Baby Bao got a big sister, thankfully with more seats!
When I think about my first visit to Bao in Soho, the first thing I remember is how much I enjoyed the food. The second thing I remember, the queue.
I think we picked the hottest day of the year to visit which turned out to be a blessing and a curse. I didn’t have to queue! It was a miracle. On the other hand, the colonial fans were not enough to keep the temperature down inside.
I started with what I hoped would be a refreshing cocktail though unfortunately it was the only bum note of the evening. I should have known better than to order something called ‘Plastic City’ – rhubarb vodka, sake, salted plum and grapefruit soda. Quite apart from the fact that I found the taste pretty dreadful, there were definitely sweeteners in it and I’m allergic. I paid £8 for an uncomfortable, bloated evening.
The rest, I’m thrilled to say was all worth it.
Beef cheek and tendon nuggets are not your everyday bite but these were delicious!
Chi Shiang rice bowls are another signature at bao and the beef shortrib, marrow and eryngii was delicious but deceptively filling; salty and silken from the egg yolk, you’ll be surprised how rich it is.
Saving the best for last, the eponymous soft, dreamy pillow-like baos are still the reason to visit. The confit pork belly bao with crispy shallots and hot sauce is rich and silky but packs a punch.
The new cod black is a great addition. The black isn’t charred or bitter it’s a sticky, delicious coating that protects perfectly-cooked flaking cod.
Overall, I think even if I had had to queue it would have been more than worth it though a few degrees cooler would be nice!