Are Tuan Tuan’s Pork Buns Really Better than Tim Ho Wan’s?November 15, 2019
- Mikka WeeWords
When I bit into my first Tim Ho Wan pork bun a few summers ago in Hong Kong, I instantly regretted it for I knew that the sinful, Michelin-starred porcine bun would be a dish my heart would ache for back in Manila. But as it goes with matters of the heart, there is no stopping a person when he or she falls in love. It was like being in a long distance relationship with a once-a-year reunion where I would lavish the THW pork buns with my full and undivided attention, taking advantage of every moment to sink my teeth into its crisp, sweet exterior.
Now that Tim Ho Wan finally opened in Manila, I expressed my joy with a sigh of relief and an hour and half worth of line-up time at the Mega Fashion Hall branch. Was it worth the wait? Yes, definitely. But a little shy of a month ago, my Instagram feed started piling up with photos of what was to be THW’s Pork Bun rival—the pork buns from Tuan Tuan, a newcomer at the SM Mega Fashion Hall whose use of Black & White Milk—a signature Hong Kong staple—was more than enough to convince me that this could be the real deal. But it was the pork buns I was really after.
You get three buns for PHP 128, and they are served with the crumbly surface, slightly golden and exhaling its final, heated breaths from the oven. It is tempting to demolish at an instant, but take your time—this is something worth relishing down to the last, meager crumb.
It’s usually the fillings of a bun or a sandwich that become the talk of town, but in this case, it is the reverse. Tuan Tuan’s salty-sweet pork filling is predictable, but the bun—that fragile, delicious bun—is worth singing praises and writing sonnets about. It deflates upon the first bite, but it has a unique chewy texture that hints on mochi and secures the pork filling tightly inside its hollowed little cave. It is so addicting, and each fleck of the sugary crumble that does not find its way to your mouth is heartbreak. Though the pork could use a bit more sauce, every good thing about the bun makes up for any loose ends. These buns are so damn good, I might’ve just found my new favorite.
Have you tried Tuan Tuan’s Pork Buns? How do you find them in comparison with Tim Ho Wan’s? Where’s your favorite restaurant to get pork buns? Tell us your thoughts with a comment below.
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Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie
Address: 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas