Empire of the Bun at Golden Steamer and Baohaus

Steaming is a gas at two bao specialists

Sadly, the same cannot be said of the Uncle Jesse, which does not even have the charm of John Stamos's hair circa 1990. The squares of tofu are coated in sweet potato starch before being pan-fried, but ours were underdone—each piece appeared to be slicked in mucus rather than a crisp coating.

For dessert, don't miss the bao fries—mantao sliced and sizzled in hot oil, then doused in a honeyed black-sesame sauce. The spongy mantao soaks up the oil so that it tastes like the best, crunchiest fried dough you've ever eaten. The fries are Baohaus's creation, perhaps inspired by the cravings of late-night drinkers. They almost make it worth braving the LES bars.

sdigregorio@villagevoice.com

Get there before the ravenous grannies: Golden Steamer
Jared Gruenwald
Get there before the ravenous grannies: Golden Steamer

For more of our restaurant coverage, check out our food blog, Fork in the Road

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