[Beijing] The strange Dirty Buns aka “Zang Zang Bao” 脏脏包 food trend is something not many people can comprehend, but it went from China, Korea, Malaysia, to Singapore.
The gist of this pastry is a chocolate powder dusted croissant, which would dirty your face as you take bites of it. Avoid wearing white of course.
Few would have expected that the originator of this trend came from this bakery within Beijing.
Bad Farmers & Our Bakery is actually a collaboration between two Korean stores, specialising in salads, pastries and coffee, located at possibly Beijing’s trendiest area at Taikoo Li, Sanlitun. (Tell the cab driver Tai-koo-li San-li-tun.)
This is where the youths dress up and buy branded wear, and possibly one-in-ten was spotted wearing a Comme des Garçons Play aka white tee-shirt with big red heart OR Gucci OR Prada (okay, I am exaggerating, but maybe I am not.)
Despite the Dirty Buns (better known as “Zang Zang Bao”) being around for months, possibly close to a year, the shop still continues to attract extremely long queues.
Here is the tip: The buns are out at specific timings of 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 5pm when I visited, gone within 10 minutes.
I learnt it the hard way when I arrived at 5:15pm, and had to make a return visit. People start queuing about half an hour earlier.
There are also people selling these buns the illegal way outside the shop at much higher prices. It was ¥100 for 2 when I asked one of them, but I felt better (whether for ethical reasons, hygiene, freshness) buying from the shop itself.
The Dirty Bun (¥26, SGD5.46, USD4.09) was a chocolate croissant covered with chocolate powder.
Eating it would cause stains around your lips, which people find it amusing to take a selfie of. (You must remember that the Chinese youths are BIG on taking selfies and wefies.)
Taste wise, I found the croissant quite crispy, possibly one of the best pastry I had in this city. I specify, within Beijing itself.
I took-away the other one and found it tastier when some of the chocolate bits melted away, yet the crust still remained crisp with that sound as I took a bite off.
Prepare wet tissues.
Other popular items from Bad Farmers & Our Bakery included the “Dirty” Tiramisu Croissant (¥25), Double Cheese Pastry (¥25), OREO Brownie (¥26), and Fruit Berry (¥21).
I had the Tiramisu Croissant which was decent but not as impressive; and Brownie which was tough to cut through.
Specialty drinks include Green Tea Double (¥26, ¥36) and Earl Grey Latte (¥26, ¥36).
Other than the mad rush and staggering heat when it came to buying the Dirty Bun, the café environment was conducive for a drink and some people-watching. Sometimes people talk loud enough for you to hear their conversations and “dirty” secrets, and it can be quite entertaining.
Bad Farmers & Our Bakery
Sanlitun N8,Taikoo Li (North Section 1/F), Sanlitun Road, Chaoyang District
Tel: +86 10 8447 2821
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm Daily