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Where can I find kau yuk bao (like Momofuko pork buns)?

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gramercyfoodie May 8, 2011 12:34 PM

Is there anywhere other than Chinatown (or NYC) to go for them?

Thanks!!

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    hckybg RE: gramercyfoodie May 8, 2011 04:03 PM

    East by Northeast, Inman Square, Cambridge.

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    East by Northeast
    1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

    10 Replies
    1. re: hckybg
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      FoodDabbler RE: hckybg May 8, 2011 07:54 PM

      Not nearly as good, though.

      1. re: FoodDabbler
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        hckybg RE: FoodDabbler May 8, 2011 08:04 PM

        Perhaps, but not a bad rendition and saves you the cost of the bus to NY. :)

        1. re: FoodDabbler
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          bella_sarda RE: FoodDabbler May 9, 2011 08:10 AM

          Never had Momofuku's, but East by Northeast's pork-belly buns and other bao are very good. Not at all ho-hum, in my opinion.

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          East by Northeast
          1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

          1. re: bella_sarda
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            FoodDabbler RE: bella_sarda May 9, 2011 08:52 AM

            I regret to say that I've not been blown away by East by Northeast's buns. See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6793... .

            1. re: FoodDabbler
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              DoubleMan RE: FoodDabbler May 9, 2011 09:17 AM

              Agreed. They are fine. Given the size and price, I think they are a terrible value. I want to like ExNE more, but it just seems like a weak Momofuku wannabe that's too expensive for the portion sizes. Change the prices and/or the sizes, though, and I'd be there all the time.

              I think Shangri-La gives you two, large pork buns for like $4. Each is about three times larger than ExNE's.

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              Shangri-La
              149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

              1. re: DoubleMan
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                hckybg RE: DoubleMan May 9, 2011 09:23 AM

                Other than the pork belly buns, I really don't see a lot of overlap between the menu at East by Northeast and Momofuku. I can appreciate that people have different opinions on the restaurant, but I am not sure that "wannabe" criticism is very fair. ExNE doesn't claim to be a ramen place, and perhaps has some of the savory/spicy style of Momofuku Ssam Bar, but I don't really see a lot of similar dishes. To my mind, criticism on that basis would be the same as criticizing Erbaluce as a Babbo wannabe because both are modern Italian.

                1. re: hckybg
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                  DoubleMan RE: hckybg May 9, 2011 10:09 AM

                  "Wannabe" was probably the wrong word because I don't know if that is what they a striving for. But having modern Asian using sustainable meats with dishes that are in a similar style to many in the overall Momofuku stable like the makes me think the comparison is fair. It's a much narrower range of restaurants than "modern italian."

                  If someone asked if there was anything in Boston like the Momofuku places, I think many on this board would say that ExNE is the closest to that style. (I think they are close, you obviously disagree.) And when one compares it to those restaurants (whether that's fair or not), I don't think ExNE fares well.

                  1. re: DoubleMan
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                    hckybg RE: DoubleMan May 9, 2011 01:55 PM

                    I don't disagree that they are stylistically similar, and would (and have) recommended it to people looking for a restaurant of that genre in Boston. My hesitation was calling them a "wannabe" because I don't think that Momofuku is the only restaurant of that style or that any restaurant of that style is automatically trying to be Momofuku. David Chang seems to be informed much more by Japanese and Korean, where Philip Tang, I would say, is heavily influenced by Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine. But I certainly agree that both are modern Asian.

                    I like Momofuku a lot, I've been to Noodle Bar, Milk Bar, and Ssam, but to be honest I think Philip Tang is doing equally interesting stuff at a much more modest price point and without the staff and resources that David Chang now has at his disposal. You can get a cocktail for 15 dollars at Ssam or a bowl of ramen for 17 dollars at Noodle Bar. You can get a bowl of handmade noodles in broth with an egg at ExNE for 11. I'm a big fan of the place. It is the most unusual place in my neighborhood and I've never had a bad experience. But chacun a son gout, I certainly don't mean to say that my experience is shared by everyone.

