Location: Annapolis, Greenhills, San Juan
For those of you who cannot wait for Tim Ho Wan‘s world famous Baked Barbecued Pork Buns 叉燒菠蘿包 to arrive here in Manila, wait no further. So where do you get baked pork buns here in Manila? You can get the delicious, crusty pork buns at Choi Garden!
I dropped by Choi Garden for my regular dimsum dinner when my eye caught sight of a laminated menu inserted at the back of condiments. It’s a new dish! Supposedly 天下最好的飽！(The Best Pork Bun in the World)
This is what I’ve been waiting for ~ someone to start the game in Pork Buns, generally. We’ve seen it from steamed pork buns and asado buns with a shiny coating but we’re all tired of that. And probably this is the reason why Tim Ho Wan has been gaining some popularity here in the metro.
Pineapple Buns or Bo Lo Yiu Buns
A number of Cha Chaan Teng 茶餐廳 restaurants in Hong Kong serve Pineapple Buns or Bo Lo Yiu Buns 菠蘿油 commonly for breakfast. Though not really filled with Pineapple, the sugary top crust resembles that of a pineapple. They can be stuffed with different fillings like butter (which is more common), red bean paste, custard cream, barbecued pork, or coconut filling. Choi Garden calls it Pineapple Buns but for the sake of clear communication, I’m calling it Baked Pork Buns.
Choi Garden’s Baked Barbecued Pork Buns – Php 120 per order
Each order has three Baked Barbecued Pork Buns, but the crusty coating of the buns are lighter than the ones at Tim Ho Wan. I noticed it is relatively smaller, but we’ll see how it grades versus Tim Ho Wan.
Overall, it was just the right flavor. The diced pork filling is sweet as expected, and it meshed well with the thick bun, which is not sugary. Just to share, Choi Garden has some of the best Honey Roasted Asado, where the meat resembles really close to what you can get in Hong Kong.
I really liked the bun. The texture was reminiscent of coffee buns, but save for the sweetness of it. I was really tempted to ask for a plain pork bun if they have it available, and maybe stuff it with butter instead ~ yes, like a Pineapple bun.
On my second piece, there was less pork filling, which wasn’t so bad for me because I just wanted to eat the buns.
As expected I had a second order of Baked Pork Buns to go.
I am glad that Choi Garden got in the game early but I also wish their pork buns were larger. I am also anticipating the revamping of the usual steamed pork buns that I am pretty sure, Ippudo Manila, will be starting the fire here soon. We’ll see who else will be jumping the bandwagon.
Choi Garden’s Baked Pork Buns Rating:
|Taste and Originality:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Customer Experience:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Value for Money:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Brick and Mortar:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Average:||(3.3 / 5)|