Bao Boy

The hype: An East-meets-West joint by chef-owner of Cure and Butcher Boy, Andrew Walsh, Bao Boy takes the meat fresh off the grill and onto delicate bao buns. Essentially a burger place that fully embraces the Asian food scene, the establishment offers an array of sliders inspired by various cuisines. 

The vibe: Nestled comfortably among other acclaimed dining spots along Hong Kong street, this sandwich parlour features a rather intimate setting, with an indoor dining area by the bar and an alfresco area good for catch-ups with friends.

The food: Begin with a starter that’s so addictive, you’ll have to remind yourself there’s still the mains. The Salmon Tartare Nachos, Wasabi Avocado ($12) features tender chunks of seasoned salmon on crispy nacho chips, making for not only the perfect appetiser but also a great bar bite to accompany your drinks. Several other sharing dishes worth shooting an order for is the creamy Chili Crab Mac n Cheese ($16) and a plate of beef short ribs and bo-ssam that comes with lettuce and rice for a Korean-slant.

, Bao Boy

Moving onto the main stars of the fare, pick from five different burgers with steamed baos for buns. Many would be familiar with the Fried Chicken & Cheese Bao with Yuzu Kosho ($14), which made its first appearance on the Butcher Boy menu as an experimental dish before it went on to inspire Bao Boy. Featuring a buttermilk-soaked chicken thigh, shredded cabbage and a drizzle of yuzu kosho for a refreshing zing of citrus, it’s easy to see why this one is a hit.

The Lamb Bao ($14) makes for a hearty meal with its sizable patty of breaded lamb terrine and a mildly spicy Korean hot sauce. Meanwhile, the signature Pulled Pork Banh Mi Bao ($14) wins hearts with the fusion of a juicy Iberico pork jowl, liver parfait and a dollop of sriracha sauce. No matter which patty you pick, your filling of choice will be sandwiched between an impossibly fluffy, silken bao bun that absorbs just the right amount of sauce without turning soggy and falling apart in your hands. The baos are sourced from a traditional bao maker in the heart of Chinatown.

, Bao Boy

The finisher and a surprising crowd favourite is the Fried Peanut Butter & Jelly Bao ($8), which, in theory, is a simple PB&J sandwich, but at Bao Boy, it’s a homemade, fried bao that hold chunky peanut butter parfait and strawberry jelly jam. Textures, contrast in temperatures and a light, yet flavourful dessert; Bao Boy gets it right with this one.

The drinks: Try Asian-inspired drinks like the Fash N Dash ($15) that’s concocted with bourbon and soy syrup, and the Ryokucha ($15), a Japanese classic of roasted green tea-infused gin with campari and a splash of vermouth.

Why you’ll be back: Steamed baos are a national favourite. Coupled with the universal love for burgers, chef Walsh’s restaurant plays on the addictiveness of his dishes. Dining here is like bitting into lovingly-made patties sandwiched between two clouds.