              2. re: FoodDabbler
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                bella_sarda RE: FoodDabbler May 9, 2011 01:37 PM

                @FD. Fair enough. I've never been to any of David Chang's establishments. Maybe better that I don't, since it could ruin my enjoyment of East by Northeast. I have no problem with the prices relative to portion sizes, but I'm not a gargantuan eater like some. They recommend 3-4 plates per person, but I've typically ordered only 2 per person, maybe 5 for 2 people, and left feeling very satiated and not price-gouged. Interestingly enough, I've never had a great meal at Oleana in 3 tries (had very disappointing ones 2 out of 3 times), a place you rank highly. I do like Sofra a lot, interestingly enough. Go figure.

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                Sofra
                1 Belmont St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                Oleana
                134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                East by Northeast
                1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                1. re: bella_sarda
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                  FoodDabbler RE: bella_sarda May 9, 2011 04:12 PM

                  Out of fear of summary deletion, responses to you and hckybg are here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6793... .

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          robwat36 RE: gramercyfoodie May 8, 2011 06:11 PM

          I haven't been to Myers and Chang in awhile, but they've definitely had them in the past.

          1 Reply
          1. re: robwat36
            MC Slim JB RE: robwat36 May 9, 2011 05:21 AM

            The Myers + Chang version on the current menu are neither super-traditional nor as good as Momofuku's (which I think deserve their fame), but I think they're very good.

            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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            gramercyfoodie RE: gramercyfoodie May 9, 2011 03:43 AM

            Thanks so much for the responses so far....I appreciate them. I called Bernard's in Chestnut Hill and they said they would make them if we called a day in advance.

            1 Reply
            1. re: gramercyfoodie
              barleywino RE: gramercyfoodie May 9, 2011 04:55 AM

              Shanghai Gate in Allston also has them (if you're talking red-cooked pork belly instead of char siu)

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              DoubleMan RE: gramercyfoodie May 9, 2011 04:47 AM

              I really like the version offered during dim sum at Shangri-La in Belmont.

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              Shangri-La
              149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

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                gourmaniac RE: gramercyfoodie May 9, 2011 06:43 AM

                I'm glad Kau Yuk is now a fancy food as I grew up with this dish, which my mother made steamed for hours with slices of taro and potato. If you want to try kau yuk as a main dish, Peach Farm makes it (it's discussed on an old review that they post on the wall) and Royal Pacific (Tyler, south of Kneeland) makes a version that they call pork with preserved vegetables. Their version is excellent and great value.

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                Peach Farm
                4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                Royal Pacific
                70 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                1 Reply
                1. re: gourmaniac
                  kobuta RE: gourmaniac May 9, 2011 04:33 PM

                  Mui choi kau yuk (braised pork belly with preserved vegetables) is a classic dish that used to be, and likely still is, served in many of the Chinatown restaurants. Way before eating pork belly was considered fancy.

                  Even Hong Kong Eatery (at least the Quincy branch) has a good rendition of it on their menu. It's one of my favorite indulgences, especially with the melt in your mouth fatty pork pieces.

                  There is a kau yuk bun on the Mama Gourmet brand, but don't bother. It's not nearly as good. The succulent pork belly is reduced to a dry and salty hunk of pork, not nearly as good as even your average steamed meat buns elsewhere.

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                  Hong Kong Eatery
                  1510 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169

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                  keith RE: gramercyfoodie May 9, 2011 03:00 PM

                  You can find a slightly different (Taiwanese) take on them at Jo Jo Taipei. It's the pork belly and hoisin on mantoh, with cilantro, but it also comes with a slightly sweet "peanut powder" (which I think is ground peanuts and granulated sugar) which adds an interesting texture and enhances the sweetness of the braised pork.

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                  JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
                  103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

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