Even though Melbourne has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, one meal that has recently gained popularity is the soft, melt-in-your-mouth bao.
Like dumplings, these meat-filled buns, known as baozi in China but influenced by many different countries just on terai, are versatile enough to work as both a quick bite and a hearty supper.
Although there are many more excellent bao joints in Melbourne, we have included six of our personal favourites.
Bao Food Spots
Some people may refer to them as "bao" instead. Those burgers are also known as Taiwanese burgers. Gua bao is the common name, but many people also call them by their more technical name, steamed buns. Whatever you choose to name them, you can now find these savoury sandwiches throughout the streets in Melbourne.
If we're ever in the need for bao, we know we can always count on Wonderbao to satisfy our hunger. In addition to the usual bao fare, you can also get gua bao, which come stuffed with slow-cooked or roasted pork belly, or, for the vegetarians and vegans among you, fried silken tofu with a selection of sauces and garnishes.
All three are delicious, but our favourite features roast pork bellies, crunchy pickled veggies, and a lovely hoisin sauce.
Now. These gua bao are a great place to start if you've never had one before.
Every time the dreaded need for bao food hits, we know we can always count on Wonderbao to satisfy the urge (which is pretty much constantly). There are many other kinds of classic bao, including a smaller subset of these called gua bao, which may be customised with fillings such oxtail and roast pork belly (or fried silken tofu again for vegans among us) and a range of sauces as garnishes.
While we'd happily eat any of them, the roasted corned beef dish stands out as our favourite due to its crisp pickled vegetables with sweet tbsp sauce. Its Asian corny factor is nearly as high as the praise for the lively environment and delicious food at Rice Queen, with more silk lanterns and phoney fresh flowers than you can poke a chopstick at. This is a fantastic place to taste gua bao for the first time. There is a strong following again for Korean Fried Chicken at the this large, confident, and daring pan-Asian restaurant, but we like the bao.
To make your own, gather 4 pockets of curved bread, some incredibly soft low-to-ground beef cheek, some rich hoisin sauce, and some yorkshire pudding. Just because these sandwiches look and taste light doesn't mean you can pig out on them. It would be a terrible idea to eat and over one or two.
Do you wish you could see the cutest spots in Asia but can't afford the plane ticket? Then, visit Fitzroy's Rice Queen for some karaoke, fusion cuisine, cocktails, and a flower garden. Chinese lanterns, fairy lights, a mosaic bar top, deep blue but instead jade wallpaper, and brightly patterned chairs and pillows make up the unusual decor.
Tacos created at the table with fast Korean-style bacon, accompanied with dish cooked, kimchi, turnip green, and handmade ssam sauce, are a great example of the restaurant's innovative take on the traditional Asian cuisine. Bonus: many menu options can be enjoyed by those with a gluten sensitivity. Tasting boards, comprised of miniature versions of some of Rice Queen's most popular meals, have just been made available during lunch hours. There are chicken & vegetarian options on these boards.
On Sundays, you can have a bucket with Super bock Minis and twenty pieces pf Korean fried chicken for only $36. Make a reservation for the restaurant's private karaoke room and gather your pals for an evening of letting loose with their best vocal and rhythmic chops. Anywhere from 4 to 16 people can comfortably gather here.
However, you can still enjoy Uncle's delectable Asian cuisine in Melbourne's CBD, even though their St. Kilda location is closed. Even while the chicken steaming hui with pure Vietnamese herbs and savoury pickle should be a must, the crisp pig's ear banh mi w pickles & peanut is indeed a tasty best-seller. There is a large selection of drinks and the flexibility to make adjustments to the menu so that everyone, even your vegan friends, may enjoy themselves.
Collins Street's revitalisation is the most interesting thing to happen to the city since the pho-volution. There are enough variations between the original Uncle in St. Kilda and the current site to make it worthwhile to visit. You can still get your hands on the classics like pho in a tiny bowl or a banh mi filled with crispy pig's ears, but the rest of the menu is completely original. The Bo Luc lac, that consists of chunks of porterhouse mixed with pearl onions, smoky tomato salsa, and watercress, has received rave reviews.
To match the innovative meals on the menu, Uncle hasn't slacked up on the cocktails, and the result is a winning combination. The Paris End is a cocktail made with gin, basil high sugar corn, lychee, flavoured, lime, and prosecco to toast their new home. If that's too fancy for your tastes, don't worry; the region also produces plenty of high-quality wine, cider, and beer.
