Do you go through eating phases where you love something and constantly eat it and then get sick of it? Or do you consistently like the same kinds of food? I definitely go through phases… I went through a bagel phase a couple of months ago, then it was this banana bread phase and now I think I’m onto a BAO phase :P Last week, I visited Bao Now, then had lau sha bao at Tai Pan with fellow bloggers on the following Sunday and then the next day (Monday) I met up with the awesome Libby (The Very Very Hungry Caterpillar). I was having Monday blues lol you know the feeling you get after the weekend :P but it made time go by much quicker because I had something to look forward to hehe, as soon as it was time for me to go, I literally ran out the door and rushed to Wonderbao. For Melbourne Readers, WonderBao can be a little difficult to find if you’re going for the first time, it’s on A’beckett St located at the back of an apartment complex, Sarah (Sarah Cooks) is so fantastic she even drew a map and posted it on her blog to make it easier for us to get there, you can find it here. The store itself is very small and have very limited seating, I have heard that it gets very busy during lunch times, so be prepared to have to wait. We were quite lucky and got there when it was fairly quick and scored two seats.
With a small and consise menu it only offers 7 types baos and 3 gua baos to choose from. We decided to get two gua baos and two sweet baos to share :) We actually started off with the sweet baos lol as we had to wait for the gua baos to be made.
Nai wong bao! The bao with an Chinese egg custard filling :) It been my favourite since I was a little girl ~ my family doesn’t really like it so I don’t get to order it much >_< thank you Libby for ripping it apart so nicely for me to take a photo of the filling hehe the bao itself was warm, soft and lovely everything a good bao should be. While the filling was nice with the traditional ‘nai wong’ flavours, I didn’t find anything too special about it and would have liked it even more if the filling was a little big warmer
I’m not sure if Taro baos are traditional as I have actually never had one before, and LOVED IT! The taro filling was so delicious! I really like taro flavoured desserts, but I can be quite picky and I hate that artificial taro flavouring that some places uses, especially the ones they use to flavour bubble milk tea. It’s simply not the same as using real taro puree, you immediately tell that WonderBao used ‘real’ taro to make the filling. Hmmm a bit hard for me to describe the taste of the filling, because unless you’ve had taro before it’s quite a unique taste. Either way it was very yummy so go try and let me know what you think :D I also think it’s a bargain for only $1.7AUD for a sweet bao ~
Moving on to the savoury gua baos, if you’re not sure what a gua bao has been described as a Chinese sandwich or Taiwanese burger. It is made with the same dough as the steamed baos, however, it is shaped differently and the filling is not enclosed inside. I say Momofuku’s David Chang has definitely helped popularise this type of bao with his famous Pork Belly Bao that he sells at his Momofuku restaurants. I’m still salivating over the one I had in NY *NOMZ*
Starting with the vegetarian fried silky tofu gua bao, the filling included a piece of fried tofu inside the bao then topped with pickled mustard, coriander, sweet soy sauce and crushed peanuts. I took a bite and immediately thought of Taiwan! Everything about it :) The flavours were so familiar to me ~I really liked the flavours of the pickled mustard and crunch from the crushed peanuts. However, though it needed a little bit more of sweet soy sauce as the fried tofu was quite bland and the bao does not have a lot of flavour.
I’m pretty sure the pork belly gua baos have become the signature bao to get when you come to WonderBao ~ Libby had tried the Roast Pork Belly last time, so we opted for the braised, which had the condiments as the fried silky tofu except with the addition of the pork belly. I love love love the braised pork belly, it was well marinated and braised until it’s soft and tender :) I think WonderBao has got the flavours spot on for this pork belly gua bao ~ poor Mr Bao has been left out from all my bao eating events lol so once again I bought him one take away and he also said it was his favourite. Highly recommend it!
It is so traditional to have Soya Milk when you eat baos hehe it was quite warm that day, so we both got a cold homemade soya milk ~ It was lightly sweetened and I thought it was quite refreshing but it was a little bland not sure if it was because there was too much ice and it diluted the drink. Libby did mention that the hot drink had a stronger soya taste ~ I think I’m gonna try the hot one next time :)
I got also bought Mr Bao a Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork) to try, sorry about the bad pic I took it in the carpark before Mr Bao literally shoved the whole thing into his mouth :P
I also managed to snatch it away from him after he took a bite to take this photo, he said it was nice but it wasn’t outstanding because the filling wasn’t very flavoursome. I think he’s just use to the baos that we get when we go have yum cha :)
I’m really having trouble deciding whether I like the taro bao more or the pork belly gua bao more…they were both very delicious…but being a sweet toothed person lol I think the taro bao still wins, just because I’ve never had one before and I’m addicted to the filling! I definitely enjoyed WonderBao, unlike Bao Now they take a much more traditional approach with their baos, I think its always nice to have freshly steamed baos with familiar fillings that we have grown up eating :)
PS. I’ve gone on a sweet trip with Mr Bao to Sydney and Brisbane for a couple of day :) So please accept my apology for being slow at replying comments, emails, tweets and all ~