We’ve eaten more hotdogs from Andrew Levins’ The Dip than we care to admit, and enjoyed Jonkanoo’s jerk chicken while it lasted. Now, we’re making room for Goodgod’s newest canteen resident: Belly Bao.

Head chef Sylvia Tran discovered the tasty Taiwanese treat a few years ago while travelling in America. “We had these baos in New York and we just thought they were amazing,” Tran says. “After I’d eaten one, I never forgot about it.”

Distress hit when Tran returned to Sydney to find she was living in a bao black spot. “They were impossible to find – there was nowhere that sold them.

“I just kept thinking about how I really wanted to eat it,” Tran says with a laugh. “And so I thought, why don’t I give it a go and see how it turns out?”

One year, countless market stalls and a residency later, it’s fair to say it’s turned out pretty well.

In Taiwan the traditional gao bao consists of a soft, steamed, taco-shaped bun filled with slow-braised pork belly, pickled mustard greens, crushed peanuts and coriander. You can snack on this classic between beers, along with several other signature baos.

STAY IN THE KNOW
Get our pick of the best news, features and events delivered twice a week

The permanent kitchen is a first for Belly Bao, with the menu evolving to cater to Goodgod’s party revellers. “I’ve experimented with a few flavours during the year, but I didn’t want to release them until I’d found the right spot,” Tran says. These new additions include a soft-shell-crab bao with watercress, chilli aioli and lemon vinaigrette; sweet potato fries; and Belly Bao Chicken (BBC) served crunchy, sticky or spicy.

If you’re worried about how eating might impair your dancing, do not fear. Tran says, “Our food is a real snack kind of food. It’s small, so you can hold it in one hand – it’s really on the go.”

Belly Bao at Goodgod Small Club
53–55 Liverpool Street, Sydney

Hours
Wed to Fri 5pm–10pm
Sat 6pm–10pm