New York’s Hottest Bakery Launches Delivery to Connecticut

above: An assortment of cakes offered at Lady Wong featuring the best-selling Calamansi & Passionfruit cake (Left), Salted Coconut Sugar Caramel Cake (Center) and the Pandan Pistachio Royaltine (Right)
Photographs: pastry images by Lady Wong; portrait by Dan Ahn Photography

Seleste Tan and Mogan Anthony are the husband and wife duo behind Lady Wong

Samantha Yanks: Tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Lady Wong?
Seleste Tan: The inspiration behind Lady Wong comes from our deep roots in Southeast Asian cuisine and our desire to introduce these vibrant flavors to a wider audience.

We found an unexpected opportunity when the pandemic led to the temporary closure of our workplaces. It was Lunar New Year, and we longed for the traditional pastries of our Malaysian childhood. With extra time on our hands, we began crafting traditional Southeast Asian-inspired pastries and delivering them to friends and family. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and we began formalizing our deliveries within the CT/Westchester area.

It became so popular that we decided to open a brick and mortar store in New York City’s East Village in 2022, where we honed our offerings to not only include traditional Southeast Asian flavors but modernized execution using a French culinary technique, in which both Mogan and I had been trained. Customers were going wild for the unique flavors like Pandan, an Indonesian vanilla, and tangy calamansi and passionfruit curd.

Within just one year, we received many accolades from top press. Eater named Lady Wong “the hottest bakeries in NYC right now” and the New York Times named our Black Sesame Cake, “One of the best dishes they ate in 2022,” among others.

We began seeing people travel all over the country to try our pastries, which planted the seeds of ideas for future expansion to nationwide shipping and delivery even outside of New York City.

left: The Strawberry Guava cake features strawberry compote and guava marmalade surrounded by a velvet cream cheese mousse on top of an almond sponge cake

SY: Share with us a bit about your backgrounds.
Mogan Anthony: I am originally from Northern Malaysia, and Seleste is from Southern Malaysia. She’s a talented pastry chef, and I specialize in savory cuisine. We met at the Four Seasons Singapore, where I worked front-of-house and Seleste was a pastry chef. We spent a decade there before moving to New York City, where we both spent many years within five-star hotels, resorts, and Michelin-starred restaurants, such as Jean Georges and Wylie Dufresne’s WD-50.

Together, we worked together at Village Social Group with restaurants in Rye, Pleasantville, and Mount Kisco and New Canaan. I have (and still) work as the culinary directory while Seleste has handled pastries for the restaurant group.

SY: You have just launched delivery to Connecticut and Westchester. What prompted that?
MA: Launching delivery to Connecticut and Westchester was a natural progression for us. In a way, it has allowed us to get back to how we initially started during the pandemic when we only delivered locally, albeit now as an extension of our full-service bakery in the East Village. Now being able to deliver to our initial customers’ doorsteps, without having to go in the city, has certainly been a bonus for them.

We look forward to expanding our clientele and give this area something they’ve been missing — a special occasion cake or pastry at the center of their table and conversation.  It’s something different than most of the traditional bakeries in the area, which focus on children’s cakes or other more traditional offerings.  While we also love those spots for the right time and occasion, we think there’s a need within the market for a sophisticated and elevated cake that would be something luxurious enough for special occasions but approachable enough to have everyday. We also offer catering for parties, which has already excited many clients, wanting a unique conversation piece and elevated sweets offering to their gatherings and special occasions.

Our priority is to make these Southeast Asian flavors accessible to everyone and to share our love for friendly, approachable flavors with the community.

left: The Black Sesame Passionfruit Entremet features a black sesame mousse centered with passion fruit caramel over a chocolate sable; right: The Uji Matcha Cherry Mille Crêpes has diverse flavor profiles of matcha with handmade crêpes layered with matcha pastry cream and featuring Zinfandel red wine cherries.

SY: Talk to us about some of your key flavors.
ST: Some of our standout flavors include pandan, passion fruit, sour plum, ube, calamansi and durian keep customers wanting to try more, while colorful shades of lilac, mint green or poppy red serve as iconic styles of the shop.

Pandan, which is a traditional Indonesian vanilla, is featured in one of our bestselling cakes, Pandan Royaltine. It’s a crowd favorite and one of my favorites, too. In the beginning, many customers did not know what Pandan was, so it was really fun to introduce people to this traditional Southeast Asian flavor.  We added pistachio to it within this cake, in addition to Valrhona White chocolate and a coconut Anglaise mousse.  It’s a fragrant and delicious cake.

MA: One of my favorites is the Calamandi cake. It is also one of our best-selling cakes.  It has the tanginess of a key lime cake but uses passion fruit yuzu to give it its tang. Combined with a buttercream frosting with coconut (almost like a tangy Pina Colada).  It’s a cake probably most traditionally aligned with a traditional American-style cake, however, like our other cakes, it tends to be less sweet but is packed with a lot of flavors.

SY: What are some of the most popular pastries you are highlighting for delivery?
ST: For delivery, we are highlighting our whole cakes, which include best-selling cakes as well as cakes and desserts that will change by season and limited edition offerings for holidays. Additionally, platters featuring a mixture of Lady Wong’s traditional and modernized treats, are available for online ordering. For more information and to place orders, customers can visit ladywong.com.

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