London Contributing Editor: Emma Walton
BAO is the latest success story in London - originally set up as a street food vendor they are now one of the hottest restaurants in Soho.
I first came across BAO at KerbKX, a street food market next to Kings Cross train station in Central London where brother and sister duo, were putting together tasty morsels - the tasty morsels that I soon learnt were called 'bao'.
For those of you who don't know, a bao is a fluffy white steamed bun (usually made with milk) and in this case filled with braised pork, sprinkled with peanut powder and shredded coriander and fermented greens. This traditional Taiwanese dish was what made BAO famous and the bun now takes pride of place on the restaurant’s menu as the “Classic Bao.”
The menu is made up of six different bao, three sides and three each of oolong tea, sake, cider and beer. After being seated and getting a drink, guests tick off their choices from the menu and wait. With not a single dish priced over £6 and each portion a modest size, you can justifiably order half the menu, if not more!
BAO itself is an absolutely tiny restaurant. The interior is Japanese, minimalist but cosy. The service is relaxed and efficient. Having said that, because the restaurant is so popular it is likely to be quite busy and can get a little noisy. You should also be prepared to queue if you are coming at peak times.
Whether you're after a quick bite to eat of a full on sit down dinner the menu will not disappoint. For cheap, tasty food in London you really can’t do better.