Wood paneled walls and a smattering of pictures, including a smiling picture of Rod Blagojevich, are the only nods to decor in this joint. There's what seems like a secret backroom (you have to go behind the bakery cases to get to it), a stark white box open to the kitchen devoid of music and decor where they serve a morning dim sum of deep fried pork and shrimp balls, custard buns, glutinous rice balls with black bean paste and steamed dumplings. If you've wondered what it would be like to be on "Fear Factor," you can always order up a sampling of chicken feet.
In the bakery case in front, there's traditional sweet fare like almond cookies or French style pastry like tortes and eclairs, but you come here for the buns. With a golden egg wash crust and chewy white interior, sweet options like egg custard and coconut will dribble down your face. The barbecue pork has a sweet hint of almond, and curry beef with its spicy aromatic perfume is exceptional. At $.70 a bun, you can buy a baker's dozen for the whole office. Don't forget to grab some guava or currant juice from the cooler on your way out to wash down your bun.
Centerstage Reviewer: Michael Nagrant