When this place first opened (around 2 years ago?), I often visited this place because 1. I love Taiwanese street food, 2. the proportions were small but affordable, meaning you could afford to order a lot of different stuff and 3. it had a great atmosphere and was small and cosy. However, I don’t go to Chatswood as much and I try to go to the new places that open on the rare occasions that I do go. But for my friend’s birthday, I decided to take her here since I’ve had good memories from this place, especially seeing some new additions on the menu.
Bao Dao is a pretty small restaurant, that originally had a small menu that consisted of small side dishes and assorted stuff. On a recent visit, I realised that they extended their menu and added some larger items on their menu like noodles and rice dishes (before, you’d have to order at least two dishes to be satisfied!). I think it’s nice that they added some more items and kept the old items because I think part of the charm of this place is that I’m able to order a lot of different dishes to try at once and not get full.
It sounds a bit funny in English, but I can understand why it’s named Grandmum Pork Belly Meal since it’s a very classic Chinese/Taiwanese dish that I’ve had frequently since I was young. Naming it the Grandmum, is a very suitable name, since the sides of rice, Chinese vegetables and scrambled egg is very typical in my household. That being said, while the pork was nice and tender, this home-inspired meal really can’t compare to the ones my family makes.
To my understanding, this is a very popular food in Taiwan and rightfully so. You could either eat this by itself since it’s so flavoursome or accompany it with any dish you wish to order. The rice is just right and the pork sauce makes it nice and smooth (not sure if that’s the right word to use). For some reason, I couldn’t see the Pork Crackling on Rice on the menu when I went? Because that dish was actually an old favourite of mine from Bao Dao, so if you do go, I highly recommend it, which is sort of similar to this dish.
Honestly, I was a little disappointed with this one because I always associate Basil Fried Chicken to be fragrant and full of flavour. I’ve ordered this before, and it was! But sadly, this time, it was dry and I could barely taste the salt and no basil at all. I would hope that it was maybe a bad day to order it since my previous visits proved otherwise.
Conclusion: While I was very impressed with the food when I first came here two years ago, my most recent visit was a bit underwhelming. Nevertheless they still have other side dishes like pig ears and pork knuckle which I still really enjoy but I would probably not highly recommend any of the dishes I had on this visit. That being said, Bao Dao is a pretty unique restaurant in Chatswood so it still has its own charm and I wouldn’t stop anyone else from giving this place a try, especially if you just want to snack on some small Taiwanese food for a reasonable price.