In New York City at least, Whole Foods’ Sushi counters recently unveiled to-go platters of Chinese veggie buns and dumplings. Thank you Jeff Bezos.
The platters come with six dumplings, two veggie buns, two egg custard buns and a small packet of dumpling sauce. The dumplings are filled with seasoned soy protein and shiitake mushrooms and have a fake meat dumpling texture. The steamed veggie buns are tangerine sized fluffy bread buns, filled with shredded napa cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms, chopped water chestnuts and vermicelli noodles. The egg custard buns have a slightly crispy outer shell around a layer of fluffy white Chinese bread, which is stuffed with egg custard. I expected the egg custard to be creamy in texture, but instead it is like mashed sweet potato in consistency. Neither of the buns nor the dumplings are vegan, but are vegetarian.
To heat them up, I put the buns and dumplings around the edge of a plate and put a teaspoon or so of water in the middle of the plate and then microwaved them. Once the buns and dumplings were fully heated in the microwave, I pan-fried the bottoms of the buns and dumplings until they were crispy brown. Both the dumplings and the veggie buns tasted fine with a generic soy and sesame oil seasoned savory flavor, with the buns having an additional mild cruciferous cabbage note. The egg custard buns were mildly sweet, without much of an egg custard flavor. The sauce packet was really too small for the amount of food in this platter and was too heavy on the sesame oil for my taste. So overall the platter of dumplings and buns makes a decent lunch for two and is a solid Whole Foods to-go option.