Having had visited Bao Dao’s Chatswood branch earlier last year (see review here), we were interested to see how their newly opened sophisticated sister branch fared at Crows Nest. Having been open for around a month or so now, Bao Dao Tawainese Cuisine at Crows Nest aims to offer their diners a fuller dining experience (as compared to the cheaper “streetfood” style dishes at their Chatswood location). The menu was relatively long and interesting, offering traditional dishes such as “San Bei chicken” as well as the more adventurous dishes such as deep fried pork intestines. The outfit of the restaurant is also more sophisticated than their Chatswood branch, and gives out a “date-vibe” rather than a “quickeats-vibe”.
To start off, we ordered a pot of olive tea which is grown in Canberra. The tea is rich and slightly bitter in taste, and turns out to be a wonderful palate cleanser between dishes. For entrees we decide to go bold and chose the deep fried pork intestine with shallot ($14) and the smoked mullet roe and taiwanese style sausage plate ($12). The deep fried pork intestine had a slightly chewy texture and a smoky taste that was offset with the shallots. The smoked mullet roe and taiwanese style sausage plate had an even “smokier” taste and was tasty, albeit being quite salty.
Next came our favourite starter – their coffin bread with seafood chowder ($12). It consisted of a thick crispy thick cut toast in the shape of a coffin, that held together a small serving of thick and creamy seafood chowder. Mm my definition of comfort food.
For our mains we ordered the stir fried rice noodle with pumpkin and clam ($24), the traditional San Bei sizzling chicken ($24), and the steamed blue swimmer crab with glutinous rice ($32). The San Bei chicken comes out sizzling hot and is full of flavour. Just watch out for the occasional ginger chunks that surprised our taste buds (and definitely eat this dish with a bowl of steamed rice). The steamed blue swimmer crab also offers an interesting twist of “luxury” to the otherwise very homely and down-to-earth glutinous rice. What was our favourite out of the three mains though was the simple stir fried rice noodle with pumpkin and clam. The rice noodles seemed to soak up all the various flavours from the veggies and the seafood, and provided a simple yet complex presentation of varying tastes and textures.
Although we were both beyond full by this point, we could not say no to dessert. As it turned out, the dessert of the day was a mixture of glutinous red bean pastry, glutinous rice balls, vanilla bean ice cream and a side serving of sweet and sour green mango shaved ice. If it is still on their menu, I would definitely recommend trying their sweet and sour green mango shaved ice which consists of slivers of sour green mango pieces tossed between shaved ice that is dosed in a slightly sweet and icy soup. A refreshing dessert that offers a twist to our usual dessert regime.
Bao Dao Taiwanese Cuisine is definitely the classy sister out of the Bao Dao family, and whilst it is fun to eat more “street-food” style dishes such as pork buns and pork mince noodles at their Chatswood location, it is worth checking out Bao Dao Taiwanese Cuisine at Crows Nest to see what else Taiwanese Cuisine can offer.
Disclaimer: PlanMB dined as guests of Bao Dao Taiwanese Cuisine.
Bao Dao Taiwanese Cuisine
Shop 2, 300 Pacific Hwy Crows Nest
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