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Manhattan Baker Brings Authentic Chinatown Flavors to Forest Hills

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | October 18, 2017 4:59pm
 Jia Bao Bakery opened earlier this week at 102-30 Queens Blvd. 
Jia Bao Bakery opened earlier this week at 102-30 Queens Blvd. 
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

FOREST HILLS — Asian pastry lovers no longer have to travel to Chinatown to taste these authentic egg custard tarts, sesame balls or roast pork buns.

Jia Bao Bakery, run by the co-owner of two similar bakeries in Manhattan's Chinatown, opened earlier this week at 102-30 Queens Blvd., with plans to expand the menu to include dim sum and other dishes.

Photos: DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

Peng Huan Lei, 62, who co-owns Lucky Seven on Bayard Street and Lucky King on Grand Street in Manhattan, said he decided to expand to Forest Hills because the area has very few eateries offering Asian pastries.

Lei, who came to the U.S. from China in 1982, said that one of his first jobs in New York was at a Chinese restaurant in Central Queens. That's where he became familiar with Forest Hills, which struck him as “a very good area” to open a business, he said.

The bakery offers more than two-dozen types of Asian pastries, including buns with fillings from coconut to pineapple, sponge cakes and roll cakes — with most prices ranging from $1 to $1.75.

In a couple of days, Lei expects to open the bakery's kitchen, allowing him to add a menu featuring dim sum, seafood and casseroles, among other items, he said.

The bakery, which has five tables and can seat at least 20 patrons, will also offer a variety of noodle and rice dishes, as well as items like honey BBQ spare ribs, soy sauce chicken and roasted duck, Lei explained.

At least one patrons said that’s exactly what the neighborhood has been missing.

“That’s what I’m looking for — Cantonese-style barbecue dishes,” said Ron Chan, 40, who lives nearby. “Right now, there is nothing authentic in the neighborhood.”

The bakery is open 7 days a week, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.