I am a carbohydrate freak—noodles, rice, dumplings, you name it. But it’s char siu bao—barbecued pork buns—that I am really addicted to. I might need an intervention. I get them twice a week, two or three dozen at a time to bring to my staff at the restaurant. But while I’m driving back, I eat one, then two, then before I know it I’ve eaten six: chomp, chomp, chomp. I like both steamed and baked, but I usually get the pork-filled steamed ones. At Clement Street Bakery, they’re 80 cents apiece. The dim sum there is also pretty good, and their coconut buns? Oh, god.
I know the Slow Food movement wouldn’t approve of the red dye that they mix with the pork, but, well, what can you do? The buns at Hing Lung on Broadway are also pretty good. They make a chicken and fermented black bean version, which is a little too assertive for some, but I like it. You eat those at your own risk. And you know, Yank Sing takes a lot of heat for being too modern, but their pork buns are really good.
Clement Restaurant Dim Sum & Bakery, 621 Clement St., 415-752-9520
Hing Lung, 674 Broadway St., 415-398-8838
Yank Sing, 101 Spear St., 415-957-9300, yanksing.com
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