Tuesday, November 4, 2014

7 Restaurants in Manila Serving Baked Pork Buns

The Char Siu Bao Crawl: 7 Restaurants in Manila Serving Baked Pork Buns

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Ever since a popular Michelin-starred dim sum place set foot into our local food scene, the spotlight has been on the Chinese delicacy, the baked char siu bao or cha siew bao, better known as pork buns.



Photo from Tim Ho Wan Facebook page The steamed cha siu bao is most often found in all Chinese dimsum places in the metro, actually--it's our fluffy white siopao. The baked version of this bun is what we'll put on the spotlight for this edition of The Click List. The baked pork buns are fast becoming famous locally, with its golden exterior similar to a coffee/kopi bun as it is also puffed up and shaped like a dome. Biting into a baked bun is both crisp and chewy, revealing its warm and gooey filling of barbecued (asado) pork, with flavors both sweet and salty. We discovered that almost all these places in Manila that serve the golden buns offer it in threes, perfect for sharing over afternoon coffee or tea, or consumed all by yourself if you want a more filling snack.
There are other places where you can sink your teeth into savory pork buns, and maybe one's closer to you and there's no need to wait in line to enter! Here's our list of 7 places in Manila where you can get your baked pork bun fix, and which of them offer take-out. Note that all of these establishments bake limited stocks of pork buns daily, so get 'em while they are available! Have you discovered more places where you can get baked pork buns in Manila? Don't be shy (and selfish), do hit the comments section and share them with us.

Photo from Tim Ho Wan Facebook page
1. Tim Ho Wan (Mega Fashion Hall)
Known as the world's most budget-friendly Michelin-star restaurant, this dim sum restaurant took Manila by storm with their legendary buns when it opened in Mega Fashion Hall this year.
Order: Baked Bun with BBQ Pork (P145 / 3 pieces)
No orders for take-out/delivery.


2. Choi Garden Seafood and Shark's Fin Restaurant (Greenhills)
This Chinese restaurant along Annapolis gets packed most especially on weekends for family gatherings and celebrations, so good thing they offer their baked char siu bao for takeaway in case you find no tables during your baked bun run.
Order: Asado Bun (P120 / 3 pieces)
Available for take-out.

Photo from The Eight by Choi Facebook page
3. The Eight by Choi (Greenbelt)
A sister restaurant of Choi Garden, The Eight serves Chinese delicacies with a modern twist. Freshly-made baked asado buns here, we are told, are exactly the same as Choi Garden's, should you crave for it when you're in Makati.
Order: Asado Bun (P120 / 3 pieces)
Available for take-out.

4. Crystal Jade Dining In (BGC)
Currently our only baked pork bun discovery in the BGC area, this Chinese restaurant oftentimes runs out of bun stock before dinnertime, so do give them a call before your visit to make sure you get your char shiu bao. Plus points for their buns' charming pineapple-esque appearance, making their buns stand out among the rest.
Order: Baked Bo Lo BBQ Pork Bun (P180 / 3 pieces)
Available for take-out.

Photo from Tuan Tuan Instagram
5. Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie (Mega Fashion Hall)
The newest contender in the char siu bao category, they offer the crispy baked treats in both savory and sweet variants: barbecued pork and pineapple. We hear they're best paired with their authentic Hong Kong Style Coffee. This place is also just a hop and a skip away that Michelin-starred pork bun place, should the lines be too long over there!
Order: Crispy Barbecued Pork Snow Buns (P128 / 3 pieces), Crispy Pineapple Snow Buns (P128 / 3 pieces)
Available for take-out.


Photo from Marco Polo Ortigas Manila Dining website
6. Lung Hin (Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas, Manila)
At the upper floor of the hotel is their signature restaurant serving authentic Cantonese cuisine by way of their Hong Kong chefs. Want baked char siu bao served in a refined, elegant setting? Try dining in here.
Order: Baked Barbecue Pork Bun (P246 / 3 pieces)
Available for take-out.

Photo from Boon Tong Kee Facebook page

7. Boon Tong Kee (Power Plant Mall, Mall of Asia, U.P. Town Center, Tomas Morato)
Currently the most accessible baked char siu bao place for your bun on the run, as they have four branches in Metro Manila, covering north to south cravings. They use a brick oven for their asado-style pork buns.
Order: Baked Pork Buns (P35 per piece)
Available for take-out.

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