Jolly Pan, left, and Tancy Zhou, right, stand at the counter of the new Cliche Patisserie (Photo: Zach Berg/Press Citizen)
By Zach Berg/Iowa City Press Citizen
A new Chinese bakery that serves pastries not commonly found in Iowa opened on South Linn Street earlier this week.
Cliché Patisserie, 341 S. Linn St., opened Monday with pastries, sweets and treats that have Chinese bakery roots with a French cuisine flair.
"American desserts are too sweet, and not creative enough," Liqiang Jiang, the new bakery's owner, said Wednesday. "I feel I can make something that most Americans haven't had yet."
Cliché houses several different Chinese pastries like taro crisps and purple-colored baked buns with a sweet, creamy center. They also serve eclairs and elaborate slices of tiramisu alongside French dessert classics like opera cake, a layered dished with almond cake, chocolate and coffee flavors.
One of the most popular dishes so far, Jiang said, are the "lady lilypad," a green mousse cake with dulcet matcha green tea flavors and a ripe raspberry on top. Savory treats like the creamy corn and bacon pastry, with corn, bacon and cheese baked in the middle of dough, round out the menu.
Most of the treats at Cliché are made in a remote kitchen in North Liberty, Jiang said. Jolly Pan, a server at the bakery, said that the fresh-baked treats are normally delivered to the Iowa City bakery at about 10 a.m. each morning.
A "lady lily pad" pastry at the new Cliche Patisserie bakery in Iowa City. (Photo: Zach Berg / Press-Citizen)
Jiang, who graduated from the University of Iowa just last week, said the idea and execution of his new bakery has been months in the making.
"I hope this place catches on with students," Jiang said.
The bakery will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Jiang said he hoped the bakery will become a place where students will gather for late night sweets or drinks.
For drinks, Cliché serves milk tea — a variation of milk tea called bubble tea has been served for years at many stores in Iowa City — with coffee to be added to the menu in coming days.
Jiang said English afternoon tea will also be added to the menu soon and be served from 2 to 5 p.m. daily.