Pork buns seem to be taking the world at a storm. Traditionally china, Korea and Japan had these soft beauties but I am guessing the roots of this modern day pork bun craze is David Chang presenting his twist in New York and this ignited pork bun sliders in New York starting with rival Ippudo (correct me if I am wrong this is my guess). However, to be fair pork buns even in its slider format is not David Chang’s original invention, there had been traditional recipes in places such as Nagasaki which has the kakuni-man.
They have some fine dining experience behind their recipes and are pretty good. Looking from a professional perspective, it’s a clever model. All the meat filling is pre-cooked and the finishing grilling is done to add the charry aroma and wrapped with fresh salad and sauce in the pillow of the buns, meaning great quality at lightning speed! I had the twice cooked pork belly bun with a zesty sweet sauce and the wagyu bun with a reconstituted dried shiitake braise and spicy relish. If i were to comment on the taste, for me personally, perhaps I have the image of traditional pork buns so the zesty sauces and the juicy meat are great but i still find myself looking for sweetness and umami that i am used to with the traditional buns. But these buns are in fact nouveau western foods closer to fancy hamburgers rather than traditional nikuman (Japanese pork buns). So from that angle, these are well made buns well exceeding the expected standards of the modest $8.00 price and I won’t hesitate to try another type when I have the chance. Also they have made me want to try David Chang’s famous version in New York.
Speaking of the traditional version, this home made pork bun (nikuman) from Art Taste Bakery in the Australia Fair Shopping Centre, Southport, Gold Coast is a classic. Love it. At 3.50, grab one if you are down that way.