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Hom Bow?

I love Meesum Pastry in the Market . . . is this the best Hom Bow in the city?

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  1. When's the best time to go for hom bow?
    Every time I seem to go, usually weekends, they're out.

    1. It may well be. I certainly can't think of any hom bow that I like better.

      1. Baked, yes. For steamed, I prefer Tai Tung. I would not get anything else there, but their steamed bow are the best that I've had in the city. For the most part, the only other bow that I've found are served on dim sum carts. The Tai Tung version is about twice the size of the average cart sized bow.

        Tai Tung Restaurant
        655 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

        1 Reply
        1. re: BallardFoodie

          Unfortunately, Tai Tung discontinued this a while back. Another taste from my childhood left to my memory.

        2. many thanks.

          dave_c: I've never had a problem getting hom bow from them. If they run out, they usually have another batch about ready to come out of the oven. I usually get there before noon on the weekends, though.

          1. Jade Garden. Yum bow!

            Jade Garden Restaurant
            7th S King S, Seattle, WA 98101

            1. Don't forget about Uwajimaya's steam counter. They usually have hom bow and manapua (larger version) next to the cash register. The manapua is close to what I remember as a child in Hawaii.

              600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA

              1. For something a little different, but IMO way better, I like picking up the huge bao found at almost any vietnamese deli. The bun is sweet and is usually filled with ground pork, wood ears, chinese sausage and a boiled egg. It's been a while since I've had one with all the ingredients, but the bao at Seattle Deli aren't half bad. Next time you pick up banh mi, see if they sell bao.

                Seattle Deli
                225 12th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102

                1. This is a side question related to this topic... but what exactly is a Hom Bow? I'm Chinese and grew up in LA where there's a LOT of asian restaurants and the first time I ever heard the term "hom bow" was when I moved up here! Does this term generically encompasses all types of "buns"?

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: maybelle

                    I'm no expert, but I haven't seen it called anything else. My understanding is that it is Cantonese, and before Seattle I saw it on Dim Sum carts.

                    From wikipedia:
                    Bau (包 bau or 包子 bao zi): Baked or steamed, these fluffy buns made from wheat flour are filled with food items ranging from meat to vegetables to sweet bean pastes.
                    Char siu baau (叉燒包, cha siu baau): the most popular bun with a Cantonese barbecued pork filling. It can be either steamed to be fluffy and white or baked with a light sugar glaze to produce a smooth golden-brown crust.
                    Shanghai steamed buns (上海小籠包 seong hoi siu lung baau): These dumplings are filled with meat or seafood and are famous for their flavor and rich broth inside. These dumplings are originally Shanghainese so they are not considered traditional Cantonese dim sum. They are typically sold with pork as a filling.

                    1. re: maybelle

                      I had never heard the term "hum bao" until I came to Seattle either. Here I think it usually refers to charsiu bao, but can refer to any bao.

                      1. re: maybelle

                        I grew up in SF and the term was new to me too.

                        How Bow is the generic term for any savory bun whether it be baked or steamed bun.

                        My preference is for steamed Gai Bow which is typically what I've found in the Vietnamese delis. The different textures and flavors of the chicken, water chestnut, shiitakes and hard cooked eggs makes for a great meal.

                        1. re: maybelle

                          It's American Chinese food - like the stuff they serve at Tai Tung or Louie's (Louie's has humbow on their menu). It's closest equivalent to Chinese food is the BBQ pork bun (char siu bao), but humbow is typically browned outside instead of the traditional white fluffy outside and typically baked instead of steamed.

                          Most ethnic Chinese - especially ones born in Chinese-speaking countries - have never heard of the term "hombow". Playing freshman etymology on the word, the term may have been coined either because it's a bit red-colored from the baking or because it's salty.

                          Tai Tung Restaurant
                          655 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104

                          1. re: HungWeiLo

                            And through a bit of reverse cultural osmosis, hombow is now seen in fast food cafes in Hong Kong. Kind of like how there is now American-style teriyaki chicken in Japan, and walnut shrimp with Mayonnaise in China.

                            1. re: HungWeiLo

                              Yeah, I had thought maybe it was a variation for "salty" bun and it sounds like it probably is! :)

                          2. i remember going to kings cafe in china town with my father in the 80's. we would order 3 dozen hum bao that came in brilliantly colored pink boxes . we would usually get home with one box left XD . i will eternally miss Kings Cafe and their selection of dim sum specialty's . when i get a chance i will visit
                            Meesum Pastry . thanks for the information =]

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: stealthop

                              I really miss King Cafe as well. I loved the dumbwaiter and the lady who manned the cash register was one of the friendliest people I have ever met. I haven't found a replacement for it yet :(


                            2. When I served in Malaysia in the Peace Corps, 1974-76, I lived in a predominantly Chinese neighborhood in Malacca. Every evening bike "stalls" would set up outside my house.
                              Huge steamed char siu bao and ayam bao (chicken with 1/2 a boiled egg) were sold by one purveyor for 25cents (Malaysian), one sold kway cheow (stir fried rice noodles with various additions) for 50 cents, one sold apam balik (sweet peanut pancakes) for dessert for 25 cent. There were fruit carts, and drink carts. It was amazing! Oh, for the good old days!

                              1. i went to meesum pastry yesterday for some bao . they have really good bao, i had the bbq pork it was delicious .
                                they bake the bao there instead of the classic steam bun
                                which i prefer. however i had a great experience and i would highly recommend meesum pastry ! the bao are cheap and tasty , at a price of $2.50 each you wont break the bank .

                                1. Harbor city got some good bbq pork buns. If you pay more than 1 dollar piece than it feels less good