The Lord’s Own Pastry

[UPDATE: 2/13/2013 – At long last, my friend Linshao Chin has SOLVED THE MYSTERY! What I guessed was called “Lai Won Bao” is actually “Nai Won Bao” or “Nai Wong Bao” which means egg custard bun (of course)!. I’m updating this post!]


Those of you who know me well, know that I am I’m never one for hyperbole or rampant enthusiasm. In fact, if there is anything wrong with my life, it is that I get excited about too little. Amen.
Thus when I tell you I have had the best pastry ever, know that such a statement, like all such pronouncements from me, can be taken for what they are worth: Gospel.
Thus I shall speak unto you: 

  1. Go to Garden Bakery in Chinatown, on Jackson St. (just downhill from Stockton St.)
  2. Walk in.
  3. Order a “Lai Wan Bao” “Nai Won Bao” which means “egg custard bun.”(my apologies to the Chinese.) (Ok Adrian, hit us with the translation)
  4. Praise the Lord.

It looks like a large bun made of something like “Dutch crunch” bread but more yellow. The two I had (Well… I had to make sure the first wasn’t a fluke! I SUFFER for you guys) were both warm and just slightly crunchy from being in the heater. The first bite is yummy, soft, slightly sweet bread, with a lightly crunchy crust – yum! But soon thereafter you hit the custard bomb payload at the center and then… then the angels start singing….


Get Thee To Garden Bakery (Jackson & Stockton.)
Ok, fine.  I didn’t discover this on my own, there was a Moses involved:  Brian Kusler.  Brian & Kelly were introduced to this by their friend Adrian, who’s family owns a shop nearby.  Brian then introduced this to me. Thanks Brian – though don’t think I don’t realize your nefarious homosexual chubification agenda! 
I can already hear Peat complaining ” but Tartine Tartine” – get over it.  I nubs me some Tartine too, but this is the deal.  In fact, if anyone else has a different great pastry, leave it in the comments.  If enough do, then there shall be a Pastry Off!

8 thoughts on “The Lord’s Own Pastry

  1. Awesome! Thanks for the suggestion. It’s going on my list.

    And if you liked this, might I suggest a baked pork bun from Clement Restaurant, a little dim sum hole in the wall at Clement and 7th. Oh lord. I’ve been eating ’em since I was a wee tot and still have yet to find one to rival (especially if it is warm, which, if it isn’t already, it can be after a few seconds in the provided microwave). A perfect marriage of complimentary textures and flavors.

    I also suggest while you’re at it, get the sesame ball for desert. Food, glorious food!

  2. I’m a big fan of Beard Papa which has it’s own custard bomb in the middle. Does the Lai Wan Bao actually top the Beard Papa?

  3. i think this has to be the bo lo bao or pineapple bao (even though it has nothing to do with pineapples)

    perhaps it is a variant name because of the custard?

    they were a favorite of mine in Taiwan. tho they never used to have custard.

    lai wan could of course mean any number of things: leprose ball bun? (kidding 😉

    or perhaps it was Lai Won Bao
    but this don’t look right


  4. Yes – crazy better then Beard Poppa, though truth be told, I don’t understand the whole BP thing – they just seem OK to me. Am I missing something?

  5. my friend’s family owns the ginseng shop down the street and yep — they’re the ones who good me hooked on these things. since the counter folks only speak cantonese i had to learn how to say it so i could get more the next time i came back my myself (they’re not in the display case so you can’t just point).

    they’re simple and warm and sweet and perfect and unpretentious. totally different from beard papa, which is puff pastry and a very runny, cold, puddinglike filling.

    and yes — eaaaaat, eeaaaat! everyone knows i liked bigsmokinfatdeep better 🙂

  6. oh I m so glad I landed to this part of comments, little did I know I shall find such delicious tips here. definitely will check it out. btw mission pie at 25th and mission, I think have the best pies ever, yummy in the tummy, if you haven t tried, do do do….

  7. Pingback: deeptrouble » Parkers Farms Makes Me Reconsider My Atheism: The Best Peanut Butter In The World

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