Mushroom Buns from TC Pastry in San Francisco
Since reading about it here a couple years ago, TC Pastry has become one of my favorite stops for take-out dim sum. Overall quality is quite good with few clunkers and just about everything I've tried here is decent and more often than not, even excellent. Prices are a bit higher, plus sales tax is added on top of the list price (unlike other take-out places). There are also some tables and chairs for limited seating if you want to eat-in.
I always get the jin dui (fried sesame seed balls) that are filled with lotus seed paste. I also like the no mai chi (mochi balls filled with peanut) and jook (congee).
Last weekend I needed to take an appetizer to a Pinot Noir tasting and stopped here to pick up some of the baked pork buns (3/$1.30). But I also needed something vegetarian for a couple of the guests and was happy to find steamed mushroom buns (3/$1.60). These had the white, cake-like light textured bread about the size of my palm. They were filled with slices of black mushroom and champignon and savory from chopped carrots, celery, and onion. Both reheated easily and were a big hit. And I got away easy with 12 servings for about 10 bucks.
Image of storefront -
Other threads on TC Pastry -
Thanks, the wonton tong mein is about the only thing I've yet to try at TC. Here's Gordon's post on his recent visit to the Daly City location...he says the pork buns are 50¢ and not the 75¢ I stated.
I forgot to mention how skilled TC is with the flaky pastry type items. The cha siu so (bbq pork pies) and the lo pau beng (old wife cake) are excellent here.
And, one thing I'd stay away from is the black sesame soup. Too much thickener cuts the flavor impact.
I like the pork buns from TC in the Sunset because they're smaller in size and the filling less sweet than the ones from Cafe Bakery on Noriega. The bread isn't as soft and it has a more yeasty flavor with less sweetness, so more wine friendly. To heat them, 18 fit perfectly onto a half-sheet baking sheet to pop them in the oven for a few minutes to heat through. They freeze well if you want to stock up the next time you're in the neighborhood. I steamed the mushroom ones to reheat them. Just about anything made with mushrooms goes well with red wine.
TC Pastry also has a location in Daly City, not far from the med center, if you happen to be in the area. The pork buns are larger there and cost 75¢, but they taste about the same.