Meianna Bakery & Cafe this month took over the space previously occupied by Western Bakery & Dim Sum, shunting the restaurant’s har gow and taro cakes for a lineup of pastries that’s become legendary in Portland. “Usually you have to go to Vancouver, B.C. to get this quality in a bakery,” a pleased customer told The Oregonian a few months after the shop’s 2006 debut. Meianna’s since acquired a reputation as a leading source of fruit-and-cream sheet cakes, filled mooncakes, soft breads and custard buns.
Owner Tony Yu didn’t return messages left at both locations, but the same Oregonian story explained he and his wife, Donna Guan, “borrow styles from Japan, France and Hong Kong.”
“The baked goods are all ones you’d find in the part of southern China they come from, the Guangdong Province, which includes Hong Kong --tweaked just a bit to suit American palates,” the paper reported.
Tweaks to tradition include red velvet chocolate chip cookies and tiramisu layer cakes, but there are plenty of Chinese bakery standards among the more than 40 different baked goods on offer, including – when I visited last week – a flaky melon cake that’s correctly situated on the mild end of the sweet spectrum. Meianna keeps half a dozen different cake styles atop its display case for sampling: The spongy cherry and coffee-flavored cakes were especially good.