Tom's BaoBao, Cambridge

I happened to be in Harvard Square today so gave Tom’s BaoBao a try. The menu is basically a small variety of bao (pork, beef curry, chicken, vegetarian, lobster) and some drinks. If I recall correctly, each bao costs $3.25 - $3.75, except for the lobster which is market price. I had a vegetable bao and a chicken bao and enjoyed both very much; the bread is nice and fluffy, and the fillings are tasty. I was surprised that the chicken bao was quite saucy (for some reason, I was expecting soimething more like the filling of a dumpling), but I really enjoyed it.

Anyway, it’s a great addition to the area!

thanks for the quick report. really curious about this place.

How big is one of these baos anyway? Or better question, how many would you think makes a meal for an average diner?

I’d say maybe 4-5 inches in diameter; I’d probably want 3 for lunch normally.

I did this myself on Friday when I was in town for a brief time. Tried the pork and the vegetarian bun–both were good, if unpectacular. The pork one was tasty, but maybe has a little more bao than pork. The vegetarian one was really good, with better bao to filling ratio. Overall a solid place to get a quick and relatively cheap lunch in the square.

I had a disappointing experience there at dinnertime with understuffed and bland cold baobao. They really need to be the promised fresh and hot; the dough texture really suffers if they sit. I’ll agree that the vegetarian one was the best of the sad bunch, with the curried beef coming in second and the pork dead last. Maybe they’re okay for lunch if you’re already in the area but I’m unlikely to go back.

I thought the pork one was just okay. I’m not an expert, but I prefer Snappy Ramen’s pork bao. I also preferred the late, great Doo Wee’s.

Are you aware that Duy Tran is now heading the restaurant at Monroe, the Mass. Ave. nightclub in Central Sq.? It was formerly Moksa. I’m looking forward to giving it a try soon. I believe that it just opened. You might be able to have Doo Wee’s bao soon!

The two kinds of bao are different. Tom’s is more the steamed and filled large dumpling style like dim sum char siu bao. I can see that type being harder to get right as you can’t really adjust it once it’s steamed.

Doowee makes something like a gua bao: folded steamed bread with filling. He is indeed open at Monroe and the bao I had last night were very good if not exactly the same as the Powderhouse version (no white sauce, for one thing). The steak was good and I really liked the (so-called) poke offering.