BaoBar is a restaurant in El Retiro with very good and authentic Singaporean food. This restaurant was created by a Singaporean and her Colombian husband.
The restaurant was started by Singaporean Yan and her Colombian husband Jose. Yan and Jose moved to Medellín after living in Singapore. And after living in Medellín, Yan started missing food from home.
They started out cooking for friends and neighbors. Also they started selling mochi ice cream to restaurants in El Retiro and El Poblado and later opened the BaoBar restaurant in August 2018 in Parque Llleras.
Also, they opened a second restaurant in El Retiro in July 2019. But the first location in Parque Lleras was closed in October 2019. So, there is only BaoBar located in El Retiro now.
This restaurant serves authentic Singaporean food that is consistently good in my experience. When I was younger I lived overseas in Indonesia and my family traveled to Singapore frequently. So, I have experienced the real and authentic food of Singapore. Note the above photos are courtesy of BaoBar.
From Yan, a Founder of BaoBar
Here is some more of the history of Yan, one of the founders of BaoBar:
I found my first love through my 15 years of working in a food magazine in Singapore. My experience in Wine & Dine & Appetite magazine gave me great opportunities to work with great chefs from around the world. It was through organizing cooking classes & wine dinners for my readers that I picked up useful skills, tips and recipes from them.
When I moved from Singapore to Colombia with my family, I put my culinary skills to use as I had plenty of time on hand. I started baking Chinese New Year cookies since I was missing my home food.
What started as a hobby passing time, letting my neighbors and friends savor my cooking, led me to an exciting business adventure. From selling mochi ice cream in restaurants in El Retiro & El Poblado to opening my own restaurant BaoBar.
The Food Menu
The menu at BaoBar has many typical Singaporean dishes including:
- Bao – they have nine different types of Bao on the menu including beef, fish (Tilapia), Kong Bak (pork belly), shredded pork, satay chicken, Har Cheong Gai (fried chiken), egg yolk prawns, Char Siu Bao (BBQ pork) and vegetables for 8,800 to 16,800 pesos for two.
- Dumplings – they have several types of dumplings on the menu including minced beef, seafood, minced pork with prawns and mushrooms and spinach. These are sold in a Dim Sum for two of each for a total of eight for 32,000 pesos or sold in three, four or six dumplings of the same type for 15,000 to 18,000 pesos.
- Vegetarian – there are six vegetarian options on the menu for 12,000 to 26,000 pesos.
- Main noodles and rice dishes – there are nine options with prices ranging from 16,800 to 22,000 pesos. And I highly recommend the Laksa noodles, which is recommended by the chef and is a freshly made noodle soup with spicy coconut broth served with prawns, chicken and egg for 22,000 pesos (Laksa is only served on Thursday to Saturday).
Also, they have menu del dia (menu of the day), which is offered from 12:30 to 2:30 pm on Monday to Friday (until the end of June). This menu del dia includes a glass of lemongrass tea, two vegetable dumplings and two baos of the same choice [satay chicken/Kong Bak (pork belly) /shredded pork /Har Cheong Gai (fried chicken)] for 19,800 pesos.
Finally, there are three desserts on the menu for 4,500 to 7,500 pesos.
The Drink Menu
BaoBar has a very small drink menu. There are three beers for 5,000 to 5,800 pesos. And there is a cup of house wine for 5,800 pesos. And there is are options of a bottle of red or white wine for 30,000 pesos.
In addition, there are several teas on the menu for 3,000 to 4,500 pesos and a coffee for 3,000 pesos. Also, there are two juices for 4,500 and 5,500 pesos. And there are several waters on the menu for 2,000 to 3,500 pesos.
How to Get to BaoBar
BaoBar is located in El Retiro, which isn’t very far from the Medellín International Airport. BaoBar used to have a restaurant located Parque Lleras in El Poblado but this location closed in October 2019.
Taxis are another option to get to El Retiro. Most taxi drivers in Medellín will know where El Retiro is located.
Address: Km 23.5 via las Palmas, Los Salados, El Retiro, Antioquia.
