Pull up a chair guys—we just found some of the best damn bao in Sydney and you better believe they’re serving dessert bao buns as well. If you’re a long time reader (hello friend), then you might remember that time we raved about a Golden Gaytime bao—well, Belly Bao is the place and we’re here to rave all over again.
Our first recommendation is that you book. Belly Bao packs out every night and the fact that it’s BYO makes booking absolutely necessary—you wouldn’t want to be sent away with your favourite drop tucked under your arm, would you?
I walked into this joint fresh from the office, so naturally, I politely (and with only a slightly crazed look in my eye) asked the lovely waitress to bring me an empty wine glass STAT. With that important task out of the way, I was able to focus on the menu. FYI it’s packed with old faithfuls like slow braised pork belly bao and more, shall we say, experimental offerings but more about the baogers (oh yeah, really) later.
I decided to take a tour through the entire menu (give or take) and since this place is efficient AF, I was feasting in no time. First, was the crispy tofu bao, which is (you guessed it) stuffed with crispy tofu and some equally crispy vege. From there, things got a bit out of hand but I’ll have you know that I have no regrets.
My recommendation is that you eat the deliciously garlicy greens with the onion bao noodles, which are kind of like a better version of Mi Goreng. You know, without the MSG and with even more flavour. This baby was just saucy enough to coat every little flat noodle but not so saucy that you’ll drip it down the front of your top (or is that just me?). By now, you’ll have that ‘I’m not hungry but let’s be honest, I’ll eat’ feeling happening. I’m here to tell you that you need to soldier on—we have two more courses to get through.
The baogers are everything you’re expecting, so classic burger lovers will want to hit up the chopped cheese baoger while vegetarians and vegans will be all over the eggplant baoger. It’s piled high (and I do mean HIGH) with big chunks of marinated eggplant, cucumber and lettuce on a pillowy soft bao burger bun. As a burger fiend myself, I thought these ones hit the spot but in a much lighter way—I don’t know if it’s the bun or a little bit of wizardry in the kitchen, but I’ll take it.
Dessert is an easy choice—there are only two things on the menu and you’ll absolutely be ordering them both. The Gaytime Bao is a yes, with an entire Golden Gaytime stuffed into a bao bun, effectively making all of your dessert-related dreams come true, but the dark horse is the pandan bao balls. These beauties are bright green (from the pandan, obvs) and as light as a freaking cloud. I’d compare them to coconut cinnamon doughnuts but they’re even better because of the mountain of whipped coconut cream for dipping. In the interest of full disclosure and because we’re friends, I’ll admit that I ordered a second round of pandan balls and I’m not even a little bit sorry about it.
I know I’ve sold you on this one, if not only for the coconut pandan bao balls. You know what to do.
This is what we thought of Fable Coffee Traders.
Image credit: Caitlin Hicks