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Best Chinese BAKED buns in GTA?

Now that the Yung Sing bakery has closed, I'm looking for great baked Chinese buns (not the steamed "bao" type). I'm most fond of the cha siu (BBQ pork) and curried beef fillings.

Does anyone have any recommendations where to find these?

Thanks!

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  1. AROMAZ is a little bakery run by the folks that own Dragon Dynasty that's in the same Chartwell mall (at Brimley & Huntingwood in Scarborough) and they have truly outstanding Char Siu buns, as well as tiny macaroon-coconut tarts, egg tarts & cream-filled coconut buns, but I've not tried the curry ones.

    1 Reply
    1. I like Kim Moon on Dundas St West, just east of Spadina. The bun is fine, nothing special, but I find they are much more generous with fillings than your standard "6 bun for $5" shops.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FrankD

        Is Kim Moon still open? Could be that I just missed it because I was distracted by the sign at Butterfly Bakery and went in there instead. My first visit here (last month) so we picked up some buns, fairly standard, not overly sweet and dough was a little more bread like if that makes any sense. Fillings seemed average. But it was busy. They have a bubble tea area and a hot table with quite a variety of dishes, including whole fish. Some seating at front and back of bakery/cafe.

      2. On this theme, does anyone know where to get good shaobing? Preferably a range of sweet and savoury.

        1. Thank you for your responses, everyone!

          1. Lucullus on Hwy#7 and Chalmers. Hands down!! Better than Richmond Court, Gloucester, Aromaz....etc. Why? Because of the outstanding fillings!! In addition to the buns you should try the 'Chicken roll' as well!! For lunch, their Chicken a la king rice has no equal in the GTA!!! Tends to sold out early!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Charles Yu

              This is one of the places I miss most now that I live far from richmond hill. The bun fillings are perfection. Their egg tarts are flakey and incredibly eggy. Wifey cake is excellent too. Measures up to hk standards extremely well.

              I used to go weekly, sigh. Now I don't even buy anything from the chinatown bakeries.

              1. re: Charles Yu

                Is there still more than one Lucullus location? There used to be several I believe, but for me the one at Chalmers Gate has always been the best for some reason. Could it be my imagination? And I've been eating their food for at least 15 years, probably more like 20. And I agree with Charles, go early enough for a light lunch. I'm sorry my son has outgrown his pediatrician whose office was in that plaza, I don't get there very often now.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Thanks for the Lucullus rec! Fantastic!

                  The baked ones were very generously filled and exceptionally good. The steamed bao ones were also nice, with a luscious and pillowy texture - though perhaps not quite as much filling relative to the baked variety (but still generous). Still, top notch - addictive!

                  Cannot wait to return.

                  fyi, debit for 25 cent fee. No credit cards.

                2. Yung Sing has been on indefinite hiatus for a while but there has never been official word from the owners, Chu and Ngan Ko, that it's closed for good. Do you know something?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: syoung

                    Sorry, I don't know anything. A friend of mine told me that Yung Sing had closed, and I just took her word for it. Maybe, someone will respond with a recent update.

                  2. fragrant bakery at midland and mcnicoll....
                    hole in the wall, but worth it. specialty: peanut filled-black sesame glutinous rice balls

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: junkie

                      and great egg tarts (fragrant bakery)

                      1. re: junkie

                        Great egg tarts and wife cookies at Fragrant!

                        1. re: baby_tran

                          The swiss roll and marble roll are also very good at Fragrant.

                        2. re: junkie

                          If this is the place I'm thinking of, I also like their boh loh bbq bun.

                          1. re: junkie

                            Lucullus is the best of Richmond Hill but Fragrant is the only one I go out of my way for if I'm anywhere in the area. Coconut tart is my favourite and easily the best in town - no shell, all moist, eggy, coconut goodness. Egg tarts and wife biscuits are great, and can't go wrong with the rest - bbq pork buns, green tea/red bean/cream roll, egg white sponge cake, etc. Various choices are available in half size. There's also the sister store Aroma Bakery (via breakup apparently, and not to be confused with Aromaz) at Brimley & Sheppard that makes very similar items.

                          2. I have a suggestions of where NOT to go: Queen's Patisserie (quality going downhill) and Gloucester (extremely rude service).

                            1. Thanks to everyone for your responses! I've tried 3 of the places posted about here in the past couple of weeks and am reporting back my opinion about 2 of their baked buns and custard tarts.

