Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
After a few years in Chengdu, we are embarking on yet another round of apartment hunting, and what we see as desirable in a neighbourhood has changed a lot since we were fresh off the boat. We now look for a low level of car ownership, especially in areas that are more people than vehicle friendly with little parking and narrow streets. We are after convenient high speed bus/subway connections, a traditional massage place, a good vegetable market, and a comfortable teahouse nearby with Wi-Fi. Moving up the list is a good baozi shop, because a quick, satisfying breakfast within a few minutes of the door adds greatly to one’s quality of life.
Yulin Da Bao is the kind of baozi shop you want to find in your neighbourhood. The sign says they use ‘lao mian’, a kind of northern sourdough which steams up nice and fluffy with no greasy leak-through from the filling. The buns are fat and well-stuffed. The list of fillings is quite short, and they only had plain meat filling (鲜肉包) and pickled vegetable ‘ya cai’ filling (芽菜包) available when we stopped by. There was a line-up and orders were going about fifty-fifty to each kind of filling, so we decided to try both. The meat bun had a chunk of savoury filling almost the size of a golf ball. The ya cai bun’s filling was unusual; we didn’t detect a lot of ya cai and it tasted a lot more like a jiang rou bao, a bun filled with soy sauce seasoned meat. We liked it a lot though, and decided that would be the bun to grab next time.
Popular breakfast places usually have lightning quick service and Yulin Da Bao is no exception. We respect that they serve buns that are freshly steamed, but keeping up with the demand at times means running short and we had to wait about five minutes. For 1.5RMB per bun, we were very satisfied. They serve bags of soymilk on the side, also for 1.5RMB each, but we also like the fresh unsweetened soymilk from the market around the corner for five mao a bag.