On Thursday and Friday night, Mr Bao serves a Singapore-chilli-crab-inspired dish. The crab is well cooked, crisp and served with a textural and flavour-dense dipping sauce. It is served with a golden, crisp bao bun.
Mr Bao is the work of James Pham and Angeline Lee. Mr Bao was originally a market stall. Now it’s a restaurant-bar serving Vietnamese- and Japanese-inspired bar food with the precision and style you’d expect from fine-dining alumni. The baos are soft and melty, and all of them come with simple but impeccable fillings. The couple’s proudest edition is the crackling pork belly, featuring a slab of succulent roast pork, Mr Bao hoisin and home-pickled cucumbers encased in walls of thick crackling.
There is also karaage chicken and spicy aioli with pickles; and the tempura prawns with wasabi mayonnaise.
Mr Bao is only open for bao at lunch and a short menu of bar snacks for Thursday and Friday dinners, but Pham and Lee have plans for breakfast baos and an extended dinner service, such as a baoger station with different courses matched to drinks. For breakfast, Pham has plans for a hangover-oriented bacon-and-egg bao; and a more refined, crisp bao with smoked salmon, horseradish cream cheese, chives and egg.