Therefore, if you enjoy Chin Chin & Baby Pizza, then will likely have a good time at Kong.
The hard shell squid bun as well as the peanut tofu bun, both topped with fresh and flavorful burnt chilli mayo, are just two of the delicious bao options currently available at Kong BBQ.
Richmond's newest addition, Kong BBQ, can be found on Church Street; its famous relatives, Chin Chin & Baby Pizza, are also in the area.
Its bbq ribs, pulled pork, & Korean BBQ at Kong, the Melbourne restaurant that recently moved into the space vacated by Pearl Cafe, are so outstanding that restaurant's neither policy and claustrophobic confines guarantee nightly waits. Don't bother going if you're hungry, since you won't leave satisfied. Yum.
It's possible that when you think of the traditional bao options offered in the financial sector, you don't think of dumplings. Regardless, Dumplings are well-known for its out-of-the-ordinary flavours like cheeseburger, mac & cheese, steak pan - cooked, truffle mushroom, & pepperoni pizza. Drumplings serves a wide variety of authentic Chinese cuisine, including the ever-popular Xiao Long Bao, as well as fish and ginger dumpling, gua bao, pulled pork, and kung pao chicken, all of which are prepared with the utmost freshness. Let's get to it!
Find dumplings in the downtown area without much trouble. Close your eyes and hurl a brick. When battered, fried, and splashed in hot vinegar, just about everything you hit will taste great.
Dumplings is arguably the best dumpling restaurant in the city. The dumplings taste like they were sprinkled with a little Willy Wonka magic. The kind of dumplings you day-dream about when you've had a few too many drinks at 2 a.m.
What other explanation is there for cheeseburger-filled dumplings? A plate of dumplings and some fish and chips, perhaps? Putting beef rending in a crappie?! We feel obligated to mention that conventional dumps are also available, in case any purist among you are intending to storm our joint with pitchforks. Gyoza skins filled with pork and ginger, a shiitake mushroom that pops, and a hargow made with fish and chives.
Turn the menu over, however, and you'll find a new section called "Dumplings."
Dumplings with savoury fillings including chicken laksa, cheeseburger, and chilli con carne are available here.
Looking for more? These wacky combinations may be found on the menu at Dumplings alongside alcoholic icy poles by POPS, cans of Furphy but instead Tsingtao, sparkling Moscato, and dazzling eggplant soda. Just keep an eye out for the Pikachu cans. The city could use more places like these. The kind of people that aren't afraid to mix and match different fillings in their dumplings. Now is the time to enter, before all the hubbub begins. Foreseeable bright futures lie ahead for this business.
If you haven't tried the make-your-own bao at Tokyo Tina, you haven't lived. Beef bulgogi left on the bone after being slowly cooked is served with a bowl of pickles and a side of Kewpie-mayo-slathered buns. You know the trick, cut up some beef, and stuff it in a bao. Pickles' tangy acidity enhances the beef's flavour.
If you pay in cash at Tokyo Tina, do they offer any sort of coupon code to lower your total? Check out Urban Feast, the most useful charge card for foodies. For only $100, you can enjoy a $500 worth of dining at some of the finest restaurants in town.
Possibly, Tokyo may be described as Tina represents the revolutionary change that has taken place in Melbourne's food culture. Prepare one defunct Chapel Street smoking shop owned by the Commune Group by slowly simmering it in a wok. how exactly There's a Tina in Tokyo. She is the fourth member of the famed alliterative food sisters, joining her daughters Hanoi Hannah & Saigon Sally. Here's a tasty bunch that I'd like to present to you.
Tokyo Like Hanoi Hannah, Hopper Hall, and Sash Japanese, Tina is one of Flanagan's "it" restaurants. Tuesdays in June, regardless of the weather, are always busy here. Especially now that chef Scott Lord has a Bradley Smoker, which he got for Easter. He had just finished serving up a huge lunch of wonderful smoked brisket ramen. In the midst of Melbourne's dreary, cold spell, this is the best thing you could have.
When completed, Tokyo Tina brings a lot of personality to any environment. Maybe you're holed up in a rundown Shinjuku building, possibly hidden from view in a pachinko parlour. The room's walls are panelled in classic Windsor style; other decor includes wooden beams and gloomy pictures of Tokyo. Green tiles are largely found on the bar, and there are a few samurai-style Japanese knives and sake bottles tacked to the wall.