                              Lucullus Bakery (Hwy. 7 and Chalmers)
                              328 Hwy 7, E #19, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 7P1
                              (905) 771-9710

                              The BBQ pork buns ($1.20) and curried beef buns ($1.30) are the best of these buns that I have ever had. They are more expensive than the buns at other bakeries I've tried, but they are large, have ample filling and as Charles stated, the fillings are the most delicious of any buns I've had to date (better than my memory of Yung Sing's). The custard tarts ($1.20) are a bit small and again more expensive than the other places, but the pastry is so delicate, melt in your mouth and crisp and the filling is eggy and exactly the right level of sweetness for my taste so that they are worth the extra cost.

                              AROMAZ (Chartwell mall, Brimley & Huntingwood)
                              2301 Brimley Rd
                              Toronto, ON M1S 5B8
                              (416) 321-3232

                              I liked these buns second to those at Lucullus, but still very good. They are $1.00 (buy 6 and no tax), are large and have a good amount of filling. The flavour of the fillings is good, but not as good as Lucullus IMO. The custard tarts have pastry that is more like the Portuguese custard tarts, many layers, a deeper custard tart, and the filling was not sweet enough for my taste.

                              ABC Bakery Coffee Shop (mall on the NW corner of Tempo and Victoria Park, S. of Steeles)
                              3618 Victoria Park Avenue
                              (416) 493-3151

                              I liked the custard tarts ($ .95) here second to Lucullus. They were large, with flaky pastry, and a nice custard that was the perfect level of sweetness for my taste. The buns ($ .95) were good, but third on my list after Lucullus and AROMAZ. I found the amounts of fillings in the buns OK, but not particularly generous. The filling of the BBQ pork bun too sweet for my taste and the curried beef bun had too many onions. Still good IMO.

                              Now, I'm interested in trying the Fragrant Bakery as many here have recommended.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: TOFoodie1

                                Bought a whole bunch of buns, pies and tarts from Aromaz whilst having Dim Sum lunch at Dragon Dynasty last weekend. My verdict: Total disappointment!! On the whole, Lucullus is better. Also, Aromaz chicken pie is plain weird and bland! The filling of minced chicken patty with Chinese mushroom is unappetizing! Richmond Court's one is 10X better!! ( both crust and filling ).

                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                  tried a 3 pack of bakeries last week: lucullus, aromaz, and fragrant. . .lucullus wins on fillings by contemporary standards. but just this mini-tasteoff brought back a flood of memories of baked buns from the 70s-90s. the coconut/cocktail buns of yung sing, the bbq pork buns of melewa from the 90s. . .even the best of today's buns seem a sad shadow of what once was. . .just my .02 cents

                                  1. re: afong56

                                    I much prefer the baked goods @ aroma bakery and not aromaz which is a different establishment altogether.....
                                    Aroma is @ 2101 brimley rd.
                                    I believe it's aroma that is the rejected partner of fragrant

                                2. re: TOFoodie1

                                  It's funny your list in reverse is like my life growing up.

                                  I ate at ABC when i was a kid and had dim sum at New World (it's been replaced).
                                  Family discovered Dragon Dynasty so I had Aromaz.
                                  We move to RHill and we get our breads from Lucullus.

                                  The tart at ABC is still good. Anybody else remember the nasty smelling meat market that used to be in that strip mall with ABC and New World?

                                  1. re: TOFoodie1

                                    Went on a 'food quest' to Lucullus... the custard tarts are crazy good, among the best I've ever tasted. (If you're partial to richness, the tiny tarts at Grand Chinese Cuisine are very good, but more expensive... I wish they'd leave off the birds nest and lower the price.

                                    I like that it's north of Toronto but I hope that the roadwork on Highway 7 finishes quickly... traffic in that area rivals downtown.

                                    I bought a bunch of other stuff, but they'll have to wait for a bit later, when I"m not so full.

                                    Thanks for the recommendation!

                                  2. i loved the tofu buns at yung sing.. never seen that anywhere else. :(

                                    also, they had my fave egg tarts. who has the best egg tarts downtown now that yung sing is gone (the flaky crust kind, not the cookie crust.. i hate those)? kim moon is pretty good. are there any places that have better ones?

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: helenhelen

                                      Lucullus had both kinds of crusts when I was there today. I like flaky too, and these were superb - crisp, well browned for flavor and most of all, flaky.

                                      1. re: randomthoughts

                                        I tried Lucullus flaky egg tart last week. Would like to see more flaky layers.
                                        The egg custard fillings at Fagrant is better when eat fresh. But it is in phyllo sheets.
                                        Wanted to try egg tart at Aroma yesterday at 430pm but all sold out.
                                        Rol San has Mini Egg tarts for dim sum and they are very good.

