According to Chinese food experts, the right way to eat xiao long bao or the Shanghainese soup dumpling, is by picking a piece from a steamer basket using chopsticks, transferring it to a Chinese soup spoon, biting or poking the skin to slurp the soup, and finally taking a big bite.
But when you are served with a soup dumpling bigger than your palm, you won’t be needing a soup spoon but a straw.
Shanghainese restaurant Bai Nian Tang Bao has brought to the country its famous Giant Tang Bao and other dishes when it opened its first store at Uptown Parade in Bonifacio Global City early this year.
Bai Nian Tang Bao, whose name came from the words bai nian, which means hundred years and tang bao, which translates to soup dumpling, currently has over 300 branches across China, Korea, and the US prior to opening in the country.
The restaurant has been serving authentic xiao long bao from an original recipe that dates back to 1786.
Co-owner Paul Li revealed that the secret to Bai Nian Tang Bao’s xiao long bao is in the soup which, according to him, “takes around 12 hours to cook.”
He added, “Also, it takes about 20 steps to make an original xiao long bao, and all is made fresh in our kitchen.”
The restaurant’s best-selling Giant Tang Bao is served with a paper straw that can be used to poke the bao and sip the piping hot soup. A dash of crab roe adds flavor on top of the delicate tang bao wrapper filled with minced pork.
Li said the crab roe in the tang bao and in other xiao long bao varieties, such as the Crab Roe Xiao Long Bao, is made from a special crab found only in a particular lake in Shanghai and is shipped to the Philippines to preserve its authentic taste.
Bai Nian’s other xiao long bao variants include Chicken Soup Pork Xiao Long Bao, Scallops and Pork Xiao Long Bao, and Golden Corn Pork Xiao Long Bao. They also have a pan-fried version called Shanghai Golden Sheng Jian Bao, which is crispy on the outside with a juicy soup inside.
For the noodle fans, the restaurant offers a variety of dishes such as Three Seafood Treasure Fried Noodles and Shanghai Scallion Oil Noodles, among others. Rice dishes include Beef Fried Rice and Special Sausage Fried Rice. The Bai Nian Tang Bao Braised Pork is perfect for meat lovers.
Bai Nian Tang Bao has won in the 4th China Food Festival Golden Award in 2002. It was also named the Famous Snack Brand by China Cuisine Association in the same year, while in 2015 it was recognized as Shanghai’s ATP Master Reporters and Athletes Designated Food.
The restaurant is an official member of the Shanghai’s Xiao Long Bao Association since 2006. They also won in many food competitions such as in Germany in 2014 and in Shanghai XingShang Channel in 2015. The restaurant also became the representative of the Shanghai Xiao Long Bao in Japan’s New Year Festival last year.
“We are glad to bring authentic xiao long bao to the Philippines. We invite everyone to visit us here at Uptown BGC to try the xiao long bao that even the royalty loved,” enthused Li.
Bai Nian Tang Bao is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekdays and from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. on weekends.
Photos from Bai Nian Tang Bao’s Facebook page
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