Living in the Midwest, where Asian bakeries are uncommon, I was excited when I learned about the Foundry Bakery. Owners Raymond and Leah Yeh opened up the bakery in Maryland Heights this summer, and it did not disappoint.
The space is clean and open, with a drink counter on one side and the baked goods on the other. Like at many other Asian bakeries, customers take a tray, pick what they want, and bring the items to the cashier.
The Foundry Bakery offers a selection of rustic breads, sweet buns and pastries.
The breads, priced at $6.50 per loaf, were all soft on the inside and had chewy crusts that were crispy on the bottom. The bakery’s most popular loaf is the umami burst, which was sold out when I arrived, but the owner graciously baked one fresh for me. Some people might be hesitant to try the umami burst based on the ingredients of Japanese miso, shiitake mushrooms, seaweed and green onion; however, the combination results in a complex, deep flavor that was my personal favorite. The chocolate cherry and longan walnut breads, were also strong in flavor and delectable, albeit a bit heavy.
The buns cost $1.75 each and were all very soft, even if not eaten right away. Like the breads, the flavors were specific and strong. My favorite was the bolo bun because of the texture of its smooth cookie top. The red bean bun and taro bun were both delicately sweet. The taro bun is made with real taro, which is uncommon and makes a noticeable difference. I wasn’t very big on the filling of the naisu milk bun, but fans of raisins might enjoy it.
The crispy orange pastry is aptly named. With its butter-laminated dough, it’s essentially a kouign-amann but with a sweet-but-not-too-sweet zesty flavor. Beware if you try it, though– it’s very sticky.
The baked goods were given in a reusable bag, which is a plus.
Being an avid bubble tea enthusiast (despite being lactose intolerant), I was especially excited by the drink choices. The menu is cute– handwritten on the wall with colorful doodles on it. I struggled to decide from their selection of coffees, fruit milks and teas, especially after trying a delicious sample of houjicha, which is a Japanese green tea. Although the drinks are on the expensive side, with the fruit milks costing $6.50, unlike most other places, they’re made with fresh fruit, and the add-ons–boba and jellies– are free.
When I settled on the strawberry matcha latte, curious of how the flavors would taste together, the owner remarked that the drink was visually pleasing and that customers would post pictures of it on Instagram. He was right. The cup had three distinct and pretty layers of green, white and red, and I took a picture of it before I had any. The matcha and strawberry complimented each other well.
I also tried the papaya fruit milk, which was also good, and definitely supports their decision to use fresh fruit. Neither of the drinks were too sweet, which is a complaint I’ve had with several previous bubble tea experiences.
Taiwanese pineapple gem, taro bun, crispy orange bun
Overall, the Foundry Bakery has notable maximizations of flavors and usages of real ingredients. The staff was very helpful and friendly, even close to closing time. I’ll definitely be returning, especially after hearing that a lunch menu is in the works.
If you feel like trying something new, consider a visit to the Foundry Bakery.