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Wing Lee BIG chicken bun

Before the chow dinner at Lee Hou I bought a few items from Wing Lee Bakery on Clement St. Tried the Big Chicken Buns and the Baked Pork Buns. See the attached photos .... a Big Chicken Bun is not that easy to find anymore. This one was reminescent of the old ones I remembered as a kid - Big and full of chicken (dark meat) chunks, chinese sausage, mushrooms and hard boiled egg. I bought two of these and there was definitely a difference in the amount of filling. The photo is of the one with less filling - it's still a reasonable amount but the one that got away was way more filled. (maybe 35% more?)
The Baked Pork Buns were good - the filling was not quite as sweet as some which I liked.
Priced at 80 cents each. Would buy the Pork Buns again but still prefer Cafe Bakery. And I would definitely buy the Big Chicken Buns again ( $1.10@ )

Any other faves here?

Wing Lee Bakery. 503 Clement Ave.

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  1. I love their jook, especially the chicken and mushroom.

    1. I LOVE the big chicken buns too.

      1. Are there other locations that offer this BIG chicken buns maybe in Oakland? Thanks!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: liujenny

          I've been going to Tao Yuen Pastry on Franklin for dim sum takeout since preschool. I know for a fact that they have them there and I think they even use quail eggs in their chicken buns...

        2. Gordon one day soon we must as Chowhound do a taste test. We all pick up our favorite and compare.

          I have a couple of steamed chicken to offer.

          When the weather gets better.

          1 Reply
          1. re: yimster

            Yimster, sounds like a plan. I really liked the one from Wing Lee .... would love to continue the search for an even better one.

          2. Here's the extensive Big Chicken Bun thread from last year.


            9 Replies
            1. re: Gary Soup

              I don't think anyone answered as to whether they're available near or around the Oakland area...

              1. re: liujenny

                I have seen serveral places where they should be available but I have not tried any. So we could use someone ot check them out. There are at least three or four take out dim sum places I have seen walking after a Oakland chowdown but have never gotten any since I live in the West Bay and they ones in the City have a track record for me. But if I am in the East Bay and some places calls out to me I will be only too happy to report back.

                Sorry do not have any names of the places off hand.

                1. re: liujenny

                  The redoubtable Sum Yee pastry, just down the street from Shanghai Restaurant on Webster has them:

                  "Big Chicken Bun $1.10

                  Pork, chicken, sausage and egg inside the big bun. It is steamed and it size are as large as hamburger. Soft and white, filled with many varities of meat described above. If you like buns, then this dim sum is a must eat."


                  Sum Yee Pastry
                  918 Webster St
                  (between 10th St & 9th St
                  )Oakland, CA 94607
                  (510) 268-8089

                  1. re: Gary Soup

                    Yes, that is one of two in Oakland I have purchase dim sum from and was in my mind.

                    The other is accross the street from Gold Medal, Wing some or other, my favorite for baked pork bun in Oakland.

                    But next week when I in Oaktown I will review the name.

                      1. re: yimster

                        hello, the place on 8th St. w. the good baked pork bun is most likely the 'sister' of Sum Yee (if they use the same web site, that's the tell-tale); dim sum items are identical, Sum Yee has more steam table lunch items. For take-out,I consider both consistent and reliable for a number of items, the staff far friendlier than Tao Yuen. cheers

                        1. re: moto

                          Went to Tao Yen today and although their big chicken buns ($.95) are still as good as I remember - lots of chicken and sausage, they now use 1/4 of a regular chicken egg and were definitely lacking in the mushroom department. Also, the other pastries I bought (mainly the siu mai) seemed a bit greasier than usual, but this didn't really bother me - hey, it's takeout.

                          As far as the service goes, I had no issues. They were happy to answer my questions and didn't blink an eye when I realized that I didn't have enough cash and had to run to the atm down the block. Maybe they are friendlier at Sum Yee, but there is nothing wrong with the service at Tao Yuen.

                      2. re: Gary Soup

                        I was at Sum Yee yesterday and had two fantastic kinds of pancake: one was kind of a griddled rice noodle dough, browned on top and festooned with bits of onion and bacon (!). The other was called a yam cake, and was the same dough enhanced with a lot of sweet potato, stuffed with roughly chopped water chestnuts and whole peanuts! Wowee!

                        OTOH, the har gau were awful--the pork fat flavor drowned out the shrimp.

                        And yes, moto, they're friendlier than at Tao Yuen.

                        1. re: heidipie

                          hello, when I go there I often have that scallion/bacon pancake, my spouse gets the leek dumplings with translucent rice dough, and we get what's essentially big, deep fried shrimp wontons to have with the fresh noodles we pick up down the street; haven't tried their har gao in years; the jin du-i (deep fried sesame balls) are decent. thanks for the yam cake rec. cheers

                  2. I don't know what they're called, but their vegetarian tofu skin rolls (in the steam tray in the window) are very good. I also like their steamed pork and cabbage bun and the chicken and mushroom jook, which sells out by mid-afternoon.

                    I usually get a few things here and a few things from Good Luck Dim Sum down the street when getting dim sum to bring home (for breakfast the next day, yum).