                                        1. re: smfan

                                          I've had phyllo crusts before (they're more usual in the portugese custard tarts) and while they're fine, I much prefer the flaky pastry.

                                          After trying a bunch of the rest of the buns from Lucullus, I didn't really taste anything too special about the fillings... they were good, but pretty similar to all the ones I remember. The egg tarts were the standout for me. The coconut buns were good too, containing a generous amount of stuffing.

                                          It's probably culinary heresy, but I prefer the Hong Kong style BBQ pork filling - sticky and bright red. I don't find the pale pork filling has enough caramel notes and Maillard bits (ie browned protein).

                                          If you think the Rol San tarts are good, try Grand Chinese... I remember them being much better than the ones at Rol San. You sure pay for it, though.

                                          1. re: randomthoughts

                                            Thanks. But I don't like the dim sum at Grand. Too much MSG.

                                          2. re: smfan

                                            where are all these places located? are any downtown? (aside from rol san which i already know)

                                            1. re: helenhelen

                                              Lucullus is just a bit north of Toronto, just W of Hwy 404 (it's a bakery).

                                              Grand is in the Double Tree hotel near Pearson.

                                              So neither is downtown... but both have free parking (Grand validates).

                                              1. re: helenhelen

                                                There is now a bakery on Spadina, a few doors away from Kum Jug Yuen that's OK. Seems to be busy but it could be the price ie, 3 buns for a buck. I haven't tried the custard tarts yet, Has anyone else?

                                                1. re: dory

                                                  my fave place for egg tarts downtown was yung sing pastry shop (RIP)

                                              2. re: smfan

                                                R u sure they r in phyllo sheets @ fragrant? IMO they taste like regular egg tart pastry.

                                                1. re: plug

                                                  Update on Fragrant egg tarts. They are chinese style flaky shells. Very good. The fillings not sweet at all.

                                          3. I know everyone is all authentic and stuff, but I really like the buns filled with tuna, and the ones with egg and cheese.
                                            Used to go to the place in Agincourt Mall, but then the tuna became brown (wtf? brown tuna?) and they never have anything with egg, so I stopped buying there.

                                            I need to find a new place along Sheppard

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: bbbradk

                                              The bakery inside No Frills Steeles/Silver Star Blvd is A-OK especially 50% off after 5pm.

                                              1. re: bbbradk

                                                actually those are authentic!

                                              2. Based on some of the recs in this and another thread, I drove to Lucullus today. I must say that it was disappointing. I wasn't interested in the custard tarts or anything sweet, so maybe that's their strength. I tried the bbq pork bun and it was a real disappointment. Lots of filling, but not really bbq-y. I also had one of the rice lunch specials ($4.19). It was small, pretty flavourless and boring, really. I'd go to ABC bakery on Vic Park any day for their Yung Chow fried rice (about $5 for at least twice as much and prepared fresh). Good bbq pork buns too.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: Yongeman

                                                  Don't know the name but I came across a couple of pretty good ( and busy ) bakeries. One is inside a plaza at the corner of Midland and McNicol. The other in the strip plaza at the corner of Midland and Finch. The latter has great chicken pie, curry beef puffs and egg tarts as well

                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                    Thanks for the tips, Charles. I'll check them out next time I'm in the area.

                                                    1. re: Yongeman

                                                      Fragrant is at Midland/McNIcol. Swiss rolls, egg tarts, and Wife cakes are excellent.
                                                      Did try the bakery at Midland and Finch just a few door down from the vietnamese pho. I found the egg tart flaky shell too "crusty". But some of their fancy cakes are quite good.
                                                      I went into ABC twice in the late afternoon but did not find the baked goods appealing.
                                                      Have you tried "Glocuster" at Finch/Leslie in the same strip mall with Asian Legend?
                                                      Their baked goods look quite nice at 945AM. I bake my own chinese buns so I rarely buy.

                                                      1. re: smfan

                                                        Thanks smfan. As I mentioned, I don't really go for the dessert-type things, just the bao and usually just for a quick (spontaneous?) lunch. You're fortunate to make these at home, that's for sure. I have tried Gloucester and they're pretty good. I'm just looking for 'better', I guess.

                                                        1. re: smfan

                                                          You should also give the 'Dark Chocolate cake' from the Midland/Finch Bakery a try!! Though presentation is a little rough with an edge when compare to say Rahier, but man!! at $2 cheaper, the taste and texture is surprisingly as good!!
                                                          Ref: Gloucester. I only tried the outfits up north. Find them kind of 'run-of mill'.

