At Food Terminal, the enormous Malaysian restaurant with locations on Buford Highway and in west Midtown, crispy bao feature the same tender texture, but with a wonderfully crispy fried exterior that provides a little more support, so, the sandwich-like buns are bigger than your typical steamed bao. Two of Food Terminal’s crispy bao are probably enough to fill you up, which justifies the $5-and-up price tag.
You can’t go wrong with any of the six bao, but we tried the unagi and the lemongrass pork. On the unagi bao, the barbecued eel is rich and succulent, with fresh avocado and cucumber cutting the richness and adding texture. The lemongrass pork is almost like a mini banh mi, topped with pickled carrot, cilantro and lettuce that balances the hefty pork with a bit of zing. Both are impossible to put down.