Pau, bao, pao— it has many names. Pillowy dough with steaming centres of goodness. When bitten into it, you1 instantly feel a warm hug enveloping your entire body. And that’s how I found myself squinting through the windows of my little Myvi in efforts to locate Wai Kwan Coffee Shop in Subang which supposedly sells freshly made pau.
It was only 7.30am but the coffee shop located at the Goodyear Court 2 flats was already swarming with customers, from elderly folks leisurely sipping on their black coffees to folks looking to get a quick bite before the morning rush.
I squinted even harder and there it was— right at the very corner, steamer baskets stacked on top of one another. Gotcha! I make my way past the crowd. Gingerly I stepped forward and requested what was on the menu behind the steamer baskets.
Here, they serve a total of 13 varieties of handmade steamed buns. According to the owner, the popular savoury fillings are their char siew and mui choy. Meanwhile, customers with a sweet tooth can opt for the classic red bean, lotus paste and custard. They also serve a kaya pau where they cook the filling themselves.
I selected their best sellers: Char Siew, Mui Choy, Sang Yoke and the Vegetable Pau. He lifted them from the steamer basket and placed them delicately on a porcelain plate before handing them to me. It was time to feast!
What I tried at Wai Kwan Coffee Shop
My stomach was already growling and I couldn’t wait to get started. I eagerly peeled off the skin of my Char Siew Pau (RM3.30) — (this is one of their bestsellers), before gently splitting the pau into halves to get a better look at the insides. The immediate sight of the caramelised chunks of pork was already a telltale sign of a great char siew pau.
I sunk my teeth in and immediately noticed the contrast in taste and texture than the machine-churned paus. The skin had a delightful, not overly fluffy texture with a slight bite and the texture did not have the usual machine-made smooth appearance. And the best part? The dough is hand-mixed which means it doesn’t stick to your teeth or the roof of your mouth. I’m pleased to report that the char siew was juicy with the perfect amount of sweetness to pair with your morning cup of coffee.
Char siew pau inhaled, I moved on to my personal favourite of the day: Sang Yoke Pau (RM3.30).
I split the bun into half and oh boy, just the sight of the contents had my mouth watering. And the smell of ginger wafting out was simply luscious. The fluffy texture of the pau which intertwined with the tender strips of pork was simply too good to be true. If you’re like me and you don’t enjoy the overpowering taste of ginger, fret not. The pork strips were well-marinated and juicy and I gobbled this beauty easily.
Next on the list was the Vegetable Pau (RM2.60). Encased in the soft fluffy pau were generous strips of yam bean and carrots. I was particularly pleased with the amount of yam bean spilling out of its fluffy casing since I adore this tasty, crunchy vegetable. Honestly, I was really looking forward to trying their vegetable pau, ever since my delicious encounter with this flavour at Klang Food Centre’s handmade vegetable pau.
Crunchy and juicy, I could have wolfed down a couple of this vegetable paus. The only downside to this tasty breakfast treat was that the yam bean was rather heavily doused in pepper— I could taste it in every bite. But if you enjoy a peppery kick, then you’ll love this!
Last on the porcelain plate was the Mui Choy Pau (RM3). The Mui Choy or preserved mustard greens is braised with pork to present to us a delicious filling.
According to the owner, the mui choy pau is also highly sought after. Moist with a hint of rice wine aroma and mixed with chunks of braised pork, the preserved vegetables add layers of umaminess to the filling. If you are a fan of the strong preserved taste of mui choy, this pau is definitely right up your alley.
While wolfing my pau down, I had the pleasure to see the pau’s being made on the spot on a metal table behind the steamer baskets— truly a visual treat. Everything is made from scratch here (including the dough) by the dedicated owners from 6am. So you know you’re biting into an extremely fresh steamed bun. Customers even purchase their steamed buns by the dozen, no surprise there!
I regretfully discovered later on that they also sell Nam Yu Pork Pau, where encased in the bun are thick chunks of pork belly marinated in a brownish sauce flavoured with nam yue or fermented bean curd. I’m drooling already.
Looks like I’ll be making another trip to Wai Kwan Coffee Shop for more of their delicious paus and I’d reckon you’d do the same.
Expected damage: RM3 – RM4 per pax
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