Bao down b*tches and make way for the best baos in the city. If this dish is unfamiliar to you, stop what you’re doing and head to one of these places right now! Baos are those delicate, fluffy, folded-over steamed buns usually filled with pork belly, pickles and crushed nuts. Originally a Taiwanese street snack, they’re popping up all over Canberra restaurants and here are some best places to find them:
Eightysix in Braddon is constantly changing its menu, so you’re always in for a surprise. In the past, they’ve served a mouthwatering duck bao with hoisin sauce, but right now you can’t look past its fish bao for $8 each– and if you know Eightysix, you know that they’re bound to be amazing.
The Fish Can, located at the Westside’s shipping container village, honours the original street style bao. They have a huge menu choose from, at affordable prices. Despite the name, you CAN get bao without fish, if pork, beef or tofu takes your fancy. The stand-outs are the crumbed prawn and lime aioli bao and dessert Mars Bar bao – a definite must-try!
Akiba is famous for its pork belly bao, with Asian slaw, char sui and pickle. However, it also has some other great flavours including pulled beef bao, kimchi, peanut soy and a soft shell crab with a pickled baby gem for $8 each. Everything Akiba serves is super tasty, and its baos are no exception!
XO, nestled in the Narrabundah shops, serve a ‘Shantung Bao’ with twice-cooked pork belly with cucumber, pickled daikon and ginger for just $8. Unlike the conventional folded-over style, XO serves its baos as a slider, using the same fluffy, soft bun we have all come to know and love.
Monster Kitchen and Bar, located in Hotel Hotel of NewActon is known for its unique and eclectic design and the menu is no different. Serving a range of different styles of food with some Asian influences, Monster does a delicious 38- hour pork neck bao with a tangy cucumber kimchi for $9.