Monday, October 7, 2013
Mei Li Wah (羙麗華)
Roast pork buns are truly beautiful things, and my favorite baked ones (焗叉燒包 - jú chā shāo bāo) in the city are available all day until 10:30 p.m. at Mei Li Wah (羙麗華茶餐廳).
The filling is rich with chunks of pork and pork fat, and - most importantly - not too sweet. The yeasty dough always makes me happy. Their product is utterly consistent, making it one of the few things in life I can really count on. And they're under a buck apiece.
Another great thing here is the large steamed bun containing chicken, pork and salted egg (三星大包 - sān xīng dà bāo). A small meal for $1.60. Although I haven't tried any of the others, I'm told that all of the dim-sum-like offerings here - and there are quite a few - are very good. The "crispy egg shatters" (鬆化蛋散 - sōng huà dàn sǎn) - essentially a twist of fried wonton-wrapper-like dough drizzled with honey - makes a nice post-prandial treat after a Chinatown feast.
And because I'm fascinated by these things, the normal character for the měi of their name (beautiful) is 美 (and all of the on-line listings for this place have it as 美麗華). But the sign and menu definitely have the more archaic "羙".
Mei Li Wah (羙麗華茶餐廳)
64 Bayard St., New York 10013
(between Mott & Elizabeth)