Add: 90 Nanyang Lu, near Xikang Lu / 南阳路90号, 近西康路
Tel: 138 1871 9543
Hours: [Mon-Fri] 7:30am~6pm [Sat-Sun] 8am-6pm
Prices: [cookies] 35 RMB/bag of 5 [bagels] 45 RMB/half-dozen [jams & chutney] 35~45 RMB/jar
Visited on: 2012-06
If you remember my post on Strictly Cookies, I had an absolutely sugar high afternoon in Lexie’s kitchen space where she fed me just about everything in her delicious repertoire. I was back there again this week for a little rendezvous with Christine Asuncion from Spread the Bagels and Amelia Heaton-Renshaw from Amelia’s Jams, two of Lexie’s buddies from The Pantry. Uh oh, here comes another afternoon of serious overeating…
Please note that the pictures below were not taken at The Pantry, but at a separate kitchen space.
In the picture above, from top left to bottom right: White Knight (white sesame), Cinnarella (cinnamon raisin), Parmesan Pleaser (parmesan), Plain Jane (plain), Cocoa Fever (chocolate chip), and Everything Supreme (everything!) – 45 RMB for a half-dozen.
Bagels might look simple to make, but it’s actually a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. At Spread the Bagel, the whole drill takes about 16 hours in total and involves steps of making the dough, flavoring, letting it rise, shaping, letting it rise more, chilling, letting it rise more, boiling, then baking. This gives the bagels a shiny, caramel-colored crunchy exterior and a dense chewy interior, which, when paired with freshly-whipped cream cheese (available in regular, scallion, honey walnut, etc.), is just about as simple (yet gratifying) as breakfast gets.
Let’s pile on that honey walnut cream cheese.
Or, top your bagels with Amelia‘s homemade jams (35 RMB/jar), which are shaped up using traditional British recipes from Amelia’s mom, then infused with a bit of local Shanghai flair. Yangmei jam? Now that’s a first for me.
And kumquat marmalade with brandy? Another thing you can’t find in the supermarket.
Amelia also makes her own peanut butter (25 RMB/jar), which are grainy, naturally fragrant with the scent of just roasted peanuts, and not too sweet at all. It reminds me of the fresh churned peanut butter from Whole Foods.
Smear a few spoonfuls on a White Knight bagel.
Then top that with some sweet, fibrous yangmei jam.
Et voilà! The perfect peanut butter & jelly bagel.
Amelia also brought along jars of chutneys (45 RMB/jar), so we tried a Everything Supreme bagel with mango chutney and slices of parmesan cheese. The chutneys are usually left to rest for a few weeks after they are made so that the flavors mellow out a little, but the particular jar we sampled was very fresh and I actually quite like how strong it was, with exciting kicks from ginger, garlic, chilli, cumin, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, vinegar, peppercorns…
Look at this beautiful mess we made.
A much welcomed surprise for the afternoon was cupcakes from Lollipop Bakery in Beijing, which The Pantry girls happened to have on hand. The cupcakes and frostings were slightly dry as they have been on the road for a while, but for those who live in Beijing, check their adorable website to find out where you can get them fresh. Other than the classic flavors like chocolate and red velvet, there’s also an earl grey cupcake that I would love to get my hands on.
And of course, the visit would not be complete without a cup of latte from MQ Coffee, who shares the same kitchen space as Strictly Cookies and Spread the Bagels.
An afternoon of nonstop eating with The Pantry girls. Now am I happy or am I happy?
The girls would like to keep the kitchen space above semi-private for now, but you can find everything on their website (Strictly Cookies, Spread The Bagel, Amelia’s Jams), or at The Pantry right behind Portman. Daily special: 1 free cookie with purchase of MQ coffee? Um, yes please.