Bao, Soho, London
I am such a fan of Bao that I’ve been twice in one week. After discovering it’s delectable Taiwanese-fusion styled treats I couldn’t keep away. On one occasion it was lunch, and the other dinner, and both times didn’t have much of a wait at all. The store is a small one at that and there’s a queue. Thankfully, the food flies straight out of the kitchen so the tables clear away in good time.
I’m close to having sampled most of the menu and there is no misstep. The baos (£4-5) are freshly steamed, full of tantalising flavour combos. It’s got some authentic notes but not too much that it scares you off eating. The guinea fowl chi shiang rice (£5.75) was quite a tasty little bowl and peanut milk (£1.50) is not to be missed. Of all the baos, my favourite is the classic (£4) with pork and peanut powder.
A popular choice
Bao’s a very hip joint based in Soho, and I first came across it due to it’s impeccable ranking on Zomato London. It also features on Michelin’s Bib Gourmand so you can expect a bit of a queue. I think I’ve been lucky on both occasions but it was worth the wait. Due to the size of the restaurant, it’s not a venue that can accommodate too many large groups. The seats are laid out in a crowded fashion with notepads use to dictate your orders. The whole process works seamlessly really.
Here’s my first round of bao. The classic was a winner with an interested powdered peanut topping on the pork.
The guinea fowl chi shiang rice which seemed to be popular with a few of the Asian tables. The yolk garnish is ready for your popping and you can stir it all into one happy bowl.
So much to try
The eryngii mushroom and century egg (salad?) (£4) was rather small, but made for some tasty umami flavours. The century egg is used thoughtfully and sparingly as to not put off any potential new audiences. All in all, I’m one of the many fans of Bao and would happily recommend it for a quick, reasonably low-cost (that depends on your greediness) lunch or dinner option. Bring a friend so you can try a few things.