While many people go out and party on Friday nights to celebrate the end of the long work week, I’m the opposite in wanting to go home and just relax in my pyjamas while I binge-surf online. About 60% of those Fridays, I stop by Bao Stir Fry to get me a good takeaway meal I can eat in front of my computer. Located conveniently five minutes from my flat and five minutes from Noksapyeong Station, Bao is a godsend for takeaway queens like me.
For those wanting to dine in, there are few tables for outside seating, and there are more inside. Bao is a small place, and while the outside seating feels cramped to me, the inside doesn’t because of the way they decorated their interior, making the place feel larger than it looks. I’ve never felt cramped or uncomfortable the few times I have eaten there.
Bao specialises in stir fry noodle or rice dishes with fresh veggies, sauce of your choice, and your choice of protein. The way I see Bao is that their dishes are like the Chinese takeaways we see in the media — fried rice or fried noodles in cartons, but with better quality ingredients. Not to mention, Bao is completely customisable. Do you want brown rice with Thai sauce and chicken? Great! Do you feel like thin rice noodles with Korean sauce and prawns? No problem! Sure, their system takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get it down pat, you’re gold!
Bao allows you to choose the following:
- Size: Regular or large
- Sauce: Chinese, Thai, Singapore, Malay, or Indonesian
- Starch: Egg noodle, thin rice noodle, flat rice noodle, white rice, or brown rice
- Egg or no egg option
- With default veggies consisting of bok choy, broccoli, carrot, red and yellow paprika/bell peppers/capsicum, ginger, onion, king oyster mushroom, bean sprouts, scallions, and garlic
The proteins and other add-ons are also available, but for extra fee, and they are:
- Protein: tofu, chicken, squid, pork, prawns, or beef
- Flair/flavouring: lime leaf, coriander, lemongrass, cashews, basil, egg, and kimchi
I have two customised dishes I like to get for my Friday takeaways, and they are:
- Chinese with brown rice, egg, veggies, and tofu and/or chicken
- Thai with flat rice noodles, egg, veggies, and tofu and/or chicken
Both are great, and I love the different textures and flavours that go into these dishes. I don’t find their stir fry to be greasy, unlike some of the other fried food places out there. I also like that the food stays hot for a good long while, which is good when I want to eat slow because of my computer duties.
Bao also sells side dishes, drinks, and deep-fried desserts. Their deep-fried desserts are true indulgences that have to be tried at least once. I’m very fond of their Fireball Ice Cream, which really are lit on fire! If anything, get that for a chance to see the blazing ice cream. I also tried their deep-fried Oreo, which I was super hesitant on even trying, and I was amazed by how it was actually good. No, the Oreo weren’t crunchy inside, but the batter on the outside of it were. Eating that is truly an unique experience.
As for their service, with the exception of one time, I generally have a good experience with the owners and the workers there. Every time I go there, I receive a friendly greeting, and I’ve observed them being helpful to those who have never tried their ordering system before. Sometimes you may have to wait a bit for your food, but that’s to be expected when you only have three woks going and ten orders that need to be made!
Honestly, I’m glad Bao is here. They’ve become my Friday night takeaway staple, and when all I want to do is just unwind from my long work week, their stir fry acts like my comfort food.
3, Hoenamu-Ro, Yongsan-Gu, Seoul, Korea
서울특별시 용산구 회나무로 3
From Noksapyeong Station, go out exit 2. Keep going straight until you reach the underpass. Go in there, cross the street, and take the left exit. Further up is a crosswalk, and Bao will be directly on the other side.
8,000 ~ 20,000+ won budget per person