Perth, go ahead and take a bao because you are truly killing it at Asian street eats. While we don’t like to play favourites with our food, the soft pillowy goodness of a bao bun—stuffed with crispy, crunchy fillings like fried chicken or soft shell crab—has got to be one of the best things we’ve ever eaten.
Here are Perth’s best bao spots.
Lucky Chan’s Laundry + Noodle Bar
If there’s one thing just about everyone in Perth can agree on, it’s that Lucky Chan’s does a mighty fine bao. They’ve absolutely perfected the soft chewy bao bun and they fill them with textures of deliciousness like southern fried chicken, Thai grilled pork and smoked shitake. They also do a fried whiting bao with jalapeno salsa and chipotle aioli.
From baogers to baowiches, Sixty Grams has it all. You can choose from The O.G baoger with a grilled beef patty, cheese and chipotle mayo or the JFC baowhich with chicken karaage, fried shallot and sirracha mayo, but the one we're most excited about is the GILA—sweet and spicy marinated chicken coated in Mi Goreng!
What The Bao
Fremantle & Perth CBD
Unsurprisingly, What The Bao dishes out some of Perth’s best bao. From Japanese panko chicken to soft shell crab and roasted duck dressed with hoisin, these guys are easily one of our top picks when wandering around the Freo markets.
Miss Chow’s might call them snacks on their menu but you know as well as I do that these are bao and they are bloody good. Our pick is the pork, but the chicken, soft shell crab and tofu are also delish.
Authentic Bites Dumpling House
A cult favourite, Authentic Bites Dumpling House is home to some of the juiciest bao in Perth, where you can choose from pork, crab and pork or prawn and luffa—the cousins of their beloved dumplings.
Next time you go to Dainty Dowager make sure you get the fried chicken bao, you will not be disappointed. You should also get a cocktail or two.
Old Lane Street Eats
If you haven’t been to Old Lane Street Eats yet, then stop what you’re doing and go there right now. Then go straight to the baos and buns section of the menu and get the marmite chicken bao and the roti John. Your life will never be the same again.
Juicy Bao Bao
Bring a large stomach with you to Juicy Bao Bao, because their Shanghai-style buns are larger than life. With vego options and BYO available, everyone can find something to drool over.
The Guildford Hotel
Whether you’re after chicken katsu, Korean pork belly or a vego option, The Guildford has you covered when you’ve got a hankering for a bao bun.
T Sisters Fresh Food
With three generations of family recipes to share, T Sisters Fresh Food dishes up authentic bao, dumplings, satay and all sorts of one-handed delicious eats. They pop up all over the place so check out their Facebook page to find out where to get your fix.
If you're down for a spread, head to Chapas for a variety of baos; vegetarian sang choi, fried chicken, or our favourite, crab sang choi bao with black truffle sauce.
Mel & Co Garden
For a true bao experience, head to Mel & Co Garden where you can DIY your own pork belly bao with pineapple salsa, aji amirillo, and the veggie garden to kick it up a notch.
Nestled in Westfield Carousel's upper deck-cum-restaurant hub, Little Bao oozes with stunning design and offers bao, dumplings and noodle soups galore.
Use the speady iPad service at BamBamBoo to order honey bbq chicken, soft shell crab or pork belly bao after you finish eyeballing the open kitchen.
Once you've worked your way through this list, you'd better check out Perth's Best Dumplings.
Image credit: Elle Borgward, Emma Bryant