I’m glad we ate at Tianjin Bun Shop after walking past it, on the merit of its offerings and without having read any reviews online beforehand. It’s the sort of place that people who don’t understand the nature of Chinese fast food love to criticise about brusque (read: hyper-efficient) service, whilst conveniently forgetting every time they’ve gone through a KFC drive through or purchased a quarter pounder from a touch-screen rather than even a real human.
As an illiterate 文盲 who is reliant on Google Translate for basically any Chinese text in this entire blog including these two preceding characters, I’m often very hesitant to order in my limited Mandarin because I never know if what I’m calling a menu item based on the pictures is actually what is written down next to it. Unluckily for me the woman at the counter serving me spoke even less English than I do Chinese, and even asked the customer waiting in line next to me if he could translate, to which he replied that he also did not speak English. Rather than let this be a problem, however, the woman serving me was able to intuit what I wanted based on a bit of broken Chinese and finger pointing, which I think is ultimately good customer service, rather than bad.
I had this chive pancake ($5) which was huge, and filled with fresh and fragrant chives, egg, and vermicelli. The wrapping was thin enough to not bore (some competitors are guilty of using a thicker wrapper, which puts off the filling-to-wrapper ratio), and the whole thing came out piping hot and delicious.
The Chinese burger (jianbing guozi) ($7) was also freshly made, featuring a cracker rather than a youtiao by default. It was pretty good with a classic sweet bean paste sauce, but compared to others was on the drier side, and ultimately in my opinion inferior to the one at Jinweigu Foods across and down the road.
This pork bun ($2.50) was pretty classic, soft bao with adequate filling and classic taste, not too salty, but with just the right amount of flavour. The filling was bitey enough, and not loose like some of the ones around. My partner thought there was too much bread to filling, which I agree with, but no one is holding a gun to your head to make you eat all of it.
Overall verdict: Pretty good, especially the chive pancake.
Tianjing Bun Shop Campsie (天津包子)
180 Beamish St, Campsie NSW 2194