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May 25, 2008 01:43 PM

Sun Say Kai - my official replacement for Mei Lai Wah

Off a chound tip, I've found my official replacement for Mei Lai Wah cha siu bao (pork buns). I stopped in there before heading to dim sum go go and was very pleasantly surprised. I got 1 steamed cha siu bao for $0.80. It's good size, the bread is very fluffy and soft, the sauce is the brown more savory sauce that I really like (not the sweeter red one you usually find), the ratio of filling to bread is perfect and the filling is not fatty or too tough. Some may say blasphemy, but my gf and I both thought it was actually better than the avg MLW bun, I've obviously only tried one here, so I don't know if they are consistent or not, but I highly recommend MLW fans try this place.

As far as the coconut bun, it was good, but not MLW good. It's much better, the filling is almost right as its sweeter and less buttery as i like it, but there is too much filling and the bread isn't quite as good. Also, they don't have that crispy sugar on top that I like.

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  1. an address would be nice......

    4 Replies
    1. re: thew

      It's at the intersection of Baxter/Walker/Canal Streets

      Sun Sai Kai

      220 Canal Street

      1. re: fourunder

        yes that is the correct address and cross sts

      2. re: thew

        fourunder came through with the info, but for next time here's a nice option: Try a Places search ...

        Sun Say Gai
        220 Canal St, New York, NY 10013

        1. re: squid kun

          Or a simple Google search for Sun Say Kai New York,if it's not in Places:

      3. Thank you, Lau, for your report. Did they have any baked roast pork buns there?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Miss Needle

          Based on my two visits, both the steamed and baked roast pork buns are remarkably similar in style and preparation to Mei Lai Wah's--but perhaps a bit larger in size, and also in taste--analogous to slightly increasing the contrast and color saturation of a photo. I think that the filling also contains a bit more meat.

          1. re: meatme

            Thanks Meatme. Larger in size and more meat is good news for most people -- except for dieters.

            1. re: Miss Needle

              thats correct, but i didnt try the baked. they are bigger as meatme said

        2. Thanks, Lau. I am happy to have your confirmation on this. Excellent news- I can't wait to get down there.

          1. I tried one of these two weeks ago and thought the bun was tasty, but found the crumb of the bread a bit too coarse and not wet enough to my liking, and the filling a little less fatty than preferable. Hopefully these are symptoms of inconsistency (or better—and solvable by this community—the result of slow turnover).

            The coconut bun at MLW was incredible (it reminded me of Czech kolaches I used to eat in Texas), and it doesn't surprise me that these other places pale in comparison.

            1. i also realized i didnt type that the filling in the coconut bun is much better than the other places i tried (mee sum and chatham as those are too buttery), but the bread isnt as good as chatham