BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Bao & Buns

Taiwanese street burgers come to Bangkok.

2
Average: 2 (1 vote)
As a single-specialty restaurant serving up sweet and savory interpretations of Taiwanese street burgers (gua bao), Bao & Buns occupies a hip niche in Bangkok’s dining scene. Though seemingly more suited to a grab-and-go food truck or market stall, the concept draws consistent dine-in crowds thanks to a photogenic little store nestled between Peppina and Jai Yen. 
As a single-specialty restaurant serving up sweet and savory interpretations of Taiwanese street burgers (gua bao), Bao & Buns occupies a hip niche in Bangkok’s dining scene. Though seemingly more suited to a grab-and-go food truck or market stall, the concept draws consistent dine-in crowds thanks to a photogenic little store nestled between Peppina and Jai Yen.
 
The streamlined menu is both the restaurant’s strength and weakness. Despite earlier teething problems regarding consistency, we’re currently pretty satisfied with Bao & Buns’ product. There are now four savory variations to try—original pork belly, deep-fried crispy chicken (probably our favorite), deep-fried fish and five-spice mushroom and tofu, all B90—with more, including a beef burger hybrid, said to be on the way. (They’ve also added a wholewheat bun that’s delicious.)
 
Tasting the original pork bao, it’s clear to see why these handheld treats are trending globally: fluffy, slightly sweet steamed bun, tender pulled pork, pickled greens and crushed peanuts. Add a squirt of Sriracha sauce and you’ve got a flavorful, if rather messy, snack on your hands. But here’s our big issue; however much you dress it up, this is snack food that’s hard to build a meal around.
 
And they do try: the Bao & Buns Set (B289) comes with two buns of your choice, deepfried taro strings and a drink (soy milk or lychee soda). The taro strings have a moreish, Pringles-like charm, but what we would give for something more substantial on the side, perhaps a salad. Chances are, even with the set, you’re not going to be completely full, but you may not be able to stomach any more of the soft, doughy goodness, either. (Dessert, too, is limited to toasted bao served with various flavors of Thai-style ice cream, B70.) One more gripe: In a town where most people eat a pizza with a knife and fork, it’s criminal to not have a washing basin or at least wet wipes for customers.
 
While more than a passing fad, Bao & Buns currently doesn’t have the variety of, say, the similarly single-minded hot dog haunt Bangers to be anything other than a decent betweenmeals destination. Still, we’re excited to see how far they can take the concept.
Venue Details
Address: Bao & Buns, 27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 33, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 090 950 1666
Website: www.facebook.com/baoandbuns
Area: Phrom Phong
Price Range: B - BB
Opening hours: daily 10:30am-9pm
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