We were lucky enough to be invited to a sneak peek of Newcastle West eatery Bao Brothers’ new concept, Bao Brothers After Dark on Tuesday night, and in a nutshell, we were more than impressed.
Essentially a more refined restaurant version of the contemporary Asian fare that has been wowing diners at their current location and at events everywhere thanks to its ever-popular food truck.
You can expect a very intimate dining experience here too with the Asian influence evident in the decor, not least the array of bamboo steamers that adorn the ceiling.
The restaurant promises an array of snacks, small dishes, and larger ‘share plates’ but tonight, we were presented with an array of the menu’s ‘greatest hits’ – in delightful amuse-bouche style.
One of the definite standouts of the evening was the shiitake mushroom and gruyere doughnuts. This perfectly balanced and beautifully fluffy morsel came as a complete surprise, forever changing the way this writer thinks about this traditionally sweet dish.
Given the proliferation of Chinese restaurants in this town, it would be a given to assume that pretty much everyone is familiar with the joys of prawn toast.
However, you haven’t tried prawn toast quite like anything coming out of the Bao kitchen. This is truly a classic snack taken to the next level with the inspired addition of pickled cucumber, a deliciously moreish cocktail sauce and lettuce.
While everything that was put in front of us was worthy of writing home about, the decadent confit chicken wing is certainly one that will live long in the memory.
The addition of a roasted rice mayo, chilli and ginger really made this dish sing a tune that this writer wants to keep humming.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Bao Brothers without a bao and the one presented to us was well and truly up to the standard we’ve come to expect from these guys – and then some.
An invitingly slow cooked glazed lamb shoulder was the hero in this dish, with the addition of sesame cucumbers and spicy snake beans, all enveloped in an impossibly fluffy bao.
Yum. Just yum.
When it came to the libations, we were no less impressed either thanks to Bao’s Geisha Spritz cocktail – a colorful concoction consisting of melon and orange liqueur, Yuzu soda, cardamom, maraschino, and lemon.
Another on the menu, the Cut And Run (gin, mandarin sherbert, fino sherry, and lemon) looked equally inviting, but it was a school night and we were quite taken with the aforementioned Geisha Spritz.
Bao Brothers have certainly taken their already winning concept to the next level with Bao Brothers After Dark.
Bao Brothers After Dark is located at 701 Hunter Street. Head here for more info and to make a booking.