Bao - Taiwanese Style Steamed Buns in SoHo
Ever since arriving in London, I've heard some SERIOUS chatter about Bao. Having been well aware of the meaning of this glorious word, it wasn't hard to be convinced to get out there and give it a try! Having started as a simple street vendor making it's apperance at various London markets to now having permanent locations both in Fitzrovia as well as Soho, Bao has become an ever so popular stop for Taiwanese style steamed buns. With a variety of different fillings and small dishes this Asian fusion restaurant is definitely worth checking out!
EGGPLANT WITH WONTON CRISP
First up, spicy eggplant dip served with wonton crisps. To be completely honest, I was a bit disappointed in this dish. The egg plant had nice flavour but was a bit boring and the wonton crisps were basically like Sun Chips except without the Harvest Cheddar goodness lol (hopefully my North Americans get that reference haha). But don't worry there are PLENTY more delightful dishes on this menu!
TAIWANESE FRIED CHICKEN
Korean fried chicken, Kentucky fried chicken, Taiwanese fried chicken, if it's fried chicken, it's hard to go wrong! These little bite sized babies were no exception! With a thin and crispy exterior and a drizzle of delectable hot sauce, it was hard to not finish the whole plate by myself haha! Definitely a must order if your a fried chicken fan!
PIG TROTTER NUGGETS
These guys on the other hand were SO good! We even ended up ordering a second plate! These trotters were crispy and crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside and fell apart in your mouth. If you ask me, the inside of these nugs have a similar texture to pulled pork. So yeah... ORDER THEM. Side note the burnt chilli dipping sauce was hella tasty!
Now for the REAL reason we're here... BAOS.
Well friends, lets just take a moment to appreciate the fact that steamy soft buns exist. Can I get an amen?! Why these lovely edible pillows have only recently become a dimsumdiet staple is BEYOND me but lemme tell ya, my love for them is here to stay.
So people, first things first, the classic Bao. This steamy bun was topped with braised pork, peanut powder, fermented greens and cilantro and let me tell ya, it was tasty!
Now for the lamb! This bad boy bao was piled with pulled lamb shoulder topped with coriander sauce, garlic mayo, and soy pickled chili. Another very tasty bao that definitely hit the spot! The lamb flavour combined with the coriander sauce was lovely and made for one VERY tasty bao!
Okay y'all, dat bao on the right was LOVELY (mostly because I just LOVE me a good pork belly bao). This big ole slab of pork belly was topped with pork sauce (and no I don't know what that means), hot sauce and dried shallots and lemme tell you it was good! Overall these baos were all nice and fluffy and had good flavour! Just a quick forewarning, all the baos are quite small so if you're hungry order MULTIPLES.
FRIED CHICKEN BAO
This fried chicken "burger" bao was one of my fav dishes! It totally reminded me of one of my all time favourite restaurants in Hong Kong called Little Bao , and lemme tell ya, little guy brought back all the feels (oh yeah, and it was DELICIOUS). This fried chicken was marinated in soy milk, topped with Sichuan mayo, golden kimchi, coriander, and served on a sesame bao... SO yeah. I was happy! The fried chicken was so crispy, and to be quite frank, I just LOVE the combo of crispy fried chicken with a soft chewy Bao bun. I think the other reason I liked this one the most was because it was undoubtedly the biggest of the baos... I know I know, I'm ridiculous. But hey, you know I make a good point.
GUINEA FOWL CHI SHIANG RICE
In all honesty before this meal, I had NO idea what guinea fowl was... Thank God for google! Through my table research I found that it is in fact an incredibly strange looking bird haha. After trying out this bird, I found it had a similar taste to chicken and a similar texture to that of duck. Now personally speaking, when it comes to rice bowls, I love mixing it all together to get all the flavour into the rice. The egg yolk along with the pickeled veg gave it nice flavour but I thought the whole bowl could have used a bit of a kick, if ya know what I mean. All things aside though, this dish was quite pleasant. Was it jaw droppingly delicious? No, but still tasty!
PIG BLOOD CAKE
Everyone, do yourself a favor and take my advice, ORDER THIS DISH. I kid you not, it is SO delicious! Normally the whole idea of pigs blood cake (or black pudding) was s a tad off putting for me, but after trying this guy topped with a cured egg yolk, i've completely changed my mind! The blood flavour was strong but delicious and perfectly complimented with the egg yolk! Well done Bao, well done!
FRIED HORLICKS ICE CREAM BAO
Lets just say, this ice cream sandwich was a very sweet ending to the night! This crispy fried sweet bao had (you guessed it) horlicks ice cream in the middle and it and it was YUM. If you ask me, I thought it could use a bit of chocolate or caramel sauce but hey, I'm not complaining! Overall very nice!
Well dieters, be sure to check out this Bao joint if you're in the mood for some interesting dishes and tasty baos!
You stay hungry! And remember,
Your diet starts tomorrow!