taste. The bun itself is soft and fluffy, making it the perfect snack to enjoy with a cup of tea.
8. Curry Beef Bun (咖喱牛肉包)
Writing this post is making me salivate.
My husband loves this bun because it’s moist and the curry flavour isn’t too strong. He’s had other curry beef buns from other Asian bakeries, but he didn’t like them as much as the ones sold at Aromaz because they tend to be a little drier on the inside leaving your mouth feeling parched.
The buns at Aromaz, on the other hand, are fluffy and moist with just the right amount of curry flavor.
9. Black Seasame Bun (黑芝麻包)
The black sesame bun is a type of bao that is made with black sesame paste inside. No doubt it’s a popular type of bun in China and has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. If you’re a black sesame fan of desserts, then you will enjoy this snack with your afternoon tea!
10. Pineapple “Bolo” Bao with Red Bean
This is pretty much the same bun as the classic pineapple “bolo” bao except it’s filled with delicious red bean paste. The combination of the two flavors is heavenly and will definitely have you reaching for more. Trust me, these are addicting, and quite filling because of the sweet red bean paste inside!
Pineapple buns with red bean paste are typically enjoyed as a snack or dessert, but they can also make for a satisfying breakfast or light meal. Serve them warm or at room temperature – either way, they’re delicious!
Aromaz has a wide selection of savory and sweet buns to choose from. Not only that, but they also serve treats and desserts like tarts, cake slices, and macarons. Speaking of cakes, they do custom birthday cakes too, which are really good too. Although my favorite birthday cakes are from Daan Go Cake Lab, my family still stops by Aromaz to pick up a celebration cake whenever we want a change in taste.
My personal favorite buns and sweets from Aromaz are the pork floss bun and the egg tarts. The pineapple buns are also very good!
My family and friends have tried all their baked goods here and we can say that they are all very exceptional. The only downside is that some of their items are a bit on the sweeter side for our taste, but other than that we absolutely love everything!
The service at Aromaz is great! The staff is always cheerful and more than happy to help you with whatever you need. We’ve never had any problems with the service here. We also like how they are always more than willing to give us egg tarts that are fresh out of the oven without us asking!
Aromaz Bakery is very tiny, but it is exceptionally clean and organized.
The workers are so efficient that they are always restocking the buns quickly as they get sold out really fast throughout the day.
This bakery and sweets shop is also a more pleasant environment compared to most of the downtown bakeries in Chinatown. We personally do not enjoy bakeries from Chinatown because their quality doesn’t compare to most of the top ones in Scarborough, Markham, and Richmond Hill.
The prices at Aromaz are very reasonable, especially for the quality of their baked goods. We ordered 8 items, and our bill came out to be $17. That’s below $2.50 per item on average. Most of their savory buns are around $1.50-$3.00 and their sweets are around $1.75-$5.50 depending on what you order.
When you compare the best Chinese bakeries to the top-notch Western bakeries like these really delicious ones in Toronto or Markham, you can say Aromaz (and most Chinese bakeries) are very budget-friendly.
In addition to that, if you buy 6 or more items and pay with cash, you will save 13%. That is equivalent to no tax.
Aromaz Bakery Rating: 4.3/5
Overall, we give Aromaz Bakery a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. We would definitely come back to try more of their yummy buns and sweets! They have a great variety of items to choose from, and the quality is exceptional for the price you pay.
The only drawback is that some of their baked goods contain a lot of butter and are on the sweeter side for our taste, but other than that we absolutely love everything about this place!
If you’re looking for buns that have less butter and aren’t as sweet, we recommend you to check out Panash in Richmond Hill. It’s further, but if you’re ever in the area, you can give their buns a try!
Lastly, if you live near Aromaz and haven’t been here yet, we highly recommend that you drop by and give their goodies a try! You won’t be disappointed.