Judge Bao and Tiger Burger have been tearing up the street food scene in Auckland, popping up mainly at the Street Food Collective in Ponsonby and foodie events like the Food Space.
After Judge Bao’s last stint with Pie Piper at Coco’s Cantina, you’d think they would hang up their aprons for a holiday, but the dynamic team are always on the go. Judge Bao have now teamed up with their foodie neighbours Tiger Burger for their newest collaboration – Chinese and Korean fusion eats at Bao Meets Burger. They’ve totally done up an abandoned pizzeria into a space. If it’s their baos and burgers that’s giving them this endless bounce of creativity and energy, then I want more of it!
Although it’s a bit off the inner city streets at O’Connell Street, you won’t miss the funky art done by Auckland graffiti master Kairau, aka Haser (check out his Instagram).
To tickle our appetites, we had the pickle chaser and the chop salad to start. The fresh lettuce would make any salad hater think twice. Chilli is something that would reoccur in many dishes so be warned! The kimchi is best in between burger bites, there to offset any burger/bao bloating.
I’d recommend trying both versions of the chicken: Chinese Yin Yang and Real Sticky Icky wings. Both were tasty with Yin Yang being more mild compared to the sweet and spicy Korean wings.
This cute lap dog is a fun twist on the traditional American hotdog with a fresh lap cheong sausage in between a steamed bao with lashings of mustard and Sichuan chilli tomato sauce.
Perhaps my favourite, but something unexpected close to the end of a full meal was Tiger Burger’s GG Burger – galbi-braised beef in a burger. I had tried their Kimcheese burger before but this was glorious. The pickled carrot balanced out the meaty flavours. The best part was the juicy beef sauce dripping over my hands – not that greasy slick you’d normally get from burgers but clear honest beef juice collecting at the bottom.
The octopus prime is something fun to have alongside. I grew up eating octopus in its whole form with the head and tentacles together, so I had no remorse for the little creature wedged between my chopstick.
I’m a huge fan of matcha so but I had no regrets being treated to both versions of the ice cream sundaes. The chilli chocolate was only mildly spicy on top while the matcha ice cream aka The Hulk came adorned with a piece of seaweed.
Keep an eye on their pages (Judge Bao and Tiger Burger) for more updates but you can expect Bao Meets Burger to be here for at least two more weeks. Fingers crossed they’ll be here for longer!
12 O’Connell St