There is no denying that the traditional Taiwanese style “gua bao” has taken a strong foothold in the United States. The craze may have been slowly bumbling from years ago, but the awareness for this simple sandwich has significantly increased due to ever expanding number of bao shops cropping up in major Asian-heavy metros such as New York City and Los Angeles. Even here at Foodamentals, we found ourselves giving into the hype with our very own article from years prior. We just wonder how long before Bon Appétit Magazine white washes it like they did with halo-halo and pho to truly make it mainstream<sarcasm>.

Regardless of how you feel about the food movement in the United States, there is no denying that Asia is undergoing its own transformation. As the Instagram generation rages on, demand for more inventive and prettier foods has permeated all the big cities from Bangkok to Singapore to Shanghai. BashiBao(盛橋刈包) in Taichung, Taiwan is one of those spots that is hitting the Instagram generation right in the gut with all things Instagram-worthy. From the decor to the back story and most importantly, the food, 盛橋刈包 has it all.

BashiBao is situated next to the Zhongshan Green River Bridge, an area with deep historical ties to the imperial Japanese ruling period in the early 1900s. Because of its proximity to such an important location, the decor and the name are modeled to evoke a sense of nostalgia to a romatic period in Taiwanese history. Overall, the experience can be best described as serene, with service being very cordial and the overall decor as Taiwanese minimalistic. Sort of what you would find in your grand parents house if it were situated in the countryside. 

A 55 year old steamer made from cypress wood is the centerpiece. Its old school charm reminds customers of a simpler, perhaps, more romantic time not too long ago.

But the reason why people come is not for the decor, but rather, for their amazing baos!

But check this out. BashiBao is giving customers the opportunity to order your gua bao from the world’s first gua bao vending machine! Lets see if I can order one off of ebay. Sadly, if you can’t read Chinese, you better bust out your google translate app or else you’ll be mashing random buttons like we do.

Both savory and sweet buns are available. For savory options you get some mouth watering combinations such as…

Dongquan fried noodles topped with pork… bao (東泉炒麵)

Railway gua bao. Piece of fried pork chop and topped with pickled veggies and an iron egg. This is clearly inspired by the world famous Taiwanese railway bento boxes(鐵路刈包).

Pork and pickled veggie bao.

Minced pork bao. Sort of like minced pork rice bowl without the rice. You can see the Japanese influence here with the pickled ginger/beni shoga(in red).

Now we getting funky! This french fries topped with tartar sauce and dried shrimp all layered on a slice of cheese… bao. To top it all off, a light sprinkling of garlic powder to really confuse the hell out of your taste buds.

If these don’t get your buds rolling, then these sweet baos will no doubt get your heart rate pumping.

A FRIED bun with a block of sesame ice cream and garnished with sesame and almond flakes. Geezus this is delicious.

If that doesn’t float your boat, then check out this fried red bean gua bao.

Or this matcha green tea gua bao topped with red bean.

Lastly this fried red bean bun topped with a macaron and M&Ms.

If you are you in the area, check these guys out and get ready to get your mind blown!

盛橋刈包
ADDRESS 台中市中區中山路26號
TEL 0903-402 778
HOURS 12:00pm – Sold Out
FACEBOOK @Bashibao

sources [pixnet]