Ah yes, Asia. A wonderful place full of rich history, dynamic culture and KICK A** food. Let's just say, moving to Asia has been a "movement" (see what I did there...) in my culinary and dining education. My move over the pond has taught me many things about food. First off, "carb control" is not a thing. The more rice, the better. Secondly food tastes better when it has an adorable face and thirdly, a"Bao"is not the lowering of ones torso in response to applause... You can see how that could be confusing. In order to discover such profoundness, I have had to dive into the trenches and experience food from the ground up... Okay fine, no trenches, but come on, I had to figure these things out somehow! So, my fellow North Americans who have never heard of Bao, let me be the first to tell you, it's life changing. That's all you need to know. Oh yeah and it's a steamed bun filled with meat. Omnomnom. With Bao being a crucial part of the Hong Kong diet, it is no wonder Little Bao is always buzzing! With a modern Asian twist on the American Diner, you will most certainly be wowed by May Chow (food genius behind Little Bao) and her brilliant bao creations. Located along Staunton Street in Central and offering a variety of soft fluffy Baos (more like asian burgers in this case) believe me when I say, there is no going wrong with this menu!
Arriving late after work, tummies grumbling, naturally, we had our sights set on Bao! We vouched for the Szechuan Fried Chicken Bao, the Fish Tempura Bao and the Pork Belly Bao and come on, who could say no to truffle fries! With a strict no cutting bao rule,we definitely weren't shy of swapping and drooling over these delightful baos bite after bite.
Smoked Eggplant Salad
This was absolutely lovely. The eggplant was perfectly cooked and seasoned! The eggplant was served on a creamy yogourt sauce with chilli garlic oil and topped with a delightful mixed herb salad. I loved the overall combination of flavours with the smoky eggplant, the creamy yogourt and fresh herbs. Overall, two big thumbs up!
Short-Rib Panfried Dumpling
GET THESE. Full Stop. I honestly cannot say enough good things about these amazing panfried dumplings! These little guys were majorly stuffed with slow-braised beef short rib and topped with celeriac coleslaw. You MUST get them. Please and thank you.
Szechuan Fried Chicken Bao
All I can say is WOW. I was blown away by this soft chewy bun combined with the crispy chicken, Chinese black vinegar glaze, spicy peppery Szechuan mayo, and crunchy coleslaw making this burger a perfect combination of flavours and textures. I'll be the first to say, I was hesitant to swap with my darling friend, for fear that the others wouldn't live up to this finger lickin bao... Boy was I wrong!
Fish Tempura Bao
Fresh tempua-ed fish. Um yeah, this was GOOD. This fresh market fish was topped with tamarind palm sugar glaze and pickled lemongrass fennel salad. The lemongrass and fennel salad was super refreshing and made this beautiful bao refreshingly fragrant and EXTREMELY delicious!
Pork Belly Bao
This signature Bao definitely did NOT disappoint! This slow braised pork was so tender and perfectly enhanced by the creamy sesame dressing and hoisin ketchup along with the tangy and sweet leak and shiso red onion salad making every bite better than the last. With these baos being as good as they were, let me just say I can't wait to try the others!
Now, if you're a fan of truffle, don't miss out on these AMAZING fries! Topped with shittake tempeh, truffle mayo and pickled daikon, these fries are the perfect pause while you maow your bao! Beware that you WILL try to shove both fries and bao in your mouth at once... No judgement.
Now putting my truffle obsession aside, these were mad tasty. These crispy fries were perfect when dunked in roasted tomato sambal (seasoned with Thai spice) and mayo!
Now naturally, after a meal like this, you can't turn down dessert. We're talking sweet deep fried bao people, not to mention stuffing it with salt ice cream and thick caramel sauce... Droolllll. Perfectly sweet, soft and crispy, making this a fantastic end to a great meal!
LB Salt Ice Cream Bao
With a laid back and welcoming vibe, (not to mention the option of watching these bao experts hard at work) Little Bao is perfect for a quick bite after work or a fun night out! With welcoming waiters whisking you through the menu of "must try" dishes you're sure to make a great choice!
Hong Kong, don't miss out on this funky bao joint and make sure you bring friends you don't mind swapping baos with, because believe me, you will want to try them all! Can't wait to come back to try the rest of the baos along with the pork rib dumplings and the green tea bao with condensed milk! Yummmm!
You stay hungry Hong Kong,
And remember, your diet starts tomorrow