Another year, another new Bao opening.
As I understand, up till now, Erchen has been the creative soul of the kitchen, but for Borough, she is sharing the role of developing the new menu with Anaïs van Manen, who works as a development chef for the Bao trio of owners.
I tried three from the new line-up, my favourite ironically being the fried donut (reminiscent of fried mantou) with the lightly cooked, fleshy shrimp. Of the pair of steamed buns, I enjoyed the one with fried cheese and tapioca pearls with curry and fermented chilli. The fried cheese gooey, and the pearls go crispy like crispy rice – gorgeous. Though, all three buns were greasy, all came with deep fried elements. The steamed buns were a little dry during this visit, compared to other Baos, which I will chalk down as teething problems.
I didn’t however fancy the cured pork jowl, like a “sweet” guanciale so to speak, served as carpaccio slices of cold fat swimming in chilli oil…not sure about it at all.
I still find the size of buns too cute for the money, though it remains a good product, masterfully marketed (the new website is modern and gold standard stuff), slickly packaged, and rightly so are celebrated.
Decor is nice, though does feel fake rustic, I personally like the original Soho design the most. Wonder if lucky voice considers these guys real competition.
It is always good to see Taiwanese food (albeit one that’s bastardised for London palates) being given the spotlight it currently enjoys in the zeitgeist.
I paid £30.09, for all food plus a strawberry and melon drink.
Fried bao with their version of ‘healthy’ prawn mix, 營養蝦鬆 £6.5
Curry cheese bao, 咖哩起司, £5
Chicken nugget bao, 咔拉雞塊, £5.75
‘Home-style’ pork jowl, 煙燻豬頰, £5.5