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Wonderbao

  • Veg-friendly Veg-friendly
    ( 2 reviews )
Contact 03-96547887
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Shop 4/19-37 A'Beckett St, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Serves meat, vegan options available. This place makes Chinese buns and its own organic soymilk. Has 3 bao that are vegan suitable and marked. Hard to find - go to the back of the arcade. Looks out onto a cobbled alley with artsy grafitti. Open Mon-Fri 8:00am-6:00pm, Sat 11:00am-4:00pm.

Category: Chinese, Fast food, Take-out, Non-veg

Reviews (2)

First Review by chocoholicPhilosophe

wonder why? - Edit

Again, I don't really understand why this place warrants a Happy Cow listing. With 2 savoury and 1 sweet veg*n option, it doesn't go out of its way to cater to plant eaters any more than pretty much any other place in the CBD.

There are plenty of good things to eat without meat nearby so having sampled what Wonderbao have to offer, I wouldn't make it a priority to go back. And I do love bao. I got the veggie pack at lunch time. The sweet taro bun and the veggie bun are on par with those served at many restaurants in Chinatown and surrounds, and the ones you can but frozen in grocery stores, actually! I think I prefer the veggie bun from the resto on Russell St - can't remember the name but you know the one with all the baskets of buns in the window? Those ones are hotter, taste fresher, and the veggie stuffing to fluffy bun ratio is better skewed toward the tasty filling.

The draw card is the tofu 'gau' boa. I found the cube of battered and fried silken tofu had a nice texture but could've been crispier on the outside and with it's bland flavour, dominated the bun. There was little room left for the pickled mustard greens, coriander and peanuts to balance it out. Have enjoyed far more delicious bao of this variety at Howler in Brunswick.

The homemade organic soy milk was perhaps the most enjoyable part of this meal for me. Warm, silky, nutty, and just sweet enough.


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Incredible taste for the price - Edit

When I used to live in Japan as an omni, I ate a lot of steamed buns, so I was really excited to find a vegan-friendly steamed bun shop in Melbourne.

I ordered the veggie lunch pack - one of each of the three vegan options. How else was I to decide? These were the choi bao (shiitake mushrooms, tofu and veggies), the taro bao (taro, duh), and the fried silky tofu gua bao (with pickled mustard, coriander, sweet soy sauce and crushed peanuts). They also sell freshly made organic soy milk, hot or cold. Although I don't usually drink soy milk straight, I decided to be adventurous, and ordered a hot one.

I started with the fried silky tofu gua bao, the one that looks like a steamed bun taco. It was amazing, heaven for $4.20. I felt like I was back in Japan about to go and take photos of a temple, except that instead I was sitting looking out on a kinda cool old graffitied laneway, and the food was an order of magnitude better than any of nikuman (meat filled bun), kareman (curried meat filled bun) or pizzaman (meat and cheese filled bun) I ever bought from a Japanese kombini (convenience store). It beat the steamed buns I had from more authentic vendors too.

The choi bao was tasty enough but unremarkable, more in line with the quality I generally enjoyed in Japan, though I think I would have enjoyed it more if I'd eaten it first. The taro bao, a sweet bun that I fortunately managed to leave till last by accident, was not really my thing. I found the texture a bit unpleasant, probably because it reminded me of sweet red bean paste which I also don't like.

As for the soy milk, I don't normally drink any non-dairy milks straight. However, this stuff was fantastic, a very pleasant flavour in its own right.

Next time, I'll just order two gua baos and a soymilk. Mmmmmm.

Pros: Amazing taste for the price, Cool vibe

Cons: Not everything is vegan, Hard to find (but so worth it)


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