Top 10 Salted Egg Custard Buns in Manila
Rich, ooey, gooey, and just wonderfully delicious
(SPOT.ph) Liquid gold—this is how we’d describe the glistening custard that oozes out of that hot, fluffy bao, and ultimately, what results in one of our favorite crave-worthy desserts: the Salted Egg Custard Bun. Salted egg has lately been all the rage in Asia, an ingredient found slathered on prawns, used to make crisp fried chicken even tastier, or even to elevate creamy pasta.
We love salted egg on savory dishes, but there’s something enthralling about a sweet-salty combination we can only find in salted egg custard buns. And so begins our search for the best of this ingredient-of-the-moment; we hunt down the select few that not only serve this special treat but serve it exceptionally well.
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10. Xin Tian Di’s Steamed Buns with Custard and Egg (P200/three pieces)
Crowne Plaza’s resident Chinese restaurant offers an array of dim sum and authentic Chinese specialties. Their wide assortment of dishes makes it easy to overlook their custard bun, and while we wish their bun had more custard and less dough, it’s still a great quick fix for when you’re seriously hankering for a sweet-salty carb fix.
Xin Tian Di is at 4/F Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila, Ortigas Avenue, Quezon City.
9. Super Duck Modern Tea Shop’s Egg Custard Pao (P42/one piece, P80/two pieces)
This tea shop in hectic SM Cyber West Mall is the brand's first franchise out of Taiwan and it boasts high-quality fruit teas using natural, organic ingredients. You’ll come to this easy-to-miss spot for their Taiwanese tea, but you'll find yourself staying for their fluffy egg custard buns. It's easily a fast favorite for all first-time visitors and while the egg could be richer, it's definitely a gateway to this delicious snack..
Super Duck Modern Tea Shop is at 2/F SM Cyber West Building, EDSA corner West Avenue, Quezon City.
8. Tuan Tuan’s Crispy Molten Egg Custard Snow Bun (P128/three pieces)
Tuan Tuan’s Pork Snow Buns have always taken center stage (hey, they ranked No. 1 on SPOT.ph's Top 10 Pork Buns), but their newest menu addition is worth talking about, too. Their Crispy Molten Egg Custard Snow Bun has the signature Tuan Tuan exterior—lightly crunchy and very crackly—while its interior is full of creamy custard goodness. While we enjoy Tuan Tuan’s original take on the salted egg custard bun trend, we find ourselves missing the fluffiness of the bread component.
Tuan Tuan has branches at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City; Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City; SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City; and Promenade Mall, San Juan City. Read more about Tuan Tuan.
7. Choi Garden Egg Custard Buns (P130/three pieces)
Getting a seat in Choi Garden for lunch or dinner is like trying to buy tickets for Hamilton on Broadway. This spot is a favorite among Chinese and Filipino families alike, so we are ecstatic that you can easily order their salted egg custard buns to go. Their buns are seemingly bite-sized, but they’re so tasty that what they lack in stature, they make up for with that sweet, rich flavor. You might as well get a few extra orders. You know, just in case.
Choi Garden is at 12 Annapolis Corner Purdue Street, Greenhills, San Juan City. Read more about Choi Garden.
6. Lucky Rainbow’s Special Eggyolk Pao (P108/three pieces)
Lucky Rainbow got its start in Ongpin and Banawe decades ago and since then, they've branched out to Makati. It's a great move. Now, more people can enjoy their special egg yolk buns, which strike the ideal balance of sweet and salty. The bread is a bit too dense for our liking, but this one packs a whole lot of custard. Mop up the rich sauce that spills out on the plate to give the bun faux fluffiness.
Lucky Rainbow has branches at 839-841 Ongpin Corner Sabino Padilla Street, Manila; 2/F Patriarch Building, 2224 Chino Roces Avenue corner Don Basco Street, Makati City; and Z Square Mall, Banawe Street corner Del Monte Avenue, Quezon City.
5. Crystal Jade's Salted Egg Buns (P160/three pieces)
Crystal Jade is everyone’s Chinese restaurant go-to in Bonifacio Global City, and for good reason. Perfect for huge groups, their servings are always more than enough. The same goes for their salted egg buns. Here, you’ll find huge fluffy (yellow!) buns filled with molten salted egg yolk that’s not too cloying. The salted egg yolk is grainy, but the texture actually helps ease the richness of the filling. Pro tip: Don’t miss out on their weekend dim sum buffet! All-you-can-eat custard buns are never a bad thing.
Crystal Jade Dining In is at Bonifacio High Street Central, 30th Street corner 7th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City. Read more about Crystal Jade Dining In.
4. Din Tai Fung’s Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun (P85/two pieces)
Xiao long bao fanatics waited anxiously for Din Tai Fung to open in Manila, and when the Taiwanese franchise finally opened their doors in November 2015, die-hard dim sum lovers had more than just crab and pork XLB to look forward to. The most popular meal-ender is undoubtedly the Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun. It's buttery, fluffy, rich, sweet, salty...we could go on. Best eaten with your hands, the molten yolk lava shines through with each bite.
Din Tai Fung is at G/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City. Read more about Din Tai Fung.
3. Passion’s Liu Sha Bao (P196/three pieces)
Passion is Maxims Hotel’s prized Chinese restaurant and it is perfect for celebratory dinners, business lunches, and barkada get-togethers. One of the few restaurants in Manila that offer all-you-can-eat dim sum every day, their salted egg yolk buns (also known in Chinese as liu sha bao) are perfectly fluffy—making you want seconds and thirds.
By the way, we don't know if these babies are seasonal or everyone's just clamoring for them—the latter is very plausible—but SPOT.ph had to drop by Passion four times before they were finally available. That elusive quality only makes them extra special. Make sure to get ‘em while they’re hot!
Passion is at Maxims Hotel, Newport Boulevard, Newport City, Pasay City.
2. Victoria Harbour Cafe’s Steamed Egg Custard Buns (P190/three pieces)
Ace chef David Choo is responsible for these knockout buns. Comparing it to a hot cheesecake, Chef David believes that these buns are so good because he uses premium ingredients and bakes them fresh—a fresh batch in the morning and a fresh batch in the afternoon, to be exact. Disclaimer: Victoria Harbour is inside Resorts World Manila’s casino, so only salted egg bun lovers 18 years old and up can get in. But don’t fret—you can actually call ahead and order these buns to go!
You can find bigger versions of Chef David’s rich, creamy, velvety custard buns at exclusive members-only Happy 9, too.
Victoria Harbour Café is at G/F Resorts World Manila, Newport City, Pasay City. Read more about Victoria Harbour Café.
1. President's Tea House’s Custard Milk Pao (P90/three pieces)
A Binondo institution for decades, President's Tea House serves some of the most affordable dim sum in the Metro. You’d be hard-pressed to leave feeling dissatisfied, and we guarantee that your stomach (and wallet) will be full. Their version of the custard bao is the fluffiest of them all, and we won’t deny that their bang-for-buck prices make us love these treats even more. The custard is rich but somehow still subtle, and so wonderfully done that the butter doesn't split from the yolk. The buns alone make intense Chinatown traffic absolutely worth it.
President's Tea House is at 809 Salazar Street, Binondo, Manila.
Photos by Hans Fausto and Regine Rafael (Passion, Super Duck, Victoria Harbour)
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