Phone: +57 321 669 1673
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 12:30 pm to 9:00 pm; Sunday and holidays: Closed.
Payment accepted: Only cash, no credit cards.
The Best Asian Restaurants in Medellín
On the Medellin Guru website, we have looked at seven of the best Asian restaurants in Medellín and nearby:
- Cuon– a popular Asian restaurant in El Pobaldo with a fusion of dishes from different countries in Asia.
- Eden Bistro – a popular Korean restaurant in El Poblado with authentic Korean food.
- Halong Vietnamita– a popular Vietnamese restaurant in El Poblado with very good Vietnamese food.
- Lemoncillo – a hidden gem Vietnamese restaurant in Envigado with very good Vietnamese food.
- BaoBar – a restaurant in El Retiro with very good and authentic Singaporean food.
- Oppa Asado Coreanoand Oppa Rolo Coreano – two small Korean restaurants in Laureles and El Poblado with authentic Korean food.
- Khlua Thai – authentic Thai food in Envigado for delivery.
Also, we included BaoBar in our list of the best Asian restaurants in Medellín.
I like Asian food having lived in Asia for five years when I was younger. However, so far in over eight years living in Medellín I haven’t found a really good Chinese restaurant, even though there are many Chinese restaurants in the Medellín area.
The Bottom Line: BaoBar – Authentic Singaporean Food in Medellín
BaoBar has some good Singaporean food but unfortunately its Parque Lleras location closed in October 2019 and now the restaurant only has a location in El Retiro.
If you like authentic Singaporean food, we recommend this restaurant in El Retiro.
Readers, what is your favorite Asian restaurant in Medellín?
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Editors Note: updated on October 25, 2019 with information that the Parque Lleras location of BaoBar is closed and now the restaurant only has a location in El Retiro.
Editors Note: updated on February 26, 2021 to add Khlua Thai.
Bao Bei must be on any list of excellent Asian restaurants in Medellin. Depending on the night, getting a table can often require a wait unless you arrive at 5:45 and get on the list for the first wave of available tables.
Yes, Bao Bei has some good food. We plan to also cover Bao Bei.
Jeff, I’m in the process of convincing my buddy from Oz to apply for the 3 year Cedula using that company you recently reviewed and recommended. They told him he definitely qualifies for it and have professionally followed up with him. Anyway, being an Aussie he has been to Singapore lots of times and raves about the cuisine. This restaurant will be just one more of those little inducements. It’s open for lunch which is important to me. Good ol’ calle 9a. I know right where it is.
Great article. Need to come back to Medellin sometime. Have not found any decent Asian food in Bogota (most are “chop suey” places, tasteless – had to add soy sauce, curry, bean sprouts, etc) other than the WOK Asian Fusion chain (Parque 93 o Usaquén), which is expensive. I usually eat for 5 to 10. But at Wok, 30+ with less food.
Nice post and I agree that BaoBar has some good food. Also I agree that the Chinese and Thai restaurants in Medellin suck. I hope someone opens good Chinese and Thai restaurants in Medellin.
We ate here yesterday. We thought the food was good, not great enough for a return visit. Had 4 different items and they were a bit greasy and not much difference in the flavor. The atmosphere can use major improvement.
Yes, they need to work on the atmosphere. Nothing I have had there has been greasy in my experience. I really like the Laksa noodles that are highly recommended by the chef.
Oscar and his Thai wife have opened this Thai restaurant a few weeks ago. It is located near the Parque Envigado. There is the Thai flag outside the restaurant. So you cannot miss it.
Restaurante Khlua Thai (called ‘Thai Kitchen’)
Calle 38 Sur # Cra. 43A-18
I had the fried rice with chicken, the standard Thai food in order to check the quality. It was good and I will go back and try the other meals. I am well aware of Thai food, having lived there for over two years.
If you like a special Thai menu, ask her if she can cook it. She speaks pretty well English and basic Spanish.
Note that the supermarket Carulla have been selling Thai Singha Beer since a few months.
Great job Jeff! I was trying to find Yan’s location up here in the Rio Negro area and couldn’t find it anywhere. Thought of you and Medellinguru.com and there it is! Best resource around!