Kingston’s first zero-waste restaurant, Miss Bao, opening soon

Miss Bao Restaurant + Cocktail Bar’s Hotate Nigiri, a tender and sweet scallop sushi topped with ponzu, wasabi, citrus zest and basil. Submitted photo.

Miss Bao Restaurant + Cocktail Bar is opening soon at 286 Princess Street in Kingston and it brings a whole new concept to dining. The restaurant will be Asian fusion, tapas-style with more than 40 per cent of the menu being vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Both co-founders Bellen Tong and Zach Fang are an environmentally conscious couple and their goal is to start their journey with the least amount of waste and move to 100 per cent zero waste operation in the near future. A member of Sustainable Kingston, the business will also be using an on-site-in-vessel composter imported from Korea to tackle food waste, making them a true leader in sustainability.

Tong and Fang, who are both Queen’s University graduates, see themselves playing an educational role in the community about how much food waste is accumulated from hospitality businesses. One of their biggest goals is shedding light on how much food waste people have day-to-day. They want to tackle the food waste problem in-house, hence the on-site-in-vessel composter.

The composter will break down all the restaurant’s food waste creating clean, nutritious, and odourless compost. The compost will be used to grow vegetables inside the restaurant. This way, they are transforming food waste into a food source.

They will eliminate the term ‘garbage’ in their restaurant. They will have organic waste, recyclables, and landfill waste, and will train staff on how to properly sort them.

The couple is very cautious about the sourcing of their meats and foods. They aim to source locally as much as possible and with the least environmental impact.

Bellen’s dream is to open a restaurant and the couple was inspired by Café Silo in Finland, where they are also on a zero-waste journey and uses the same composter. They both are environmentalists and try to live a zero-waste life at home. They bring their home values to work and decided if they were ever to open a business, they want to take a similar approach.

And, while the business is a little behind schedule in opening, it’s been a labour of love for the couple, who plan to host a pre-opening in the coming months – you can expect a follow-up article after that event, which I will attend. In the meantime, check out their Instagram to tempt your taste buds. There Miss Bao Restaurant + Cocktail Bar showcases some of the incredible items they’ll have on the menu. Bao, which is also referred to as steamed buns or baozi, is a type of Chinese filled bun or bread-like dumpling. From a Taiwanese braised tofu Bao, to a vegan Szechuan ‘pork’ Bao (where the filling is made with banana peels), the traditional Chinese food will certainly be showcased on the menu. Additionally, Miss Bao will also offer dim sum, shumai (a Chinese dumpling), and a variety of other dishes. On top of that, they’ve concocted some cocktails that are both beautiful to look at and sound incredibly yummy – such as the Sakura Martini, made up of nigori, dry vermouth, maraschino cherry syrup, and salt pickled cherry blossom, which will complement their dishes.

Miss Bao’s Dim sum steamed beef short ribs with black pepper sauce. Submitted photo.

Visit the Miss Bao Restaurant + Cocktail Bar website for more details and to view their menu and Meal Box options.

Nour Mazloum is a recent Queen’s University graduate who majored in philosophy and minored in political studies. She is also a former graphics editor for the student-run newspaper, the Queen’s Journal. In her free time, Nour enjoys reading about politics, going to the gym, and running, as well as taking in all of the culinary delights of Kingston! Connect with Nour via email at [email protected].

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