Chocolate Mousse Bao – Bao Now

“Baos” are you familiar with them? Have you grown up eating them or are they a new concept to you? ~ I know for my Asian especially Chinese Readers baos are probably nothing new to them ~ because we eat them all the time especially when we go to Yum Cha, it’s basically a staple to have Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Bun). For my lovely Readers who are not familiar with Baos, they can be described as Chinese steam buns with a filling which can be either savoury or sweet.

In the past month, two stores specialising in Baos have opened up in Melbourne, Bao Now and Wonder Bao. I’ve been meaning to go visit, but I have been so time poor lately, that I have been making more lunch time runs and recruiting colleagues to go eat with me and put up with me taking a million photos of their food :P

Last week the blog victim was Yue, my amazing colleague ~ you might remember him from this post, where I made him a chocolate cake for his birthday in June ~ I’m the only girl in our team and the youngest, so this poor guy has to look after me all the time and put up with all my whinge and rants :P oh and he’s always having to eat or reject my baked goodies too hahaha

Anyhow, last Friday I persuaded Yue to rush out during our lunch break, cross the river to Bao Now on Hardware Street, for Melbournians it’s just right opposite Hardware Societe to make it easier for you guys to find it ~ It was a relatively warm day and rather quiet at Bao Now, which was nice because that gave me the chance to take my time in deciding what to order and take some photos ~

I really like the simple decor of Bao Now with a huge map on the wall describing the baos. They don’t have many seats inside the store, but have  a few more tables outside. Looking at their menu they currently have 3 types of baos – steamed bao (savoury or sweet) and lettuce baos (san choy baos), for those who aren’t fond of baos they also have rice bowls ~

It was a little hard for me to take photos of the actual baos as they were in the glass cabinet and there was a lot of steam :( so I’m sorry for this blurry picture ~ I thought the Bao deal to be very reasonable for $9 you get 3 baos and a drink  (ice tea, soft drink or water), uh oh dilemma do I get 2 sweet baos and 1 savoury or be good and get 2 savoury and 1 sweet?

I think the waitress saw how distressed I was and offered to give me a free Nutella bao if I got another savoury bao as she said the Nutella baos were a little smaller than they should be :) *HAPPY* So I ended up with a cheeseburger bao, buffalo wing bao, vanilla custard bao and a NUTELLA Bao!

Savoury baos

Starting with the savoury, I thought the cheeseburger flavour was really unique! It tasted very much like spaghetti bolognaise but in a Chinese steamed bao hehe I bought one takeaway for Mr Bao to try (I know how ironic Mr Bao eating Bao LOL) and he really liked it, basically had it one go and said he could have a couple more of these! Only complaint was the size being a little small hahaha. Sorry I don’t have a decent photo of the cheeseburger bao :P so decided not to upload hehe

Buffalo Chicken Bao $3 AUD

Now to the buffolo chicken wing bao it was soft chicken meat in a Tabasco sauce, both Yue and I really enjoyed it, but I would have preferred it even more if it was spicier, while he thought it just needed to be a little less sweet.

Thai chicken and Buffalo chicken Lettuce Bao $6.8 AUD for 2

Yue also got the 3 bao deal but instead he got 2 lettuce baos and a mexican pork bao. He was super kind to let me try all of his baos hehe we both really liked the thai chicken bao as had a green curry taste which went really well with the lettuce :) The buffalo chicken filling was similar to the one in the steam bao but flavours were pronounce here as the lettuce had a rather light and bland taste :) I really like the idea of lettuce baos though because sometimes you just want something like and lower on carbs that’ll be perfect ~

Mexican Pork Bao $3AUD

He then got the Mexican pork which reminded me of the typical chai siu bao, but obviously tasted nothing like it as it was Mexican hehe :) However, I found it quite bland and the ‘bao’ to really overtake the flavours from the filling.

While I was taking a million photos, suddenly a man came up and said “I’m sorry but would you be Daisy from Never Too Sweet?”, I was immediately shocked that someone recognised me! That turned out to be one of the owners of Bao Now, Ricky ~ he said he recognised me from my Twitter display picture hahaha note to self…remove all photos of myself from all social media platforms. Ricky was very nice and asked us for feedback and suggestions. I told him honestly that I thought the buffalo chicken wing bao could have been a little bit spicier to make it tastier, while Yue suggested a Korean inspired lettuce bao as he just returned from a holiday in Seoul :P Ricky then told us that they were still experimenting with the filling and found that the bao itself had a strong over powering taste, I would describe it as the ‘yeasty’ taste hehe and because of this the filling had to have strong flavours to cut through the bao.

Vanilla Custard $2.8AUD

Back to baos ~ Now please excuse my ugly fingers in these photos, lol I wasn’t sure how to take a good photo of the filling in a timely fashion so Yue didn’t have to wait so long to eat, he doesn’t hang out much with food bloggers, so I felt bad if I made him wait for ages lol anyhow time for the sweet baos, starting with the vanilla custard bao, I immediately thought of the ‘lai (nai) wong bao’ you also get at yum cha which is a bao filled with egg custard :) it’s one of my favourites. But this Vanilla custard bao was nothing like the traditional lai wong bao, instead the filling reminded me of the filling you get in between vanilla slices, that kind of vanilla custard ~ I quite enjoyed it but think I prefer the traditional egg custard more.

