Date

Sept 2015

Meal

Dinner

Ordered

XIAO CHI

  • Scallops, Yellow Bean garlic – 3.50 gbp x 2
  • Eryngli Mushroom, Century Egg – 4 gbp
  • Pig Blood Cake – 3.50 gbp
  • Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice – 5.25 gbp
  • Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce – 5 gbp

BAO

  • Classic – 3.75 gbp x 2
  • Confit Pork – 4.50 gbp x 2
  • Fried Chicken – 5 gbp
  • Lamb Shoulder – 5 gbp
  • Fried Horlicks Ice Cream – 4 gbp

SIDES

  • Pickles – 3 gbp
  • Peanut Milk – 1.50 gbp

Food

XIAO CHI

Scallops, Yellow Bean garlic – 9/10

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Scallops, Yellow Bean garlic

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Scallops, Yellow Bean garlic

Who can resist grilled scallop on their shell? I wasn’t too happy that it was 3.50 gbp for a tiny scallops though, I expected it to be more generous. Although it was enjoyable, the scallops was slightly too salty with too much soy sauce. I loved the seaweed flakes on top though, making it very Japanese too. Don’t try to gulp down the sauces though like I did, it is a little spicy, and might just shock you.

Eryngli Mushroom, Century Egg – 6/10

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Eryngli Mushroom, Century Egg

I wouldn’t order this if i was to come again. Not that it wasn’t good, it was nothing special and the portion was small.  Due to it being served on a black plate, i didn’t even see the century egg until I reread the menu and realize there are century egg in the dish.  they were cut into little pieces, so little I cannot even get them up on my chopsticks.

Pig Blood Cake – 7/10

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Pig Blood Cake

I have seen this about million of times on Instagram, so it was a ‘must’to order this dish.  As good as it looks, it tasted nothing as I imagined. I have had pig’s blood cake before in Hong Kong, and I can say i am not a fan.  I can tolerate the taste of it here much more, I can say i actually like it here especially with the egg yolk, giving it a Japanese twist again.

Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice – 6/10

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Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice

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So fulfilling

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Gorgeous yolk!

The rice came last, and it was the biggest mistake.  This is probably the most filling dish on the menu, and they were generous with the rice (if you are hungry, do order this).  The guinea fowl was tender and moist, with some suaces on the rice.  It was delicious with the runny egg yolk.

Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce – 7/10

Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce

Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce

The chicken was crispy with some sauce drizzled over it.  i am not a spicy person, however i can tolerate the spiciness here, so do try even if you are not a big fan of spicy food as the chicken does takes like the Taiwanese fried chicken in taiwan’s night market, yummy!

 

BAO

Classic – 8/10

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Classic bao

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Classic bao

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BAO classic

The Classic bao was not as good as I imagined.  Being their original, I expected a WOW factor.  The were too much of the peanut powder and coriander which was too empowering, I could hardly taste the pulled pork itself.  However the bun was fluffy and soft.

Confit Pork – 9/10

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Confit Pork

This was my personal favourite and I would choose this one over the Classic bao which also uses pork meat.  The pork belly was well seasoned and marinaded, it melted in my mouth without doubt, and I love how much fried shallots it came with. I liked the texture of the whole dish. The best!

Fried Chicken – 7/10

Fried Chicken bao

Fried Chicken bao

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Fried Chicken bao

I did not get to taste this, but the review i got from my friend was the fried chicken tasted exactly like Taiwanese Fried Chicken dish with the exact same hot sauce.  However the mayonnaise served with it was too empowering.  So do order either of the one but not both.

Lamb Shoulder – 8/10

Lamb Shoulder

Lamb Shoulder bao

The Lamb shoulder bao had a more of a lebanese twist than being Taiwanese.  With a strong coriander and mint sauce, being slightly spicy, the lamb shoulder was tender and moist. Full of flavours, it’s a must if you want something different to pork.

 

Fried Horlicks Ice Cream – 10/10

Fried Horlicks Ice Cream bao

Fried Horlicks Ice Cream bao

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Being the only dessert here, it was a must on the dessert. where are you going to find Horlicks ice cream? Where am i going to find fried bao with Horlicks ice cream.  it was heavenly, the ice cream was smooth and ice cold, with the delicious fried bao who isn’t even oily.  Now I cannot decide which is my favourite, I have had the best fried bao with green tea ice cream at Hong Kong’s Little Bao, Horlicks or Green tea? that’s a hard one!
My only concern its, the bao being in two separate pieces, was rather hard to eat, with the ice cream melting in the centre. I separated the two pieces and spread half the ice cream on each bread and ate them separately.  It was still delicious and less messy.

SIDES

Pickles – 6/10

Pickles

Pickles

Peanut Milk – 9/10

Peanut Milk

Peanut Milk

 

Oriental Beauty Tea

Oriental Beauty Tea

 

Ambience & Interior

Shop front

Shop front

Do not expect it to be big and spacious. this little restaurant is in the middle of soho, and it’s the most hyped up restaurant in london since Spring.  Seats are limited, with wooden long tables and stalls.  it does remind me of little local restaurants in Taiwan.  Although it is tiny, i didn’t feel too crowded, i had space to move around, with bag hooks underneath the wooden tables and coat pegs by the wall, it made it less crowded.
You cannot walk pass Bao without seeing it, there is a huge queue opposite the restaurant, and it is right next to a pub.

Service

Service was inviting and efficient.  We were acknowledged while queuing up and were frequently updated in how long we have still got to wait. we were handed with their menu while we were waiting in the queue.  We sat down by the bar and the staff made sure we know what we were ordering and asked if it was our first time to the restaurant. Food came fast, and our empty plates were taken away efficiently too.

Menu

Please click here for the full menu

Recommendation

  • Scallops, Yellow Bean garlic
  • Pig Blood Cake
  • Classic bao
  • Confit Pork  bao
  • Fried Horlicks Ice Cream
  • Peanut Milk

Verdict

Scallops, Yellow Bean garlic – 9/10
Eryngli Mushroom, Century Egg – 6/10
Pig Blood Cake – 7/10
Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice – 6/10
Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce – 7/10
Classic – 8/10
Confit Pork – 9/10
Fried Chicken – 7/10
Lamb Shoulder – 8/10
Fried Horlicks Ice Cream – 10/10
Pickles – 6/10
Peanut Milk – 9/10

Would I go back again? Hell yes!
Rating from my brain (out of 5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥
Rating from my heart (out of 5 hearts): ♥♥♥♥♥
Overall rating (out of 10 hearts) : ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ 9/10

  It lives up to the hype! It was worth it to queue up for half an hour before getting seated. We started queuing up at 630pm and were seated by 7pm. However if you arrive any later, you will probably need to queue for an hour. there is a queue everyday, so be prepared!

 

Details

BAO
53 Lexington Street
Soho
London
W1F 9AS

Mon-Sat
12pm – 3pm
5.30pm – 10pm
Sunday
Closed

Reservation
No reservation policy
Do go early to avoid the queue!

Bao Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Square Meal