Mongolian Beef Bao Buns from Bar 17 Bistro

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Since my friends have been talking about bao buns, it inspired me to finish the reviews of the bao buns at Bar 17 Bistro. Bar 17 Bistro resides literally on top of Aventura Hotel at Universal Orlando. This rooftop bar offers some incredible views, nice drinks, and solid food options. A good reason to love Aventura involves the food selection there.

In previous reviews, I covered the Garden bao bun and Pork Belly bao bun. The only one on current menu left is the Mongolian Beef bao bun. In typical Bar 17 fashion, the bao buns arrive with an excellent presentation. The relaxed atmosphere at this rooftop bar adds to the enjoyment of the food. In fairness, I usually visit Bar 17 between 5-7 pm on weekdays. I understand that the atmosphere moves from relaxed to more exciting as the night goes on. The atmosphere escalates in volume on weekends.

The menu description for this bao bun functions as minimalistic. Two words for a description reading “Asian pear and cilantro” give all clues allowed. Like all bao buns here, they come with wakami salad. Bao buns cost $18 for three.

So how was this bao bun? Before trying it, I looked forward to the Mongolian style beef preparation. However, the beef tasted and felt a bit tough for this type of menu item. The flavor of the beef worked well though with the bao bun making a good combination. The unnamed sauce helped balance the bao bun. The sauce tasted like a creamy cilantro sauce with something else added. I never concluded what that other ingredient was, however.  The Asian pear surprised me with more sweetness than expected. Now, that sweetness matches the savory beef well. I simply expected a less sweet taste from the pear.

In my opinion, this bao bun would work better with shredded beef instead of larger beef pieces. Also, for a Mongolian style beef, I expected far more overall flavor. The flavor rates as fine. Still, I expected more spice and power from the beef and/or sauce. Like the other bao buns, I have concerns about price point in terms of value for small portion size.

Would I get this again on my next visit to Bar 17? I might. However, I find other appetizers there more appealing after reviewing these bao buns.

If you are a fan of bao buns my friends over at The Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast have started a guest interactive feature about them.

As always, eat like you mean it!


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