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Bao's New Menu Of Chinese Staples, Both Native And American

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The White Plains Mall, that sore-sight rectangular block with a bumpy parking lot surrounded by weeds and a broken wooden fence located at a diagonal from the gleaming Ritz Carlton Towers. The one where the anchor tenants are the DMV and the county’s largest Asian supermarket, Kam Sen. If you’ve been leery of venturing inside, the market makes for an interesting foodie adventure (marinated duck feet anyone?), but there’s a second spot in the mall that a foodie should try as well: Bao’s.

The 66-seat Chinese restaurant owned by White Plains resident May Tan underwent a recent makeover. The décor was upgraded with fresh paint, new booths, and giant Chinese symbols—welcome modifications from the previous dim look. However, the most exciting changes are on the menu. After a month-long research trip trying different restaurants in her native Malaysia, Tan has added many new dishes including Malaysian fried rice and bao buns, plus a Szechuan section with dishes such as malatang (a hot pot of meats, shrimp, tofu, veggies, and noodles) and flounder in a spicy peppercorn and hot oil sauce. For adventuresome palates, order off the menu (as many of the native Chinese regulars do) for Hong Kong-style soups like winter melon or superb Shanghai meatballs made with bean curd and water chestnuts. One could order the General Tso’s Fill-in-the-Blank for the umpteenth time, and while I admit the salty, gloopy-sauced Chinese-American fare tastes pretty darn good going down, we’ve all had our tummy crying out a bit later, “What have ye wrought?” Instead, sample some authentic fare and see if you don’t become a convert to pre-Americanized Chinese food.

Dumplings

Lettuce wrap

Shanghai meatballs

Spicy hot oil cod with peppercorn sauce

Spicy peppercorn delight with shrimp, tofu, chicken, beef, and vegetables

Winter melon soup, an off-menu special

Mooncake, an off-menu Chinese dessert made with green bean paste

Bao’s
White Plains Mall 200 Hamilton Ave, White Plains
(914) 682-8858; www.baoschinese.com

 

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