There are no tables inside this small North Miami Chinese bakery, just a display case full of delicious things like curry beef puffs, egg custard tarts, and some of the best barbecue pork buns in Miami. The barbecue pork buns and curry beef buns should absolutely be coming home with you, but feel free to order anything that looks tasty—chances are it is. Also, this place is super affordable. We left with about seven different baked things and only spent $15.
Char Sui Bao
You may have fond dim sum memories of these baked buns filled with Cantonese-style roast pork, but Mary Ann’s versions are a lot bigger—about the size of a large fist. The dough is soft, sweet and as bouncy as a good Japanese milk bread. The inside has a molten mixture of chopped, fatty roast pork mixed with a gooey sauce. At just about $2 a bun, please try and resist the urge to fill your entire backseat with them.
Curry Beef Bun
After the char sui bao, these are our favorite savory buns here. They are made with the same sweet, soft dough as the other buns. However, these feature a really moist filling of ground beef flavored with Chinese-style curry powder that gives it a perfect kick. The sweet bun balances with the bold flavors like Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga.
These are like miniature handheld chicken pot pies. They fit into the palm of your hand and are made from a flakey, buttery crust that’s somewhere between puff pastry and pie crust. Inside is a rich filling of chopped chicken bound with a thick white sauce that has just a touch of milk, so it’s not as rich as an American-style chicken pot pie.
Pandan Swiss Roll
The display case at Mary Ann Bakery has a variety of rolled sponge cakes with whipped cream filling, and we love them all. However, the pandan one is our favorite and the most unique. The cake is super light, fluffy, and not too sweet. It’s flavored with pandan leaves, which give it a vibrant green hue and a grassy, herbal vanilla flavor. A judicious amount of whipped cream filling adds a little richness along with some moisture to the cake.