Cookie FM Rating – 5/5
When it comes to lunch, a light dinner or even soakage during a sesh, steer food is one of my favourite. At Eatyard beside The Bernard Shaw, there’s a great selection of vendors to choose from, but Pow Bao is one that really stood out. I genuinely love bao buns myself, from their sticky soft dough buns to their tasty fillings, and Asian food is one of my favourite continental cuisines. Therefore I was delighted that this Irish vendor & company offer up these little buns of wonder at the popular outdoor eatery.
Pow Bao brings authentic street food from the markets of Taiwan to the Eatyard. Bao down into our fluffy, soft steamed buns stuffed with bold, fresh flavours from the colourful lands of Asia.
The menu for Pow Bao is small but mighty, with six different bao buns to choose from, which include a few meats, plenty of vegetables, herbs and spices, as well as a selection of loaded crackers and a salad too. On my first try, I opted for the pork and then the chicken bao buns, brilliantly named Porky Baoboa and Bao Chicka Bao Bao – the latter of which I just know you read as “bow chicka wow wow”!
The Porky Baoboa was a seriously delicious start to their food; beautifully flavoured pulled pork belly with an apple & radish salad, carrots, spring onions and a sambal mayonnaise. The whole bun was just magnificent, it was one of those first bites where you can see the sparks around you! What I really loved about this was the texture contrast that worked so perfectly; soft and succulent pork that falls apart with crisp apple & radish. It was such a refreshing match. Genius! Sesame seeds atop, with a hint of spice in the mayo, this was truly the perfect bao in to start. The Bao Chicka Bao Bao was very tasty too, with crispy battered chicken and a lot of spicy kimchi. To start, how can you not love that name! I was very impressed with the textures of the chicken; crispy batter with moist, soft chicken fillet. Sometimes with nuggets, its easy to have dry meat, but that was definitely not the case here, which sat atop cabbage kimchi, dressed in a kimchi ketchup with cucumber slices, coriander and sprinkled with parmesan cheese to finish. I really liked the combination of these ingredients. The kimchi’s level of spiciness was right on point though the ketchup was milder, but I liked that. The cucumber gave the bao it’s refreshing kick that was the right compliment to the sharpness of the kimchi, and the parmesan added a nice contrasting flavour.
I returned a week later to try even more of Pow Bao’s food, this time opting for the meal deal of any bao + salad + shrimp crackers, for which I ordered the Bang Bang Bao, (which I paid for myself). I love peanuts with chicken and this creamy peanut sauce compliments the pulled rotisserie chicken beautifully, with freshness added via the carrots & beansprouts. This one was delicious, with extra crushed peanuts for more texture, that I wanted to order a second one straight away! The salad was a refreshing side, with crisp Chinese cabbage, beansprouts, pickled red onion & pickled cucumber slices and dressed in a sharp vinaigrette and crunchy shrimp crackers to finish. What a brilliant combination, that honestly left me full but not overly stuffed, and very satisfied.
Overall, the food by Pow Bao is extraordinary Taiwanese street food in Dublin. Meeting Paddy & Roy was a big plus too, as it’s always great to get to know & meet the faces behind the food. They were such great characters, chatty & very friendly and clearly very passionate about food, and what they cook up. I really enjoyed my lunch here, and will definitely be back – Cookie FM recommends!
Tried & Tested
Bao Chicka Bao Bao*
Bang Bang Bao + Salad + Shrimp Crackers
Pow Bao at Eatyard (beside The Bernard Shaw), 9-10 Richmond Street, Dublin 2
Click to visit Pow Bao
Images © Nirina Plunkett, Pow Bao
*I did attend as a non-paying guest for this experience, but that does not influence the authenticity of this review.