Newly opened Bao Bei, Central - pan-Asian fusion fun

With dishes like “baoger” and “baowich”, the fare at this Wyndham Street newcomer riffs on the bao, a Chinese steamed bun. We liked some dishes, but others lacked taste

PUBLISHED : Monday, 07 December, 2015, 12:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 December, 2015, 5:20pm

The Carfield Building at 77 Wyndham Street in Central is home to several restaurants, including Koko, a new Japanese izakaya. Also new is the pan-Asian Bao Bei, which is still in its soft opening phase and has yet to receive its liquor licence. We liked the small, intimate space with curved banquet seating and horseshoe-shaped chairs.

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We started with the Bao Bei salad (HK$68), which had julienned green papaya with long beans, cherry tomatoes, dried shrimps, crushed peanuts and a house-made Thai chilli dressing for a bit of a kick.

The word “bao” in Bao Bei refers to steamed Chinese buns, variations of which appear on the menu. The wagyu beef “baoger” (HK$98) featured a juicy patty, and while black fungus gave it a crunchy texture, it would have been better with the addition of pickled vegetables, which would have helped cut through the richness of the meat, as well as giving flavour.

Mapo tofu fries (HK$88) sounds like a tempting fusion dish, with cubes of soft tofu, minced pork and chilli oil topping the unevenly cooked fries, but it had only a slight hint of the mala spice and needed more Sichuan peppercorns.

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The golden fish baowich (HK$82) was a winner, with deep-fried fish fillet seasoned with salted egg combined with garlic pickled cucumber, plum mayonnaise and bonito flakes.

For dessert we were looking forward to the banana Nutella crepe wontons (HK$78) that looked like little packages tied up with a string made of jelly candy. The wontons were disappointing because they were filled with mini marshmallows that overwhelmed the scant amount of Nutella.

We preferred the deep-fried milk pudding (HK$78), served with mini squeeze tubes filled with passion fruit sauce to inject into the dessert. The interior of the milk pudding was smooth and contrasted with the deep-fried crust, while the passion fruit added a welcome tartness.

Bao Bei, Shop 1, B1/F Carfield Commercial Building, 77 Wyndham Street, Central, tel: 2801 7779