Rainbow bakery is a chain of Chinese bakeries. The specific location that I visited is a place of some notoriety. Within a couple of days of opening, an incidence of road rage caused a care to crash through the entrance into the bakery, destroying the business. Below is a news report on the incident.
It’s been a few months since then and Rainbow Bakery has renovated (again) and reopened. I felt the need to give some patronage given their past misfortune.
The first thing I noticed upon browsing is that the prices here are very competitive. This location is in downtown Flushing and there are a lot of Chinese bakeries here competing against each other. The prices of common items that each bakery produces is equal or even lesser than what I’ve seen in other local Chinese bakeries.
The quality is also equal or better. I had a cheese tart and a pork floss roll. Both were very good. Specifically, the cheese tart was like eating a very dense, cheesecake flavored foam. The pork floss roll was done slightly differently than other bakeries, but was about as good as you’d find elsewhere.
Overall, this place is great. It’s equal or slightly better than the other bakeries in the area. Additionally, they also had a menu in the back of cook to order dishes, dim sum, and some made to order desserts as well. I didn’t try any of those, but they looked good.
With the coming of the pandemic, take out now reigns supreme if you want to eat out. As such, all food related business have either adapted to a take out model or gone out of business. Dim Sum Garden Express is a new food stall that specifically does this. Don’t be fooled by the compact nature of the food stall. The dim sum food here is cheaper than almost all of their competitors in the area while maintaining a level of quality about equal with those competitors as well.
They serve your standard dim sum stuff. Steamed roast pork buns, egg tarts, sticky rice rice in lotus leaf and siu mai are a few of the standard dim sum dishes they serve here.
What’s noteworthy about the dishes here is that the taste and quality is about equal to the other, big name dim sum restaurants in the area. What makes this place superior is that the price is lower. Take the sticky rice in lotus leaf for instance. The price of one of these things is usually around two to three dollars. Here, the price is about $1.75 if I remember correctly. That’s the price I used to pay for this item in 2012. It’s a good deal.
Worth mentioning is that like any bakery, the food you get here is best early in the morning and only gets worse as the day progresses. That’s because they make most of their food in the morning and keep it warm and let it sit afterwards. I recommend coming early in the morning if you want the food to be at its tastiest.
Overall, this is an average quality dim sum place with better than average dim sum price.
Details: Located at 136-21 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11354. It’s in a small mall/food court. It’s in the food stall directly next to Joe’s Steam Rice Roll food stall. It’s a very small stall compared to Joe’s.
I originally found this place while wandering around one day not knowing what to eat. I remembered that there was this low key food court nearby and found this little food stall manned by a single woman. I bought one of her baos/breads and was instantly addicted to it. I’ve since visited this food stall at least once a week and often times a few times per week. The bao’s here are meaty, juicy, delicious and most importantly, relatively cheap.
Below is a picture of their menu/flyer.
The bread here is generally filled with some kind of protein, vegetables and usually heavily spiced. What really captivates me is the texture of these stuffed breads. The bottom of the bread is very crispy while the top is flaky and browned. It’s interesting because these are Chinese style breads, but if you know anything about Chinese buns, they usually aren’t like this.
Usually, Chinese bao’s or buns are steamed. Also, the buns are mostly flour and water, resulting in an end product that is mostly fluffy. The bread here is browned, flaky and extremely crispy on the bottom. That means that there’s some butter or oil involved. I don’t think a tandoori was involved, but a tandoori oven where they stick the bread on the sides would likely have a similar effect on the bread. More practically, she probably used a normal oven and baked them on a special board that heats up well in order to crisp up the bottom of the bread while keeping the top flaky.
The style of this bread is a little different from your standard Chinese style breads, but I am so glad they did it because it is delicious. As an American, texture matters and the contrast in textures is wonderful. Your average, white, steamed Chinese breads lack not only the contrast in textures, but flavor since the dough is mostly flour and water. The bread here does not have that problem with the obvious use of either butter/oil.
I’ve tried a lot of the breads here so I’ll give a quick run down of a few of them and my opinion of the below. Keep in mind that the English names for these items are badly translated, so I’ll try to explain what they actually are.
The Orleans Chicken is the first item listed on their menu. Generally, when I go to a restaurant, I try to stick to the top of the menu because the top listed items are usually the best, most commonly ordered items there. As you got further down the menu, food generally becomes ordered less often, lower quality, and mostly not good. So you should be able to judge a place by the first few items they decide to list on their menu. With that in mind, the Orleans chicken is pretty damn good. It’s a baked bread stuffed mostly with white chicken meat and onions, along with a enough spices to color the filling reddish. It is not spicy though. It is very juicy despite being white meat. The top is brown and flaky while the bottom is crispy. At the price of three dollars, it is sufficiently portioned stuffed bread that you cannot go wrong with ordering.
