Culture clash – sample fusion fare at South Brisbane’s Baos Pop Bistro
We love an adventurous fusion, especially when it comes in an easy-to-eat package. South Brisbane’s newest haunt Baos Pop Bistro is amalgamating elements of Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Korean eating and drinking cultures, delivering it in an approachable and easygoing setting. If the sound of truffle-chicken baos, tea-smoked duck, Korean-style fried cauliflower and sudsy tap beers are enticing, read on to find out more about your new favourite venue.
A mere 200 metres south of the bustling strip of Boundary Street sits Baos Pop Bistro, a brand-new casual bar and eatery that straddles the border of South Brisbane and West End on Browning Street. From the outside, the venue (which was formerly the home to The Garner) seems fairly innocuous – a head-high fence conceals the shaded alfresco dining area from prying eyes, with only an understated logo-adorned light box cluing foot traffic in on the building’s true purpose. Further investigation is highly recommended, because beyond the threshold awaits a casual dining experience centred around flavoursome fusions and a collision of culinary styles. Baos Pop Bistro is a 40-seat laid-back and informal spot that is whipping up a wondrous spread informed by elements of traditional Shanghai and Chinese cuisine, with traces of Japanese, Korean and Thai cooking added into the mix. The breezy outdoor space is juxtaposed by a moody interior, where folks can clink glasses of frosty beer or wine while bathed in the light of a crimson-neon sign. That sign leaves little doubt as to what the specialty here is – the word BAOS beams out to the street, beckoning in more curious wanderers.
As the name attests, the signature menu item at Baos Pop Bistro is, well, baos. But they’re not the fluffy sandwich-style handfuls that you might be familiar with. These baos closely resemble dumplings, with a crispy exterior stuffed to bursting point with an assortment of fillings. Four kinds of bao are currently available, including truffle-chicken enclosed in black squid-ink dough, plus succulent pork, beef and vegetarian baos. The rest of the menu includes small plates, noodle and rice dishes and mains – all of which is designed to share. Tasters like battered and fried Korean-style cauliflower, fried tiger prawn, pork and tofu sandwiches, five-star sashimi tuna salads, Japanese eggplant in sesame dressing are great for light grazing, but groups with a larger appetite would be best served devouring serves of stir-fried flank steak, tea-smoked half duck with plum sauce, house-made dan dan noodles and mushroom rice with garlic chips. Pairing perfectly with any combination of morsels is Baos Pop Bistro’s beverage selection, which include Australian craft beer from Mountain Goat, Green Beacon, Brouhaha and 3 Ravens, as well as a curated selection of red and white wines, organic sodas and juices.
Keen to see what Baos Pop Bistro has to offer? Be sure to check the Stumble Guide for operating hours and other important details.
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Brisbane dining guide with more than 2400 places to eat, drink, shop and play.