Mr. & Mrs. Bao is among the latest additions to the expanding flavours of Downtown St. Thomas. Their menu pairs ancient Chinese Traditions with modern flavours incorporating other cultural favourites like Caribbean Jerk Chicken into Asian Fusion Comfort Food - on the go!
The creation of bao is the stuff of legend. These cloud-like steamed buns are said to have originated in China during the Three Kingdoms period, around the third century. The legend tells of a victorious army, a river, a steamed wheat bun offering to a deity to avoid more loss of human life. The god seemed to think the buns were an ok (and delicious) substitute and parted the river to allow the returning army safe passage home.
These original buns didn't have a filling while what we now know as bao became a dish in their own right, stuffed with various other foods.
Whether that legend is true or not, bao quickly became a prized delicacy throughout northern China – where wheat is the staple crop rather than rice. In recent years bao has taken on a more global appeal and arrived in St. Thomas along with husband and wife team Julia and Steven.
Julia and Steven began their restaurant journey with a food truck on the Western University Campus expanding to three locations and 30 employees sharing a passion for wholesome Asian fusion comfort food.
And comfort is something we all need, "We have a few guests that come to our restaurants regularly because our food reminds them of home,' Julia says. 'And while the last year has had its challenging moments, this it has also been a year of growth for us because we chose to be intuitive in our business journey, and it is so worth it!"
The menu at this take-out spot offers some variety, offering walk-in specials and online availability through third-party delivery providers. As usual, I opted to try a few fan favourites and recommendations from Julia with a selection of bao, ramen, and dumplings - my personal preference usually skews to chicken and the Big Bird and Jerk Chicken bao were my favourites in the order, but Chairman Bao (pork belly) added points for puns.