Judge Bao offers a modern twist to traditional Chinese convenience food. With just a few options you can be confident each item on their compact menu is perfectly executed with meat and vege options. Using only free range meat and local produce, their buns are hand rolled and steamed. Each bao is assembled to order. I think I’ve eaten their food about 4 times in the last little while.
Jamie and Debbie are the cute couple behind Judge Bao and below are their answers to the tasty questions I cooked up for your enjoyment.
Describe your food:
Local, ethical, and modern Chinese.
What is your signature dish?
”The Sloppy Po” bao. It’s our take on Mapo Tofu – spicy, sweet and savory. It’s super umami!
Name your favourite comfort food:
Chicken and salted fish fried rice for Jamie. For Debbie it’s a slice of The Pie Piper’s Rocky Road Pie and Sweet Val’s Ice Cream’s nitrogen vanilla ice cream with salted caramel sauce and home baked choc chip cookies!
What did you have for breakfast?
We’re really into Blue Frog’s Kaipara Kumara cereal at the moment. It’s really something else.
What is the most delicious thing you’ve eaten this week?
Got to be the Beef Pho at Peasant on Dominon Road. It’s savoury, sweet, herby and the stock is epic! Oh and downing two Tiger Burger’s Kimcheese Burger after a 12 hour production day at the prep kitchen!
What is an underrated ingredient?
Rare or heritage breed pigs especially in New Zealand. There’re only a handful of farms raising beautiful Tamworths, Berkshires and large blacks. Every breed of pig has a difference: the Berkshire can be compared to Kobe beef as it has beautiful fat marbling. The Tamworth is a great pig for bacon and also has a boar like flavour.
What are 3 sources of inspiration to you?
Our parents have be extremely supportive and great guiding lights in our lives but even more so as our business mentors now. Al Brown for his ethos on food and hospitality. We’re both inspired by each other – Jamie for his passion, drive, and love of food. Debbie for her artistic flair, creativity and all round bubbly personality.
Nanam Eatery in Royal Oak. It’s a cool twist on modern Filipino food.
There’s a potluck dinner tomorrow night (and you’re not working) what are you bringing?
Roasted leg of lamb rubbed with paprika, garlic, oregano and sea salt, with a side of green beans tossed in basil, lemon parmesan and olive oil.
What is your most memorable meal?
Cheung Fahn rice rolls in Hong Kong from a Dai Pai Dong stall. They have a pasta like bite topped with hoisin, soy, sesame, and peanut.
Judge Bao will have a special pop up shop at the popular Street Eats at Shed 10 on Saturday 29 August.
Judge Bao recently did a video with Club Sandwich, a local foodie film project close to my heart. Check out the making of their “lucky duck” bao video below.