I like different bakeries for different reasons. And actually since everyone knows everyone in Chinatown, I always feel like promoting one place might piss off someone else who knows me. I even remember my mother walking by a bakery. We knew the owners well and she said, "Quick hide the Baos." Because she didn't want anyone to see that she had Baos from another place. She then started to Rationalize to me that had she known that we were walking this way, she would have bought baos from there, it just so happened that we went a different way...
Anyway, one of my favorite places for the traditional baos, is Hing Sing, right near the Chinatown Gate. I n full disclosure, I also know thus owner and his family, but it was a favorite of mine before I knew him.
This is where I go when I want a plain traditional staple type of Bao. Red Bean is red Bean. Dan Taht is Dan Taht.
Basically the stuff that is out front in this bakery, is the stuff that if you go to the more modern looking Bao places it is in the back in a smaller section. There are no birthday cakes or Tapioca drinks or plastic wrappings. It is an older bakery and it just stayed the same in look and feel as the bakeries were in my childhood. I love the knew stuff. But sometimes you just want the old stuff too.
And if you want to know "What should I get?" Please, you just point at stuff and ask for it.
The pull is not the a knew twist. It's that the Egg tart is really well made. Or whatever type of filling Bao you want.
The first recollection of being able to tell a difference between bakeries was that my Sifu's family ordered the Rice Cakes (Bak tong Go and Wong Tong Go) from here when they went to Hahng San, or go up the mountain to bow to the ancestor's grave. They bow with offerings of Fau Yuk, Chicken, and the starch was the White and yellow rice cakes. I never thought anything of Rice cakes until I ate those and realized they were pretty good.
Do I go here all the time? Well, when I had a stroller or wagon, I would stick with Bao Bao's (no stairs) Great Taste (again no stairs) or May's (yes stairs but it is the closest to the T. Plus at one point I got away with sending Shao in by himself while I waited outside.
But Hing Sing was the place that I really have that craving for. I don't know if they use more butter or what. But if I go to Dim Sum with Grace.. actually Grace will be the one to have that craving for Hing Sing Dahn Taht's So we will forego that pastries that come with dim sum to get the heartier versions from Hing Sing and bring them home.
What's your favorite Bao? Do you have a Bakery that you go to for specific things?