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Filipino Bun Builders Hao Are Plotting an Expansion

The buns are rising

Filipino siopao

Plateau bun counter Épicerie Hào is preparing for a big expansion next spring.

The small spot on Rachel Street opened about a year and a half ago, specializing in Filipino siopao — steamed buns that appear similar to their Cantonese counterpart, but are served more like an open-faced sandwich. It’s owned by three siblings — Charles, Rachelle, and William, who were all raised on the buns

But, as Hào co-owner and designer Charles Deluvio Valle tells Eater, the eatery’s nook-like space is a little restrictive, and especially not ideal for the winter.

“We realized it was very limiting and we could only have six people and we became a pick up counter.”

Hào has acquired the space next door (on the corner of Rachel and Laval), doubling its capacity, and opening doors for much more than the two menu items that Hào currently concentrates on, a bun with braised pork in sweet soya and sesame sauce, and another with organic tofu and sautéed vegetables.

“It’s still going to [do] the buns, but we’ll add sides like dumplings, kimchi, salads, and desserts…if we make dumplings in-house we’re going to want to sell them frozen for people to take home, bottle up kimchi, all of that,” explains Valle.

A bigger space will keep a minimalist design but it should be more comfortable, allowing people to sit down, and order a few things, although the new Hào is still capped at 12 seats due to permit restrictions.

The new Hào won’t be open until March or April, but the original, smaller space is still fully operational. In the meantime, enjoy some gratuitous pictures of Hào’s buns.



255, Rachel Est, Montréal, QC H2W 1E5 Visit Website