Bao burgers and deep-fried dumplings land on Dundas West

Bao burgers and deep-fried dumplings land on Dundas West

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

Bao and dumplings have replaced Luther’s fried chicken and waffles at Churchill: new pop-up Almighty Bao has taken up residence in the Dundas West bar’s 85-square-foot kitchen. Owner Taylor Gilbert, a longtime Churchill regular, got tipsy earlier this year and convinced his friends at Luther’s to let him take over the kitchen for a night—and his bao were a smash hit. So when the opportunity arose to take over the kitchen full-time, Gilbert jumped.

The short menu is divided between stuffed steamed buns and bar snacks like all-dressed fries loaded with bacon kewpie mayo, sriracha, avocado, nori and sesame seeds. The three O.G. bao (California club, pork belly, “vegetabao”) that Gilbert served on his hit night are still available, along with a few new features, like the current crowd favourite: deep-fried chicken dumplings. According to Gilbert, Churchill gets a ton of first-time Tinder dates, and the hulking California club is more of a second-date dish (it’s architecturally unsound and super messy).

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

This California roll and club sandwich hybrid includes deep-fried chicken, bacon, nori, avocado sauce, kewpie mayo, pickled cucumber, tomatoes and fried shallots. $8.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

A flat top–griddled beef patty topped with “mighty sauce” (like a spicy Big Mac dressing), lettuce, tomato and house-made, rice wine–marinated pickles. $8.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Fried chicken dumplings topped with soya sauce, spicy mayo, nori and roasted sesame seeds. $7 for five.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

These fried-rice balls are Gilbert’s version of Chinese arancini. Pork-fried rice is deep fried and topped with kewpie mayo, hoisin, ginger-scallion sauce and chili oil. $6.

(Image: Caroline Aksich) (Image: Caroline Aksich)
 

Owner, Taylor Gilbert.

1212 Dundas St. W. (in Churchill Bar), no phone, @almightybao