Juicy Bao, Melbourne CBD

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MELBOURNE | Juicy Bao is a Chinatown restaurant that, as the name suggests, sells an assortment of bao along with an assortment of other Chinese dishes. We’d walked past several times on the way to somewhere else over the past few months, and noted that it was always busy, usually with a small line. We’d always been intrigued, and finally on a Friday night with no dinner plans, we decided to try it.

The space is no-nonsense – little in the way of decoration, with plenty of tightly packed wooden tables and chairs, along with a long booth against one wall. When you reach the front of the line you’re asked how many people you need a table for, and before long you’ve got a table. A place like Juicy Bao, with its reasonable prices, is all about high turnover of tables and as is the case with many Chinatown restaurants, service is brisk and efficient. It’s not particularly friendly but it’s not rude either – it’s just to the point.

Perusing the menu and, as you’d expect, bao and dumplings are the main attraction here, with a full page dedicated to them. The signature dumplings are the steamed pork xiao long bao and the crab and pork xiao long bao. We opted for a serve of the pork xiao long bao and they came to our table very quickly. The steaming hot bundles of juicy goodness really hit the mark, with a firm yet delicate skin and a sweet filling. We also opted for a serve of the pork Shanghai pan fried juicy bao, with a denser skin and a nice balance between the steamed top half and crispy fried bottom half. A full assortment of condiments on the table means you can season each dumpling just the way you like.

As well as bao and dumplings, there’s an assortment of other dishes like stir fried prawns and vegetables, dry bean curd with coriander, fish fillets in hot chilli oil soup, and Shanghai stir-fried noodles with shredded pork. We went for a favourite of ours, mapo tofu (tofu with pork mince and Sichuan chilli sauce). While not as intense or as spicy as some of the other mapo tofu we’ve enjoyed in Melbourne, it’s still very tasty and packed full of flavour.

We had a bit of food left over that we didn’t want to waste, and the staff were happy to give us a takeaway container when we asked while paying for our bill. It might have taken us a while to get here, but we’re glad we finally made it. The food is tasty and affordable, and comes out fast with minimal fuss. There was a lot on the menu and coming out onto other people’s tables that sounded/looked great when we were there, and we’ll definitely be back for more.

Juicy Bao

178 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9041 7009
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Sun – Thu: 11:30am to 3:00pm; 4:30pm to 9:30pm
Fri – Sat: 11:30am to 3:00pm; 4:30pm to 10:00pm

Juicy Bao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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