Character bao buns are the cute (and yummy) faces you want to bring home with you!
Harumama Noddles and Buns in Carlsbad Village is known for these cute treats, so we just knew we had to stop by for lunch. We ordered two savory and two sweet character bao buns* to get a sampling of what Harumama has to offer.
*note: each order comes with two of the same type of buns, you can't mix & match (rude).
First things first: the cute factor.
The cuteness is undeniable. You can decide for yourself (that's why we took about 100 pictures), but we came to an agreement that the cuteness ranking was as follows: panda, cow, bunny, then koala.
As for a definitive taste ranking, it was difficult to compare the sweet vs savory options, but we have a full breakdown below!
Spicy Chicken and Broccoli
The perfect amount of spice (coming from two fairly spice adverse people). It's moist due to the sauce the chicken is cooked with, and with the colorful flavor, soy sauce is not needed. The ratio between the filling and the dough is sublime, you don't feel overpowered by the bao bun, but it's fluffy enough to handle the filling.
We rate the outside appearance: 10/10 super cute, so we were ready for the taste to have been sacrificed for the aesthetics, but the inside was as fulfilling as the stunning bun itself.
Ground BBQ Beef, Carrot & Shiitake
The first thought: that’s beef alright. The flavor is nice, not bland but not complicated, a little bit like a taco filling without taco seasoning? Compared to the chicken-filling, this bao bun is heavy (as one would expect with beef vs chicken) and really filling. If you were only ordering one type of character bun, this wouldn't be our first pick, but if you're mix & matching with friends it's a good way to make the meal more substantial.
Literally, it's just Nutella inside the bao bun. For the one person who has lived under a rock for the last 10 years—Nutella is a rich chocolate and hazelnut spread that tastes like pure sugar, but in the best way.
There really isn't more to say on this. If you like Nutella or are a chocoholic like Sophia (hi, it's me) you won’t be disappointed, as they don’t skimp on the filling.
Strawberries n' Cream
If you thought the Nutella filling was sweet, you haven't had the Strawberries n' Cream bun... it's sugary, rich and strawberry flavored! The consistency is not quite as smooth as pure cream—it's a bit like frosting or donut filling but more gelatinous.
If everything sweet & strawberry is your jam (get it?) you and Haley will be ordering this cutie bao bun!
If you head to any of Harumama's locations (Carlsbad, La Jolla, or Little Italy in San Diego) and order these cute buns, let us know your thoughts in the comments!