Chowking Launches Happy Paos that Make Us Feel Bad for Eating Tiny Pandas and PiggiesSeptember 12, 2019
- Mikka WeeWords
These new, bite-sized buns from Chowking are too adorable to eat, but don’t be swayed into saving them for later. Cut that annoying “oooh, but they’re too cute, I simply cannot!” line. Those round, pleading eyes are actually begging for you to take a bite.
We’ve been seeing these Happy Paos make an occasional appearance on our Instagram feed, and we’ve been asking people where to get them. Most came from the province, and upon a few failed attempts, we finally found a source—the Chowking branch located at Shopwise, Makati. According to the staff, they were launched only this Monday in that specific store. We hope they start distributing to more branches, as these buns not only look good—they taste pretty darn good, too.
Each pao sells for PHP 39 ala carte, PHP 49 with a drink, and to-go pack of three for PHP 117. The Panda Pao is a chocolate-filled bun that’s really filled to freaking brim with glossy, velvety chocolate; it spills down your chin when bitten into. The pao’s texture was bouncy yet firm, leaving temporary dents as I pressed my index finger to the surface. But let’s not be too nitpicky here—it’s fast food. And it’s a great offering for its kind.
It was also a pleasant surprise that the Piggy Pao held so much asado inside. Chunks of meat—and I mean huge ones—were present inside the bun. It’s your typical asado siopao, but we had much more appreciation for it since it didn’t feel like they were scrimping on the meat.
I don’t want to overthink why these buns were made in the first place. A marketing strategy to appease grumpy customers of the pao-to-filling ratio (admittedly, there is always too much of the bread than the meat), perhaps? These Happy Paos are here to address the problem, hitting two stones by a) having the proper balance between filling and pao and b) being so damn cute that you’ll forget that you’re paying for a teeny tiny bun—but that’s fine because come on, just look at that panda and pig. I wonder what they would use for a bola-bola pao.