238 E 14th St
(between 2nd Ave & 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
Sorry for being MIA again. I’ve been busy figuring out my life and have recently made some exciting changes! Also took advantage of some inbetween time to travel last week to Jordan. Jordanian blog post coming soon! After our long journey back, we had a couple hungry hours to kill before dinner so dropped by BaoHaus. I’ve reviewed this place twice before. It’s become a staple place to go to for a snack in my neighborhood. The little baos are the perfect after-school snack to tide you over before dinner. Of all the baos they have, my favorite is still the Birdhaus Bao ($3.50).
This little bun is stuffed with a piece of fried chicken with mayo, cilantro, crushed peanuts, and Taiwanese red sugar. The chicken used to always be fat and juicy but the last couple of times I’ve been, the chicken has been dry and overcooked. BaoHaus, don’t be losing your quality now that you’re the popular kid on the block.
In addition to increased prices all around (sad), BaoHaus has added a couple new menu items, including the Chairman on Rice (a $10.50 bowl of fatty flavorful pork belly over rice, something you can get in Chinatown for less than half that price) and the Coffin Bao, which is a whopping $7.50. It is a large fried man tou (Chinese steamed bun) stuffed with either fried chicken or fish and topped with condensed milk, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro.
I really didn’t want to pay $7.50 for a snack but my weakness for new foods was stronger than my willpower to hold back on superfluous spending. And I hate to admit, despite it’s highly unlucky name in Chinese naming etiquette (coffin bao? what was Eddie Huang thinking? <edit> Oops, looks like Eddie is referring to Coffin Toast, a classic Taiwanese dish of fried thick toast hollowed out and filled with creamy chicken chowder, like an Asian chicken pot pie. My bad! </edit>), this is something I think I would come back to get again…
The bread is thicker than the other “flap” baos as it is an actual steamed bread bun that is cut up to fit the fillings. The bao is fried to a golden sheen and is crispy on the outside, soft and doughy on the inside. The sweet condensed milk is a traditional Chinese addition to fried baos actually, something I always asked for at restaurants as a kid. Eddie’s twist on the golden bao+condensed milk combo is adding in the fried goods with the Taiwanese sugar, crushed peanuts, and cilantro. The fish is flakey, fresh, and light. Not overcooked at all. The saltiness of the fried fish and peanuts tasted surprisingly yumz with the fried bao and condensed milk. Crisp of the bread, crunch of the peanuts, and creaminess of the fish all come together to form a delicious concoction.