Sunday, 13 January 2008


sticky rice dumplings with green mung beans and salted pork
steamed pork and veggie bun

Who's got the best big buns?
No, not JLo.

In Vancouver's Chinatown, New Town Bakery & Restaurant is an old-fashioned diner with orange naugahyde booths and linoleum floors. Chinese-Canadians in the know realize that this institution is home to Canada's best steamed "big buns". These are not the fluffy white concoctions you find in most Dim Sum Houses. These buns are tender, slightly chewy and full of savoury or sweet fillings. One bun can make a light meal or a big snack. You can freeze them and heat in the microwave, they're portable and kids love them too.
all the buns have red markings stamped on top of the buns indicating the fillings. this one indicates pork and veggie

Some of the Big Bun fillings include: Bbq Pork, Pork and Vegetable, Beef, Red Bean Paste, Veggie and their Special (which includes pretty much everything including a salted duck egg). There are more flavours but these are what I primarily order.

The New Town Bakery stocks Malaysian, Filipino and Chinese bakery items. My favourites are the deep-fried apple tarts (a recipe not as good as the closed-down Hong Kong Cafe--but it'll do!), the Steamed White Rice Pudding (Baak Tong Goh), the Big Buns, and the Sticky Rice in Banana Leaves.
sticky rice dumplings wrapped in banana leaves (dzung)

We like to buy a dozen buns (usually pork and veggie, bbq pork and the special) and freeze them for use throughout the week. We also pick up a few sticky rice dumplings. These can be frozen too and boiled for 30 minutes to heat.

I've eaten in the restaurant a few times. It's cheap eats and many of the Chinese old-timers eat here. Generally however, I like to just grab my hot buns and run.
New Town Bakery & Restaurant
158 Pender Street East
Vancouver, BC V6A 1T3
(604) 689-7835
(604) 682-3398

New Town Bakery & Restaurant (Chinatown) on Urbanspoon

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