I am Gua Bao crazy.
Crazy for Taiwanese steamed buns.
Soft, fluffy buns filled with mouthwatering ingredients.
This is BAO.
While in London last year, I made a beeline for BAO, an upmarket Taiwanese eatery located in the Soho area.
The restaurant is small, yet cosy and staff are friendly and efficient. BAO doesn’t take bookings, instead you have to wait in line… at a designated spot across the street, in front of a man eating bao. (Laughs).
When I arrived for lunch on a weekday, the place was packed. Luckily, the service is quick (without the feeling of being rushed), so I ended up waiting in line for only 10 minutes.
But, waiting in line for their bao is worth it.
Their menu is simple. It consists of Taiwanese small plates – 9 dishes, 5 bao, 4 sides and one dessert bao. When ordering, you simply tick the box next to the dish you want and then hand it over to the wait staff.
The Classic Pork Bao was perfect – a fluffy pillow-like bun of goodness, filled with pulled pork, fermented peanut powder and coriander. Melt in your mouth!
Classic Pork Bao
The Taiwanese Fried Chicken with hot sauce was also very good – finger licking good. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.
Taiwanese Fried Chicken
But my favourite dish was definitely the Fried Horlicks Ice Cream Bao – a must order when dining at BAO. It is a scoop of creamy malt ice cream between two sweet buns. Simple, but done well. Plus, it looks super cute!
As of last year, I had not seen a dessert bao on an Auckland menu. Now you can get them at Auckland eatery Po’Brothers. Yay!
Fried Horlicks Ice Cream Bao
BAO is the creme de la creme of bao. I would highly recommend eating here if you are in London. I cannot wait to go back, just so I can try more of BAO’s creations!
Open Monday to Sunday, various times (check their website for times)
Address 53 Lexington St, Carnaby, London
Notes No reservations
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