I Want Mee Sum Pastry!

Get it??  I usually don’t get lame or corny on the blog, but I could not resist with that title.  Today I just saw a Chinese restaurant called Hung Far Low.  I was cracking up.  Sometimes you wonder if the naming is a deliberate process.  Dumpling Man says Mee Sum doesn’t mean anything in Chinese, so who knows.  But yeah, a Chinese bakery specializing in char siu bao smack in the middle of touristy Seattle?  It can’t be all that good.  After reading some of the reviews on Yelp, some people said that the baos in LA and SF are much better.  So I wasn’t that interested in trying baos pandering to the tastebuds of the American masses.  But since Dumpling Man already tried Pike Place Chowder I told him to go get some baos while I waited in line for soup.

It’s strange, but they call their goods “hom bow” instead of bao.  Dumpling Man put on his best Chinese face and asked why they were called “hom bow” but the lady working the counter was not so interested in conversing with her fellow brethren.  She just mumbled something like hom bows are the same thing.  They have many varieties including the traditional bbq pork, chicken, beef curry.  They also have the steamed versions and potstickers and eggrolls.

Chicken Hom Bow

These baos were really big.  The diameter of a hefty grapefruit.  Definitely bigger than any bao I’ve eaten from the Chinese bakeries in LA and at least 4x the size of the baos served at dim sum.

The baos were sooo freakin’ fresh!  The bao had a light crispiness on the outside but was warm, soft, and fluffy on the inside.  Deep within was the proverbial pot of gold.  Chunks of piping hot chicken oozing a distinctly Chinese taste, maybe from 5 spice powder or something along those lines.  It wasn’t as sweet at the bbq pork buns, but tasty nonetheless.  I was really impressed at the quality of chicken too, dark meat not overrun with the bad cuts or fat.  I think there was also celery and onions in the mix as well.  All in all, a hearty bun unlike I’ve had before.

BBQ Pork Hom Bow

Probably not as good as the chicken hom bow, but still pretty darn good.  The pork pieces were not as large, but it was a generously meaty bao.  The flavors were pretty standard, not too sweet.  What stood out again was that fluffy bao.  Both baos lacked that distinct Chinese baked bread taste, a certain sweetness.  It’s difficult to describe but if you’ve eaten many a baked Chinese goodie than you will certainly taste a difference.

Before we left Seattle, we wanted to go back and pick up some more baos to bring back home and share with friends.  I also wanted to try that beef curry hom bow.  Alas, we were simply too stuffed to think about anymore food by the time we left.  Mee Sum Pastry is certainly something I’m going to be having more of next time I hit up Seattle.

Mee Sum Pastry

1526 Pike Pl  

Seattle, WA 98101

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