Smaller meals, such as Okonomiyaki muffin or spicy pig hock with ssamjang, as various bao buns loaded with crispy olives or DIY pork belly join the Hibachi grill standards. Citizens of Windsor can't have enough of this lovely, delectable anarchy.
In contrast to Rice Queen, Fitzroy was home to a few of Melbourne's finest eateries. Even though Rice Queen serves delicious Korean fried chicken & red braised squid, it is the pork bao which has earned it a favourite among locals.
Truffle fries with wasabi mayo, cilantro, and spring onion are the pinnacle of gastronomic pleasure.
Supernormal duck bao would be the offspring of Peking duck & gua bao. A prominent Asian restaurant in Melbourne's central business district serves delectable twice-cooked duck in fluffy envelopes of purposely blank bao rather than thin pancakes.
The bitter plum sauce and cold cucumber slices are the perfect complements to the lovely bird's crisp skin and succulent meat. There's no harm in trying your luck if there's an open chair at the table. We try not to be arrogant, yet Melbourne *has* to have the best restaurants in Australia, and this CBD spot is the crown gem for burger & martini fans. Supernormal along Flinders Lane, run by Andrew McConnell, is where you can get the finest of Asia's booming food culture in one handy place.
You can get up close and personal with the best in the industry at Supernormal's open kitchen and bar-side seating, making it feel like you're dining in a bustling Asian chow hall packed to the rafters of your favourite morsels. After knocking off a world-famous lobster roll, don't fret; the eatery also offers buns, dumplings, seasoned meats, and regional twists upon traditional Asian desserts. So, if there's one thing we could tell folks, it's to take it easy for a while! Supernormal provides an abundance of drinks for their patrons.
Unique cocktails were developed for the menu, fusing flavours from Tokyo and Shanghai before being "sliced" in Seoul. If you're in the mood for gin, try a Supernormal Smash; if you're still down the following day, a Kimchi Mary might do the trick.
Start the festivities already! Walk-ins are welcome, but groups of six or even more should call ahead for a reservation. Let's assume you're curious about the full Supernormal occurrence. If that's the case, head down to the basement's cosy karaoke-equipped dining area for a bao and a beer as you belt out certain Taylor Swift hits.
The bao at Oriental Teahouse are the real deal; they serve authentic yum cha and sell a wide range of high-quality tea products, both to be enjoyed there and to go. Soft-shell crab caps, chicken san Chow bao, and possibly Peking duck are all examples of Chinese dishes that may be recreated in the comfort of your own kitchen. When you leave, you won't be hungry.
You may have trouble picking what to choose at Oriental Teahouse due to the huge menu and the many different kinds of speciality blend teas available. Authentic kaiseki, complete with a selection of high-quality tea products, is the perfect way to spend time at house or on the go.
Bao X Waffle
The bao at Oriental Teahouse are the real deal; they serve authentic yum cha and sell a wide range of high-quality tea products, both to be enjoyed there and to go. Soft-shell crab knobs, chicken sha Jang bao, and maybe even Peking duck are all examples of Chinese dishes that may be replicated in the comfort of your own kitchen. When you leave, you won't be hungry.
You may have trouble picking what to choose at Oriental Teahouse due to the huge menu and the many different kinds of speciality blend tea available. Authentic kaiseki, complete with a selection of high-quality tea products, is the perfect way to spend time at house or on the go.
Previously, the men of Bao X Waffle could be found every weekend driving around Melbourne's many pop-up markets, where they sold their signature bao buns and binh hybrids to the city's ravenous residents.
The great news is that they have permanently relocated to their new Clifton flex space! After noting their address, it would be wise to pay a visit as soon as possible. Allow me to sum up Bao X Waffle for those of you who aren't familiar: Bao X Pancakes is an ingenious take on a classic, fusing Southern American ingredients and techniques with traditional Chinese bao preparation.
So, what exactly does that entail? This translates to gherkins, green lettuce, and a house-made hot sauce named "Bruce" over fluffy bao packed with deep-fried, hairy bits of Southern chicken. Daikon is braised and then coated in breaded bread crumbs, then served over pickled vegetables, arugula, Kewpie mayo, & Tonkatsu sauce.
