Bao Buns in London
In 2013 Bao was set up by Erchen Chang, Wai Ting & Shing Tat Chung as a market stall in Netil Market, East London. Testing the market and the public’s love for bao buns in London for two years, they then opened their first restaurant in Soho in April 2015. Now they have three restaurants, including one in Fitzrovia (where you can book!) and the newest addition in Borough Market. Bao also still trade at Netil Market every Saturday for four hours.
We visited the Borough Market branch at 6.30 and had to wait 1 hour for a table. They take your name down and text when the table is ready so we could go for a drink first. A much better system than just aimlessly waiting in a queue!
We started our evening with a Melon Sour: Gin, Melon Liquor, Miso, Somerset Apple, Lemon (£9). The only real cocktail on offer and it was great! Light and refreshing, we thought it complimented the bao buns nicely.
All the Baos!
These guys (unsurprisingly!) specialise in BAO (which means steamed bun) and they do it very well. Steamed daily in the bakery, Bao use a tangzhou starter and milk for the fluffy consistency. It isn’t simple getting a good bao that doesn’t stick to the roof your mouth or doesn’t have the right ratio of filling / bun. We can assure that Bao do it right!
The menu is split into Baos and Xiao chi (small eats) with much of their concept and innovation coming from street food stalls. From the Bao menu we had a selection of each:
- Classic Bao (£5)
- Chicken Nugget Bao (£5.75)
- Prawn Shia Song Bao (£6.50)
- Beef Shortrib Bao (£5.75)
- Curry Cheese Bao (£5)
The shortrib was a highlight dish. It was packed with juicy, delicious filling and every single mouthful was amazing. Each and every bao had great textures and flavours and we would definitely recommend sharing a variety.
We also tried the Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce (£6.75). The chicken was tender and crispy and the hot sauce really did pack a punch. Lastly, we had the Chilli Chicken Wings, Aged White Soy (£4.75) which luckily was not as hot as the Taiwanese Fried Chicken.
If you are looking for great Bao Buns in London, this is the place to go and we are pleased to confirm it is not over hyped. Packed with delicious fillings, we were left wanting more. If you head to the Borough Market branch, they also have a private KTV room to sing your heart out! Minimum 6 people / Maximum 14 for 2 hours is only £5pp per hour at lunchtime and £8pp per hour at evenings!
East London Girl: Bao London
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