[Shanghai Girl Eats] Baoism 包主义

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Baoism 包主义 | Dianping
Address: B2, Hubin Dao Shopping Center, 150 Hubin Road in Xintiandi / 新天地湖滨路150号湖滨道B2
Hours: 11:00am-10:00pm every day
Price: RMB35-100 per person
Will return: Yes
What to get:
– Xinjiang grilled fish bao
– Scallion ginger oyakodon
– Scallion oil noodles with free range onsen egg
– Fried pigs ears
– Charred cabbage
– Lotus root chips

Update 2017.02: this venue has closed

Baoism brings a modern Chinese twist to the classic gua bao. The menu consists mostly of different bun sandwiches (with fish, chicken, pork, and vegetarian options), rice bowls, and side dishes. Chinese-Canadian owners Alex Xu and Jenny Gao used to do popups around Shanghai and Baoism opened shop at the end of 2015.

Alex and Jenny have a passion for cooking and eating and developed the menu taking into consideration what the best locally available ingredients are (for example, they use a very specific type of Heilongjiang rice for their rice bowls for texture). There is a lot of thought put into each dish and that is worth noting in China where there are  constantly reports of tainted food sources and questionable cooking methods. Baoism may be fast and cheap food but I don’t have to worry about where the food comes from or how it is prepared.

Baoism is located in the basement of the Xintiandi Hubin Dao Shopping Center, whose food court has heavy foot traffic from the offices nearby during weekday lunch. The crowd dies down considerably at night and on weekends if you prefer a quiet meal. My office is in Xintiandi so I am here for lunch a lot — it’s cheap, fast, and convenient. I have gotten a chance to try almost everything as a result of many lunches here so I will share what I like.

Price:

Combos:
RMB45 for 2 baos + 2 sides
RMB35 for 1 bao + 2 sides
RMB 45 for 1 rice + 2 sides

A la carte:
RMB15 for 1 bao
RMB12 for 1 side
RMB30 for 1 rice

I find that the 1 bao + 2 sides or 1 rice + 2 sides combos are good amounts of food. 2 baos is slightly too much for me because the white buns are quite filling but recommended for those with bigger appetites. You can also put together your own meal by ordering a la carte. Everyone is extremely reasonably priced.

Food:

Baoism serve 5 kinds of baos:
– Hongshao ‘carnitas’ bao with slow cooked pork shoulder, pickled cucumber, crushed peanuts, cilantro
– Korean fried chicken bao with hormone-free chicken thigh, house gochujang sauce, shies, sesame
– Xinjiang grilled fish bao with grilled tilapia, eight spice blend, pickled red onion, huajiao sauce
– Okonomiyaki bao with cabbage, carrots, leeks, okonomiyaki sauce, sriracha mayo, katsuobushi
– Black pepper tofu bao with artisanal non-GMO tofu, black pepper sauce, shiitake, Thai basil

The grilled fish bao is my favorite bao — tender and lightly battered slab of fish sprinkled with Xinjiang spices.

Baoism 包主义 Shanghai

Scallion oil noodles with free range onsen egg is mixed with secret scallion oil sauce and topped with crispy scallions and bits of dried shrimp. When in Shanghai, nothing can compare to scallion oil noodles from a street shop but this is a very clean version and how many street shops can do an onsen egg?

Baoism 包主义 Shanghai

Fried pigs ears with garlic cucumber is my favorite side. I have seen this recipe evolve since the opening and they finally got it to a perfect crisp.

Baoism 包主义 Shanghai

Charred cabbage with fish sauce vinaigrette and roasted peanuts (top) is a great vegetable option and lotus root chips (bottom) is fried with organic camellia oil so munch away.

Baoism 包主义 Shanghai

Instead of a bao, you can also pick from several rice bowls. I like the scallion ginger oyakodon with scallion ginger poached chicken, caramelized onions, crispy chicken skin, onsen egg over a bed of short grain Wuchang rice from Heilongjiang (translation: firm rice).

Baoism 包主义 Shanghai

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