Bao La

Bao La

Today the at the helm of Madam Kew in Saigon, Bao La was born in Australia to Vietnamese parents, and grew up around the kitchen at his family restaurant in Brisbane.

After sharpening his cooking skills in Sydney alongside mentors Dan Hong and Jowett Yu at Mr. Wong, Bao went on to open the brasserie Le Garçon Saigon in Hong Kong. A platform that allowed him to introduce the city to dishes rarely found outside of Vietnam.

Following our October collaboration dinner with Bao La, we sat down with the chef to talk about wine.

Bao La
Bao LaBao La

1. You’re handed a wine list, what do you do?

Open my vivino app

2. How do you know the wine you're drinking is good?

Usually I’m drinking with someone more versed than I am with wine. So learn and trust their judgement.

3. What is something fascinating you’ve been told over lunch?

“Restaurants have become so safe guarded and secure that sometimes we forget the risk of cooking and hospitality. At home we cook to order we cook a la minute. So you can cook a la minute and we should cook a la minute. We should remember people are coming to your restaurant for lunch or dinner. So we should be actually cooking for them. Cook things correctly.

4. In whose company do you most enjoy drinking wine?

My closest of friends who also enjoy the same types of wines I like.

Bao LaBao La

5. Can you describe your ideal combination of wine, music, and setting?

A long lunch running into sunset. A big communal table. Outdoor countryside setting. Easy young easy to drink wines. Chill house music.

6. What sort of food would you add to the equation?

BBQ woodfired cooking. Vietnamese DIY ricepaper wrap flavours

7. What is the most memorable bottle of wine you’ve drank?

Cadê Meu Carnaval, Les Valseuse 2021

8. Where did you drink it?

This past summer I got to spend time with Antoine and Julia at Casa Antolia in Arbois Jura. We had just finished bottling on of their gamay barrels. And at the end of this session they opened this bottle. One of the most rewarding and refreshing wine and moment I ever got to experience.

Bao La Bao La

9. Is there a characteristic you look for in a wine and in a friend?

I much prefer the lighter drinking type of wines. I definitely do feel its the same with friends. Light and easy going. Don’t really enjoy overly bold and big characters.

10. What is your approach to drinking?

I definitely gravitate towards natural wines because I find them easier to drink for myself. My wine knowledge and palate isn’t the greatest, so mainly stay and only go with the grapes variety I like the most. Also enjoy and curious about the interesting stories a winemaker has when it comes to them producing their particular wines, labels on the bottle, the name they give it.

11. Do you apply this approach in other aspects of life?

I think so, also looking for interesting stories and learning about it. And especially food, going for natural products and trying to cook with that same mindset.

12. What shall we open next?

I have the most curiosity to Pierre Overnoy. I see a lot of my friends drink it. Especially in Australia. I’ve never had the opportunity to try it. Want to know what its all about.

Bao LaBao La

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday: from 6pm
Saturday: from 12pm


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New Opening Times

Starting from this summer our opening times are changing. From Tuesday 1st August onwards, our restaurant will be open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday, and for lunch on Saturday as usual.

Summer Break

Our last day open before the holidays is Saturday 5th August. We will be back as usual from Tuesday 15th August.