The Top Line: Try it once, because it’s worth trying – but only once, because it’s hard on the wallet (and the arteries). It’s the truth guys… 😦 must face reality.
The Review: Located inside Good God bar on Liverpool Street, Belly Bao has shot into popularity recently, particularly after the idea of ‘baos’ gained fame at the multiple night markets that Sydney has had on offer in the past year. Since this was a bar, it opened at 5pm – when we got there at 4:55pm, there were already two people waiting outside for its opening. In the end, we had three groups waiting (and at this point a guy came out and told us they weren’t going to open tonight … ! Don’t play with our feelings like that man … )
By the time we went in, we already knew what we wanted: 2 x Cracking Roast Pork Belly, 1 x Panko Crumbed Chicken Breast and 1 x Crispy Tofu baos at the steep price of $6.50 each (but that’s okay … read on). We also ordered some sweet potato fries drizzled with chilli aioli and crunchy wings (i.e. deep fried chicken wings – yum!).
First off, the main star of the pack: Pork Belly Bao. Okay, I know what you guys all came here to read and are dying to know. “So was that thing really worth the $6.50 you paid?! It looks so small!” Okay, here’s the answer: $6.50 is damn worth it for the experience. This bao was so freaking good, with some good different textures that worked well together. The soft bao was good contrast to the tender pork – and then in some bites you get lucky and get a mouthful of crunchy crackling which pulls the package together. The coriander also added to the experience, although even for someone who isn’t too keen on coriander, I hardly noticed it was there.
Okay now that I’m done with that – let’s be real. This is more of a one time experience (unless you’re loaded of course because this one bao won’t fill you up, but I’m sure most of us are uni students) ….Jokes I would probably come here again if the cravings arose…would def skip the $4 pork buns from Ippudo and pay the extra $2.50 to get these any day – sooooo much better than Ippudo.
Also to note, the tofu bao does come with a sprinkling of chilli on top of it, which may or may not plant a fire in your mouth depending on your tolerance to spiciness, which could put your subsequent taste buds into a craze… okay warned you.
The sweet potato fries were so good. They were thinly cut, just the way I like them – none of that thick wedge nonsense other places do. This was perfect – but I honestly liked it much better without the chilli aioli sauce (which we suspected was just sriracha + aioli). I found myself avoiding the sauce in the end.
The crunchy wings was the fried chicken you’d expect from a bar – nicely battered, and saturated with oil. I kid you not, these wings were dripping with oil. I love fried chicken so that’s okay (for now) but only if you can will yourself to forget about the oil…but then again, if you’re here, you might as well aye 😉