After achieving success as a food business at the bustling Oranjezicht City Farm Market, How Bao Now has set down roots at the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town and offers a range of Asian-inspired street food menu items with bao being the main attraction.
Founded and run by chef duo Matt Van Den Berg and Carla Schulze, How Bao Down officially opened its doors on 1 December 2021.
“Due to COVID, The Test Kitchen was forced to close for two months, says Matt. “After a couple of days away from the kitchen we were yearning to do what we love most and we decided to open at the market. After one year of successful trade at the market, we decided to open a shop to spread our wings and be more accessible to people outside of the market.”
Sometimes the best names and ideas are created over a drink with a friend or your co-founder and that’s just what happened with How Bao Now.
“Carla and I were sitting one evening having a glass of wine discussing this new exciting idea and adventure. Unsure of when we were ever going to do this, Carla looked at me and said: “how about now?” And the name was born.”
The new restaurateurs have a wealth of culinary experience and expertise having worked with renowned Chef Luke Dale Roberts at The Test Kitchen, as junior sous and sous chef respectively.
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With love and passion for Asian cuisine, both Matt and Carla embarked on a journey of creating a menu that echoes this. The menu showcases a range of fresh bao bun options, fresh tuna, cucumber and daikon salad and more.
With a strong focus on bao buns, How Bao Now has become renowned for offering some of the best around. The latest edition to the menu is the oyster mushroom bao (suitable for vegetarians) which offers a punch of flavour as the oysters are dipped in a master stock pickle, and then topped with miso mayo, fresh herbs and crispy pickles.
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Located at the Old Biscuit Mill and in true street food fashion and aesthetics, guests can look forward to dining in an edgy and industrial space designed by local creative, Sandalene Dale Roberts.
Although the pair have a fine-dining background, Matt and Carla have assured us that they are using their experience “as a foundation to create something different, bigger and better.”
Matt is a strong believer that food brings people together and Carla believes that flavour is key. How Bao Now is rooted in both cooking philosophies – with a strong focus on making customers feel at home while eating delicious food and enjoying each others’ company. With that being said, the pair are very open to other collaborative food projects.
“We are not limited to constraints and you can expect new and exciting pop-ups, chef collaborations and more.”
How Bao now is open Wednesday to Saturday from 11am – 4pm at the Old Biscuit Mill and will soon be opening for dinner as they introduce more dishes, cocktails and snacks.
The food stall is still operating at the Oranjezicht Market every Wednesday night from 5-9pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 2pm.
Currently, How Bao Now does not take bookings and offers seating on a first-come-first-serve basis.
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