A new food truck has hit the now popular peninsula street food scene run by the folks at @MobiMunch. Chairman Bao specializes in Chinese “buns”, meaning steamed white buns or glossy baked buns, both with various tasty Asian fusion fillings.
I chose the steamed versions, purely based on volume and cost. They’re both cheaper and smaller than the baked variety and I could try more of them out.
I’ve tried the Chinese Spiced Duck Confit with Fresh Mango Salad with a gingery, oniony orange sauce (that looks like it belongs on a Big Mac), Crispy Tofu with Miso Greens and a wasabi-like green sauce, Lionshead Meatballs with Kimchee, Red Sesame Chicken with Scallions and Bokchoi, and Pork Belly with Pickled Daikon Radish.
All in all, I was impressed. The quality of ingredients was definitely top-notch. And eventhough these combinations were rather unconventional, all their elements were fairly authentic, which is surprising. The flavors were extremely bold though, meaning they were heavy handed in their spices and saucing. That’s alright, since they’re trying to pack a lot of flavor into a little bun.
Surprisingly, my favorite of all of them was the Crispy Tofu with Miso Greens. The crispness of the greens and the nice soft silken tofu patty (love how it was perfectly browned) were a great contrast. And the flavor of that wasabi sauce was fantastic. It was all very fresh tasting yet flavorful and different.
The Meatball and Kimchee came in second with the tangy, saucy kimchee giving it a lot of texture and flavor. And fortunately the meatball was flavored well and cooked perfectly, though it didn’t taste like the traditional Lionshead meatball you’d get at a Chinese restaurant.
I was NOT a fan of the Pork Belly and Daikon, though. Disappointing really, because pork belly is one of my favorite things to eat. It was horribly dry and boring.
The guys running the truck were super nice and even gave me a Lychee Ginger Shaved Ice with Boba to try. It was yummy and I loved the fresh lychee pieces on the bottom. But if they’d made it just a tad less sweet, it would be truly awesome.
I hear they’re hoping to add Brisbane and Redwood City to their weekly rotation, along with the usual San Francisco stops. Let’s hope so!
Chairman Bao – Mobile truck parks at various locations – www.facebook.com/chairmanbao