Wishing Town Bakery, a Metairie favorite for Chinese dim sum since its inception in early 2020, has brought its dumplings and sweets Uptown to the former Café Luna spot at Magazine Street and Nashville Avenue.
The founders of Wishing Town, Vivi and Kevin Zheng, are from Guangzhou, China, and began delighting customers with their egg tarts and cakes in early 2018 in a small spot on David Drive. In 2020, they expanded to their current Metairie location in the building that was once home to the famed Morning Call Coffee Stand.
The pandemic caused the café to shut its doors temporarily, and upon reopening, welcomed customers from all over town, including people who drove from Uptown just for a taste of what the Zhengs had to offer.
Opening an Uptown location of the café seemed like a logical next step, said the Zheng’s business partner Aisha Chen, the manager of the Uptown location.
“We weren’t completely sure about the new location until we saw the space,” Chen said. “We thought it was cute and that it would be the perfect fit for us.”
The building’s graceful front porch was enjoyed by Café Luna patrons for nearly 30 years, until the beloved neighborhood coffee house succumbed to pandemic pressures and closed in the fall of 2020.
Chen said opening the Uptown location was a long process, but she loves the customers she welcomes daily.
“People come in and they love our food and cakes,” she said. “We feel the love from our customers. Before we opened, I spoke to so many people who were excited for us to open Uptown.”
Although Wishing Town is well-known for its desserts, it’s the dumplings people rave about.
“We’re an interesting combination,” Chen joked. “Some people know us as a bakery, and some people know us as a restaurant.”
Chen said the café’s selection of dim sum, especially the soup dumplings, is popular. Soup dumplings come packed with Angus ground beef, onion, ginger, scallion and chicken broth.
Other popular dishes include the Cheeseburger Dumpling filled with Angus ground beef, onion, ginger and scallion and topped with mozzarella cheese and crumbled bacon; the Spicy Crawfish Dumpling made with shrimp, imitation crab meat and ginger and topped with spicy crawfish, celery and Sriracha; and the Vegetable Dumpling filled with Chinese cabbage, soybean protein, potato, carrot and sweet potato noodles.
On the sweeter side, Chen said that Crepe Cake — a light, low in sugar, multi-layered cake that resembles doberge cake but isn’t as dense — is one of the café’s specialties.
“Because so many people are watching their sugar intake, the Crepe Cake is very popular,” she said. “We sell by the slice, or you can order a whole cake.”
Caramel Cheesecake, Chantilly Cake and Coconut Tarts are just a sample of the myriad of desserts that Wishing Town offers.
Wishing Town Bakery is open daily, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Reporter Marielle Songy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.