Hazelnut Chocolate Ganache Bao $2.8AUD

This was their slightly smaller than normal Nutella bao ~ I was so excited about trying this bao because I’m addicted to Nutella, Yue and I shared it but found that it doesn’t really taste like Nutella, it was more like chocolate filling with some crunchy pieces. Ricky then tells us that this bao actually has a chocolate ganache and hazelnut praline filling ~so not exactly Nutella but still yum!

Chocolate Mousse Bao $2.8AUD

I actually didn’t order the chocolate mousse bao but Ricky was so generous and said he would like to give us one to try because he would really like our feedback and I think because he knows I’m a dessert-freak :P It turned out to be the highlight of this lunch ~ it was my absolute favourite, the bao was obviously soft and fluffy in texture and then the chocolate mousse would ever so gently ooze out. It wasn’t overly sweet, it had a rich chocolate flavour but still had the lightness of chocolate mousse! I’m definitely coming back for more! Thank you Ricky!

Iced Barley Green Tea $1.5AUD

Oh wait how could I forget about the ice tea that came with the bao meal ~ there was a choice between XXX we both really enjoyed the tea and found it to be very refreshing and definitely quenched our thirsts :) I’m really getting into iced teas lately with the warm weather coming ~

That’s not it with the baos, I actually went back a couple of days later with Kirk because he literally lives 1 minute away and I really didn’t like some of the photos from last time I so being the responsible food blogger I went back :D And to my surprise they had the brand new butter chicken and BBQ pork!

Butter Chicken Bao $3AUD

BBQ Pork Bao $3AUD

I found the butter chicken filling to be on the sweet side which counteract with the bao quite well and the BBQ pork was nothing like what I expected it to be, because it was not the traditional char siu bao , the BBQ was more the American/Westernised Barbeque sauce taste, it was definitely different and even though it was nice, I think I still prefer to the buffalo chicken bao the most!

How Bao Now got their idea ~

Overall, I really enjoyed Bao Now and it’s unconventional twist on the very traditional Chinese baos ~ I appreciate their effort and creativity for stepping outside the box and introduce something new to the Melbourne food scene ~ it was a little sad to see quite a few Caucasian customers (Sorry not trying to discriminate)  walk in, have a look and then walk out. I think the concept of eating bao’s is still quite new but I’m sure once you try these baos you will want to come back for more!

Daisy, Yue and Kirk @ Never Too Sweet paid for all food and drinks except for the chocolate mousse bao and Nutella bao :)

Bao Now on Urbanspoon

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32 thoughts on “Chocolate Mousse Bao – Bao Now

  1. Tina @foodfortina October 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm Reply

    Oh man this store is so cheap and the baos look so yummy! Wish there would be a store like that in Sydney

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm Reply

      I know :) it’s so affordable to have a meal here at Bao now and the chocolate mousse bao omg omg so delicious ~ Don’t be jealous! There are so many other amazing places in Sydney! I’m constantly jealous of you hehe

  2. Catherine October 21, 2012 at 6:34 pm Reply

    It seems like they’ve decreased the prices from when I visited in their first week of trading so that is good and now comparable to the prices at Wonderbao! The chocolate mousse bao looks sooo good :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 21, 2012 at 6:37 pm Reply

      Really? I didn’t know they were more expensive during their first week ~ cuz it’s already slightly more expensive than Wonderbao I think cuz i think the sweet baos there’s only $1.70 :)

      LOL it’s hard for us to justify paying more because we’re Asian and we know how much we pay for baos when we go back to Asia :P

  3. theragingcook October 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm Reply

    lol… treating baos like macarons by sticking ganache in them hahaha sounds… delish!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 9:48 am Reply

      Hahhaa i was thinking of that too will baos become the new macaron? :P

  4. leaf (the indolent cook) October 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm Reply

    That 9 dollar deal sounds good! And so many interesting flavours. I can just imagine you distressed over choosing between the baos, hahah. Worked out well in the end!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 9:49 am Reply

      It’s definitely a very good deal :) you should go try hehe I was totally stressing out but WOO HOO I got all the baos I wanted in the end and MORE hahaha

  5. cltyw October 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm Reply

    Heard so much about these two places but haven’t being able to try. Very interesting concept…hmmm wondering if more boa places going to pop up.

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 9:52 am Reply

      You should come try :) I’ve gone to both and think they’re both quite good, very different though in the flavours and fillings they have hehe ~ I think there will be more places that will jump on the band wagon hehe just wondering if it’ll last long :P

  6. Vien October 21, 2012 at 8:27 pm Reply

    I’m going to get some this week!!!!! hehehe so many choices- I would have the same problem like you too! :P

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 9:57 am Reply

      You have to go there soon :) it’s really delicious and I bet you will like it remember to get the chocolate mousse bao!

