You have to believe that baos are all the rage in Strasbourg! After Turbo Bao, which we tried in January right after it openedit is Bon Bao who settles in Petite France. Open since mid-April on Rue des Dentelles, Bon Bao has taken the place of the Alsatian winstub Tante Liesel and has around thirty tapas. Inside we still find the atmosphere of the old establishment, thanks to the preserved wooden beams. In terms of decor, the team went for mismatched pale pink upcycled tables and chairs, with a lot of effort put into the plants, special mention for the (faux) greenery wall which brings a real zen and fresh side.
A year to make the dough.
As for the menu, the offer is wide: here the specialty is the homemade baos, these steamed and stuffed buns, very common in Asian street food. Also the baos buns, prepared with the same dough as the baos, open this time, and garnished with meat and/or vegetables. “It took us a year to find our famous and current gourmet bao cake,” says the menu. The idea is that you make your own composition, marking the letter: you have to choose from a menu at €12.50 (it is only offered at midday on weekdays), consisting of a bao, a salad, a soft or sweet bao and a sauce . For the older ones, you can choose the menu at €18, with two bathrooms or two bunbaos. Finally, the €22 menu offers everything (yes, why choose?): two dips, a salad, a sauce, a dessert and a soft drink.
So I go for the €18 menu, with a bok choy salad, carrot and peanut sauce, a caramelized pork bao with galbi barbecue sauce and another with shredded duck, celery, spring onion, carrot, ginger and lime. Impossible not to try the baos bun (just to compare): served in pairs, I chose the recipe of the moment, with oyster mushrooms and a garlic and pepper sauce. “Everything is homemade”, promises the waitress, otherwise very pleasant and attentive. The promise is tempting.
An explosion of flavors
Dressed in a vintage and Alsatian service, the super-colorful baos buns are magnificent and make you want to. And they are as beautiful as they are good: I loved the mushroom garnish. The baos arrive in a bamboo basket to keep them warm. And on the palate it is an explosion of flavours: a special mention for the caramelized pork bao, a true favourite. The pulled duck brioche, also very good, is a bit dry in comparison. As for the peanut chowder slaw, I’ll just say one word: a killer (you really have to love peanuts, though, because the flavor is really quite pronounced). It feels homemade on the plate, the scones are made with a lot of love, there is no doubt.
The perfect gourmet touch
And the dessert, which we enjoyed on the comfortable sofa to the right of the entrance: on the menu, the baos with pasta are served in pairs. For twice the pleasure (who would doubt it? Brioche + fluid chocolate = life). One thing is for sure: after this full menu (along with two tasty baos buns), you are guaranteed PLS. But we clearly enjoyed it. As for the price, a la carte and individually, starters are offered between €6 and €7 (we find homemade stuffed ravioli or even pork brochettes), salads with side dishes and super tasty between €5 and 6, baos (pork, duck, vegetables and mushrooms) between €5 and €6, bun baos (with duck, pork and the recipe of the moment, always served in pairs) between €13 and €14.50, sauces (peanut; good bao thai ketchup and ginger mayonnaise) between €2 and €2.50 and desserts (double cream dip, chocolate dip, sponge cake, etc.) between €3.50 and €7.
In the end, our bill was €45 (a menu at €18, another at €12.50 and buns served for two for €14.50). Note that the menu is only enough (the €18 if good to eat) so clearly reasonable value for money. Thumbs up for this tasty break, sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood.
Bon Bao, 4, rue des Dentelles in Strasbourg. Open from Thursday to Monday from 12 to 2 pm and from 7 to 9:30 pm.