Taiwanese Tooting Comes of Age with Daddy Bao:
You can tell when a part of London starts to become ‘up and coming’; coffee shops open, craft beers appear, and possibly a local gin is distilled. Over the past couple of years that certainly been true of Tooting, once only famous for being the home of the Tooting Popular Front and it’s leader, Wolfie Smith, having 2 tube stations, a Lido, and some of the best high street curry houses. It’s now also home to Graveney Gin, Two Horns beer, and several really rather good local restaurants. Daddy Bao, a new Taiwanese restaurant has now joined them, making me very happy as I happen to work in Tooting.
The menu at Daddy Bao is very clever; there were about 4 cocktails on offer all with a Chinese twist, 2 red wines, 2 white wines, draft beer, about 8 sharing dishes and about 8 different types of Bao. We sampled a Negroni made with a touch of barrel aged plum wine, and a Szechuan Old Fashioned, made with Szechuan infused Bourbon, Brown Sugar, Bitters. This means that the kitchen can really focus on what they do well and produce brilliant food, consistently.
I hadn’t tried this Taiwanese street snack previously and wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that they were steamed buns, but I didn’t realise that they would be so delicious, light, and impossible to just stop at one! We started with a smoked aubergine dish with a light and subtle peanut dressing somewhat like a satay but more delicate, some fried chicken with a miso mayonnaise, and steamed pork dumplings with a chilli sauce.
Then we tried the Bao. We were greedy and tried chicken, pulled pork, and drunken shrimp. All were amazing, really fresh and vibrant flavours.
We had a lovely chat with the owner and his father who’s come out of retirement to help open the restaurant. It seems that the staff are being trained to recognise repeat customers so that they can be rewarded; so if you visit more than once, you can expect a little surprise. I know that I’m going to going back; it’s the perfect after-work venue for me. There’s also a bottomless brunch at the weekend which sounds rather tempting!
113 Mitcham Road,
London SW17 9PE
We were guests of Daddy Bao.