CHICAGO (WLS) --Chicago has dozens of bakeries, but most offer the same mix of croissants, muffins or cookies.
A new bakery in Logan Square offers the only sweets and savories of their kind, with a strong emphasis on ingredients from Southeast Asia, as well as Portugal.
We've all had our share of cupcakes and macarons, but I doubt you've ever seen a pastel de nata or a Portuguese chicken curry bun. Both are made with a lot of care in a new bakery from the team behind Fat Rice, the city's only Macanese restaurant. Their follow-up next door is well worth a trip.
Few baked goods change people's lives, but the diminutive pastel de nata, essentially a baked egg custard tart, did just that, to the owners of Fat Rice, a Macanese restaurant in Logan Square.
"We ate this single bite and it totally changed our lives. So we really, when we came home, really wanted to create that and share that with all the people here in Chicago," said co-owner Adrienne Lo.
They took over an adjacent space to the restaurant, opening their dream bakery, with unique treats influenced from all over Asia.
"You do see flavors from all over, ranging from Portugal and China, but then kind of in between, with Japanese flavors with the nori - that was something we saw in Macau," Lo said.
She's referring to the Macau Rice Crisp, a Rice Krispy bar embedded with seaweed and of course, marshmallow.
"It's really sweet, savory and a little bit chewy, we actually add a fish sauce caramel to it to kind of add an extra sweet and savory, salty note to it," she said.
Pork floss is found on several items, like the honey pig bun.
"It's cooked, it's braised, then it's basically torn apart into individual fibers then that is cooked in oil until it becomes dry and stringy," said Lo.
Guava shows up in a long, baked bun, as does ube, the purple yam beloved by Filippinos. Savory buns contain chicken curry and even corned beef - a mixture inspired by Sri Lanka, with lime, jalapenos and curry leaves.
One of the most fascinating items is the mochi, but unlike the Japanese version, stuffed with ice cream, this version is almost worthy of power bar status.
"It is a rice flour dough but we actually stuff it with black sesame and peanuts and a little peanut butter and coconut oil," said Lo.
In this week's Extra Course, Steve shows off the wonderful hand-pulled milk teas that they serve at the bakery.
Extra Course: Milk teas at Fat Rice Bakery
The Bakery at Fat Rice
2951 W. Diversey Ave.