Lucky Red is a bao-centric sandwich shop in Chinatown from the Banh Mi Boys , brothers David, Phil and Peter Chau. Channeling a similar experience as their cult Vietnamese sub shops, the ordering happens at the counter, where menu screens list steamed or baked buns, noodle bowls and desserts.
The 38-seat room consists of high top tables and stools pulled up to counters. Wood cubes texture one wall accented by bright red details; opposite there is a mural by Uber 5000 depicting cool-looking characters from the Chinese zodiac wearing sunglasses or munching on steamed buns.
Among the lineup of 11 savoury bao, you'll find traditional options like pork belly ($4), fried chicken ($4) and panko-crusted tofu ($3.50) listed alongside pop foods like bulgogi cheese steak ($4), smoked meat ($4.50) and even seared-off Spam ($3.50).
Submarine sandwiches and Korean tacos are absent on the menu, but there are bowls of lo mein ($7). Chewy alkaline noodles are topped with a choice of BBQ chicken or thick slabs of pork belly and punctuated with pickled mustard greens and corn, green onions, crunchy pork cracklings and a smattering of fresh cilantro.
For dessert, select from deep fried bao ($3) sandwiching slabs of Kekou -made pandan or milk tea ice cream, or a S'mores version slathered with Nutella and topped with bruleed marshmallows and crushed graham crackers.
Lucky Red is currently open weekdays from 11am to 10pm, on Saturdays from 11am to 9pm and on Sundays from noon until 7pm. Expect secret menu items promising more inventive uses of Spam to be rolled out via Twitter .
Photos by Jesse Milns