Wednesday, 6 May 2015


Bow to Bao

Imagine it's a Monday evening, you've actually had a great day at work (social media would you please stop fuelling the Monday dread). The sun has decided to shine and it's time to take a trip to Soho in search of an adventure. What do you stumble across? Bao. Lucky for you, this might just be the tastiest place in town right now, and you haven't really stumbled across it, you've made a bloody great beeline!

Now, I must make a teeny little confession. I knew I was going to love it before I'd even left the office. Many of my favourite writers, bloggers, pals etc have camped (queued) outside since it opened a couple of weeks ago to be first in line for the fluffy wonders inside and (quite rightfully) were unable to contain their excitement. 

Bao, the Taiwanese triumph has found itself a permanent location, tucked into a shop on Lexington St in Soho. Having previously held spots as a street food vendor at Netil Market and Kerb, they know their buns are brill and so do many others (the demand is still going strong, so expect queues). This also might have something to do with the miniature space, but I am a big promoter of 'the best things come in small packages' - being a mini thing myself, it's very important that we have excellent PR!

For those of you who haven't tried out the gua bao or hirata bun (also found at Flesh & Buns, Beer & Buns and Yum Bun - see a theme here?), Bao is next in line to rock the boat, and that it definitely does. I would choose these pillowy mouthfuls of wonder over a burger (or actually most things) any day!

Hold your horses, there's more. On our little trip, we decided against ordering everything (perfect excuse to return time and time again), and strayed off the beaten track, away from the bao and towards the Trotter Nuggets (£4) .. mouthfuls of stringy, melt in the mouth meaty goodness.

Back on the (soon to be) well trodden path, we turned our attention to the bao's. The Fried Chicken Bao (£5) with soy milk marinated chicken, Sichuan mayo and golden kimchi was my winner, just superb.

I have another confession to make. This was our second dinner. Talk about indulgent, but we were on an adventure! After a brief stop-off at Shakafuyu to fill half our stomachs .. yes, I shall definitely need to return for absolutely everything else on the menu there, we made it over to Bao to complete the route (this should explain our miniature selection and speedy route to dessert).

And off it was to the Fried Horlicks Ice Cream Bao (£4). Wow. This is a messy affair and don't hang around letting it melt. Although exactly the same dough is used, the frying and condensed milk adds a sweetness which transforms the savoury bun into something not unlike a doughnut filled with the creamy, Horlicks (don't be put off, this is a great alternative to vanilla) ice cream.

As usual, the dining equipment caught my eye, just look at these delightful pouring devices (otherwise known as jugs), containing Ancient Mountain Sake (£6) (you can't really come here and neglect it). Also on offer is Oolong tea which shall also be on my list for the inevitable return.

It is wonderfully refreshing to find an interior so simply effective with its total lack of distressed brick work, distracting antiques and exposed piping, (shock horror, I might have jumped on the anti-exposed band wagon I've been resisting for so long). Bao eludes a sense of calm, where the staff don slick white jackets and the entire room feels moulded from a soft wooden box. Even within the buzzing atmosphere, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

Bao on Urbanspoon

Square Meal


  1. ohhh my gosh - this looks absolutely heavenly! The food looks really wonderful! And yes I agree, social media really does fuel the Monday dread!

    Lauren xx | The Lifestyle Diaries

    1. Deelicious..hope you get a chance to try it out!
      E x

  2. Cannot wait to go, have read nothing but good things :)

    Rosie xx

  3. I am also heading here on a Monday. I congratulate you on the bold effort of 2 dinners!