Eddie Huang is thinking outside the bao, as usual. The restless chef at Baohaus, a Chowhound favorite for Taiwanese-style stuffed buns, has shrugged off the crash-and-burn demise of his short-lived restaurant Xiao Ye. Now he’s popping up all over town—sharing Chinatown tips with the Post, getting himself bleeped off public radio, and hosting hot-ticket Chinese New Year feasts with his pals at No. 7 in Brooklyn.
In his free time he’s rolled out a boxed “TV dinner,” as he calls it: a pan-Chinese combo of three items plus rice, sold on Mondays at Baohaus and occasionally elsewhere (like the Brooklyn Flea for a guest gig this past weekend). Lau says the first week’s special starred tender, tasty dong po rou: pork belly in a leisurely braise with soy, sugar, and rice wine. Filling out the box were a freshly fried fish cake studded with bits of smoked ham hock and an Eight-Treasure Bao: a steamed wheat bun filled with stir-fried mushroom, carrot, bamboo, and more. The whole package is good and satisfying if not mind-blowing, Lau says, though he cautions that some may find it on the small side for $10.
To give you a better idea of where this eclectic Monday project is headed, the second week’s menu was oxtail and chuck braised in Miller High Life with fennel, tomato, and garlic confit; stir-fried greens with Chinese sausage; and the pan-fried pork dumplings that were known as Poontang Pot Stickers at Xiao Ye. “yall know I murder the classics,” the chef boasts on his blog, “hainan chicken, zha jiang mien, pot stickers, momma jokes, come on now. … my food game is strong and you will love me like you’ve never loved a Chinaman before.”
Baohaus [Lower East Side]
137 Rivington Street (between Norfolk and Suffolk streets), Manhattan