Taste Good Baozi
Intersection of ChangChun Rd and Long Jian Rd
Open 9am-12:30pm, 6pm-9:30pm
“The best”. This is one of those phrases tossed around to emphasize that a place is good. Overused in many cases, everyone has an opinion on where the best breakfast is, the best soy milk, the best dumplings, the best everything. Especially in Taipei. Arguments ensue over which establishments serve the best of everything. People will go to great lengths to prove their point – and really, who am I to argue. They sample hundreds of places, and determine which one is the best. I get to cherry pick their opinions, and avoid some less than stellar places. While there is generally no consensus on any of these establishments, sometimes, you come across a place that everyone grudgingly concedes is “very good”. Taste Good Baozi is one of those places.
Next to a popular inner city vegetable market (tsai se), Taste Good Baozi serves up a wide variety of Baozi, better known as filled steam buns. In the middle of their sign, they prominently mention they are handmade. They definitely are. In addition to steam bums, they serve a variety of typical accompaniments, including a very sub-par soy milk.
The location is very open – racks and racks of fresh made, unsteamed buns lie on racks, waiting to be steamed. A steady stream of people are typically lined up, waiting to patiently place their order. Each bun costs just a bit over standard – running between 15-25NT (60-90cents) each. Typically 25 NT. A variety of fillings are available.
The keys to a good steam bun are actually quite simple. A warm, light, fluffy steam bun, with a well balanced filling that combines the right quantity of meat, sauce, and veg. While it sounds simple, in actual fact, they can be quite difficult to make. The steam bun especially, often ends up quite rubbery, or too thick, or too hard. Not enough time to rise, too much kneading, not enough kneading, not enough sugar, there are an infinite number of variables that go into turning out a perfect steam bun. They also freeze very well, which while it only leads to a small degredation in quality, is noticeable when you’re talk about the “best”!
As for the filling, you need not only a flavourful, well balanced filling, but one that has the right proportion of steam bun to filling, and the right saltiness to counter act the sweetness of the bun.
Proportionately, these are pretty good in terms of a filling to bun ratio.
So are they the best? Well, that’s really a subjective thing. I can tell you that they are extremely good. The steam bun itself is fantastic. Light, airy, fluffy, moist, yet with a slightly dry interior that holds the structure, and soaks some of the sauce up. The filling is good too, well balanced, wonderful flavour, and just the right amount. I seldom use the term “the best”, but i can wholeheartedly endorse these. They may not be the best i’ve had, but on any given day, they could be. Give Good Taste Baozi a visit, and stroll down the vegetable market afterwards. It’s a great way to spend a morning.