Friday, August 17, 2012

Wonderbao, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

Wonderbao is a new steamed bun dispensary located near RMIT in Literature Lane. It'd only been open for a few days when Snooze and I visited and it was obvious that things were still a little less organised than they could have been. This is a little surprising, as I got the impression bao making had been in the family for a while. However, it starts with two big things in its favour, some of the friendliest and most enthusiastic owners I’ve ever come across and offering a few less common buns that you don’t see in many places around town.

It's fairly hard to find though. If not for spotting it on another blog I doubt I would've noticed it, even though it's less than five minutes walk from work. It also suffers a bit from not being the most comfortable or convenient of places to eat. There are only a few seats squashed up against the window, and more than five people trying to eat is pretty squishy. Having said that, the view out the window is interesting if you do get a seat.

It’s always nice to be greeted by a beaming smile when you enter somewhere, and that was definitely the case for us here. Maybe it was just our charismatic presence but I suspect that it’s the reception everyone gets.

The range of buns is fairly limited, mainly Hong Kong in style but including a small number of gua bao, which I think are Taiwanese. The buns themselves were light and fluffy. I don’t normally like vegetable bao but these were amongst the best I’ve had, the filling full of flavour.

Also very good was the egg custard bun, hot and rich and without that nasty powdery texture you sometimes get.

The only one I found a little disappointing was the pork bun, which I found a bit light on for filling and taste.

The more interesting buns though are the gua bao. These are almost like little steamed sandwiches or hamburgers, sliced open on one side and the fillings inserted. Our choices were the braised and the roast pork bao. The braised comes with crushed peanuts which adds texture and boosts flavour, the roast (my preference) a little bit of vegetable on the side. Easy to handle in one hand, a little sweet but with nice flavours, these wouldn’t count as the best gua bao I’ve had (which have been at street markets) but they are cheap, tasty and you don’t have to wait till the next festival to try them!

I like the idea although the execution probably needs a bit of work. I really hope they are a success though, because the people here are guaranteed to put a spring into your day!

Food – 7
Service – 7
Ambience – 5.5
Price – 7

Literature Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9654 7887
Wonderbao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 


MoMo and Coco Dessert Correspondents said...

I tried and tried and couldn't locate this place the other day! How did you get there? My iphone was simply hopeless this time round.

EatAndBeMerryCrew said...

Walk up past we cafe. It's at the end of that passageway just before you enter the lane at the back.


Tim Chuma said...

Is good to have an alternative to Nam Loong for BBQ Pork buns and other steamed stuff, will have to go have a look.

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