It is the variety of choices and the quality of the baked goods at Fay Da that assures a return trip either to the Forest Hills location or those that are found throughout the rest of Queens and Manhattan.
By Nanette McLain
The origin of Fay Da Bakery is in New York City’s Chinatown; however it has since expanded and is found throughout the outer Borough of Queens where it seems much at home. My personal favorite is the Fay Da Bakery located in Forest Hills. There is something special about this location with an interesting mix of patrons. The retirees who drink coffee in the afternoon reminiscing about the past, chatting about grandkids or telling stories about the neighborhood they know so well; or in contrast it is the traffic agent ready to write tickets with a Fay Da coffee milk tea in hand.
I make frequent stops at Fay Da, and as I stand in line on a Saturday afternoon awaiting the cash register I realize I have yet to place in written word what makes Fay Da Bakery exceptional. As I enjoy my baked goods I am reminded of the consistency and quality of this Chinese bakery. You are always guaranteed to walk away satisfied, and though there is a bustle of activity the simple but comfortable environment at the Forest Hills location is a bonus.
Fay Da Bakery is self-serve. Situated between cases of baked goods are round plastic trays and white tongs. One can thoughtfully examine the baked goods by peering through the large cases. The cream cheese raisin buns are tempting. They are soft and fluffy and when accompanied with coffee an ordinary breakfast is extraordinary.
Near the cream cheese raisin buns are generous pieces of sponge cake with slices of toasted almonds on top. The flavor is subtle, not sugary sweet. It is light, airy and can be gently pulled apart to savor each piece. The white tongs make a slight impression in the moist cake as it is placed on the circular white tray marked with the Fay Da brand. If the word dreamy could be defined as a food it would likely be the Fay Da sponge cake.
In addition to the exceptional cream cheese raisin bun and sponge cake is the sesame balls, which should always have a place on the Fay Da circular tray, regardless of day or time. The sesame balls are rice cake covered in sesame seeds, fried a golden brown and filled with red bean paste. The outside of the sesame ball is crisp and chewy, and a first bite reveals a hollow inside that is generously filled with red bean paste.
The selection at Fay Da is abundant, and there is a nice mix of Chinese fare and traditional desserts, such as cupcakes; however some of the baked goods meet in the middle such as the egg custard tart. The outer pastry crust is flaky and an ever-so-slightly golden brown. The egg custard is silky and smooth. The pastry crust is firm enough that when the tart is removed from the small aluminum tin it can be eaten with ease. The gold crust surrounds the bright yellow custard so that with each bite this unique blend of flaky crust and smooth custard can be enjoyed.
It is the variety of choices and the quality of the baked goods at Fay Da that assures a return trip either to the Forest Hills location or those that are found throughout the rest of Queens and Manhattan. Fay Da Bakery is cash only but it merely takes pocket change to purchase one of the many items served. With some baked goods priced under a dollar you have but one more reason to step inside, grab a tray and tongs and enjoy your Fay Da experience.
Fay Da Bakery
107-50 Queens Blvd.
Forest Hills, New York 11375
For more locations – check the Fay Da website.
Nanette’s roots are in the Midwest, but seeking adventure she left in 2005 to explore New York City eventually making it her home. Her free time is dedicated to exploring the City and the food it offers. She has a passion for something sweet recently co-authoring the travel guidebook Sisters’ Guide to NYC Cupcakes.