Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Nov 10, 2010 08:12 AM

Sesame Balls

I know everyone raves about Banh Mi, but I'm a Sesame Ball fanatic---also taro, custard, pineapple buns...
If anyone else shares my liking for some of these or any other asian-type desserts, please feel free to share locations and/or suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. My personal favorite for this sort of thing is the Yi Soon bakery in Allston. Fantastic taro buns. Not sure if they have sesame balls, though.

    6 Replies
    1. re: kitsune

      I've never tried Yi Soon, but I definitely would travel for them. Yea, it's that bad...

      1. re: SOBoston

        Chiming in late here, but we drove to Yi Soon from the western 'burbs and were not disappointed. I didn't see sesame balls, but they had delicious everything else. It's set as a destination now in my GPS. Their prices are excellent!

        1. re: Isolda

          One of my favorite bakeries in all of Boston.

          1. re: Isolda

            Out in Allston, right? I'll have to make a weekend trip to check it out. Thanks!

        2. re: kitsune

          I don't think they do sesame balls there, because I certainly would have gotten them if I'd seen them there!

        3. I had some amazing ones at Winsor Dim Sum.

          Winsor Dim Sum Cafe
          10 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

          4 Replies
          1. re: nsenada

            What is Winsor near? I feel like Chinatown does a good job creating hideaways.

              1. re: SOBoston

                Winsor is directly across the street from China Pearl, which you'll certainly be able to find. And I really like the sesame balls at China Pearl, for that matter: they're one of my standby orders.

                1. re: SOBoston

                  Winsor also has (on weekends only i think) steamed buns with egg custard inside...i haven' tried them but they seem to be popular ...China Pearl also has (baked) pineapple bbq pork buns, not listed on their dimsum menu (i think "pineapple" refers to the pineapple-like appearance of the sugary crust on the outside of the bun, I don't think there is actually pineapple in the bun, although i could be wrong)

              2. There was a recent thread about Chinese desserts ( that might be helpful for you. I like the sesame balls at Winsor a lot. I also had some very good ones at East Chinatown in Quincy recently. Yi Soon is my favorite Chinese bakery in the Boston area, but I do not believe that they have sesame balls there. Blue Asia Cafe (across the street from Yi Soon) is owned by a talented baker. If you call them in advance she will sometimes be able to make special desserts, like Mung Bean Cakes.

                East Chinatown Restaurant
                415 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02171

                Blue Asia Cafe
                113 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

                8 Replies
                1. re: lipoff

                  I agree, don't think I have ever seen them at Yi Soon.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    Yi Soon does mostly baked things, and some steamed things, but I don't believe they're even equipped to do anything deep-fried, which rules out sesame balls.

                    1. re: Allstonian

                      I dont get the love for Yi Soon, maybe i was at the wrong place?? This was in Allston near/next to a bubble tea place. I dont recall anything in cases or trays, just baskets of different buns each individually wrapped in cello bags. We got a 1-2 dozen of them for a party, all different types. Found they all were basically the same bun with a hint of some flavor in the filling to make them slightly different. Other than that i dont recall much of anything in the place. They were fine but not hot, not really much different from each other, sort of boring.

                      I much prefer the bakeries in China Town.. I never recall the names but the one over by the gate or the one next to the parking garage on beach st.. or Great Taste.. Love getting a pineapple bun straight out of the oven, still hot. Or an egg custard tart etc etc..

                      1. re: hargau

                        You are definitely missing the good stuff at Yi Soon. Some are definitely kinda bland, others amazing. I've posted on this about a million times, but they excel at:

                        - Sweet potato bun
                        - Sweet cheese bun
                        - Cream cheese bun (I think, there are two cheesy ones)
                        - Egg salad sandwich (when the have it)
                        - Best Moon Cakes BY FAR in Boston
                        - Chocolate walnut cookies
                        - Raisin bread is good
                        - pickled veggie bun (only have this sometimes)
                        - Rolled things in the fridge case are the best of this ilk in boston and some of the best I've ever had.
                        - Very simple plain cheese cake is subtle, and not that sweet, but excellent

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          I had the top 3 buns you list. Not a fan of moon cakes, walnut anything, egg salad.. Will check the rolled things out next time im in the area..

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              yep.. I just prefer the chinatown bakeries. I also like getting the buns hot out of the oven. Rather then individually cello wrapped in baskets.. Just my preference i guess.

                            2. re: hargau

                              just a link

                              Yi Soon Bakery
                              112 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA

                  2. At the Super 88 Food Court in Allston/Brighton there is a Dim Sum place which has delicious sesame balls. It's located in the "back" of the food court, i.e. back where the food court joins up with the grocery store.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kdl

                      They are v. good, and they make them to order.

                    2. I haven't seen sesame balls at Yi Soon either, but it (YS) is well worth visiting for many other reasons. The key with sesame balls is freshness. Just made, they are fantastic. After they've been sitting around, they are a sad, glutinous mess, better at giving your jaws a workout than at delighting your tongue. I, too, have had rather good ones at China Pearl.

                      China Pearl Restaurant
                      288 Mishawum Rd, Woburn, MA 01801

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: FoodDabbler

                        I agree they are MUCH better hot, but also like the chewy texture they take on when cold.