Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baos, baos, and more baos from Wonderbao.

/ this post has been edited from a previous post. it is just a compilation of two out of many trips to Wonderbao, i did it to get the posts' structure to look a little better /

Jason and i jumped up and nearly rushed out the door a few Sundays ago to check out Wonderbao, this place that recently opened about 150 meters away from where we live. Thank god i checked out the opening hours online and found out that they were closed. Decided to go a few day later, cause, really, we can never say no to bao(pau)s.

Shop 4/19-37 A'Beckett St, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9654 7887
Mon - Fri, 8am - 6pm, Sat 11pm - 4pm

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

The place was empty; no customers and one staff member (probably the owner). Maybe because it was 8.30am.. yeah. Maybe. 

They had a caldron of soya milk.. nothing beats Jenny Hong back in KL, but it feels good to have soy milk that's not from a box. If you like the raw, soya milk taste sans the sugar that usually comes with it, then this is a good choice.

Cheung chay bao (chinese sausage), $2
Da pork bao (egg, shiitake mushroom, chinese sausage), $3.20
Char siu bao (bbq pork), $2
Nai wong bao (custard), $1.70

The filling for both the chinese sausage and char siu baos were little, but for $2, you can't expect THAT much filling. The da pork bao (and da chicken bao, below) is worth the money; 'da' i'm assuming refers to 'big' in mandarin, and it was sufficient to fill you up a bit on it's own. The nai wong bao, while pretty alright, isn't the normal nai wong baos that I've had, the custard wasn't as 'Asian'-ny as the usual. 

Chai bao (shiitake mushroom, tofu and veggies), $2.

The chai bao tasted alright, nothing for me to sing and shout about at the top of my lungs; maybe it's cause I'm not the biggest fan of vegetable baos.

I was pretty happy with breakfast that day, though I was a bit disappointed that it was too early to grab the braised/roast pork belly gua bao. Went back the next day just for their gua baos.

Fried silky tofu gua bao with pickled mustard, coriander, sweet soy sauce and crushed peanuts, $3.80
Braised pork belly gua bao with picked mustard, coriander and crushed peanuts, $3.80
Roast pork belly gua bao with cucumber, pickled carrots and daikon and hoisin sauce, $3.80

I don't remember much about both the pork baos, but I remembered them being pretty good in flavour. The nuts on top made it a little messy to eat, but maybe that's the point. My favourite is the tofu gua bao though: I rarely pay the same price for a non-meat options but i've been back for the tofu gua bao  multiple times. 

And take three for the remaining baos i've yet to try! Hurr hurr.

Taro bao$1.70
Da chicken bao with egg and shiitake mushroom, $3.20

The taro bao is really, really good. It's nothing like I've ever tasted before, so it had a different twist to it. It's the other bao that I've been going back for multiple times. 

I've tried everything on their menu in three days.. Not sure if that's a good thing or not. The baos itself were good: sweet in taste and fluffy in texture. Personally, i'd go back for a tofu gua bao if i feel like having a heavy snack, and the taro bao if i want something light.

Feels good to have great baos (usually i'd spell it pau, but just so no one gets confused here..). Usually we'd go to Nam Loong near Russell/Lonsdale, but probably not anymore unless I want the old-school coffee-shop style baos. I really hope Wonderbao's business goes well and it seems like it will.. It was full and had a pretty decent line when we went there the other day at about 1.30pm. A bit of a surprise since it was pretty empty for our previous two visits.

You probably can't imagine the look on my face when i saw about 20 bottles of sriracha* lying around the shop. 

*in my personal opinion, the best condiment in the world and one of Thailand's many gifts to the culinary world. 

Would i go back there? Uhm, I already have, multiple times. There's something about places that sell snack-like food (like Green lol) that would definitely keep me coming back. And I did, multiple, multiple times.

Food: 8
Coffee: N/A
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
Staff: 8

I think i'll go get more baos now.

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