Monday, January 25, 2016

Baowie, Forest Hill by Bureaucrat and Benny

Forest Hill Chase is unlikely to ever have the cachet of shopping centres such as Chadstone or even Highpoint or Eastland.  For as long as I can remember, Forest Hill Chase has been a bit of daggy place to shop and socialise.  However, in recent years, new shops and eateries have opened up, giving a much needed new injection of life into this sleepy suburban locale.  One such eatery is Baowie, a dumpling house, which opened up early in 2015.  At the time, Mother Hen happened to be there during its grand opening week. Based on the quality of the free tastings, it was enough to lure her and Mr Strong in for a light lunch.  In the latter part of 2015 (yes, yes, I’m very tardy with my reviews...*cringe*!), Benny, Bilby Blue and I (the three “Bs”) met for lunch at Baowie.  We had all seen or heard about Baowie and were equally intrigued to find out more about the dumplings for ourselves.

Baowie, dumpling, Forest Hill Chase, pot stickers
We each picked a dish, which we shared.  The standout dish was the vegetable and pork pot stickers ($10.80 for 10), which had a beautiful golden-brown netting.  The pastry wasn’t too thick and was nicely crispy.  Inside was a chunky mix of wombok, minced pork and a good punch of grated ginger.  I really liked these as they are very home style in nature –– I grew up with my grandparents and relatives making these big dumplings with chunky filling (not like the over-processed machine-made dumplings you get elsewhere).

Baowie, dumpling, Forest Hill Chase, xiao long bao, pork buns
We also had to get a serve of xiao long baos – or as they are called here, Baowie steamed juicy pork buns ($10.80 for eight).  These were pretty good.  I’d rate them over the famed xiao long baos at Hutong Dumpling Bar in the city.  A piping hot soupy interior, which had a filling that was very similar to the pot stickers.

Baowie, dumpling, Forest Hill Chase, scallop
The steamed golden scallop dumplings ($6.80 for four) had a nice sized scallop inside.  While I was the one who picked this dish, I wasn’t bowled over by them.  They were good but I wouldn’t necessarily order them again.

After our dumpling experience, Benny and Bilby Blue were keen to check out Baowie’s noodles. On a very hot evening a few days before Christmas, Benny and Bilby made good use of Forest Hill’s extended shopping hours – avoiding the daytime crowds and enjoying air-conditioned comfort. It was also a perfect noodle opportunity.

Baowie - Zha Jiang Mian
Bilby’s choice – Zha Jiang Mian – was described in the menu as being cold noodles with spicy minced pork, cucumber, carrot, stewed soy beans and fermented bean sauce. Cold noodles sounded like a great idea for hot weather. The dish was fantastic – a wonderful mix of heat from the spices and fresh crunchy vegies over a pillow of noodles. Her only criticism was that the dish was not as described in the menu – the noodles were piping hot. Despite this, Bilby was extremely happy with the dish and would happily re-order it – hot or cold.

Baowie - Braised Pork Belly Noodle Soup
Benny was more conventional in his choice of Braised Pork Belly Noodle Soup: tender pieces of Chinese roasted pork belly in a tasty broth, with stewed soy beans, tahini and a garlic sauce taking it beyond the ordinary.

Baowie, dumpling, Forest Hill Chase


We liked it.


Would we return? If visiting Forest Hill Chase at lunch or dinner time Benny and Bilby would happily indulge in the noodle dishes – topped up with a serve of dumplings if they were extra hungry.

For me, I’d go back if I happen to be at Forest Hill Chase and needing some food – Baowie is a cut above the run-of-the-mill options in the food court.

Find it at

Forest Hill Chase
270 Canterbury Road
Forest Hill

Baowie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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