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All about the Bao…
Baby Bao started life in The Pond pub in Brighton 3 years ago and has now ‘popped up’ on Haymarket in the heart of London’s West End. Its management is testing the waters to see if Taiwanese street food appeals as much to Londoners as it does to Brightonians. If the pop-up is successful, then Baby Bao may be on the London scene permanently, and in my view, that would be a very good thing.
Our invitation to dine at Baby Bao arrived at the perfect time, I’d booked for my friend and me to see ‘Heathers the Musical’ at the Theatre Royal Haymarket which was almost directly opposite Baby Bao. It’s also a stone’s throw from Her Majesty’s Theatre, where the ever-popular ‘Phantom of the Opera’ plays. All too often when you go to the theatre, you’re in a rush and end up going to the nearest place, which is often a gamble or to somewhere that’s part of a chain, which is just a little boring. So it’s lovely to dine somewhere where you know that the food is created freshly on the premises, is original, and where the food and drink are very reasonably priced.
We started with a Piccadilly cocktail each (they were two for the price of one), a delicious and original combination of Pisco shaken with lime, sugar, lychee and topped up with Prosecco. The drinks menu also featured an extensive selection of craft beers, some 50 different ones. I have to say that we really dithered with the menu as so many of the dishes sounded gorgeous. We ended up with a selection of light and fluffy bao to share. We sampled far too many bao; the tempura cod with pickled fennel and homemade tartare, roast pork belly with hoisin and peanuts, fried chicken with pineapple. We also ordered some interesting sounding sides; duck chips which came with pickled pineapple which cut through the rich duck meat, sweetcorn and nori poppers, roasted aubergine, and Japanese Karrage cauliflower. The cauliflower was the star of the show for both of us, my friend described it as ‘as work of genius’. She liked the pork bao the best, whilst I preferred the lightly fried and just flaking apart tempura cod. Despite so many of the dishes having a fried element, all the food was really fresh and light. The Bao are priced between £5.50 to £7 each, and the generously portioned sides from £4 to £7 with cocktails at £9 (but don’t forget that happy hour offer).
The chef is working on new autumn dishes to continue to surprise and delight Londoners. I’m looking forward to seeing what he creates next.
Baby Bao London
020 3747 6644
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Baby Bao
For Pan-Asian food in the City we recommend Yuu Kitchen