You can buy them in one of seven different flavours, and you can purchase them in a steaming bao or just a lovely Belgian waffle pocket. We like to eat while simultaneously folding napkins. Throw as much as you are able into the mud. Our favourite is the fried chicken Bolo Bao. Pork belly from Rocky Bao Bao is not far behind.
The PB&J bao is a dessert in its own right; it's a bao stuffed with crunchy peanut, pi2 jam, & roasted peanuts, then depth in coconut oil & coated with panko bread crumbs.
You can wash it all down with anything from coffee to hot chocolate to tea to lemonade to sodas to kombucha.
Shandong Mama Mini
Shangdona Right next door is Mama's little sister, an equally popular lunch-only restaurant. Enjoy some pork and beef buns and a couple of $5 artisan beers. Australian cuisine has impacted the 'Melbourne' dumplings, so if you're still hungry after that, give them a shot.
We think these are some of best dumpling in Melbourne, so we've included them on our list. Two birds splitting a lump of stone. Dumplings are a speciality at Ying Hou & Meiyan Wang's shop, which is located in a little alley off Bourke Street.
Legendary contents such vegan green beans and a mackerel mousse were created in the Chinese fishing village of Tantai on the Shandong Peninsula. Mama's cooking isn't limited to dumplings; she also makes delicious handmade noodles. Get in a good mood by pairing one of the tasty local beers or ciders with all these foods.
The atmosphere is like that of a traditional Chinese diner. They have mastered the art of quick service, so even if there is a wait, your tummies won't have to. Take a look at the cost if you are still on the undecided, Listers. The food at Shandong Mama is inexpensive yet packs a powerful flavour punch.
Rice Paper Scissors
Is that the same thing as Asian fusion? Vermicelli Scissors has already been working hard to bring its adorable wheat rolls & southern Asian family style dishes to the community for a number of years. There are several gua rong alternatives that can satisfy your cravings, and one of them is the dish-made pork buns that are so juicy they inspire poetry. If you're nervous, though, you shouldn't be: crunch your way through toasted buns and realise that you were wrong.
Fitzroy's Rice Paper Scissors, located off Brunswick Side walk, is a fantastic Asian restaurant known for its delectable large and small servings. The menu combines Thai and Vietnamese cooking styles, ingredients, and techniques to provide a delicious and unique dining experience.
The "5 for $55" menu is perfect for a romantic dinner for two, and the Rice Paper Garden's crispy bacon is an absolute must. A formidable contender who has opened one of Fitzroy's top new fast food restaurants.
Known as baozi in China, but influenced by many other countries because to terai, the soft, melt-in-your-mouth bao is a favourite dish in Melbourne. Steamed buns filled with slow-cooked or roasted pork belly or fried silken tofu and served with a variety of sauces and garnishes can be found at a number of great bao restaurants in Melbourne, including Wonderbao and Gua Bao. If you've never tried a Wonderbao before, we recommend the roasted corned beef because of the dish's crisp pickled vegetables and sweet tbsp sauce. The bustling atmosphere and tasty food at Rice Queen make it another ideal place to try bao. The Rice Queen in Fitzroy is a karaoke bar with fusion food, beverages, and a floral garden.
As an example of the restaurant's creative spin on traditional Asian fare, try one of their tacos made at the table with quick Korean-style bacon. During lunch hours, customers can now order tasting boards, which feature tiny versions of some of Rice Queen's most popular entrees. Although Uncle's St. Kilda branch has gone, their delicious Asian fare is still available in Melbourne's central business district. The revitalisation of Collins Street is the most fascinating thing to happen to the city since the pho-volution. Melbourne's Kong BBQ, which serves creative barbeque and cocktails like the Paris End, has lately taken over the location formerly occupied by Pearl Cafe.
Some of the best bao include the hard shell squid bun and the peanut tofu bun. The neither policy and cramped quarters of the restaurant ensure that there will be lines out the door every night. With unique fillings like cheeseburger, mac & cheese, beef pan-cooked, truffle mushroom, and pepperoni pizza, Dumplings is widely regarded as the best dumpling restaurant in the city. Xiao Long Bao, fish and ginger dumpling, gua bao, jerked pork, and kung pao chicken are just few of the authentic Chinese dishes on the menu. The dumplings taste like they were sprinkled with a little Willy Wonka magic, and can be found alongside alcoholic icy poles by POPS, cans of Furphy but instead Tsingtao, sparkling Moscato, and bright eggplant soda. Dumplings is a great example of a restaurant in the city where customers may customise their meal by choosing from a variety of ingredients.
