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Mango mochi, egg custard, and a blast from the past.
Owners of Master Bakery on Buford Highway say they're closing in October.
Thanks to this Instagram post from We Love Buford Highway and Tiff Huang, I learned about the mango mochi at Master Bakery, and the short window of time left to try it.
Directly across from the bakery Sweet Hut in Asian Square (one of it's six locations) is Master Bakery, a husband and wife owned bakery located in the same strip mall as I Love Pho on Buford Highway. After 16 years of business, its owners say they are planing to close their doors in October. Why? The owners seemed reluctant to share too much information, but they did tell me they were getting old.
Master Bakery doesn't have the Instagram account, matcha red bean frappes, or the long lines of customers you can find at Sweet Hut. Instead, it has buns that are all baked by one person (the husband), lots of porcelain figures, and pastries that are sometimes served in ziploc bags (my egg custard tart was). And with the pastries under $2 each (almost shocking to see these days given inflation) and a minimum $10 purchase required to use a card, I suggest you bring cash.
Master Bakery on Buford Highway.
When I walked into the bakery, I was hit by the smell of fresh buns. If fluffiness had a smell associated with it - it would smell like Master Bakery. I knew I would order the mango mochi, which was sitting in a small fridge with some water bottles and Starbucks Frappucino bottles. But what else? When I asked the owner what was most popular, she said, "everything." I decided to get an egg custard and coconut and cream buns - suggestions I was eventually able to squeeze out of her.
The mochi had fresh chunks of mango in it. It almost felt like the mochi itself was a chewyvessel to eat cut up mango. I'm a mango lover, so this was just great. It wasn't too sweet, and the coconut flakes sprinkled on top were in no way overpowering. I expect mochi to be cold, and I can't say this one was cold. Still, I would eat it again without hesitation.
The mango mochi at Master Bakery.
The coconut and cream buns were fresh, not too sweet, with a coconut paste filling and sesame seeds sprinkled on top. I never realized sesame and coconut could be such a perfect pairing. And though I'm not a fan of egg custard tart, I can recognize when one is good. Again, not at all too sweet, and with an extremely flaky crust.
The egg custard tart and coconut and cream bun at Master Bakery.
It's hard to say to what extent the decision to close the bakery is a result of the pandemic, the growth of new businesses along the Buford Highway corridor in a relatively short period of time, or just a straightforward retirement move. Quite possibly all of the above. But if you're in the area, especially in the morning when I imagine the display cases are fully stocked with buns, it's definitely worth stopping here before its doors finally close.