Wonderbao has shown me the way of the bao. I’ll have to be honest, I never knew baos could be this damn good. It was one of those things I never had the urge to buy since I used to have it every single day when I was young. But my friend from Melbourne spoke so highly of it, so I had to go, right? Not only did this place show me how good baos could be, it also taught me to look up opening hours beforehand. Apparently, it wasn’t open for dinner so we had to postpone our Wonderbao trip for the next day. But no worries, we got here in the end!
This place was no easy find, especially for Melbourne noobs like us. Wonderbao is a very small shop tucked away in an alleyway with a seating capacity of around 6 people or so, so the four of us had to squish in a bit. I guess this place is probably most suited for takeaway.
Friend ordered some hot homemade soy milk which honestly just tasted like normal soy milk to me but nothing more comforting than a nice, hot soy milk for the soul.
Oh, lovely, juicy meat. While this one didn’t impress me that much, it’s a good combination of roast pork belly, cucumber, daikon, carrot and hoisin sauce that really can’t go wrong.
If you’re a fan of pickled vegetables (in particular, pickled mustard), your mouth will melt with joy with this one. Combining two of my favourites: pickled mustard with braised pork put this one at the top of my list – so much flavour! This one was also meant to be sprinkled with crushed peanuts but since I’m allergic, I opted out. But I’m sure it would’ve been a great addition.
True to its name, the tofu here is indeed silky. I actually really enjoyed this one, which is amazing because it’s the vegetarian option (I love my meat). The texture was overall quite soft and lovely, with just the right amount of flavour.
The Choi Bao (vegertarian steamed bun) was BIG. We left these for last, so by the end of the meal, we were surprised by the size of the thing. They were very generous with their filling, which was nice to see. The Nai Wong Bao (custard steamed bun) was also a nice way to end all the salty, flavoursome goodness we had beforehand, but not very different from the ones I steam at home from the local Asian supermarket.
As you can see, my friends were struggling to finish towards the end but I was pretty satisfied! Even though the shop is really quite small, it was sort of charming in its own way. Maybe it was the fact that it was super cold outside that made this place really welcoming, with the natural light pouring in from the windows. I don’t know why, but maybe it’s the size of the place or the friendly smile that greets you when you come in that makes this place so approachable.
VERDICT: If this place was in Sydney, you would see me every week or so, lining up for that braised pork belly gua bao for a quick but fulfilling treat. Compared to most places that sell similar sort of baos in Sydney, this place is considered pretty damn cheap which is a huge bonus! Love this place, would visit again on my next Melbourne trip.
Date Visited: 3rd July, 2014
Address: 4/19-37 A’Beckett Street, Melbourne VIC 3000