London has the quality and diversity of food like no other. Well, maybe New York too. Next up on the list of niche restaurants is steamed buns from Bao.
BAO = Bun. This is how they describe themselves
"We make all our Baos in house, using milk, wheat flour and a roux.
We steam our Baos so they are soft, pillowy and cloud-like."
That's it. what more do you want to know?
Bao is very related to one of my other loves; Burgers. If you think about it, they are very similar. Buns are a vessel to serve food.
When the buns are 'soft, pillowy and cloud like' it is no surprise that Bao has become a hit in London. From huge queues at their original site in Soho, they opened up a second restaurant in Fitzrovia and delighted those queue haters with a booking system.
I eventually went to Bao in early February, just before Valentines Day and the table was booked and we walked in to a busy restaurant. Sat and welcomed, we went about checking out the Fitzrovia menu. This menu, we were told was slightly different to the original and had also been updated with new editions.
The menu is quite simple and you are asked to put down the quantity of what you want. ie - next to the buns, put down 3 if you want three. Get it! A good example is on the Zomato website for this. Between the three of us we ordered two buns each, fried chicken, fried seaweed and great dessert of peanut butter ice cream.
The buns we had were the classic bun of pork, beef short rib and also confit pork too. The fillings in each were amazing and all the meat was cooked perfectly. Tender, pull apart and with a good three or four bites, then bun was gone.
It's not just buns at Bao, the dishes of fried chicken and seaweed were great too. The crunch and bite were deafening at times. Most importantly it was fried to the point of non greasiness. Quality and good enough quantity, where importantly I wasn't stuffed but full and content. Good work BAO.
GOOD TIMES = all buns and the dessert for sure. Teas for those healthy people but also good cocktails to start a night.
WATCH OUT = I would recommended booking a table to avoid long queues
OMG = why has it taken me so long to go?!