Towards the end of 19th century, a new history began. Among the sailors who harboured in Batavia from Shanghai, is Nko Mo San. Not much was known of his background, but when he arrived he took on the profession of a construction worker. He had a son called Chan Mo Sang who then married a woman from Batavia called Siti Zaenab.
Chan Mo Sang and Siti Zaenab started a small humble warong in Sunda Kelapa. This warong was known as Shanghai Tea House. Later on, this place developed into a popular place frequented by sailors from different origins who harboured in Sunda Kelapa, who spent lively evenings in Batavia dancing with the local women in this Shanghai Tea House.
Pirates, opium dealers, and others also often visited the warong. The services of the warong were also extended, soon became a tailor, a shoe repair, a barber, and still a bustling but romantic meeting and dancing place in evenings. Years and years after, when the Shanghai Tea House was finally closed, the beneficiary of this place saved all the building elements and its contents in a warehouse in ‘Kota’ (old town) in Jakarta.
Fate brought them to the Tugu Group, where the original warong was reconstructed in Hotel Tugu Malang, and the original antique pieces were brought back to Jakarta to its original city. Hence, Shanghai Blue 1920 is now alive once again, to celebrate the wilder side of Batavia of the early days.
Our selection of Chinese streamed buns
This month, Shangai Blue 1920 launches the selection of nine different Bao buns – known as Bakpao in Hokkien and commonly used in Indonesia:
– Bean bun – Seafood bun – Chicken bun – Purple yam bun
– Black bean bun – Egg salted bun – Beef bun – Lotus seed bun
– Green bean bun
Bakpao is the local name of these heart-warming Chinese steamed buns with fillings, in Mandarin known as Mantou that make one homesick. The most common one traditionally is Cha Siu Bao, the pork filled ones – but at Shanghai Blue, we introduce nine delicious flavors of the above. A complete meal conveniently packed away in a white, warm, soft bun, steamed in bamboo baskets, giving off a subtle woody scent.
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