Bow down to Bao Dao?
Taiwanese fast feed comes to the north shore. Noodlies, Sydney food blog takes a slurp.
Their pork belly buns (gwa bao) have been singled out by Callan Boys of Fairfax’s Good Food as one of the Best places in Sydney for a pork fix. Melty pork belly, pickled Chinese vegetables and sweet, roughly crushed peanuts are skewed between squeezy steamed buns. It’s easy to see why these buns have made the Good Food list. There’s also fiery spicy beef or pickled cabbage and tofu buns if pork belly’s not your thing.
It’s easy to gulp down two or three in one sitting, but noodlies, Sydney food blog suggests, for the sake of your hips, to keep it to one each visit. Besides, there’s plenty more to sample at this Taiwanese street food eatery.
Make sure you have your ballet shoes on though, it’s a tight, cramped space which seats around 20.
The decor is dramatic and bright. It’s amazing what a splash of red and some floating coloured lanterns will do. A staff member will hand you a menu though you’ll need to order at the counter.
Stewed pork trotters, century egg with tofu, sliced pig’s ears, pork intestines…
There are over 20 quick snacks to sample including the signature stewed pork trotters, century egg with silken tofu topped with pork floss, sliced pig’s ears (a fav across many parts of Asia), pork intestines, beef tendon and more. Snack prices start from $4.50.
For a more substantial feed, there’s a choice of noodles, dry tossed noodles and rice dishes. The beef soup is a typical Taiwanese look, dark and rich broth, lots of chunks of tender beef and irregular sized rice noodles; these danglers are a little too thin for me, a little thicker and the noodles would have greater spring and texture. It’s a decent bowl, though nothing to rush back for.
The won ton soup, well that’s another thing. Who’d knew such a simple dish could be so alluring? Little dainty dumplings that resemble floating white gold fish. These have spiced pork filling. The clear soup is clean but so tasty. In contrast to the other highly flavoured dishes on the menu, this clean taste really stands out. Again, resist the temptation to have two bowls.
It’s all a little haphazard when the place is packed. The young staff are well meaning but ordering can take time and food arrives in random order. Our beef soup took much longer than the other dishes to land at our table.
If you can’t get to Chatswood, the original which opened in 2012, there’s a Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen eatery in Eastwood and Crows Nest.
Bao Dao Taiwanese Kitchen
Shop 8, 376 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, NSW
(02) 9419 6290