>> Friday, March 13, 2009

107-50 Queens Blvd.
Forest Hills, NY 11375
(718) 268-8882

Fay Da Bakery is a mini-chain of bakeries that have numerous locations in both Chinatown and Flushing. I remember that there was a considerable amount of enthusiasm last year when they opened a location here in Forest Hills. Finally, the Martha's naysayers would have their alternative. Fay Da offers traditional cake and mousse desserts, but they also carry atypical bakery items like steamed meat buns and rolls with hot dogs baked into them.

Their Forest Hills location is either perfect or awful. On the one hand, it's right by the Cord Meyer office building, the subway, the bus stops and the taxi stand. Commuters come and go all day long. It's financial genius. On the other hand, all this traffic means that it's usually right next to piles of litter. It's one of the dirtiest parts of Forest Hills and being next door to the grungy and decrepit T-Bone Diner, with it's steady clientele of OTBers, doesn't help.

First up, the hot food. I tried some of their steamed buns: the Steamed Pork and Vegetable Bun, which was not good at all (why should I be tasting fishiness in my pork bun?) and the Steamed Chicken Bun, which was quite good indeed. Such a difference. Blecch vs. yum gimme more. A similar response was elicited by my purchase of the empanada-like Beef Pastry and the Chicken Pastry. Both tasted good, however, the chicken one was better if for no other reason than you could actually taste chicken. The beef one, which was heavy on the curry flavoring, was kinda like eating cumin accented fried dough.

People (myself included) are going to compare Fay Da with Martha's, so let's just make the comparison. Fay Da isn't open for the after dinner crowd. Often, I have exited the subway to find them closed. Martha's has far more cake variety (plus cupcakes) and good espresso, but it's often packed to the point of being laughable. Although there's rarely a line out the door at Fay Da the way you have with Martha's, it's never empty. In fact, there's never an open table either (though to be honest, they have very few to begin with). Because they have such limited seating, no table service, and lack any and all romantic cutesyness, Fay Da doesn't feel like the kind of place in which you would choose to spend any more time than necessary. Sure, you can get a couple of similar cakes, but you wouldn't go here to order a relaxing espresso and catch up with an old friend. But if you were in a rush, Fay Da is probably be the place to go.

I ordered a handful of desserts to try out: First, the Mini Strawberry Mousse, a round chocolate and vanilla cake with a layer of strawberry mousse and strawberry syrup. Next I tried the Opera Cake, an espresso-based layer cake. This was the best of the desserts and, had I a cup of coffee, would have been quite the dessert. Not too sweet, not too dry. This is almost the reverse of the Sliced Neapolitan Roll, a chocolate and vanilla and strawberry checkerboard with cream, which was both too dry and too sweet. The Mini Mango Mousse was better than the mini strawberry mouse, but not necessarily by a whole lot. It tasted like mango, but the mango flavor seemed fake in a way I can't really describe. I guess the way orange soda doesn't really taste like an orange. Finally, I tried the Raspberry Cheesecake, which wasn't bad, but the raspberry part was just a red gelatin layer on top that had absolutely no flavor whatsoever. Just get the regular cheesecake instead unless you're really itching for some color.

I took all of these desserts home (hence the cheap plates you see in the photos) because there was never any seating at the times that I went. This let me ask Bro his thoughts for a second opinion. Those thoughts were, simply put, an unimpressed "not bad, but not great." He then resumed killing zombies overrunning a suburban shopping mall on our Xbox.

Just about everything at Fay Da costs somewhere in the range of $2.




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