Mantao Chinese Sandwiches Coming to Midtown

It looks like Province Chinese Canteen, the little Tribeca mantou shop that closed at the end of last year, will be reopening soon on 53rd Street btw. 2+3rd under the new name “Mantao Chinese Sandwiches”. I’m all for little Chinese sandwiches, although according to a comment on Yelp, the original owners “‘sold’ the business to a midtown buyer, are franchising it out, and are keeping a %age of the profits.”  Should be interesting (especially since some folks didn’t like the place that much to begin win.)  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if it’s any good…

Photo courtesy of Writing With My Mouth Full. And thanks to Kathryn Yu for the tip!


  • an already great under-the-radar, largely ethnic food block in midtown east may get even better if this place turns out to be any good.

  • I don’t know about mantou sandwich. A good mantou doesn’t need stuffing (mantou is a chinese steamed bun and traditional there is no filling. buns with filling inside are usually called baozi…like the buns you can find at chinese bakeries). I guess it’s semi-innovative to use mantou to make a sandwich. Still, I rather eat 2 delicious roast pork buns than a more expensive and puny mantou sandwich.

  • Mantou sandwiches are tricky propositions. More traditionally, you would eat a mantou like how you’d eat a bowl of rice, which is along with a plate of fatty pork or something, rather than putting a fixed amount of the dish inside the mantou. (In other words, take a bite of one and a bite of the other, repeat.) If you were to make your own sandwich you can control the amount of the filling to minimize mantou’s natural dryness as it depends on the dish (how fatty/greasy it is), but for a vendor trying to make money on that it’s something they have to adjust. A large mantou will guarantee dryness unless they double deck it. It just can’t hold that much filling and unlike typical buns or breads, it’s not full of air pockets.

    I wonder if there’s any midtown place that serves gua bao. That would be a better “sandwich” along these lines.

  • It looks like Cancer.

  • I agree w/ Rudy. Can’t wait to try it!

  • I enjoyed these things at the Tribeca location. A little too pricey/trendy for my taste (I like hole in the walls), but pretty dag good.

  • chinese sandwiches!! and this location is even somewhat convenient to me. Can’t wait!

  • That looks exactly like White Castle’s new pulled pork slider.

    I’d sooner spend the night naked in a bathtub full of silverfish than eat ANYTHING that looked like that.

  • It looks like placenta

    But I would definitely eat this if it were near me

  • Disclaimer: Do not click on that link unless you are in the mood to feel sick

  • I haven’t eaten it but think the mantou sandwich filling is their short rib & kimchi sandwich. Who doesn’t like short ribs and kimchi (which isn’t so chinese as most people know). ;-P

    That has to be way better than pulled pork white castle (only their original slyders are worth consuming) and pregnancy-leftovers. Haha.

  • Thanks, fressagirl. I’m scarred for life.

  • looks similar enough to province’s old fare (I loved that joint)

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    Ugh. Being a mom, I felt compelled to click on the link, and ended up reading the entire article.

    Fascinating. I’m totally grossed out, but some people think it’s fine. I think it’s like wanting to drink your own breast milk… Again, no thanks.

    But I’ve never actually seen my placentas after the births. Maybe next time, I’ll ask the OB/GYN for a look before it gets thrown out. Might scar me for life, though…

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    Tried the original port bun today. It’s not an authentic mantao to begin with. Mantaos should be like this below WITHOUT sesame.
    The bun actually is called “Gi-Guang” Bun.

    Back to the food, the bun is too soft in Mantao’s version. The pork is okay, small though; the sauce is sweet for a Chinese/Taiwanese palate; the bun is small even for a petite woman like me. I finished it in 4 bites. It’s hard to find authentic yet cheap Chinese food beyond C-town or Flushing. The Peking Duck House across Mantao is very good, but can’t afford to spend $30 on lunch or pay a visit to C-town everyday. With a bun starting from $2.50, can’t beat the price at Mantao and they have a lot of varieties to choose from.
    It’s not authentic, not the pork bun I’ve had growing up, but acceptable. I might try their cold sesame noodles and spicy wontons some other day.

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