Best old school chow sui bow (pork bun) in SF Area
- wolfyklipklip Jul 7, 2008 10:47 PM
Ok, my 1'st post..I dream of the old Tung Fong on Pacific ave in San Francisco C-town. Yes, its gone a long time ago, but had never forgotten to pick up the best pork buns in San Francisco Chinatown in the 1960/70 ? So then,where can i find a chow sui bow this good ? (Steamed the old school way, with the smooth bun, not that Hong Kong/Taiwan stuff open top but the Cantonese/Tsangnese style) ...
You might check out Dick Lee Pastry on Jackson between Grant and Stockton. Old school, smooth...it's been there for a long, long time. Of course it's cheap and you can do a quick comparo in the 'hood...like Delicous Dim Sum a couple of doors down...very old school as well.
Look forward to your follow up report.
Dick Lee Pastry Shop
716 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA
So I think you're looking for a yeast-leavened dough rather than the more common cake-like baking powder raised dough. Yong Kee on Jackson has yeast buns but the cha siu filling is mediocre at best and this place is better known for their large chicken buns and vegetable (with pork) buns. I don't recall finding cha siu bao like this at any other shop.
I'm a bit puzzled by your association of the yeast bun with the Cantonese (and what is Tsangnese?) because I've been around Guangdong and the norm appears to be a cake-like bun for cha siu bao and a yeast bun for choy bao.
732 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133
I don't have an answer for you because I don't live in the Bay Area anymore, but your post triggered so many memories of what was one of my very favorite restaurants of any type anywhere. My husband and I used to drive over the Bay Bridge to eat at the Tung Fong when we were undergrads at Berkeley in the early 1970's. The waitresses were stoic and the owner, an older man who also worked the cash register, never acted as though he recognized us even after we had eaten there dozens of times. But ... we really didn't care because the dim sum was absolutely ambrosial. One beautiful summer day we bought pork bows to go and ate them sitting outside in Golden Gate Park, accompanied by a bottle of Mumm's champagne. Heaven. We moved to the East Coast in 1979 and it was years before I returned to the Bay Area on a business trip. One of the first things I did was abandon my colleagues (who weren't interested in a Chinese lunch) to rush over to Pacific Avenue and Tung Fong dim sum. When I saw that the restaurant no longer existed and had been replaced by a very pale imitation, I could have cried. The owners of the new restaurant told me that once the Tung Fong owners got too old to work there just wasn't anyone to step in so they closed down. Well, I think we all have memories of a favorite restaurant or two that we wish were still here. The Tung Fong is a big one for me. So, thanks for the memories!
Actually the place that replaced Tung Fong in the early 1990s, Dol Hol, is one a favorite of many 'hounds on this board, to the extent one is confined to Chinatown for their dim sum. I personally prefer the baked cha shu bao at You's Dim Sum (675 Broadway) and am not sure which style they use for the steamed one, but you can check them out. The good news is that there are a lot of dim sum bakeries clustered together these days on Broadway, Stockton and Jackson, so you can check them out pretty quickly.
There's only 2 places I can think of that makes bbq pork buns that way. One is Yank Sing (if you like to spend the money). The other place is Jook Time (take out dim sum).
Both are ok. I've never seen these until my folks told me that that's how they used to make them.
Yank Sing Banquet & Catering
101 Spear St, San Francisco, CA 94105
3398 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121
Sunset Bakery on 9th between Judah and Kirkham (on the north east side) in the Inner Sunset.