Dec 11, 2010

The Winner of the Best Buns Go To...

The winning pork buns from Gilly's at the B.O.B.
I have been on this pork buns mission after seeing chef David Chang's pork buns last year in his beautiful cookbook, Momofuku. While I have had my share of Asian pork buns, chef Chang's taco-style presentation is new to me. It also helps that the popularity of Asian tacos among food trucks from Portland to New York have influenced many
Americans to experiment with Asian flavors outside of the traditional rice bowl restaurants.

In the Spring, I tried the pork buns at Gilly's at the B.O.B. after my friend, Jimmy Le, raved about it. And he was absolutely correct. The pork buns at Gilly's were addicting and it seriously gave me the cravings. My dream of tasting Momofuku's version finally happened in September when I was in the city for a Marriott conference. A month later, I discovered Tomukun Noodle House's pork buns in Ann Arbor after watching a game in the Big House.

MOMOFUKU (New York City)

The buns were pillowy soft. Generous pork belly portions. However, there was hardly any sauce and the presentation lacked the "love" you would expect from a celebrity Asian chef's restaurant. With more restaurants being added to the portfolio, the older restaurants tend to be left on the back burner. Too bad.

TOMUKUN (Ann Arbor)

I was so happy to have discovered this new Asian restaurant in Ann Arbor. Gives me another restaurant option after football games. The pork belly portion was also generous though slightly on the fatty side. The buns were also light and the sauce and presentation a little better than Momofuku's.

GILLY'S AT THE B.O.B. (Grand Rapids)

There's no bias here but the verdict is in. The winner of My Hotel Life's best pork buns goes to Gilly's. The buns were soft but not as pillowy as Momofuku's. However, the pork belly was delicious and cooked perfectly. The crafty presentation with chile sauce and kimchee edges Tomukun and Momofuku's sparse plates. The "love" was definitely there from the B.O.B.'s kitchen crew.

* I went back to Gilly's a couple of weeks ago, and unfortunately, the restaurant took the pork buns off the menu. Even the server was a bit surprised since she thought their guests loved the buns as much as I did. Don't despair, the pork buns made an appearance at the Monkey Bar at the B.O.B., just a floor below.

Momofuku's pillowy pork buns
Tomukun's pork buns

1 comment:

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