  7. liannelow October 21, 2012 at 9:19 pm Reply

    omgness! SO MANY baos!!! Everything looks so good and sounds special! Can’t wait to head there to try some!

    and you’re famous Miss! haha Everyone knows who u are! Which is really good cause they will look forward to reading your reviews! hehe Congrats for being recognised! xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 9:59 am Reply

      Hahaha thanks dearie I think LOL not sure being recognised is necessarily a good thing! It was a shock and it’s happened a few times now! Funniest was when people recognised Mr Bao before they recognised me HAHHAA

      You’ve gotta go try Bao Now ~ It’s super delicious and you HAVE to get the chocolate mousse!

  8. Choc Chip Uru October 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm Reply

    Damn that ganache Bao is getting to me, need to visit Melbourne now :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 10:11 am Reply

      You really DO need to make a visit soon Uru :) Start making a list and we’ll knock them down together!

  9. Ali October 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm Reply

    I must admit that I didn’t know what a “Bao” was but of course, I have had a steamed pork bun before….and sang choy bao! This place looks great…I love the look of all of those different flavours…I am sure it will hit Adelaide one day!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 10:12 am Reply

      I hope you know what ‘baos’ are now after reading this post hehe :) I know what you mean it’s basically the same thing…as the buns but they’re using the traditional name :D I really hope they will hit Adelaide too ~ so you can also eat them yummy baos!

  10. Bam's Kitchen October 21, 2012 at 10:26 pm Reply

    Lots of different Bao’s here. I guess I am a traditionalist here in HK and like my char siu bao. What was your favorite kind of Bao? Take care, BAM

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 10:22 am Reply

      Thanks for dropping by my blog :) Hahaha even though these new conventional baos are great I can’t live without the LAU SHA BAOs hehe :) have you had them before?

  11. libishski October 21, 2012 at 10:28 pm Reply

    Sooooo need to get my arse down here soon! I have already decided that I’m going to get the following flavours: cheeseburger, buffalo wing and chocolate mousse hahaha

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 10:32 am Reply

      You really need to try soon Libby :) Especially since it’s so close to you hehe ~ lol you’ve made good choices all my favourite flavours xox

  12. Winnie@Eat.Play.Shop. October 21, 2012 at 11:27 pm Reply

    Hahaha, Daisy you’re a celebrity! BTW that’s how I’m going to recognise you when we meet up, by your twitter/instagram pic, hahaahaha ;)

    I haven’t really been into the “Bao” craze so far. I never REALLY liked them as a child and only ate them when my mum made me. But I have grown to like custard buns, and those newer decadent “lau sar bao”s! I’m sure I’ll be wandering in to try some of these new bao places in the city soon!

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 10:34 am Reply

      I am NO celebrity Winnie!!! I dont want to be :P I’m gonna remove all photos soon lol and you wont be able to recognise me ~ cuz I put all the prettiest photos on Twitter hahahaa in real life I look pretty crappy most of the time HAHAHA

      Oh really? You never really liked them? How come because of the yeasty taste? I’m a HUGE fan of lau sha baos too and lai wong bao hehe i can’t go without getting either one of these when I go to yum cha hehe ~

      Go try Bao Now or Wonder Bao and they might change your perception of baos hehe can’t wait till we FINALLY meet up next week xox

  13. Hotly Spiced October 22, 2012 at 7:14 am Reply

    How amazing that someone recognised you from your twitter pic. That’s so funny and that’s never happened to me – but then again, I’m not on twitter (I am actually, I’ve just never tweeted anything!) Travel safely and looking forward to seeing you tomorrow xx

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 10:36 am Reply

      It’s not amazing Charlie! It’s awfully embarassing! LOL I really hope it doesn’t happen too often oh you have Twitter? I didn’t know because lol you never post anything :P But you should hehe ~

      YAY tomorrow this time I would have arrived in Sydney and going to Flour and Stone to meet up with you WOO HOO! TOO Excited!

  14. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella October 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm Reply

    Wow those fillings look so unusual! I’ve never seen chocolate mousse in a Chinese bao before :)

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 11:34 pm Reply

      I agree these are so unusual hehe :) but I think that’s why i liked it ~ too bad you only stayed for such a short period of time ~ you should stay for longer next time hehe

  15. penny aka jeroxie October 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm Reply

    as much as I like to try the cheeseburger bao. i think i prefer my bao to be bao. :/ am I wrong to think like that?

    • Daisy@Nevertoosweet October 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm Reply

      Of course not Penny :) i know it is a bit weird to have these flavours in the bao :P so it’s not wrong to feel like that hehe you can never go wrong with a good egg custard ‘lai wong’ bao hehe

  16. Jeno @ Week Nite Meals October 23, 2012 at 9:54 am Reply

    Oh man I want some of that vanilla custard boa right now!

  17. Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake October 24, 2012 at 2:22 am Reply

    I was always quite skeptical about this place when I walk past it because the bao flavours are so unique! You have definitely made me want to go have a try though. The buffalo chicken one sounds so good!

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