My trip to the Bao Shoppe

I was beyond satisfied reading about this place on my search for great baos that won’t break the bank. So I decided to make the trip out there on a day that it was nice outside. Why not take the trip downtown?  

I put Baos on a fairly high pedestal since the days of Jum Mum. Jum Mum was a bao shop located in St. Marks. Their claim to fame was not only their baos but the pricing. Their pricing catered to the demographic that frequented the area….hungry college students. The best seller was their pork belly bun and their fried fish bun. They even had a Pork Bun eating contest. There wasn’t any particular prize to be won. Just the bragging rights and the glory knowing you ate more pork buns than the reigning champ. I had so many great experiences at that place whether it was the food, the customer service(I was a frequent customer so after a while they knew me by name). It is safe to say I was heartbroken when I learned they closed down for renovations and never opened back up. I couldn’t find a place that made great buns until I looked up this one. 

Baos are open faced sandwiches on a soft steamed bun. Generally, the softness and chewiness of a bao is what makes or breaks the sandwich. Conveniently located in China Town, the Bao Shoppe packs a punch. They had 7 different types of Baos, along with their variety of shop fries. I also noticed their scallion pancake wraps, next time I will come and try the philly cheese steak wrap since I know it is one  of their more popular menu items. Not to mention they have bubble tea as well as dairy free options. 

I got a Strawberry Lemonade which was good because it wasn’t super sweet or tart. It had the right balance and cleansed my palate after  every bao. It gave me the chance to really be able to taste every flavor coming through. I ordered three diffferent baos…the Baogogi, The OG, and the Colonel Bao. The first one I had was the Baogogi, which was a bao filled with korean style beef, kimchi, kale, sesame seeds and cilantro. This one was delicious. I took one bite and I could hear the gong going off in my head. The kimchi was tasty but not super spicy like otherr types I’ve had. All of the veggies were crisp and super fresh. The meat was tender and soft. The flavor itself was sweet and savory with just a zap of spice. I would order this one again. 

The second one I tried was the Colonel Bao. It was filled with panko crusted chicke, mixed greens, tomato, and Japanese mayo. The first thing that stuck out to me was the crunchiness of that chicken. I could hear it across the room. The flavor on went beyond expectations. It was not salty or greasy like most pieces of panko crusted chicken I’ve had in the past. It was delicious all around.  

The other one I ordered was the OG which had braised pork belly, daikon, arugula, crispy onions, hoisin sauce and cilantro. Pork belly is usually tricky because if it isn’t cooked properly, the fatty part stays soft and gross. This place had it right!! It wasn’t slimy or a nasty texture, it had a crispiness. The hoisin sauce was not over powering. Another bao where the veggies were still crispy and fresh by the time it made it to my table and into my belly.

By the time I was done with my last one, I couldn’t move.  I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with the baos from here. They baos were nice and soft. The fillings were all very unique but also great. They all tasted different and I think that is important because it shows how much thought goes into making a product memorable. One can tell that they were all intricately paired together. This place replaced Jum Mum for me. I will be coming here again to try the other buns as well as their fries and philly cheese steak wrap.  This place get 10 out of 10 bites from me. Go visit this place!

See my entire experience here.

Their address is:
34 Canal St (between Canal and Rutgers Streets)
New York, NY 10002
Phone Number: 646-756-4181

Their Hours are:
Monday-Wednesday, Sunday: 11AM-11PM
Thursday-Saturday: 11AM-12AM

You can visit their website here
Written By: Tashalee C. 

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