Thanks to leads from both Kin Rob Krung 2 and my buddy J, I was recently pointed in the direction of Lung Chu, a shophouse restaurant selling a short-list of Chinese-style dishes. They do a variety of steamed buns, dumplings and noodles here, but the specialty is khao hor bai bua (ข้าวห่อใบบัว), rice and other bits steamed in a lotus leaf. I sincerely needed pointing in this direction, as I was never previously a fan of this dish, having found previous encounters with it heavy, sweet and oddly enough, somewhat waxy.
Lung Chu's version is still somewhat heavy (I think this is probably impossible to avoid), but this was tempered somewhat by the addition of a delicious vinegar- and crushed fresh chili-based dipping sauce. In addition to rice, the lotus leaf packet includes tender marinated pork, mushrooms, lotus seeds and a salted egg yolk, and is both well seasoned and fragrant. If you're sharing, it's the perfect savoury snack.
Lung Chu also serve some very nice salapao (ซาลาเปา), steamed buns (seen in background of pic above), although I suspect that they've simply sourced these from another vendor. They're light without being dry or paper-like, and the sweet bun (ใส้หวาน) in particular had a deliciously fragrant sweet bean filling.
Khao Hor Bai Bua Lung Chu 2818 Th Rama IV, Bangkok 02 240 1812 8am-midnight
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