[San Jose] Love My Buns 四姐面香

First mentioned in the Dainty Dumpling discussion, Love My Buns is now open, and has been for a few days now. They specialize in all sort of buns and dumplings, I think. I passed by it today and there were plenty of people inside during lunch. Since I already ate, I thought I’d share this with anyone who wants to visit.

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Strange, from the Chinese name, I would never have guessed the place was about buns and dumplings.
In Paris, a place called 面香源, they are only selling noodle dishes.

“面” can simply refer to all wheaten food, can’t it? Apparently the place features gou bu li and xiao long bao. There’s also a reference to “huo shao” (a.k.a “shao bing”) on the sign. Maybe “Love my Buns” (provocative though it be) is a counterpoint to gou bu li.

Looks interesting.

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Thanks for the article. According to the author, they hired a Tianjin chef from the chain Gou Bu Li and XLB chef from Shanghai. Is that chain good?

Apparently its owned by the same people who runs 四姐 Sichuan in Fremont.

Harbin charcuterie?

Seems like the piece is an infomercial- overwhelmingly positive.

I’m not familiar with the goubuli chain Was there reference to a XLB chain?

No, there was no mention of XLB chain.

Had a meal there. It was a decent meal, but as expected, the meal didn’t measure up to the praises to high heavens in the article in Chinese upthread.

Since they are run by the same people who run Si Jie Sichuan in Fremont, they let you order off the same Sichuan menu in Fremont, in addition to their regular Love My Buns menu, which I included at the bottom:

We got the husband wife beef and tripes. Pretty fragrant. Could use a bit more numbness.

The house special beef noodle soup. Disappointing. Soft noodles with tough pieces of meat in a tomato based broth.

Now onto the Shanghai side of the menu, the shenjiang bao. Plenty of liquid inside arrived very hot. But I think its too- what’s the right word for it- sterile? It is missing grease (and flavors).

The xiaolongbao looked a bit sloppy in skills. Tasted indistinct.

Some NE fare: steamed dumpling with egg, chives and shrimps. I quite enjoyed the thin, al dente skin. They called it vegetarian dumpling but its only because it didn’t have meat. Its pretty decent.

The guobuli. I’ve never had this Tianjin dish before so I had no point of reference. The supposed 18 pleats on each bun were a bit indistinct and sloppy. The meal filling had some cooking wine. It was ok but didn’t really wow.

The Tianjin crispy sweet and sour pork slices. Battered slices of pork, pretty decent.

Millet porridge (not pictured): Comfy simple porridge

‘Polenta’: its okay.

General chicken. I couldn’t remember when’s the last time I had this dish and had already forgot how it tasted like. We had a visitor who wanted this so I had a taste.

Overall, its an ok meal from a restaurant that offers a mix of Northeast, Shanghai and Sichuan dishes.



The noodles side of the menu needs some work. I’m suspecting that they may have just retained one of the former dumpling chefs and added some noodles items onto their original Hunan menu. Their strong suit currently are definitely the spicy items and not the noodle dishes.

The browning on the SJB is oddly uniform in color and depth – almost as if they’d been browned in a cupcake tin or something.

Which spicy items you like? Since they are right next to Chef Z, inevitably it will draw some comparisons.

Have not had a chance to try out their spicy side of the menu yet but I assume it would be fine as they’ve a good reputation in their Fremont location.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold