HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


Bad Bad News! Mei Lai Wah is not reopening afterall...

Based on Eater again:


This is not funny at all, Eater...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. I was afraid of this. Sometimes, when a restaurant goes out of business, they put out a "closed for renovations, opening soon" sign because otherwise every creditor will demand immediate payment.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Brian S

        This case was a little different. The first sign put up by the owner (as opposed to the city) said the place was history ... http://eater.com/archives/2008/04/the...

        The renovation sign appeared only after a few weeks ... http://eater.com/archives/2008/05/eat...

        1. re: squid kun

          OH great.

          Who ever takes over has some pret-ty big shoes to fill.

          It won't be the same without the original staffs working behind the counter. I miss them already.

      2. I knew it!!!!!!!
        I felt like a party pooper when I wrote earlier that I wasn't about to get my hopes up. Now I see that my instincts were right (unfortunately).

        1. hate when that happens, it is usuaklly a must do when we drive down from Boston, now where can we get good siopaos?

          1. That is one of the few places that has been around since I was a kid(it was older than me). That really suxs big time! They had great coffee too!

            1. I never knew about mei lai wah while it was around. I now find myself working in chinatown. So what is the consensus view on what the next best thing is?

              1 Reply
              1. I am so lost without Mei Lai Wah. I've been going here since I was a kid. Their pork buns were the closest I've ever found to be like the ones I used to eat in Chinatown (ongpin) in the Philippines. It's a different style of bao. Anyone know if there is a bao like it (brown sauce not red) in flushing perhaps or any of the other ny chinatowns?

                7 Replies
                  1. re: vvvindaloo

                    Thanks for the link. I had seen and read that article earlier and though I am totally going to try them, they don't seem to be the style I'm looking for. The baos from the philippines are most likely a Fujian or Taiwanese style as the main Chinese population living in the Philippines are from that region and not Canton. I never even saw the red chao siu bao until I came to NY. Mei Lai Wah was the closest I knew of. There were always lots of Filipinos buying dozens of them on the weekends. I was hoping someone familiar with that style would know of another source outside chinatown.

                    1. re: ms_kittka

                      Aha- well, I am not too familiar with the style of chao siu bao in the Philippines, but I can tell you that one major unifying aspect of all of our love of MLW was the fact that their filling was brown and savory, rather than red and sweet. Much of the bao field research performed by Lau and others has been designed to find the closest thing to MLW (rich brown pork filling that is not too sweet). So I thought you might want to see that.

                  2. re: ms_kittka

                    The pork buns at Sun Say Kai (Walker and Baxter) strike me as the most similar to those at Mei Lai Wah.

                    1. re: meatme

                      oooh! Lau mentioned this name on the "Calling all Pork Bun Eaters" thread (which I linked in my response to kittka above and also here below).
                      We have no confirmation of this place being good, however. Until now!

                      Would you mind telling the other kids over here:

                      what you like about the bao at Sun Say Kai?

                      Thanks so much.

                      1. re: meatme

                        I rank those as some of the best you can get in NY too!