31 May 2015

Following on from On The Bab, this place opened at around the same time, and attracted the same flurry of London food lovers. BAO is a restaurant that specialises in Taiwanese street food, in particular those fluffy buns, and it's their first sit-down location after having a successful BAO bar in Netil Market.

After what felt like an age during which every other foodie made it to BAO, Sheepa and I finally managed to try it. I'd actually had their classic bun before when I went to Street Feast at Hawker House, so I knew that the buns were good - and I was excited to try their other dishes.

They have a simple menu system of marking the quantity of the dishes you want on a piece of paper, and they have quite a large selection to choose from. Since they are all fairly small though, even with just the two of us we managed to try a bunch - although I ate all the meat ones! 

The highlight for me was the fried chicken in the soft sesame bun - it was spot on. The sweet potato fries were also excellent, which I think Sheepa agreed with. My confit pork bun was pretty good, though nothing special, and the other dishes we had - turnip tops, aubergine dip with wonton chips and the Horlicks ice cream in the fried bao bun - were good, but not amazing. Sheepa did enjoy her daikon bun and shiitake, I think! The dessert was a bit of a letdown, as the ice cream didn't have enough of that malted taste and you kind of had to wolf it down because it melts ridiculously fast, and I gave up half way through.

I think this review is coming across more negative than I mean to - everything was delicious, but I think that some of the dishes are overpriced. I think that my expectations were so high before going, that it probably didn't help much! I'd still recommend for you to try it, and when I have a bao bun craving, I'd be more than happy to go there again.

In any case, I had a great evening there with lovely company and we left with happy bellies!

53 Lexington St.

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