Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Oct 2, 2013 07:34 PM

Custard Cream Buns like Gitlo's

Many of you may remember Gitlo's, a short-lived but great little dim sum place in Allston that closed a few years ago. They had amazing custard cream buns - super soft bun, molten lava custard. I have been dreaming of them. Does anyone know if there is someplace else that serves a similar custard bun? I've never found one as buttery and liquid-y. Suggestions, please!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Pretty sure I tried everything on the menu at one point, but currently forgetting the details.

    Was the filling more like an actual custard (as in lai wong bao 奶黄包, milk yellow bun) or was it basically just a fatty, sweet liquid that fell out when you bit into the bun? This is lau saa bao 流沙包, flowing sand bun. I can't recall ever eating the latter in Boston.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Luther

      wow it was a long time ago but i think it was a sweet bun with a gritty butter in it.. Not like the normal Pineapple type custard buns. (which i actually prefer)

      1. re: Luther

        It was the latter - here's BarmyFotheringayPhipps' description from a Gitlo's review:
        "CUSTARD CREAM BUN: We had assumed these would be like the custard bao that are a dim sum cart staple, but in fact, they're something quite different. The bright yellow, coconut-scented filling is mostly liquid, the consistency of a sunny-side-up egg's yolk, and in fact, you have to eat them kind of like a soft boiled egg: top it and then kind of gingerly sip and nibble at it until it's gone. Gitlo said the Chinese name for them translates to 'Moving sands bun.' They're delicious, but very sweet and incredibly rich."

        1. re: Allstonian

          yeah lau saa bao. The "sands" is the gritty bits in the liquid. Can be various levels of salty along with the sweet. I think they might have them at Winsor, not sure since I basically never go there

        2. re: Luther

          Luther, thanks so much for providing the name! At least now I'll know what to look for.

        3. I think the restaurant serving the best Lau Saa Bao now is Bubor Cha Cha (old name). Years ago, there was a short-lived dim sum place once located at the New Shanghai, they made one of the best Lau Saa Bao but it is now history.

          7 Replies
          1. re: sheila

            I went to BCC last night and got the closest sounding thing I could find: Steamed Custard & Egg Yolk Buns.

            Is this it?

            Texturewise, it was congealed and held up pretty well without dripping out; certainly wasn't liquid. Tastewise, it was intensely egg yolk-y, salty and also sweet. I'll bet it was a majority egg yolk. Slightly granular mouth feel.

            1. re: Prav

              Yes that's it. The standard milk custard bun (nai wong bau) is sweet with a hint of coconut. The 'flowing sand bun' is a sweet and salty filling (and meant to be more liquid, but depends on the chef's skill and technique).

              Sorry if I'm being dense but what's BCC?

              1. re: kobuta

                Bubor Cha Cha (as per sheila's post to which Prav was replying.)

                1. re: Prav

                  Hmmm...texture definitely not like Gitlo's, though it looks pretty good.

                  1. re: Prav

                    gee prav, what a trooper you are to go out of your way to do that for the OP. hats off to you!

                2. Man, I miss Gitlo's. I wonder where that chef has ended up.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: KWagle

                    If I recall correctly, I believe Gitlo (who was his cousin) said he went back to China.