- One dish that has recently acquired appeal in Melbourne despite the city's abundance of dining options is the delicate, melt-in-your-mouth bao.
- These meat-filled buns, called baozi in China but influenced by many different countries merely on terai, are as convenient as dumplings and may be eaten as a quick snack or a filling meal.
- Six of our favourite places to get bao in Melbourne are featured here, although there are many more worth checking out.
- These burgers have a second name: Taiwanese burgers.
- Although gua bao is the more frequent name, steamed buns are the more accurate term.
- These savoury sandwiches go by many names, but they're available all over the streets of Melbourne.
- Wonderbao Wonderbao is the one place we can always rely on to satiate our bao cravings.
- Gua bao, filled with slow-cooked or roasted pig belly, and fried silken tofu, served with a variety of sauces and garnishes, are two of the more exotic options for bao fillings.
- We'd happily devour any of them, but the roasted corned beef with its crunchy pickled veggies and sweet tbsp sauce stands out as our favourite.
- After that, stop into the Rice Queen in Fitzroy for some karaoke, fusion food, drinks, and a beautiful garden.
- Reserve the restaurant's private karaoke room and invite your friends over for a night of singing and dancing to your favourite tunes.
- Uncle Although if their St. Kilda branch is closed, you can still get Uncle's delicious Asian fare in Melbourne's central business district.
- The revitalisation of Collins Street is the most fascinating thing to happen to the city since the pho-volution.
- The Bo Luc lac, which is made out of porterhouse, pearl onions, smoked tomato salsa, and watercress, is a fan favourite.
- Uncle hasn't skimped on the cocktail selection to go with the restaurant's creative fare, and the result is a wonderful combo.
- To celebrate their new house, they created a cocktail called the Paris End, which consists of gin, basil high sugar corn, lychee, flavoured lime, and prosecco.
- If that's too refined for your tastes, don't worry; there's also a plethora of excellent wine, cider, and beer made in the area.
- Kung Fu Barbecue As a result, if you like Chin Chin and Baby Pizza, you will probably also appreciate Kong.
- On Church Street, you'll find Richmond's newest restaurant, Kong BBQ, as well as its well-known relatives Chin Chin and Baby Pizza.
- Melbourne's Kong, which recently opened in the area abandoned by Pearl Cafe, has received rave reviews for its bbq ribs, pulled pork, and Korean BBQ, but the restaurant's neither policy and cramped quarters have ensured nightly delays.
- Dumplings Maybe you don't immediately picture dumplings when you think of the more conventional bao choices available in the business world of finance.
- Dumplings, on the other hand, have become famous for their out-of-the-ordinary flavours including cheeseburger, mac and cheese, beef pan-cooked, truffle mushroom, and pepperoni pizza.
- At Drumplings, you may get a large selection of freshly made traditional Chinese food, such as the ever-popular Xiao Long Bao, fish and ginger dumpling, gua bao, pulled pork, and kung pao chicken.
- Here you may get dumplings stuffed with savoury ingredients including chicken laksa, cheeseburger, and chilli con carne.
FAQs About Bao Food Spots
The perfect bao should be traditionally filled with a pork mixture, and the perfect bao should be round, smooth, and soft. And it should be steamed in bamboo baskets, giving off a subtle woody scent, says Tom Tong, founder of Tom’s Bao Bao, a steamed-bun-focused restaurant with more than 200 locations in China.
We make every single bao from scratch here in Melbourne. Throughout the year, we do pop-up stalls at events such as the: Winter & Summer Night Markets at QVM, Night Noodle Markets and The Finders Keepers market. Keep an eye out on our socials for updates on our whereabouts, or drop us a line at the link below for more details!
Steam bao is a traditional steamed bun made from wheat flour, typically filled with savoury meat, vegetable or sweet filling. But, when it comes to baoS, we don’t mess around.
Bao Buns, but also known as a 'steamed buns' or 'baozi' 包子, are a delicious, warm, fluffy treat of stuffing wrapped inside a sweet, white dough. Made with a mix of flour, yeast, sugar, baking powder, milk and oil, the bao is a tad sweeter than its closely related cousin, the dumpling.
This type of bao originated in the Fujian province of mainland China, but were later brought to Taiwan where they became a staple street food.