You know a restaurant is a winner, when one of your friends post a picture of her “Baos” from Wonderbao on Instagram and everyone drools over the food posted, even though they have no idea, what it is.
Yes, that happened to me, and I was among one of the friends drooling over the food, without having a clue what a Bao actually was. A quick research on Google and Instagram though, shed a little light to my very little to non existing Chinese cuisine knowledge.
As there are most likely people out there who, like me, have no idea what a Bao is, let me explain it quickly in a few words.
A Bao is a type of steamed and/or filled bun. It can be filled with meat and/or vegetarian fillings, found in various Chinese cuisines.
There are two types of Baos: Dabao (“big bun”), measuring about 10 cm across. The other type, xiaobao (“small bun”), measuring approximately 5 cm wide.
So far for the facts ( I hope I got it all right, if not please help me out here in the comment section).
So this week me and a friend of mine ventured out to Wonderbao in the CBD. I just had to get my hands on this food and was very exited to try something that was completely new to me.
Wonderbao is located off A’Beckett Street inside a new apartment building (you can enter it via Lt. La Trobe Street as well.) and typical for fancy laneway spots, a little hard to find.
The interior is a bright and modern setup, with mainly bar stools and a floating bar table by the front window Its cool setup. The place is tiny and will fit at max about 10 people. I was there at lunch time and it can get a bit crowded in there. If you can’t find a spot to sit down just opt for a take away.
My friend had “Da Chicken Bao” and “Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao” and I went for two of the vegetarian options, the “Choi Bao” and “Fried Silky Tofu Gua Bao”.
As these were my first Baos, I have nothing really to compare them with but thought they were simply delicious. My friend told me that the Baos we had taste like the ones her mother makes at home. Afterall we ended up for some more and had the “Taro Bao” and the “Nai Wong Bao”, both more with a sweeter taste then the ones we had before. Sort of a dessert in my opinion. YUM!
My friend Rachel also recommended I should try the soy milk, which I did. After the first sip I was hooked, this soy milk is fantastic! You can’t compare it to the one you get at a supermarket. NOT AT ALL! It was simply delicious and the best I ever had.
My verdict: All in all I got a bit addicted to the Baos and the soy milk at Wonderbao. You’ll get good quality laneway food for very little money. Just make sure to bring cash if you go there, as they won’t accept EFTPOS (I know…).
This is going to be my new Go-to-place whenever I’m in the CBD.
19-37 A’Beckett Street
Melbourne, 3000, VIC
Mon to Fri 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat 11:00 am – 4:00 pm