'The Six Stack' by The Bao Bar

IMG_3843 A few months ago my friend Aaron Chew mentioned an idea to bring the humble Taiwanese Gua Bao to Perth in a modern and relatable way. Now his dream has become a reality, with the creation of his pop-up venture known as ‘The Bao Bar’. With other local eateries such as Low Key Chow House and crowd-funded Lucky Chan’s offering variations of gua bao, The Bao Bar is up against some pretty tough competition.

Along his journey I have somehow been roped into helping out, but working at The Bao Bar has been both fun and exciting. Every Friday night we get together to serve a bao degustation, known as ‘The Six Stack’. The event is located at a warehouse in O’Connor, where we pump some Nujabes and serve you six different baos, and unlimited Asian soft drinks, at a price of $40.

So here is ‘The Six Stack’ line up from the past two weeks:

Some lotus root chips seasoned in sweet and salty chinese five spice to start off.

IMG_3715

1. The O.G.

This is the original Taiwanese style braised pork belly gua bao, served with crushed peanuts and coriander.

IMG_3725

2. The Big Bird

Who doesn’t love a fried chicken bao? This gua bao is filled with chinese cabbage, a Taiwanese style popcorn chicken and drizzled in sriracha mayonnaise. Out of the six this one's my favourite!

IMG_3733

3. The Notorious P.I.G

Another pork belly bao, but this time with a crispy crackling, hoisin sauce, fresh cucumber, zingy pickled radish & carrot, and a garnish of coriander.

IMG_3793IMG_3795

4. The Sebastian

Delicious soft shell crab, covered in a homemade Singaporean style chilli sauce inside a naughty deep fried bao.

IMG_3819

5. The Porco Rosso

A char-siu pulled pork gua bao, with crushed peanuts, cucumber and a garnish of coriander.

IMG_3820

IMG_3735

6. The Kimberly Hart

To finish off, there is a sweet dessert bao! A deep fried gua bao, filled with red bean paste and green tea ice cream, then covered in crushed strawberry pocky and peanuts.

IMG_3829

Unfortunately, through the power of social media this bao-gustation is now sold out for the next few weeks! But, if you want to know where The Bao Bar is popping up next, stalk us on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

IMG_3758

The Sarapan, Victoria Park

IMG_2795 This pop-up brunch venue on Leonard Street, have name themselves ‘Sarapan’ meaning ‘breakfast’ in Malay. Serving both Malaysian and Western dishes, what really drew me to Sarapan was the Roti Canai and Nasi Lemak. Only open on weekends, this café shares their space with another business, Olive and Figs who serve dinner.

IMG_2793

I really enjoyed the Nasi Lemak ($11.50) here, a dish of fragrant coconut rice and spiced fried chicken served with sambal, anchovies, peanuts, slices of cucumber and boiled egg. The portion of sambal (a southeast Asian chilli sauce) was generous and had a good balance of sweetness, saltiness and spiciness. The fried chicken could have been juicier, but it was fried perfectly with a tasty coating of spices.

IMG_2801

My friend Aaron also ordered an iced Teh Tarik ($4.50), a traditional ‘pulled’ Malaysian milk tea with condensed milk.

IMG_2811

The freshly made Roti Canai ($5) was crispy on the outside, as well as soft and fluffy. It was served with a dahl and chicken curry sauce on the side, for dipping. Even though we were given cutlery, the best technique to eat the roti is to rip it apart with your bare hands. I would come here again to eat this, and maybe add an egg next time for only 50c extra.

IMG_2803

Aaron and I were tossing between the Malaysian style Eggs & Toast ($5) or the Kaya Toast ($5), which we saw scribbled on the bottom of the menu. In the end we chose the Kaya Toast, which was a good choice that reminded us so much of Singapore. ‘Kaya’ is a sweet and creamy coconut spread, which was served with thick slices of white Hainan toast and a good portion of butter. There was enough kaya leftover that we could order an extra piece of toast (only 50c extra) to wipe it up.

IMG_2791

Overall, I think that this quaint pop-up café is worth a visit. The staff are friendly and the service is quick. I will definitely be returning on a weekend to try the Roti Bom ($5) a sweet version of the Roti Canai, served with condensed milk.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Sarapan on Urbanspoon