Lucky Bun: It’s All About The Crust With These Pork BunsJuly 18, 2016
Since the famed Tim Ho Wan entered the restaurant sphere, many have tried to replicate or at least create a close cousin to their delicate buns. But the craquelin crust giving way to a delicate filling requires a balance that is hard to copy, and most iterations fall flat and far from the original (but the Tuan Tuan version must be mentioned as an exception here). It is with skepticism then, that we approached a product on the market that was peddled by a small-time purveyor. If fully-equipped restaurants struggle to make a pretty legitimate bun, how can these guys possibly do it?
What Lucky Bun gets right is the beautiful sugary top, a layer of crusty deliciousness that is probably the most prized asset to the cha siu bao. The dough might not be as simultaneously fluffy and thin as its more famous peer, but this is a very good version indeed. Its various flavors are a plus, giving more savory and sweet iterations of the bun.
There is a beautiful mushroom one which introduces Japanese umami to its Chinese roots. Another has chopped up chicken layered with intense curry flavors, creating a crowd favorite in the process. But it is the sweet and tart pineapple bun that has us enamored, taking the jelly and jam-like filling of traditional Taiwanese pineapple cake, and stuffing it into the doughy mound for an extremely snackable dessert. The proof’s in the pudding–you don’t have to try to be the original to get satisfying results.