Oh Bao, that’s good!

Situated in the heart of SOHO lies a small Taiwanese eatery, selling delectable delights reminiscent of the island’s street food – with a twist.

Bao is the culmination of its three founders who originally set it up as a street stall, teaming up with the well-established crew behind ‘Trishna’ and ‘Gymkhana’ to become a welcome and permanent addition to the area’s culinary landscape.

The menu’s signature dish, as the name suggests, is ‘Bao’, a versatile steamed bun that carries a myriad of delightful fillings. These range from the ‘Classic’ braised pork with peanut powder, fermented greens and coriander, to the more contemporary ‘Crumbed Daikon Bao’ with panko crusted daikon, pickle, coriander and hot sauce.

The small urban eatery have also put their own spin on this traditional favourite and feature a selection of fried bao’s comprising of their soy milk marinated fried chicken, including a ‘Fried Horlicks Bao’ filled with a creamy Horlicks ice cream, perfect for catering to the sweet tooth.

Not unrivalled, ‘xiao chi’ aka small bites hold their own on the innovative menu featuring dishes such as ‘Aubergine wonton crisp’; a deep fried wonton skin served with a dip comparable to that of the Mediterranean eggplant dip ‘Baba Ganoush’, with Taiwanese undertones of soy and ginger.

A special mention must be given to the eerily named ‘Pigs Blood Cake’, do not be put off by the name or even its focal ingredient because it’s definitely not something to pass up. A
mildly cured egg yolk sits on top of a square slice of light black pudding, riddled with grains of barley – delicious!

Bao’s dishes all pair up swimmingly with their range of hot and cold beverages. Whether it’s a ‘Snow Blossom’ sake, Taiwanese beer or one of their own inventions ‘Milk Foam Tea’ (a brewed oolong topped with a cappuccino like milk foam) that tickles your fancy, you’re unlikely to go home unsatisfied.

As the small bites make their way out from the dinner style kitchen window, you’ll be left anticipating what’s next in the Zen like Japanese style interior.

Affordable, great service, urban atmosphere and undoubtedly tantalizing dishes, Bao is definitely a hot spot to stick on the agenda, but get there early because they don’t take reservations.