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Bao Now Chinese Buns

Home > Melbourne > Food and Wine | Dumpling Bars | Cheap
by Gilbert Wong (subscribe)
Self-professed gym nut and gaming enthusiast. Visit my page at for pieces on sports and fitness, and the latest in tech and gaming.
Published November 5th 2012
Update March 4th 2014
This place has closed down.

They look like Chinese buns, but are they?
When one thinks of Chinese buns, or simply Bao, it is often the ones we get while indulging in a nice hearty session of Yum Cha/Dim Sum. Bao Now however, puts its own unique twist on the traditional dish.

Caution: Hot buns ahead

Located at 119 Hardware Street, this cozy little shop opened fairly recently, and provides a delectable spread of many different buns. What is unique about the buns they sell is the fact that the flavours available are hardly Asian. With choices like Spinach & Feta and Bacon Cheeseburger, you may think that you've stepped into the wrong place.

Buns galore

But the combination of these typically western dishes blends together with the buns surprisingly well. The store sells both savoury and sweet buns, and each bun costs $3. I chose to have a package deal they had, which was any three buns with an iced tea for $9, and chose Buffalo Chicken, Bacon Cheeseburger, and Bacon and Cheese. Every bun was adequately filled for its size, and carried rich flavours with each bite taken. I was able to distinctly tell which buns I had chosen without any help.

Sorry I couldn't wait

Traditionally, the standard buns would carry a little coloured marker on the top to indicate what was filled in it, and the ones here were no different. There are little unique markers on each bun to allow the customer to identify which filling was chosen.

The owner of the store also provided some of the best service I've ever received. When we first stepped in, he welcomed us warmly like we were old friends. As they ran out of iced tea for the deal, my friends and I were allowed to have any drink of our choice. Also, to make up for the slightly long waiting time for some flavours to be ready, he offered us three different ones that we didn't order, on the house. I was genuinely surprised and not expecting such service, and was extremely grateful for his hospitality.

The only downside I could find was that the available seating in store was very limited, with only enough for about six to eight people at any time. But don't let that turn you away, as these will be some of the tastiest buns you will have.

Also, be sure to follow them on their Facebook page for Secret Password Tuesday, as they provide a password there every week which will earn you one free bun with any purchase.

If you're ever in the mood for some steaming hot buns with a western twist, or perhaps just an unusual snack, do drop by Bao Now. You'll be pleasantly surprised just like I was, and I'm sure you'll be back for more.
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Why? Chinese buns with a western twist
When: Mon to Fri; 11:00am to 08:00pm
Phone: (03) 9670 6394
Where: 119 Hardware St, Melbourne, Victoria
Cost: Minimum $3
Your Comment
I've tried steamed puns once before. They're nice, but very filling. With such little seating space, do they do takeaways?
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12626) 3064 days ago
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