Sunday, June 9, 2013

The best frozen charsiew buns in London - just like the ones at Royal China

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My earliest memory of dimsum is my dad bringing us to Tai Zi Lou (太子楼) at Selegie Road when I was a kid. We used to have dimsum brunches at the restaurant quite often.

It didn't do quite well in the nineties as full fledged dim sum brunches gave way to fuss free hash browns and breakfast baps as fast food restaurants started sprouting up all around the isle. Tai Zi Lou soon went out of business and the building itself was demolished a couple of years back.

But whenever I tucked into a charsiew (roast pork) bun, the memories of balancing precariously over the chair in middle of the crowded Tai Zi Lou while Dad gestured frantically to the staff pushing metallic dim sum carts came flooding back. I didn't really care for any other dim sum so long as I had my charsiew buns.

It must be in the genes because LO can only be placated with one of those fluffy charsiew buns whenever we are at Royal China. At one point, she insisted on having it for breakfast every single morning.

I got those frozen charsiew buns (six in a pack) from the Chinatown supermarkets. Simply steam them for a couple of minutes and they ate good to go. But they are nothing compared to the ones served in restaurants. Not only is the dough denser and thus less fluffy, the meat fillings tasted flat.

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A foodie pal pointed me to "name" instead. Just three in a pack, the Royal Gourmet Dim Sum charsiew buns are currently sold at Loon Fung for £2.09. Not the cheapest but they are vastly better. Thinner layer of loose dough aside, the generous fillings tasted less artificial. LO just laps them up so I'm happy.

Just a note on its preparation. Try getting one of those small bamboo steamers (those that your dimsum are served in at restaurants). Pop these buns into them and set the steamer in a deep wok with some water. Turn the heat up for around 15min and the buns will be all ready. Enjoy!

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