A few months ago we received word that Sydney’s cult favourite bao-king Belly Bao was finishing up at their cavernous kitchen in Hudson Ballroom (formerly Good God Small Club) and moving into their own permanent spot. It quickly became one of the year’s most anticipated openings and as of last week, the business has finally unveiled its colourful new location smack bang in the heart of King Street, Newtown.
The best part is that head chef Sylvia Tran and her partner Kieren have had the good sense to keep the menu as is, even adding a few new experiments (like some boiled bao noodles) and making their incredible baogers permanent additions rather than one-day-a-week specials. Now it’s a hub of baos, baogers, and more Asian-styled eats, served in a 50-seater space that’s defined by a large, tropical-sunset mural by local artist Simon Wheeldon. They’ve got larger tables now, vintage Chinese restaurants chairs, and an L-shaped bar near the entrance for those who want to pop-in for a quick drink-and-baoger session (there’s a liquor licence coming real soon).
Newbies on the menu include a five-spiced king mushroom bao with onion-soy jam, some tofu goreng with satay, pickled cucumber and garlic, and a very tempting pandan baonut with pandan coconut cream. Though it’s going to be hard to ever look past the original Baoger, which this writer maintains is one of the very best burgers in Sydney, with a dreamy combo of Angus beef patty, cheese, cos lettuce, onion, pickled radish, and special baoger sauce all sandwiched between a steamed baoger bun.
Address: 184 King Street, Newtown
Hours: Wed-Thurs + Sun 11:30am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11:30am-late
Image: Marcus Solomon