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Best bbq pork bao for takeout for a CROWD?

Because I love my friends and family I am feeding them shrimp bao and pork bao at my wedding. Where are they good AND CHEAP? I love Empress Pavilion but don't know how much they would cost. Are there quantity discounts anywhere? Help! Before I turn into a raging bridezilla!

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  1. Yum Cha Cafe in the San Gabriel Valley Superstore (SW corner of San Gabriel Blvd. and Valley)

    6 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I've never seen a shrimp bao (do you mean har gau?) but you can get impressive quantities of very cheap cha shu (BBQ pork) bao from MHL at the corner of Garfield and Garvey. It's quite tasty though obviously you will need to have them resteamed (I don't think they cater).

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        Ubergeek, your knowledge of awesome food astounds me, and my wedding is going to be in Long Beach. Any great OC area dim sum places?

        1. re: macrogal

          Hm. "Great"? No. "Usually pretty good, and occasionally stellar"? That'd be Ten Ten Seafood. There's one in Anaheim and one in Cerritos. I've never been to the Cerritos branch, so you may wish to "sample" a bit.

      2. re: ipsedixit

        Good friend of mine order a huge party tray from Yum Cha. They were fantastic! They can accomodate ANY party size.....Despite the crazy crowds, they can easily cater your LARGE CROWD......if its a huge order (like my friends), they offer you nice deals..... Good Luck......

          1. re: macrogal

            It's in the San Gabriel Superstore at the corner of San Gabriel Bl. and Valley Bl.

      3. I don't know youre definition of cheap, but I think most dim sum is pretty cheap.

        I've never seen shrimp bao, but you can get inexpensive bao for takeout at Family Pastry. I prefer the baked bao. They are large and, I believe, $0.95 each.

        Today, I picked up a large takeout order for 8 people. For $70, we had more food than we could even come close to finishing. I think the steamed BBQ pork bao was about $2.00 for three pieces. The bao was very good and the dough on both the steamed and baked bao was excellent.

        1. The takeout-only Hong Kong, in the alley off Broadway in Chinatown that Phoenix Bakery is on, has consistently excellent takeout dim sum, old-fashioned in style, and is very, very cheap.

          1. I've seen pork bao at CBS Seafood. In addition to the restaurant itself, CBS has a take-out store adjacent. I'm not sure what you consider cheap, but the buns are pretty big and it's something like $1.80 (maybe $2.00 now?) for 3 of them. They're located at 700 N. Spring St. If I were you, I'd stop in during the day and give it a test drive. What have you got to lose for less than $2 per order? And if you like them, find out what their price would be for the quantity you need.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Faulkner99

              I'll second CBS as a source of good and inexpensive dim sum. I think the large baked BBQ pork buns are still around 60 cents each. Also the pineapple top baked chicken buns, too.

            2. I've never seen or heard of shrimp bao either. For baked pork bao, I like Won Kok in China Town. Probably best to do a taste test of the places mentioned.

              1. What type of pork bao are you talking about? Steamed? Baked? I've never heard of shrimp bao. (I'm assuming that you mean ha gao--shrimp dumpling)

                Just about any dim sum place would be willing to sell you pork bao and shrimp dumpling at a discount as long as you order them in advance and have someone pick them up a few hours prior to your wedding. However, as others have noted, you will almost certainly need to reheat them. I would suggest you buy a few samples and test out how they hold up to reheating and sitting in a standard catering try (with dry heat). I am assuming your wedding facility has a microwave.

                Steamed pork bao is generally very easy to reheat by microwave. You can probably keep it warm in a catering trays, although the dry heat may dry it out eventually.

                Baked pork bao doesn't reheat too well, because reheating affects the consistency of the outside. But it should probably do fairly well in the dry heat.

                Ha gao can be microwaved. I don't think they will do well in the dry heat of a caterer tray--the wrapper may dry out. You might want to ask a caterer or the restaurant for ideas. If it needs moist heat, you can always place a rack on the try and put a small amount of water in the tray. The shrimp dumplings can be placed in a pan on the rack.

                1. I'm quite fond of the pork buns from BBQ Unlimited on Sherman Way between Coldwater and Fulton (same little strip mall as Sanamluang and Bangluck Market). They're $.60 each at retail, and if you call and order a bunch, they might give you a deal. You can even get a whole roast pig there, as well as an excellent roast duck.