The first thing you notice when you walk into Pink Buns, are the two vases shaped like bottoms sitting on the counter.
“We like to make people laugh,” says co-owner and chef Liang, “when we see the customers laughing, we know we are doing a good job – making the customer happy is our number one rule.”
This sense of fun and playfulness encapsulates the ethos of Pink Buns.
The brightly coloured décor (including a pink neon sign shaped like a giant bao bun), fun pop music and friendly staff all contribute to making this inner-city eatery a positive dining experience from start to finish.
“We have a strong focus on delivering exceptional customer service. You are always greeted with a smile at Pink Buns – it’s what brings people back (along with the food, of course!).”
Liang is a wok-chef originally from Taiwan. After studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney, Liang made the decision to seek a quieter lifestyle and move to Tasmania.
Together with his two business partners (both originally from Hong Kong) Liang opened Pink Buns, turning their dream into a reality.
The team have combined both Cantonese methods and Western cooking techniques to create a modern twist on the classic and traditional Bao bun.
“We missed our hometown food and wanted to bring it to Tasmania – with a local twist.”
Liang explains that although bao buns originated in China, the tasty and addictive delicacy has a long and diverse history. Like dumplings, different Asian countries have put their own unique spin on the bao, with many variations in fillings and preparations found across different regions and countries.
“We tried to find a balance between local and traditional – for example, you would never find crispy chicken bao in Asia – but here in Hobart it is one of our top-selling items.”
Tasmanian produce is also used wherever possible.
Other best-selling menu items include the Tea Smoked BBQ Pork bao and the more traditional Braised Pork Belly Bao. In addition to bao, Pink Buns offer a range of steamed dumplings, rice and noodle dishes plus an exciting variety of sides including their super popular crispy eggplant sticks – a Hello Hobart favourite.
The soft pillowy buns are handmade on-site with love using a special dough recipe before being proofed and steamed. The meat is prepared using a sous vide to ensure it remains succulent and moist before it is either slow-roasted or deep fried to perfection. Fancy something sweet? How does Van Diemens ice-cream sandwiched between a deep fried bun sound? Why not give it a try next time next time you need a sugar-hit.
Pink Buns accommodate a range of dietary requirements, including vegan and vegetarian options, and are the first place in Tasmania to offer a gluten free bao bun. Most importantly, are the buns really pink?
“Yes! We have four different types of coloured bao buns including plain, sweet potato, pumpkin and our famous beetroot pink bun,” says Liang, “the buns are coloured using natural flavours and are free of artificial colours.”
Pink Buns are all about good food and positive vibes. Find them from Monday to Saturday in their restaurant in Wellington Court, or at upcoming events like Franko Street Eats or the Tasmanian Food and Wine Festival.
Open Monday to Friday 10.30 am – 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 6.30 pm.