Photography by Daniel Walker.

First Bite

Get Your Milk Bun Fix at Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe

This new Asian bakery is a must-try.

Have you experienced the soft, subtly-sweet notes of a perfectly done milk bun? Have you walked that fine line between sweet and savory within a beautifully caramelized egg tart? Have you been acquainted with the unmistakable and uncommonly good flavor of red bean paste? If you’ve answered “no” to any one of these questions, pull out your calendars right now and plan a trip to your nearest Asian bakery.

If you live in Plano, there’s a brand new option for fans of these cathedrals of carbs. Sweet Hut Bakery & Cafe recently landed at 2001 Coit Road, and the ovens are already churning out mountains of pastry and whipping up teas, coffee, and fruit slushes by the bucketload.

Being a bonafide fanboy of this baking style, I visited Sweet Hut on opening day. I was not alone, the place was absolutely packed. Patrons shuffled around each other, squeezing between large plastic cases bulging with dozens of varieties of baked goods. It was altogether a fascinating and exciting place to be.

The setup is not unlike other Asian bakeries in the Dallas area. Guests enter to find a large plastic tray waiting for them. You wander around the shop, carefully examining the many cookies, pastries both sweet and savory, pies, and breads stowed within clear plastic cases. You decide what you want, grab the available tongs, snag the goods, and stack them on your tray. When you’ve filled up your tray, you walk to the check-out counter where they box or bag up your selections, and you’re on your way. In addition, there’s a sizable refrigerated case near the check out counter with full-sized cakes, puddings, mousses, custards, tarts, and cheesecakes. The selection is impressive and you’re likely going to want to sample more than is humanly possible.

That said, I did my civic duty that day to eat as much as my body could comfortably withstand. I consumed sesame topped buns filled with sweet red bean paste, a flaky puff pastry filled with a saucy chicken curry, and a simple, traditional Hong Kong-style cocktail bun with coconut filling. The vanilla buttercream bun should not be missed—imagine a soft, sweet roll, flayed open like a hot dog bun and stuffed with cream and topped with cranberries and coconut flakes. I couldn’t pass up the milk custard bun, of course, with its cool, creamy insides. The “violet” bun, with its soft purple glow was far too intriguing to skip. This muffin-like pastry filled with taro mochi was certainly different, but I’ll probably pass in the future. I nabbed a strawberry milk custard from the cold case, which is eaten with the most adorable long, skinny spoons. A few macarons were consumed, for good measure.

In truth, I only scratched the surface of what Sweet Hut has to offer. But I’m entirely optimistic about my future visits. And if the opening day excitement I witnessed here is any indication of Sweet Hut’s future success, I’m sure the place with do just fine in this corner of town.