The Dish: Lai Wong Bao

2012-07-01T09:00:00Z 2014-09-07T13:31:05Z The Dish: Lai Wong BaoContributor's pick by Brandon Chuang| Photography by Jonathan Gayman Feast Magazine | Inspired Local Food Culture/Midwest

I’m not much of a dessert person. When I’m out to dinner, my answer to the server’s question of what I’ll be having for dessert most commonly entails me lifting my nearly empty rocks glass and indicating “another of these.” Which is why I assume that my liver offers up a silent prayer of thanks whenever we go to Wonton King, home of lai wong bao.

Lai wong bao is a custard-filled yeast bun that is steamed or baked in the oven. The result, a crisp-topped, cream-filled pastry, is a great option for us nondessert types. Its sweetness isn’t cloying like most desserts – the bun itself tastes similar to Hawaiian bread – but the custard filling does a good job of fulfilling any saccharine cravings you may have previously had.

Not too sweet and not too big (it’s roughly the size of a donut), it has an added bonus of being offered at that most perfect of brunch options: weekend dim sum at Wonton King. Meaning that there’s no wait for some pastry chef to finish reducing the raspberry crème anglaise that’s about to be poured over your sugarcoated $15 dessert. Just point, and it’s yours. And that, to me, is exactly like how I take my Manhattans. Perfect.

Wonton King, 8116 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.995.6982

More From Brandon!

Check out Brandon’s monthly column, How To, in the magazine, and read his account of making tamales at El Chico Bakery here.

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