The best pork buns in town
David Chang of Momofuku Noodle Bar NYC reinvented the Asian pork buns by serving it sandwich style as opposed to the traditional enclosed steamed bun. New Yorkers have been raving about these featherweight buns packed with pork belly, hoisin, spring onions and cucumbers. My friend, Jimmy Le, immediately told me about these buns after trying it last week, of all places, at the J Bar at The B.O.B. - downtown Grand Rapids' entertainment building hosting multiple restaurant and venues. Jimmy was invited by the B.O.B.'s general manager, Shane Philipsen, to try out the new menu items on the J Bar and Gilley's menu.
Two days later, Jimmy and I, along with another friend, Don MacKenzie, ventured to Gilley's to try out the pork buns. Except for the painted sriracha on the plate, Gilley's pork buns is an exact replica of Momofuku's. So much for creativity, but let me tell you, the pork buns were fabulous. The dough was fluffy and not as doughy as most traditional buns served in Chinese restaurants. We also tried the Crispy Calamari with a Creamy Spicy Sauce and the Escargot with Chili-Garlic Butter and Grilled Ciabatta. We all agreed that the calamari had way too much batter and that it looked and tasted more like onion rings. The escargot was good but I would have preferred more garlic and less sauce.
The J Bar (formerly Judson's Steakhouse) boasts a new and less expensive menu. So far, I've heard nothing but good reviews about the food. Jimmy thought the $12. steaks were an incredible value. This, I must experience myself, so I'm going to head back to the J Bar on Tuesday evening with my eleven year-old daughter for our date night after the school's Daddy-Daughter. Keep those pork buns moist for us.
Escargot with Chili-Garlic Butter sauce
Crispy Calamari with Creamy Spicy Sauce