Bao selection… the battered eggplant had a delightful chilli lime mayo to add creaminess, pickled cucumber for crunch and fresh mixed leaves. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

"Order at individual kitchens, grab a buzzer, order a drink at the long, beautiful bar and settle in,” says dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

EXCITEMENT hit when Super Bao arrived at Verity Lane Market, the boutique food hall in the Sydney Building, Northbourne Avenue.

These folks know how to bang out a bao so it’s no surprise they decided to open a second venue (the original’s in Dickson).

Verity Lane describes itself as “gastronomic ground zero”. Food vendors can change, with current kitchens operated by Ramen Daddy, My Sabor, Uno Tapas, Pasta Artigiana and Pizza Artigiana. The aim is to offer something for every appetite. 

Order at individual kitchens, grab a buzzer, order a drink at the long, beautiful bar and settle in. Reservations aren’t necessary but Verity Lane can get busy, especially at peak periods, so online bookings are available for groups of eight or more.

But back to the bao. We got stuck into the battered eggplant which had a delightful chilli lime mayo to add creaminess, pickled cucumber for crunch and fresh mixed leaves for some additional vitamins. It was absolutely delicious and the chilli – while not hot – stays on the palette for a bit (which we love). Our bet is that this bao would be a winner even for those not entirely enamoured with eggplant. Give it a go.

Super Bao sells bao for $7.50 each or three for $20. Also on the menu was crackling pork, Korean fried chicken, Angus beef brisket and Teriyaki tofu, all guaranteed to get your taste buds dancing.

After doing just that, we wandered about Verity Lane and decided on Italian for mains. Pasta Artigiana has opened since our last visit (a Pizza Artigiana is also on site) and the pasta selections sounded delish and are good value ($15 to $21).

Two of the five pastas on offer caught our eye – ravioli ($18) and gnocchi ($15) – because they both featured truffles (‘tis the season).

Ravioli al porcino… pleasant enough, but the dish wasn’t exactly hot. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

The ravioli was stuffed with creamy ricotta and an earthy mushroom bisque. The truffle wasn’t overbearing and the ravioli wasn’t overcooked. The combo of flavours was ‘pleasant enough’, according to my friend, but the dish wasn’t exactly hot even though we reacted immediately when our buzzer buzzed.

Gnocchi al cacio e pepe… the truffle, pecorino and pepper sauce was scrumptious but quickly became gluggy. Photo: Wendy Johnson.

My gnocchi was a bit heavy for my liking. The truffle, pecorino and pepper sauce was scrumptious but the pasta wasn’t piping hot and so the texture of the gnocchi quickly became gluggy. A bit of a shame, since I always love gnocchi for its lighter, more pillowy personality.

The Verity Lane bar is a visual masterpiece and well-equipped with a curated range of spirits, craft beer and exceptional wines. Bartenders are all too happy to shake and stir if a cocktail tickles your fancy.

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