Wednesday, 17 October 2012

'The World in a Bun' [Bao Now]

119 Hardware Lane
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Hello everyone :)
Just a few things to note from now on. I am using my own personal watermark for this blog's picture (hoorah~) and I shall be trying to keep each post to one restaurant only so I will add more information about the place if possible! Also since I'm at it, going to change the format a bit too! :)

This post is about 'Bao Now', an up and coming restaurant that takes the traditional Steam Buns and gives them an international twist! :)

A Bit of a Back Story
The owners of the store, David and Ricky, came up with the idea of putting the world's flavours into a bun three years ago. Well initially they thought to do it in a taco since at that time there was no good Mexican food around but they got set back by costs of working in Melbourne. They changed from tacos to buns since by the time they had set up a solid business as a cake distributor, Melbourne got overrun by Mexican food. Through lots of experimentation of the dough and the fillings, they have set up in Melbourne for about a month now! :)

Everyone has heard of the typical steamed bun with the pork or chicken filling, or even the red bean and custard fillings.

However if you're like me, then something new wouldn't hurt once in a while. This is where this small restaurant comes in, they have taken your stereotypical steamed bun and thrown in some ingredients that you wouldn't normally expect.

The interior design is small and quaint. They have a small restaurant area inside and outside as you can see.

It really has a welcoming atmosphere starting from the warm lights to the smell of the food to the cheery owner that greets you and gives you a good chat while you eat :)




While you're eating, you can check out what they have in store for the future of their business.

On the wall is a map of the world and what flavours that they have or are going to incorporate into the steamed buns :D

It's such an interesting range of foods that could be the next 'Bao'. They even welcome suggestions!

Me and my friends have contributed a few suggestions and we look forward to see if any of them become part of their menu :9
Once you've taken in the atmosphere of the quaint little store, you are welcomed by the menu on the wall. Damn, is that a menu.. There's so many choices!

You have four options from each savoury, san choy or dessert baos and also four options for rice dishes.

Luckily if you can't make a decision, they have these meal deals for all the sorts of baos.

The individual baos are $3 each and you have a variety of choices from the savoury buffalo chicken filling to the dessert style cheesecake fillings.

They certainly have thought an interesting concept of inheriting the orginal Chinese Baos and giving them a twist with international fillings.
The meal deal I got was 3 Baos and a drink for $9. That's a pretty good deal in my opinion since the baos and drink are a fair size :)

As you can see in the picture to the right, my friend got the same thing ~

But they do have other deals too! Another deal was 2 San Choy Baos, 1 normal Bao and a drink for $10. Really good value all of this :)


My choices: Buffalo Chicken (back left), Bacon Cheeseburger (back right) and Vanilla Custard.
The Buffalo Chicken was moist and full of flavour which was finished off with the spicyness you'd expect from buffalo wings. I'll admit I was skeptical about the bacon cheeseburger when I first heard of it but I have no regrets of choosing this one. It really felt like you were eating a bacon cheeseburger just with a slight change in its exterior.

Oh! I had to try the cheesecake bao too! It was too tempting not to try it. So in the end I tried the Vanilla Custard and the Cheesecake Baos from their Dessert Baos.

The Vanilla Custard was a cold Bao but that doesn't imply that it was bad or anything. It's just that it worked better cold. The custard was creamy and blended well with the dough.

The Cheesecake was a hot Bao. I was lucky enough to get a fresh one and it was totally worth it. This is an indescribable one. Truly like heaven in your mouth for the sake of a bad comparison.


I really loved these Baos so I had to go back the next day. The image to the left is their BBQ Pork bun but it's not like the typical BBQ Pork one. It tastes more similar to an actual piece of Pork on the BBQ, which was the initial thought I had when I ate the Asian one in the beginning. It's nice in it's own perspective.



The second time I went I also got some of the San Choy Baos. It was part of the $10 deal (2 san choys,1 normal and a drink) so really good value for money :)

I was really doubting that I would like these in the beginning. Thankfully I was wrong. They really go well with the ingredients! I chose the Buffalo Chicken and the Thai Chicken Curry. A tad messy to eat but they were both very flavourful and went well together!



One last Bao before I left. The Mexican Pork Bao. This really confused me because like .. What is Mexican Pork? It was quite good, it reminded me of pork floss but just a different texture in the meat. Still very delicious :D





 Wrap Up!

Bao Now

I really don't have much complaints about these. They are certainly a different turn on your normal 'Bao'. They were a tad small so I ended up spending more than I would of preferred but even though I say that, they make up for the small size with the burst of flavour and amount of filling in eat bun! The dough is actually less than the normal one so the ratio between the dough and the filling is overpowered by the filling (they fill it up, there's no empty space like the asian ones haha).

Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Price: 9.5/10
Overall: 9.83/10

I only took 0.5 off for the price only because I've spent way more than I should of at this store over the last two days D:
The owner did say he was looking into bulk ordering so that would be awesome *.*
This is a definite must try! It's something new and different so don't go into the store with the mindset of comparing it to the original Asian Steamed Buns because you'll be disappointed if you think like that. Go into the store with an open mind and you'll be amazed at their creations!

I've placed their address at the top right of my post as I will be doing that from now on.

I'll definitely come back whenever I have cravings for these buns or even to try their new ones :D

Bao Now on Urbanspoon


Til next time I crave,

-R

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