Bao Stop

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trio-of-bao

In the market that has Melbournians spoilt for choice, Bao Stop delivers triple the goods with their Trifecta of Bao dish!

Melbourne’s Night Noodle Market is a foodie’s playground with stall after stall offering the most aromatic and appetising Asian dishes.

How can you possibly make a decision when tempura crab, steamed prawn dumplings and teriyaki skewers are on offer?

While every stall had something tempting on their menu, I was won over by Bao Stop’s Trifecta dish with three delicious Gua Bao; Korean Fried Chicken, Braised Pork Belly and Peking Duck.

All three had perfectly cooked meat with well-paired sauces and toppings but the bao (steamed bread) itself is worthy of a mention. The pillows of bao were not only light and fluffy, but also large enough to hold impressively large portions of filling.

Braised pork belly with hoisin, mayonnaise, coriander, pickled mustard greens and peanuts.

This was my favourite of the three because the ingredients are a classic combination and Bao Stop definitely did them justice.

The huge slab of pork belly protruded out on both sides of the bao and the meat was impressively tender. The rich flavour was cut through by the pickled greens and the peanuts added a much-needed crunch.

Korean Fried Chicken with chilli mayo, carrot and red peppers.

A close second favourite was the Korean Fried Chicken. Though fried chicken isn’t something I eat often, I couldn’t believe the crunch!

With such a crispy and golden outside, I was half expecting the inside to by dry and overcooked but was happily proved wrong.

The chilli mayo had some heat but not overpoweringly so. The shredded carrot was raw and a little bit boring but if its purpose was to not distract from the perfectly fried chicken, it hit the nail on the head.

Peking Duck with cucumber, green onion and house-made duck sauce.

The Peking Duck Gua Bao was the flavour I was most looking forward to but sadly was the most underwhelming.

The duck was moist and cooked well and I wanted to eat every last drop of the house-made duck sauce but these flavours unfortunately didn’t stand out.

Perhaps I just got a small piece of duck with an unusually large cucumber stick but the portion sizes let this flavour down.

Coupled with the bao itself, which as I mentioned earlier, was quite ample in size, I simply couldn’t taste enough of the duck compared to the other ingredients.

This was a real shame because I expected the star ingredient to shine like the braised pork belly did but there simply wasn’t enough duck in the serve.

Bao Stop definitely know what they’re doing and have put together an impressive tasting plate for the Night Noodle Market.

All three meats are prepared in different styles and each has been done superbly. The condiments compliment their accompanying meats and are fresh, added generously and taste fantastic, making sure that this meal is well worth the $20 price tag.

One bite of that crispy chicken or pillow-soft bao and you’ll be convinced that of all the stalls and all the potential meal options, you chose the right one.

For more Melbourne food reviews and original recipes, follow Juliana at Peaches & Push Ups and @juliimare on Instagram.

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