A fast-casual restaurant is now serving steamed buns in Harvard Square

Tom’s Bao Bao offers an array of bao fillings, from pork to curry beef to lobster.

Cambridge, MA - 06/30/16 -     Tom Tong, founder of the GanQiShi restaurants in China, is opening his first restaurant in the US, Tom's BaoBao in Harvard Square, featuring bamboo-steamed baozi made fresh.  Section:  BIZ  Reporter:  Janelle Nanos  Slug:  12chinesebao
–Lane Turner/Globe Staff

Fast-casual eatery Tom’s Bao Bao opened last week in Harvard Square, bringing an array of steamed buns delicacies straight from Asia.

Owner Tom Tong has a Chinese bao chain called GanQiShi, which serves up nearly 250,000 bao a day in their more than 200 locations throughout China. Now, he’s bringing his steamed buns stateside, setting up at 84 Winthrop St. in Cambridge.

Two juicy porky #bao- scallions, ginger, #shaixing wine @toms_baobao Harvard Square- #bostonfoodies #instafood #noms

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The restaurant has “bao artisans,” also known as baoists, who have apprenticed for at least three months (many in China) to perfect their steamed bun-making skills, according to a release. Bao is serious business—each bun must be 100 to 102 grams, with 16 to 22 hand-pinched pleats, according to the company.

JUNE 13, 2016 | pork, scallion, ginger bao | @toms_baobao

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Tom’s Bao Bao offers a variety of fillings, including pork, curry beef, vegetarian with bok choy, shiitake, and smoked tofu, and a special New England-centric lobster bao. More options will be introduced regularly.

The restaurant features a large glass window looking into the kitchen so patrons can watch the baoists at work. Tom’s Bao Bao is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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