Bao Now

                                                  Just as I say ‘there is a lack of bao culture in Melbourne’ in my recent post about Wonderbao, I am contradicted by the opening of Bao Now. I chanced upon it after my lunch at Silo by Joost and planned to check it out once opened.

After a week of being slogged down with a virus (urgh), I finally visited for lunch, a week and a half into their newly opened operation.

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Bao Now
Up on the wall, they show a variety of items which include the obvious baos, lettuce baos (san choi bao) and rice bowls. Instead of going down the traditional route, they incorporate different cuisines into their menu and so the flavours of the baos are fusion.
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Menu at Bao Now
The baos are all lined up on a tray in a glass window which made for very blurry viewing. There weren’t any signs to indicate what flavours they were which would have been convenient.
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Baos on display
On the left side, they had a few lettuce baos and a rice bowl on display. I wasn’t sure if these were ready-to-go or rather just for visual purposes.
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Lettuce bao and rice bowl on display.
We started off with these 3 baos. Since it is a limited menu for now, we were able to try all the baos.
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True to taste, the bacon cheeseburger bao was filled with meat and gravy. It was nice but I still prefer the usual BBQ pork buns over these ones.
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Bacon cheeseburger
The bacon and egg bao was filled with mashed up egg and bits of bacon in it however I thought the egg component was a touch watery or diluted.
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Bacon and egg bao
The mexican carnita with braised pork inside was reminiscent of the spices used in Mexican cuisine. I thought it was okay.
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Mexican carnita
Favourite by far, the spicy, tangy kick of flavour from the buffalo chicken was delicious. It worked perfectly with the steamed bun and I could have eaten quite a few of these if these baos weren’t so filling.
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Buffalo chicken
After trying all the savoury buns, we started on the dessert baos on offer which were nutella & cheesecake flavoured.
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Dessert baos
The nutella bao gave a nice chocolate hit. The consistency wasn’t smooth like nutella and I thought it tasted more like dark chocolate than nutella, although Mr A disagreed with me.
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Nutella bao
We were pleasantly impressed with the cheesecake bao. Who would have thought it would work but the cream cheese which was sweet yet slightly sour worked well with the steamed bun. We both rated this one over the nutella bao, as Mr A says, you can get nutella to work with anything, cream cheese not so much. The texture wasn’t smooth but the taste worked for us.
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Cheesecake bao

In terms of the prices, Bao Now are in line with Wonderbao however given the size of Wonderbao’s baos, I feel that Wonderbao is better value for money. Phew, there were a lot of baos in that sentence! The stand out item in Bao Now’s menu is definitely the buffalo chicken and the cheesecake bao which we would come back for. They are newly opened so there is a lot of potential for them – check them out and judge for yourself! They are keen to hear new flavour ideas so facebook them if you think of any good ones. I’ve seen photos on their facebook indicating that butter chicken and thai curry may be new flavours somewhere down the line too!

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