Oh Bao! Before visiting this little eatery tucked away in the streets of Soho, I hadn’t heard very much about it *gasp*. Please don’t judge me. As soon as I started telling people that I had eaten there, most started reeling off what they enjoyed most. How had I been around so long without knowing these little steamed buns existed round the corner from me!
I went for a casual catch up with a friend on a Monday evening. As we walked down Lexington Street, we saw it perched up along to street looking fairly quiet. Get in! It was about 5.30pm and I thought we had beaten the queues. As soon as we opened the door a man was standing there to tell us there was about a 45 minute wait. 45 minutes! It was only 5.30, how did this happen?! He pointed across the road to where a queue of people were looking fairly smug with themselves.
So we marched to the back and waited in the cold. Hey, at least it wasn’t raining!
As the line got shorter and shorter, we were finally seated. Neither of us had been here before, so had a quick look at the menu and ordered whichever plates took our fancy. Bao isn’t so much of a sit down 3 course menu type place. Think Taiwanese tapas. Small plates to share – or if you’re feeling really hungry (greedy), solo sharing. We grabbed a couple baos each (the lamb bao is to die for), aubergine with wonton crisps, fried chicken, scallops with yellow bean garlic sauce and 40 day rump cap – if you thinking of getting this (and I would so recommend getting it) order one per person. It was so tender and delicious, I could’ve devoured at least 4 more portions!
I wish I could tell you that the wait wasn’t worth it and not to waste your time, but I would only be lying to myself and you. So wrap up warm and prepare to be wowed by these simple, yet flavoursome dishes.