Wednesday, 22 April 2015

BAO, SOHO

After the much anticipated wait, Bao has finally opened their Soho restaurant!
Like their streetfood stalls, they still serve their pillowy soft cloudy steamed buns but with a wider variety of fillings, and the addition of a range of Taiwanese small dishes.
I managed to pop in for lunch on their second day since opening, after scrolling through my Instagram feed the night before which was bombarded with endless drool-worthy photos.

I ordered the peanut milk, which came served with ice in a small glass - it was really tasty and refreshing, and I could have easily downed a couple more glasses.

Peanut Milk

Their menu is divided into three categories: 'Xiao Chi' ("small eats"), Bao, and Sides. 
The scallop was fresh with fragrant flavours from the yellow bean garlic. I find soup dishes very comforting, and I would highly recommend the beef soup, which seems to be a favourite amongst many who have tried it. The aubergine was really soft and smooth, and it was fun to eat it with the crispy pieces of wonton skin.  

Scallop, Yellow Bean Garlic

Beep Soup, Braised Daikon

Aubergine, Wonton Crisp

Aubergine, Wonton Crisp

I never used to like eating pig's blood, or rather I used to get quite queasy just by the thought of it. I remember those jelly-looking cubes that used to float around in my curry mee which I picked out and slid them into someone else's bowl. But I am now a more adventurous grown-up (or at least I think I am), and have learned to appreciate such delicacies. Their pig blood cake which many had raved about was actually really tasty. After watching multiple videos and 'before and after' shots of that gooey egg yolk, I finally tried it for myself. It had a pleasant texture, and it was really moreish - another favourite from the menu!
The trotter nuggets had a light and crisp golden coating with deliciously tender meat inside - so good that I had the whole dish to myself. 
The guinea fowl chi shiang rice was topped with a bright yellow egg yolk which was great to eat mixed together with the rice. 

Pig Blood Cake

Pig Blood Cake

Trotter Nuggets

Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice

We ordered three different savoury baos - lamb shoulder, confit pork and the fried chicken. I have only ever had their classic bao from their market stall, so it was nice to try a few more variations, all of which I enjoyed. It was hard to choose, but my favourite amongst the three was probably the confit pork bao. I didn't try the daikon bao, but I heard that it actually taste much better than it sounds despite it being a vegetarian bao - definitely one for the list on my next visit.

Lamb Shoulder Bao

Confit Pork Bao

Fried Chicken Bao

And of course I couldn't pass out on dessert which was the Fried Horlicks Ice Cream. It was interesting to see Horlicks being used which was more of a childhood drink for me. It is however not the easiest thing to eat without getting your fingers smothered in melted ice cream...
At the end we washed it all down with some foam cold-pressed tea which was really refreshing.



The food has definitely lived up to the hype and it is of no surprise that there have been queues of people outside. I will probably have to pick a quiet weekday (if there is such a thing) to go back for more. Pig blood cake, beef soup and daikon bao...I'll be coming back for you.

The Cheekster, signing out x

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