OS Reviews: Chew Chew Bun
Chew Chew Bun Asian Bakery opened the doors to its new brick-and-mortar location this past August at 115 E. Beaver Ave.
The bakery has been serving up Taiwanese-inspired pastries to the State College area since 2019. In addition to pastries, Chew Chew Bun also sells drinks, including coffee, matcha, and tea.
Naturally, some of our staffers ventured downtown to check it out.
Keeley Lamm: Portuguese Egg Tart & Taro Bun
Chew Chew Bun definitely wasn’t what I expected, but it was yummy! The bakery offers more savory buns and sandwiches than sweet ones, but I’m looking forward to trying more options from the new downtown location.
The folks in Chew Chew Bun were super nice, and since I arrived toward the end of the bakery’s hours, an employee gave me a free Portuguese Egg Tart. Score! It was kind of like a mini egg quiche, and it was really tasty.
I also ordered a taro bun. I wasn’t really sure what a taro bun is, but it’s basically just a bao bun with a sweet filling. It wasn’t my thing, but I’m glad I tried it.
I absolutely have my eye on the pineapple tart cake and will head back to Chew Chew Bun to give it a try.
Mikey DeAngelis: Garlic Pastry & Croissant
I got the garlic pastry and a fresh croissant, and they were both very good! The croissant was one of the best ones I’ve had since moving to State College — it was flaky, buttery, and delicious. The garlic pastry was also quite good but did have a strong garlic taste that lingered for a while, so if you’re not a fan of garlic, it probably isn’t for you. Overall, it’s a super quaint bakery, and I’ll definitely be going back!
Anna Wiggins: Pineapple Cake, Portuguese Egg Tart, & Red Bean Bun
I’m a girl who loves her carbs, so Chew Chew Bun was calling my name. I got a pineapple cake, a red bean bun, and an egg tart. The latter was given to me for free by a kind employee. Already, off to a fantastic start.
The pineapple cake wasn’t what I was expecting but still absolutely delicious. Rather than what we may consider a traditional slice of cake, this was an adorable, bite-sized shortbread cookie with a sweet pineapple jam in the center. I love shortbread. I love pineapple. This was heaven. I’ll take 10 more, please.
I also didn’t know what to expect from the egg tart but was pleasantly surprised. The palm-sized tart has a sweet custard filling, which was browned on top like a crème brûlée.
I also didn’t know what to expect from the red bean bun. I had heard about red bean before and was excited to try it, but I truly had no idea what it would even remotely taste like. The answer? Sweet. I couldn’t make out any discernible flavor aside from the fact that the filling was sweet. And, perhaps to no surprise, a red bean is actually a bean. Accompanied by a super pillowy dough, the red bean bun was an exciting and delicious discovery.
I definitely see myself going back to Chew Chew Bun in the future. There’s a bunch of other pastries I want to try, not to mention a drink menu. The price also was very budget-friendly, with my pineapple cake and red bean bun ringing in at just under $5.
Colleen Nersten: Golden Yolk Red Bean Pastry & Rose Iced Coffee
Unfortunately for me, and fortunately for Chew Chew Bun, I am easily influenced. I saw someone post the rose iced coffee on Instagram and knew I wouldn’t be at peace until I had those cute little rose petals on top of my coffee. The coffee was good! And pretty! It appears that Chew Chew Bun brews Rothrock coffee, and we all know how good its beans are. If you live downtown, it saves you the drive to Rothrock, which is clutch.
My advice is to go to Chew Chew Bun early in the morning because I went an hour before close and there wasn’t much selection. Regardless, red bean is a GOATed flavor, so I was happy. The container was adorable, too.
Rachel Padnis: Lemon Custard Bun
Chew Chew Bun did not disappoint. I ordered the lemon custard-filled bun, which had an almond topping. The pastry is a perfect snack size for between classes and was still warm when I got it. The lemon filling on the inside had a somewhat thick texture, but it was sweet with a lemon taste (of course) and overall delicious.
I had never tried Taiwanese-inspired pastries before. I could tell everything was made fresh, which gave it even more of an authentic feel. I also appreciated the variety offered with the pastries, providing both sweet and savory options to choose from. I’ll definitely be back to try more!
Rico Gore: Classic Melon Bun
I tried out the “Classic Melon” bun, which unlike the name, wasn’t necessarily a melon. I went classic, as it seemed like the base for what a lot of the other pastries are built off of. It was a flakey, buttery ball of goodness. Honestly, this was one of the best pastries I’ve ever had. The outside of it was crusty and flakey, which fell apart while you ate it. However, the inside was buttery and gooey, which contrasted nicely with the outside. Overall, there were a lot of subtle flavors going on that let the texture of the sweet treat really be the main character.
My roommate got the garlic pastry. He compared it to somewhat like a garlic knot and claims it was the best thing made with garlic that he has ever had. Unlike mine, which was served at room temperature, his treat was heated up, so it was especially delightful and delicious.
Beyond the food, the atmosphere was very relaxing, with some very chill soft tunes playing in the background. It’s a quaint little shop with a few places for seating. Being that it was not super busy, I would highly recommend getting yourself some Chew Chew Bun and sitting down to do some school work.
Teagan Staudenmeier: Chocolate Croissant
Chew Chew Bun had a nice, quiet atmosphere and extremely kind staff who answered some questions for me. Some of their baked goods and pastries were very unique, and I was curious as to what they could be. You would think I would have gotten one of the said unique pastries, but I did not.
I got a chocolate croissant. I am a lover of chocolate croissants and consider myself a chocolate croissant connoisseur. So, you can imagine my glee when I saw the perfect, puffy treat sitting behind the window. I wish I requested for it to be warmed because its temperature was my only complaint. The croissant was fluffy and flaky with sweet, but not too sweet, chocolate on the inside. The price definitely reflected the quality, but it was still quite reasonably priced for something that takes so much time to create. Overall, I’m giving this chocolate croissant a 10/10.
Ryan Parsons: Golden Yolk Red Bean Pastry, Portuguese Egg Tart, and Bubble Milk Tea
I miss Crust & Crumb dearly, but this place is pretty awesome. I went in not really knowing what to expect since I’ve never really had Taiwanese food before, and I was impressed! I was a bit overwhelmed by the new menu, but luckily I went later in the day and they only had a few things left. It appears the egg tart is Chew Chew Bun’s GOAT item, and it’s for a good reason. It’s awesome.
I’m not a big fan of yolk, but the red bean pastry was still delicious. My server told me that the canned bubble milk tea wasn’t as good as the real thing, but it was still pretty awesome. I’ll be back!
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