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bernalgirl

                      I'm a fan of the jook and suen jook guen (braised tofu skin rolls), and my brother likes the beef siu mai.

                    2. I seriously need to thank you for posting this. I drove over to Good Luck to pick up some lunch today only to find they are closed on Tuesdays. I don't know Clement St. well and there are so many choices for dim sum. If you hadn't posted about Wing Lee, I wouldn't have known where to go. I was happy with everything except the turnip cakes. $7.50 easily fed 3. So thanks!

                      12 Replies
                      1. re: chaddict

                        I haven't yet found a take-out place with good turnip cakes. Is this something that doesn't hold well? The worst have been sort of crumbly and grainy in texture, which made me thing they degrade as they sit.

                        1. re: bernalgirl

                          Well, there are no WOW turnip cakes at to go dim sum places. By a passable one is New Wing Sing on Stockton Street.

                          The only WOW turnip cake is made by my 85 year young Aunt for Chinese New Years. By the way I am not sharing with anyone.

                          1. re: yimster

                            I had the same thought, though I like the taro cakes at NWS better.

                            What I really love, though is the Shanghai-style shredded turnip cales which are fried in a savory or sweet pastry shell.


                            1. re: Gary Soup

                              Both are good for take out. But neither compares to home made.

                              1. re: Gary Soup

                                Any recs on where to try this Shanghai-style shredded turnip cake? Thanks!

                                1. re: chaddict

                                  Well not exactly the Shanghai verison but the best verison of a shredded turnip in flake pastry (Taiwan style) is at Joy in Foster City. The name in Chinese is something like crab shell pastry. Only catch on the Chinese only and I believe on the weekend only.

                                  1. re: yimster

                                    I think you are confusing xiekehuang (蟹壳黄, the crab-shell pastry, which can be stuffed with anything) with with luobosi bing (萝卜丝饼) which, as the name implies, is always turnip, but sometimes made in a similar flaky pastry shell.

                                    1. re: Gary Soup

                                      Yes and no, the one at Joy's is filled with shredded turnip. They can be stuffed with anything but this verison is filled with shredded turnip.

                          2. re: chaddict

                            Neither Good Luck nor TC Pastry on Irving are open on Tuesdays, not a good day for dim sum take-out. Next time you're in the neighborhood, stop at Gourmet Dim Sum for the har gao.
                            This is a one-trick pony. That's the only thing of a half-dozen or so purchases there that I've liked. I was there last month and can report that the har gao still consistently good.

                            1. re: chaddict

                              Today I had the no mai gai or maybe some variant thereof (you know, the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf). Man, that sucker was huge! And galaxies better than the one my boss brought back from Yet Wah. I like it better than even Ton Kiang's version.

                                1. re: Melanie Wong

                                  Sorry! Wing Lee. I am really starting to dig this place.

                            2. Alex Bakery
                              431 Clement Street
                              (between 5th Ave & 6th Ave)
                              San Francisco, CA 94118

                              I get the "BIG" chicken buns (pretty much like the ones described above) at Alex Bakery on Clement. The "regular" chicken is good as well -Chicken thighmeat, chinese musroom and a hint of cilantro. This is good if you are trying to cut back on hard boiled egg and lopchong consumpsion. Somehow seems less sinful. They have great egg custard tarts as well. Enjoy!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: boomer13

                                thanks! will give them a try next time I"m in the 'nabe.

                              2. Yesterday on my way to a Korean Chowdown I stop at Sum Yee to pick there verison of the big chicken bun. I hope to get with you Gordon for us to try develop a list of take out Chicken buns. In the past I have not taken on developing list is that chef/dim chefs like to move and the shelf life of list is so limited.

                                But back to Sum Yee,

                                Cost 1.10 each, size is 30% smaller, filling all chicken tight meat with one or two pieces of lop chong. No egg or shitake mushroom are minus. The bread was good and the chicken only texture and taste was strong.

                                But for the price and location (for me at least) would not drive to the East Bay only for this item.

                                Sun Sing did not have it, not sure if they were out or did not make it. As I write this post I am remembering I did ask the question clearly and the question was not clear either. More later.

                                So here is my limited rating (will be buy a lot of chicken buns in the next few months.

                                1. New Wing Sing on Stockton: two verisons the large and medium sizes. The medium the size of normal steamed bun. Like the ration of chicken to pork and mushroom with lop chong.

                                2. Gourmet Kitchen on Stockton, only one verison very close to NWS. There vegetable and pork steam bun is good also choy yuke bao

                                3. Yung Kee on Jackson, the one who started it all, too much pork to chicken but otherwise it rates with others. Would rate higher is they called is a pork and chicken bun.

                                More to follow after I get with Gordon.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: yimster

                                  I was just on Clement today and I had to pick up a BIG chicken bun (aka the "combination") at Wing Lee to compare to the ones I get at ALEX Bakery (just a few shops over). The Big Chicken was up to $1.20 (due to inflation or perhaps increased demand). I think the bread part may be a bit lighter and fluffier on the WingLee bun but I like the taste of the bun of the ALEX bun. The biggest advantage of Alex Bakery is that it doesn't sell savory Dim Sum items and so there isn't a wait in line to get just the buns. Just thought I'd update on the price.