A concept that has been going strong for two years, Bao is loved by local diners for its simplicity and delectable offerings. The food innovators behind Bao have not only transformed our understanding of the basic Asian steamed bun, they also made us crave every type of filling that they come up with. However, when it comes to sharing these lovely, soft buns of goodness…Well, they’re too good to be shared!
Bao’s concept creators whole heartedly agree, which is why they’ve been quietly planning the perfect Dim Sum menu to accompany their brilliant Bao offerings, and we were there to sample these dishes, ideal for gatherings and dinner parties. Armed with our hungry appetites, we made our way to Sharq on a brilliantly sunny day for some much needed Bao-time.
Sometimes, you want ten Baos (because let’s face it, you can never have just one!), and other times, you’re simply craving a bite of the soft bun but want to fill up on other delicious items on the menu.
Here to solve all your problems are new smaller Bao renditions that are smartly bite-sized. We opted to try out the Korean Fried Chicken mini Bao, along with the 3-hour braised beef Dun Niurou. We loved the warmth of the fried crispy chicken, the textures from the beautiful Kimchi and the sweet soy sauce. As for the Dun Niurou, we couldn’t get enough of the delectable dark, Asian sauce. Also on the new shareable menu is the Wagyu, topped with caramelized onions, homemade pickled red jalapenos for that extra kick, ginger sesame oil—all in an amazing hickory smoked Bao.
We also sampled the Cabbage Crispy salad to accompany our wonderfully shrunken Baos. With the crunch of carrots, cabbage, aromatic coriander, peanuts and crispy wontons and black sesame, this salad delivers on flavors with every bite! The Asian dressing alone is perfect, and we loved how the wontons soaked up the yummy sauce.
Now that our Bao conundrum has been resolved, and we learned that we can have all the bite-sized sticky goodness that we could ever crave, it’s time we took an exploratory look at how Bao does dumplings and wontons, both Dim Sum musts! We went for a small selection here, choosing the Cheese Wonton and Mushroom Wonton dishes.
For cheese fans, the former will satisfy your cravings because as soon as you get a hit of the crunchy exterior, you’re hit with a melting combination of Pepper Colby Jack cheese and white sesame, along with a delicious, beautiful mustard dipping sauce! After we ordered another serving of this cheesy creation, we calmed our excited selves down to try the Mushroom Wonton dish.
What we loved most about this dish is how spinach is smartly incorporated into the dough, and the filling of mixed mushrooms and accompanying soy sauces is all that is needed to complete this dish. It is simple, smartly seasoned, yet hits you with bags of flavor.
For those of you constantly craving seafood, rest assured that the Shrimp Money Bags, and Shrimp Curry Potstickers will delight your senses. We proceeded with trying the latter, and not only did we find the texture of the pan-fried wonton to be excellent, we also immediately noticed how the curry flavored shrimp filling with cabbage and crunchy carrots left us wanting another order of this dish. And so we did, with absolutely no regrets, because we’re sharing—right?
We also noticed that Chicken Curry Rice is featured on the menu, and given the selection of various Dim Sum offerings, it made perfect sense to have a heartier dish there for the one person in your group of friends who always craves rice (There’s always one!). Before this dish even arrived to our table, its fragrant aroma tantalized our taste buds.
Thick, fragrant coconut curry is generously poured on top of crispy, fried chicken, and the steamed rice in the minimalistic bamboo bowl soaks up all the mouth-watering curry. Your eyes will first dance over the brightness of the curry, and then the fragrant lemongrass and spices will deliver your palate with indulgence with every bite.
Before jumping at the idea of dessert, the always friendly staff at Bao recommended that we should try the Cheese Burger Bun. Baffled by the idea of this dish, we first protested, but then decided to go for it.
To give you the full picture, imagine the juiciest beef patty, atop it lies melting Swiss cheese, an earthy truffle mushroom mix, all encased in a hickory smoked Bao and topped with three pristine dots of spicy Sriracha sauce. You might think it’s strange, but we’re telling you that this combination actually works! It’s an adventurous choice surely, but worth the experience.
Last but definitely not least, came the very shareable Choco Wontons. Crunchy on the outside, with a healthy coating of white chocolate shavings, these little delights are filled with a crispy hazelnut chocolate spread, and chewy bits of meringue adding yet another textural element that compliments this dessert.
With the new Dim Sum menu, Bao now delivers on an experience that surely works better for bigger and brighter gatherings with friends and even for smaller cozy dinners where you want to taste a bit of everything. The constant in both scenarios, however, is that all of Bao’s offerings will satisfy even the most discerning of diners.
Bao Steamed Bun is located in Kuwait City, Sharq Khaled Bin Waleed St. opposite Sharq Police Station roundabout. For more information follow them on Instagram @Bao.Kw or call 5147 0344.