Bao Now is a refreshing and quality value bao haven for those looking for an exciting change to stodgy lunches. I get bored with croissants and rolls and pies and the like. In fact I rarely eat them. I want something more interesting, great value and even healthy. Bao Now ticks the boxes.
Bao Now is passionate about what they do, ever evolving and adding to their impressive menu selection. This is surely one of Melbourne's best lunch selections with the supreme packs priced at $10-$12. Or $10 will get you 3 bao, a salad and a drink! The flexibility is superb with choice of supreme boxes, lettuce cups, rice bowls, or individual bao...
For months Bao Now perfected their culinary processes. They brought in talented chefs and pastry cooks to get it right. The dough on the bao is wonderfully soft - they are unique in perfecting moist fillings that don't cause the bao to go soggy. Hats off to those Hong Kong pastry chefs.
This is a modern take on the bao. Instead of traditional flavours Bao Now brings exciting world flavours!
The Butter chicken bao is such a great hit of butter chicken. This is buttery punjabi chicken slow cooked, with tumeric, chilli, cummin, cardamom, cinnamon, paprika, tomato, cashews, natural yoghurt, with a dash of lemon juice. The philosophy is that the fillings should be able to stand on their own as a dish.
The Buffalo chicken bao brings memories of the USA with a hit of buffalo chicken as I remember dining in Santa Monica. American tomato based tangy bao with NYC buffalo chicken pieces with an authentic hot sauce of vinegar, tabasco, chilli, paprika and mustard seed, served with sliced celery and ranch dressing. This is Bao Now's most popular bao.
The Bacon cheeseburger bao also brings memories of the USA. It brings the flavours of beef, bacon, melted mozzerella and BBQ sauce - but is not overpowering or excessively "fatty" as you might think such flavours could be.
Apart from devouring various bao, I sampled the Taste Box. The lettuce cup with butter chicken was a hit - either eat the chicken out of the lettuce with your fork or wrap the lettuce to consume.
The Thai green chicken on Korean style rice was fabulous. These are bold clean flavours. It is tasty. It feels healthy. It's great value. The Korean style steamed rice had black seeds through it and was delightful.
The Slaw was also a winner, featuring Bao Now home made dressing. Tangy, clean, moorish.
Choose your drink including home made Jasmine tea. So refreshing to match the clean goodness of the bao.
Later I consumed a Vanilla slice bao at my office. Being a fan of the vanilla slice from childhood I rate this bao version with a big hit of custard lightly folded in cream.
Every bao I tasted was impressive. The Taste box is filling enough for lunch and consuming say 3 bao and salad is also filling enough. I'm sick of stodgy lunches! I want bao baby!
I'm also keen to try the new Pesto Eggs Benedict bao.
From their website - THE BAO. The ordinary bao is one of the most popular snack foods in Chinese culture, and for good reason. A simple steamed bun, it’s healthy and convenient, and can be filled with all kinds of delicious fillings, making it amazingly versatile. Forget what you thought you knew about bao. BAO NOW'S are supreme buns with a unique twist, all wrapped up in a fuss-free package that everyone can enjoy. You’ll never look at steamed buns the same way again.
Bao Now: Humble steamed buns with big, bold dreams. Our goal is simple: Provide customers with fast, healthy and delicious street food that they can eat on the go or sit down and savour; that is satisfying enough for a meal OR enjoyed as a snack. We represent the comfort of the familiar, authentic goodness on the outside, is filled with hearty, bold flavours from around the world on the inside.
The fit out is modern with great use of timber, lighting and attractive photos on the wall. Sit at the benches or take away. Bao Now corporate artwork is some of the best I've seen and their menu board is cool and artistic, and easy to read...
Bao Now is a great addition to Hardware St and the CBD. With a high number of return visits it's easy to see why. This ticks all the boxes of what I would look for in terms of value, interesting, tasty food. I find that eating stodgy lunches impedes my fitness - if I worked near Bao Now I would definitely be a regular. Looking forward to my next visit. (David dined courtesy of Bao Now).