                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                            Drove past Cakeview ( Finch/Midland) en-route to getting a fresh Garoupa from the fishmonger just down the road. Decided to pop in for some Chicken pie, Curry Beef Puffs and Egg tarts. Saw the Dark Chocolate cake and bought me one as well!
                                                            At $3.50 and comparing to Rahier's $5.75 offering, this cake, IMO is a steal!! The taste is pretty damn close to the Rahier version, gorgeous not too sweet dark chocolate sensation. And for $2.25 less per cake!! Wow!!

                                                             
                                                  2. Are there any good buns in the downtown core? Most of these suggestions are north of the city.

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: principessa del pisello

                                                      While not downtown per se and not a traditional pork bun, FV Foods on St. Clair (or on Wilson as well) makes delicious pork asado siopao buns. So good!!

                                                      While not as well known as traditional buns, these Filipino buns are quite similar, nicely filled, and usually fantastic.

                                                      1. re: magic

                                                        while i like pork asado siopao's .. i believe the op was looking for Baked buns and chinese style.

                                                        theres an FV foods on lawrence as well now .. near warden.
                                                        good Puto as usual.

                                                        1. re: plug

                                                          Yuppers, as I noted in my post, I was straying off topic but offered the suggestion anyway as it was similar and downtown"ish".

                                                          Thanks for the info on Scarborough FV Foods, I did not know that!

                                                        2. re: magic

                                                          Magic, do you know where the FV Foods on Wilson is? Maybe just west of Bathurst?

                                                          1. re: Yongeman

                                                            theres also one at st.clair west n bathurst if u want one closer to downtown

                                                            1. re: plug

                                                              Thanks plug, good to know. I'm in between both locations, but drive on Wilson a lot more than St. Clair.

                                                            2. re: Yongeman

                                                              It's literally on Wilson (at Bathurst), in that plaza.

                                                              On the northwest corner of Wilson & Bathurst. Check out the pork asado siopaos!

                                                              1. re: magic

                                                                I will for sure, magic. Is that the place that had a BBQ in front of it during warmer weather? I stopped for a couple of kabobs once ($2 each) and they made a nice snack.

                                                                1. re: Yongeman

                                                                  Hmm, it could be??

                                                                  I've never seen a BBQ outside FV Foods but it could be. They do barbeque chicken skewers which are delish so it could be?

                                                                  Let us know your thoughts if you go. :)

                                                          2. re: principessa del pisello

                                                            imo, none, you have to go up north to where more Chinese people live.

                                                            1. re: principessa del pisello

                                                              Was also disappointed by Lucullus except for the egg tarts which seem to be their specialty. Perhaps things have changed in the past year? Curry beef bun was too salty. Pineapple bun top layer was thin and soft. BBQ pork bun had generous filling but nothing memorable. Wife cake greasy.

                                                              Currently not aware of any all-round excellent bakeries downtown, but you can give Furama (248 Spadina) a try. Pineapple bun top here was crisp and thick. Sponge cupcake a little dry but otherwise decent flavour.

                                                              1. re: ibbileyta

                                                                Interesting.

                                                                This is not far north of me and I was planning on checking it out, but after all the recent negative experiences, I hesitate.

                                                                1. re: ibbileyta

                                                                  Ok, tried Furama's baked BBQ pork bun and found the pork too stringy and not BBQ-like enough. There were onions if you like them, but many restaurants do a better job.

                                                                  On the other hand, enjoyed the fried curry beef bun and baked BBQ pork bun at the bakery directly across from Kim Moon (unfortunately I don't have the name). Less fillings, but at good value (3 for $1) and thought the flavour of the curry beef was good.

                                                                  I don't want to make premature judgements based on one visit alone, as I did note Lucullus was quite busy - if you enjoy egg tarts it'd probably be worth the visit.

                                                                  1. re: ibbileyta

                                                                    The name of the bakery across the street from Kim Moon is an appropriately descriptive "Chinese Bakery" although the Chinese name is completely different.

                                                                2. re: principessa del pisello

                                                                  There's a KinKin in the Atrium on Bay...just across from Eaton Centre. Decent price, and if you buy bulk they're priced at 6 for $6, or 10 for $10 at closing time =) I don't really like char siu usually so can't comment on that but the rest are pretty good. You can include egg tarts in the bulk price too! (bonus! I love egg tarts!)