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Singapore restaurant REVIEW:
Bao Makers & Butler's Steak

  • Bao Makers & Butler's Steak
    Bao Makers
  • Bao Makers & Butler's Steak
    Butler's Steak
  • Bao Makers & Butler's Steak
    Watermelon Lime Mojito
  • Bao Makers & Butler's Steak
    Bao Makers & Butler's Steak

The hype: Modern bao concept Bao Makers has moved to a chic new shophouse along Jiak Chuan Road, bringing with it the house favorite buns, plus an all-new steakbar within the premises, which serves up alternative meat cuts at night.

The vibe: The larger space means more room for everyone to come and share in the bao goodness; combining minimalistic industrial decor with a sleek new bar, the restaurant exudes an inviting ambience amongst the other more imposing establishments in the neighborhood. Handy mood lighting turns it from casual hangout in the day to a sultry, cozy, after-work spot at night.

The food: Back by popular demand, Bao Makers’ tasty fusion baos are now available all day and all night. The traditional white buns (of the “kong bak pau” braised pork bun family) are made using an in-house recipe that keeps them soft, fluffy and impressively resilient against sogginess.

A favorite since the shop’s previous location, the Salted Egg Chicken ($5.80) boasts a hearty dose of salted egg yolk gravy—the yolks are mashed by hand, in-house, to create a thick creamy paste that doesn’t have the same cloying aftertaste as your bog-standard, coffeeshop salted egg yolk dishes. The chicken itself is deceptively golden—perfectly fried to a tender crisp with no lingering traces of oil; it’s easy to see why it’s their bestseller.

Or try the Soft Shell Crab ($6.80), a frontrunner gunning for top spot with the Salted Egg Chicken. It’s fried just right so you can still taste the crab under all the batter, and drenched in curry mayo sauce for an unexpected but distinctly local twist. If you want something a little more fusion, the Mentaiko Salmon ($6.80) delivers a Japanese-infused kick with the generous slathering of mentaiko and fish roe.

When night falls, Butler’s Steak opens and the new-age cuts come out to play. We had the Butler’s Steak ($25), a Black Angus flat iron that came a little tough, reason being that it comes from the shoulder of the cow—a part generally less tender than the classic ribeye or shortrib cuts. Still, the heavy-handed salting on the dish made up for the tougher texture. It might take a while to get used to, but their commitment to showcasing more unique cuts doesn’t go unnoticed.

The drinks: The addition of a bar means Bao Makers has expanded beyond their previous beverage menu of just teas and coffee. Wines are affordably priced, averaging $12 a glass; but the drinks to hit up are the mojitos and cocktails. Light and fruity but still potent (they take a while to set in), they make for refreshing coolers to pair with the more indulgent baos. The Watermelon Lime Mojito is a personal favorite.

Why you’ll be back: We’re loving the welcoming vibe of the new space—and who doesn’t love a quirky concept that’s easy on the eyes and the wallet? The baos, while flavorful, are cohesive, and surprisingly light so you won’t feel like you’ve sinned for ten. You could have a proper feast at Bao Makers and still have the means to splurge on a round of drinks after, which frankly sounds like the perfect after-work remedy to us. 

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Phone: 6291-2330
Bao Makers & Butler's Steak, 4 Jiak Chuan Rd., Singapore, 089261 Singapore

Opening Hours:

Mon-Fri 7:30-11pm; Tue-Sat 2-7am; Sat-Sun 6:30pm-midnight; Sun-Mon 2-8am

Price Range:

$

Open Since:

December, 2017
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Bao Makers & Butler's Steak

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Photo credit: Land Transport Authority (LTA)

Just when you thought trains and buses weren’t cramped enough as it is.