Bao, baobao, baozi, steamed buns — however you put it, this Chinese specialty is getting ready to take on Boston. A new restaurant called Tom's BaoBao is looking to open two locations and a food truck in the spring of 2016, according to Hub Food Trucks.
Tom's BaoBao is the work of Tom Tong, the founder of Ganqishi, a Chinese bao company with more than 200 restaurant locations. Tong and his team have researched the history of the bao — a centuries-old, dumpling-like stuffed bun that, when cooked, puffs up to have a smooth exterior — and made a trip to China to learn bao-making at Ganquishi. The team's travels and preparations have been detailed on the future restaurant's website.
Tom's BaoBao has posted a hiring notice on various job sites, indicating that the proposed primary location will be at 84 Winthrop St. in Harvard Square, in the Crimson Galeria. According to the post, Tong has plans to open two restaurants and a food truck in this area before expanding the concept to 30 northeastern locations within five years.
The restaurant appears to have the makings of a fast-casual spot with emphasis on the technique and art of bao-making and serving up buns stuffed with "anything from beef to bok choy to pork seasoned with apples and BBQ sauce." The Tom's BaoBao team has started a petition asking people to throw support its way during the processes of applying for permits from the city of Cambridge.