The number two item on the list is their Black Pepper Beef bread. This is actually my favorite one I’ve tried so far since it is basically a well seasoned hamburger stuffed inside their signature bread. The burger patty is filled with onions and has a ton of pepper flavor, which is great since I love pepper, but I can see how some people might not love a substantial amount of pepper and be turned off from the thing.
Pork with plum dried vegetables is their third listed item. A more accurate name would be plum dried vegetables with pork since is it mostly vegetables with a bit of pork. It’s mainly pickled vegetables, so if you don’t like pickled stuff, you probably won’t like a bread filled with them. I found it to be a bit too much for me.
The spicy squid was the one I was most hesitant to try. I just wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a squid bao since that is not a traditional flavor. It’s actually mostly vegetables with a few strips of squid. Not the best thing on their menu.
The Fish-Flavored Pork bread is a very badly translated food item. It’s simply pork with vegetables and mostly root vegetables at that. I can’t name all the vegetables, but I saw some radish (I think…) and some wood ear mushrooms. I think the reason they called this Fish-Flavored Pork likely resulted from a mistranslation of the name of peppers that are included in this bread. There are some spicy, red peppers in this bread that give it a little kick. This is a spicy bread.
The Pork Filling with Sauce is simply fatty pork with eggplant. I normally love fatty meat. Fat equals flavor after all. However, this was bordering on too fatty even for me. They egg plant doesn’t help since the texture of the eggplant just makes the whole thing taste even fattier. This is one of the less appetizing bread’s on their menu.
I also tried the Cuming Lamb Stuffing one. Unlike the other breads, this one was priced at five dollars. This was good, but I think the Orleans Chicken and the Pepper Beef are just as good without costing two dollars extra.
I also tried the Wu Dalang Biscuit. It’s a flat bread with a spiced spread of either meat or tofu, I couldn’t be sure. Wrapped in it is some lettuce and a hot dog. It’s basically a Chinese style falafel. This wasn’t great and reinforces the notion that if you come here, just get the stuffed bread.
Overall, I love this place. All the breads I’ve tried are delicious, flaky on top and crispy on the bottom. With the exception of the Cumin Stuffed Lamb, all the breads I had were only three dollars… which is an amazing price give the portions and flavor. The only demerit I’ll give this place is that some of the breads I’ve bought were later in the afternoon or at night and the breads were a little cold. However, that’s an issue you’ll get at any any place that sells baked goods. The best time to get a stuffed bread from this place is early in the day when the baking is first done. The later in the day you get, the colder and worse the quality of the bread will be. Even still, I love this place.
Kingwuu are two food stalls right next to each other. One has been selling things like marinated chicken feet, wings and organs for a while (I imagine these food items are more appealing to people from China rather than Americans). The other stall used to sell fried chicken, but I guess that failed. Now they sell braised and marinated meats. This is a review of the braised meat stall, not he organ and chicken feet one.
I’ve walked by this stall a couple times and I was entranced by the smell coming from this stall every time. The food smells damn good. They have these big pots on display where meat is bubbling and stewing all day.
I’ve ordered from here twice. The first time I got the Taiwanese braised pork over rice which cost about eight dollars. You get a big bowl of rice, a decent portion of bok choy, half a stewed egg and a mountain of braised pork over your rice. This was very good, though it was slightly more expensive than I’m used to paying for Taiwanese braised pork over rice. Then again, the portion was larger than I’m used to.
The other thing I ordered was the braised beef over rice which costs about twelve dollars. This was also good, except that the portion was really small. You get five or six pieces of beef and like the Taiwanese braised pork, half a stewed egg, a decent serving of bok choy, all over a large serving of rice. The taste is there, but the portion was not.
What’s really unfortunate is that besides the Taiwanese braised pork, almost everything here is priced at about twelve dollars, which is not competitive when compared to the other take out businesses in the area. Seven to eight dollars is about right. If they served a larger portion, I would suggest they shrink the portion size and lower the price to something competitive. Unfortunately, the serving size of the meat is already small and shrinking it even more would make the meal more of a snack rather than a meal.
Overall, the food here is good, but the price is not. I would come back here again, but the only thing I recommend ordering is the Taiwanese braised pork over rice. There are some other things that I did not see the price of like the stewed tripe. If those other items are priced and portioned similarly to the Taiwanese braised pork, then they may be worth getting.
We’re living in a post pandemic world. In order for a restaurant in New York City to survive in this environment, it needs to either have outdoor space or delivery and takeout. Doshirak does not have outdoor space, but it does have the fortune to be a primarily takeout and delivery business, even from before the pandemic.