Bao Haus: East Village, Manhattan, New York, NY, USA
I found this place through recommendations from a friend, and was thoroughly excited once I saw the menu. For those of you who know Huang’s World and the Asian-American television show “Fresh Off the Boat”, Eddie Huang is the mastermind behind this ridiculously tiny but super tasty Chinese bun restaurant. The things that we tried included:
- Chairman Bao: classic pork belly in steamed bun with pickled mustards
- Coffin Bao: fried mantou bao (it has the shape of a coffin when sliced in half) and we chose to have fried fish in there)
- Uncle Jesse Bao: fried tofu bao with peanut sauce
- Sweet Fries: you can choose between what I believe was black sesame and Pandan – we chose Pandan because it’s a favorite flavor from our local SE Asia hometown
Chairman Bao: Braised all natural Berkshire pork belly served with Haus Relish, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro
- very good quantity: it’s super filling as a single bao for one person
- nice combination of flavors: sweetness of the bao bread, the saltiness of the pork belly, and then the tartness of the pickles
- meat was not over-cooked: this was important to me because pork belly is easily over cooked and then it becomes dry. No matter how much sauce you put on it, it is still too dry.
- It’s so good that I wish it wasn’t just one bun per order.
Coffin Bao: A large fried bao stuffed with our fried chicken or fried fish and topped with chili condensed milk syrup, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, and cilantro. Fried Fish served with lemon cabbage slaw.
- super large: the bread on a “mantou” is already bigger than your typical taco-style bao so this was extra filling.
- fried: I love fried mantou or fried bao skin, particularly if it’s like the spun woven bao (“silver thread bao” or ying si juan)
- very easy to share
- generous with the toppings like the cilantro. However, if you’re not a fan of cilantro then you’re probably a bit out of luck.
- this may have been my fault, but there wasn’t enough flavor in this bun compared to the Chairman Bao. I think though that this has to do with the fact that I chose fried fish.
Uncle Jesse Bao: Organic fried tofu served with our Haus Seasoning Salt, crushed peanuts, Taiwanese red sugar, cilantro, and Haus Sauce.
- good and filling for a small to moderate eater. Not shareable because it comes one bao per order.
- tasty given that it’s tofu: I think that Haus sauce is the key to this.
- generous with two slices of tofu when they could have easily given one.
- it’s a tad bit small for $3.55 but then again, it is organic tofu. (see the first picture for reference)
Pandan Sweet Fries
- large quantity: definitely shareable
- good for dessert as it’s not fries in the way that people think they should be
- it consists of fried bao strips as “fries” which is really tasty on its own.
- I like pandan, but the syrup was not evenly distributed and it was way too sweet.
Oh man, I’d totally come back to Bao Haos just to order baos. In summary:
- Chairman Bao: ***.85 (3.85 stars)
- Coffin Bao: ***.65 (3.65 stars)
- Uncle Jesse Bao: ***.75 (3.75 stars)
- Sweet Fries:** (2 stars)
I’m thankful that this is in the East Village as opposed to somewhere as far south as Chinatown. The Upper East is so isolated from all this good food! You can find them just a few blocks from the Astor Place stop on the green line here: