August 19, 2015

Bao, Soho London - The Best Baos Outside of Taiwan



It really shouldn't have taken me this long to write a post, but Bao in Soho is just too good. So damn good that I wanted to write only an amazing piece that truly justifies Bao's existence and the crazy queues that form before the doors are even opened for business.

But as I'm likely to write an epic essay about why Bao is so great and bore the hell out of everyone, I think I'll let the photos do the talking instead.

Bao is my favourite restaurant in London.

I rate Bao along with Koya (which is now sadly closed and very dearly missed) as both incredibly unique restaurants in London that just has it's own special touch. In short, if you haven't been to Bao yet, you need to go. 

Here's what I'm talking about. Photos are from a combination of 2 trips to Bao:

 Classic bao.
 
Pork confit bao.

Lamb shoulder bao. 

 Crumbed daikon bao.

Fried chicken bao.

Bao's steamed buns are some of the best I've ever eaten. Mega soft, fluffy with a tad of toothsome chew to it and most importantly, it does not disintegrate into a mess from the the juicy meat fillings. 

My absolute favourite is the classic bao. The braised minced pork flavours are just spot on and work in perfect harmony with each other. 

Pork confit is also good, filled with luscious pork belly and soft melty pork fat. The fried shallots also give it a zing! 

The only bao I didn't love was the daikon, it felt too heavy in the bao, but would have tasted great as a side.

40 day beef rump cap with aged soya sauce.

Eryngii mushroom with century egg.

The finesse in both these dishes are just mind blowing. The beef was so soft and tender, it just melted on my tongue. And aged white soya is just the most incredible soya sauce I have ever tasted. The soya and beef came together in the most sensational, savoury and beefy way possible. The noises that I made as I ate this were definitely audible!

The mushroom dish was just as good and I suspect it has the same wonderful soya in it. Smoky, chewy with nubbins of creamy century egg.

I expect to eat something as incredible as these 2 dishes in an eye-wateringly expensive high end restaurant, and not a bao restaurant costing a mere £10. Wow.

 Taiwanese pig blood cake.

 Guinea fowl chi shiang rice. 

 Taiwanese fried chicken with hot sauce.

Trotter nuggets. 

Sweet potato fries with plum salt. 

Sweet potato fries with plum sauce.

All the sides were delicious, but if I had to pick my favourites, it would have to the be pig blood cake and the sweet potato fries. I didn't think I would like the pig blood cake, but our group insisted on ordering it and I'm so glad!! It doesn't taste of blood at all (not a fan). Instead, it's savoury, meaty, melty, moist and I love the bits of rice inside. The soy marinaded yolk also adds to the fun.

The sweet potato fries were coated in plum salt on my 1st visit, and plum sauce on my 2nd. I preferred the plum salt since the salt balanced out the sweetness from the potatoes perfectly. 

Baos assemble. 

And the absolute star of the show? The horlicks ice cream bao. That just sent me to malty heaven. Could have eaten a bucket of that ice cream.

The Taiwanese foam top tea is delicious! Refreshing and not too sweet.

Peanut milk. It's in the name. I was so curious when we put our ordered in, how will it taste? When I had a sip, I couldn't help but chuckle. It literally tastes like peanut milk. As the name suggests!


I'm already planning my next visit! 


Address:
Bao
53 Lexington Street
Soho
London
W1F 9AS


  

6 comments

  1. We are planning on a London trip after J exam and this is where I am planning on going!
    Can't wait to try everything especially the horlicks bao.

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  2. Wow the food looks so good Lucy! I Love the mix of buns and side dishes! My friends and I queue up for 45 minutes for Bao....and still wasn't any nearer so we went to Jinjuu instead, haha. I'll have to check out Bao next time :)

    Hanh x | hanhabelle

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    1. Oh Hanh, the food is simply amazing!! You'll def have to go next time, but the Q's are offputting haha! Hope you enjoyed jinjuu anyway! x

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  3. I've been wanting to go to Bao for ages but the thing putting me off is the queuing! Did you have to wait long?

    Tahira | http://ramblingsofafoodaddict.com/

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    1. If you are going with friends, queuing is a good time to catch up! There is always a queue, but if you aim for 11.30am (opens at 12pm) or for a late lunch at 2.30pm, you will miss the crowd. And same if you q for an early dinner or a late one, Bao is worth the wait!!! :)

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