Near Lavender MRT
Before we go all gaga over the colourful baos that have been hailed as one of the most interesting fusion restaurants in Singapore by the media, lets do a little more study first. Alright, we first have Bao (London), then Little Bao (Hong kong), then Shackfuyu (London) and now Bao Makers that is the local spin off from these bao concepts. Unfortunately, we felt only 2 out of 4 could make the cut and they were expectedly from their place of origin – London! Reasons unknown but we know the head chef at Bao hails from Taiwan (despite having a Caucasian sous chef) where such baos originated from. Such fusion concepts when used, should be treaded along cautiously as such concepts have to be bold, refreshing, yet simultaneously having the conventions retained, with all seemingly clashing elements coming together beautifully in the dish. Bao and Shackfuyu have shone in that expect indubitably but the Asian spin offs are still slightly confused.
We say it isn’t all that bad at Bao Makers. The thought behind each flavour such as this local chilli crab one was worth commending on. Spicy shredded chilli crab slotted into the fried buns that represent the great love by Singaporeans for mopping up the famous sauce with fried man tou usually. But if they’ve realised, there was sauce for a mop up but this was slightly drier than desired. No sauce for these fried buns to soak in, the kick wasn’t there. $5.80.
Salted egg Shrimp – Crunchy prawns they are but not only was the sauce insufficiently intense, it did not manage to permeate through the prawns and thus their blandness. I somehow felt that the bao they used could be of a higher grade as the ones in London were way fluffier and less dense, thereby giving it an edge in its presentation as well. $5.80.
Bulgogi – A Korean flavoured one even and again, where is that sauce? And if there isn’t a sauce for such dry dishes usually, then create one I feel which is what Bao London did! This is what fusion is really about! $5.30.
Buta Yaki Don and Katsu Teri Don each for $12. The poached eggs were OK, but the presentation just felt insufficient while the umaminess in the sauces needs to be buffed up a little more. And that rice, wasn’t the correct pearl rice used. It was a pity indeed.
It was apparently not an exciting meal for us as much expectations were placed after the great ‘bao’ meals in London previously! The idea is there we felt and the taste of the buns are rightly thought out, but just lacking quite a bit in their execution. To myself I thought sometimes, the Sg cafes just need that little bit more passion!
Verdict: An above average restaurant. 2.7/5