This bun fight found success as a street-food operation in Brighton and has now settled in to this intimate site in St James’s. It’s a refreshingly casual spot for the area, with a stylish monochrome colour scheme, staff in Baby Bao t-shirts and a concise menu which majors in size XL bao buns bringing something new to this corner of SW1.
The bao mainly impress: luscious roasted pork belly sandwiched between a pillowy bun is a hit, as is the Korean barbecue option, filled with plump, juicy prawns. However, our cod tempura bao was overpowered by an overzealous dollop of wasabi-spiked tartar sauce.
Decadent sides are more consistent and perfect for sticky-fingered fun: chicken wings are delightfully messy, slathered in Korean chilli sauce and brimming with spice, while thick-cut chips come loaded with shredded duck and pineapple chunks.
Desserts are just as belt-busting, with so-wrong-they-are-right options including sugar-dusted deep-fried Oreos served with white chocolate sauce. Finish up with a craft beer from the impressive list of London brews.
Despite occasionally absent-minded service, Baby Bao is buzzy, fairly priced and plenty of fun – a good shout for diners looking to pig out.