Bend the Bao has officially opened at CityWalk Orlando. The new restaurant features a variety of items that fuse popular Asian cuisine with diverse ingredients like crab cakes, pork belly, kimchee fried chicken, and more – creating an entirely new mash-up that “bends” the idea of a traditional bao.
The artwork features colorful representations of different Chinese Zodiac signs, including the rabbit, dragon, and monkey.
Guests can order 2 Baos for $11.99 and can add a 3rd bun for $4.49. Here’s a look at the menu:
Shrimp Bao – fried shrimp, shredded cabbage, avocado, pico de gallo, chipotle crema
Veggie Bao – roasted oyster mushrooms, spinach, sweet potato, caramelized onion, smoked ricotta cheese, tomatillo salsa
Crab Cake Bao – Maryland-style crab cake, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, mustard aioli
Beef Brisket Bao – beef brisket, fried jalapeno, pickled red onion, cilantro, avocado lime crema
Pork Belly Bao – pork belly, scallions, cucumber, honey-roasted peanuts, cilantro
Duck Bao – braised duck, kimchee slaw, XO sauce, cilantro, five-spice aioli
Kimchee FC – Kimchee fried chicken, kimchee butter, gochujang, cucumber, scallion, sriracha aioli
My favorites were the Beef Brisket, Pork Belly, and the Shrimp Baos. Each had a good flavor and the ingredients complimented each other very nicely. The surprise was the Veggie Bao, as I am not a mushroom fan but found myself enjoying the taste, especially with the smokiness of the ricotta. The Duck Bao may vary depending on your taste buds. I’m not a huge fan of the meat, so I wasn’t impressed enough to order it again.
For the first day of operations, the staff was very efficient as it took about 5-10 minutes from the time we ordered to the time we received our baos; which is pretty damn good considering it was busy for the “opening day rush”.
For the cost of the baos, the portion is a tad on the smaller side. With that said, it’s a nice change of pace from your standard “burger and fries” quick service.
Bend The Bao is located on the second level of Universal CityWalk, adjacent to the Universal Cinemark theatre. It replaces the Fusion Bistro Sushi which closed earlier this year. The house of operation are from 11a – 10p.