A new Asian street food restaurant has opened at the Biscuit Mill in Cape Town.

After finding success as a food business in the bustling Oranjezicht City Farm Market, How Bao Now has settled in the old Cape Town Biscuit Factory and offers a range of Asian-inspired street food, with bao being the main attraction.

Founded and run by chef duo Matt Van Den Berg and Carla Schulze, How Bao Down officially opened on December 1, 2021.

“Due to COVID, The Test Kitchen was forced to close for two months, says Matt. After a successful year of trading at the market, we decided to open a shop to spread our wings and be more accessible to people outside the market.

Sometimes the best names and ideas are created over drinks with a friend or your co-founder and that’s exactly what happened with How Bao Now.

“Carla and I were sitting one evening having a glass of wine discussing this exciting new idea and adventure. Not knowing when we were going to do this, Carla looked at me and said, ‘now what?’ the name was born.

The new restaurateurs have extensive culinary experience and expertise having worked with celebrity chef Luke Dale Roberts at The Test Kitchen, as Junior Sous Chef and Sous Chef respectively.

With love and passion for Asian cuisine, Matt and Carla set out to create a menu that echoes it. The menu has a range of options from fresh bao bread, fresh tuna, cucumber and daikon salad and more.

With a strong focus on bao buns, How Bao Now has become renowned for offering some of the best. The newest edition to the menu is the Oyster Mushroom Bao (suitable for vegetarians) which offers a kick of flavor when oysters are dipped in a master pickle, then topped with miso mayonnaise, fresh herbs and crispy pickles.

Located at the Old Biscuit Mill and in true street food fashion and aesthetics, diners can expect to dine in an edgy, industrial space designed by local designer, Sandalene Dale Roberts.

Although the couple have foodie experience, Matt and Carla assured us that they use their experience “as a basis to create something different and bigger and better”.

Matt is a firm believer that food brings people together and Carla believes flavor is key. How Bao Now is rooted in both culinary philosophies – with a strong emphasis on making guests feel at home while eating delicious food and enjoying each other’s company. That being said, the couple are very open to other collaborative food projects.

“We’re not limited to constraints and you can expect exciting new pop-ups, chef collaborations and more.”

How Bao is now open Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm at the Old Biscuit Mill and will soon be open for dinner as they introduce more food, cocktails and snacks.

The food stand is always open at the Oranjezicht market every Wednesday evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Currently, How Bao Now does not take reservations and offers seating on a first-come, first-served basis.

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