Bao is one of my favourite eats in London. When Bao was first in the works, I kept a close eye on their Facebook page and I was excited when they finally opened. They certainly knew how to build anticipation! Bao certainly isn’t new and admittedly, I’ve been quite slow with blogging about this place as everyone has probably visited if it was on their food hit list. Their success is obvious from the queues outside the restaurant and even more so now that a second location is currently in the works. I’ve visited Bao a number of times with different people who were very skeptical about the queuing. The queue starts opposite the restaurant – spot the Bao logo bus stop! It’s only a tiny restaurant and at dinner time at 5.30/6pm you can expect to queue for ages. I queued for 30 mins when there were 2 of us but when I visited as a group of 4, it was a long long wait. However, any annoyed comments about the wait were quickly forgotten as soon as we stepped into the restaurant as the service is efficient and the food is delicious. Every single time I’ve taken people here it’s gone down really well, so the wait for those Taiwanese buns are worth it.
All the Baos are amazing and super fluffy. Each item on the menu is on average about £4-5 depending on what you pick. Be warned, if you’re hungry this can quickly add up and you might not stay full for that long (my cousin bought sushi for the train journey home!). I’ve tried nearly everything on the menu except the pig blood cake. I’ve grown up with that as a regular item on the table at dim sum so it doesn’t scare me. It’s not as horrendous as it sounds either (Chinese equivalent to black pudding?) but it’s never been to my taste so I wouldn’t choose to order it if no one else will share it with me. One day maybe as Bao’s version looks good!
You can’t go wrong with any of the choices. For example, the trotter nuggets and guinea fowl rice are more unusual picks but really delicious. A good place to start is their Classic Bao (shredded pork, coriander and crushed nuts – the first image), peanut milk and some fried Horlicks ice cream. FYI – don’t hang about when the ice cream arrives as it will just be a big melty mess – eat that thing pronto! Also – a shout out to their great logo design and typography, the styling of their brand is really on point. They’re opening up a second branch in Fitzrovia this year at a much bigger space and you know what? I’ll definitely be visiting.