BAO Battersea

Taiwanese·
££££
·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of BAO Battersea

Silver Award

BAO’s bottomless success has seen the brand open a sixth site in the capital, this time at the recently revamped Battersea Power Station. It’s the second of its noodle shop franchises, a concept based around the famous beef noodle shops of Taiwan.

We arrive at prime lunch hour at 1pm on a Saturday and join a queue of hungry shoppers, its wide shop front advertising the already bustling dining room. True to its signature style, the space is filled with small stools and communal tables, as well as red seats overlooking the open kitchen, with diners packed neatly together to create a buzzy and convivial atmosphere.

This is certainly casual dining, but it is also one of London’s best, and most popular, restaurants. Why? The atmosphere is a huge part of it, with its infectious buzz, friendly staff and low-level seating offering a gregarious meeting point to catch up with your mates. The food is also awesome. At the heart of this particular concept is its beef noodles, a heady bowl of rich broth, al dente noodles and slow-cooked beef cheek and short rib which fall apart at the slightest touch.

You can also indulge in all of BAO’s signature xiao chi and bao buns, from superior Taiwanese fried chicken, crisp and covered in a punchy hot sauce, to soft cull yaw dumplings in neon chilli oil. Its bulbous bao buns are as good as ever, from beef short rib with egg emulsion to ‘classic’ braised pork with powdered peanuts. A fried prawn bao is a feat of innovation. If you’ve never tried a fried bao bun before, it is beautifully crisp, supremely fluffy, and a bit like eating one of those fried doughnuts you get at the seaside.

Our meal came to £35 a head, and we over ordered, which puts this comfortably in the realm of affordable to mid-range dining. BAO is the sort of place you can confidently recommend to a friend - and then make them take you with them.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £30 - £49
Cuisines
Taiwanese
Eat at Home
Takeaway service
Ambience
Cool, Fun, Lively
Other Awards
SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining, Dog friendly, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates
Food Hygiene Rating

About

Located on the first floor of the iconic converted Battersea Power Station, BAO offers casual all-day dining centred around the national dishes of Taiwan: bao buns and noodles. Following the trend set by the stylish BAO siblings, this branch offers barstool seating along with shared long tables, with soft lighting and natural tones affording a laid back yet modern feel. Diners can also opt for a seat at the counter to enjoy front row views overlooking the open kitchen. Here, diners can watch the experts prepare fresh noodles and buns, all made in-house with flour imported from Taiwan.

Guests can expect plenty of signature BAO dishes at this Battersea site. Start off with a snack from the xiao chi (small eats) menu such as Taiwanese fried chicken, eel and smacked cucumber, cheese croquettes or crispy tripe. Next, take your pick from a selection of its popular classic bao buns, which include 12-hour braised pork belly with fermented mustard greens and peanut powder. Its noodle dishes can be ordered in a rich beef broth, a light kelp broth or tossed in a thick sauce, with both vegetarian and vegan options available. Each branch of BAO has a speciality dish, with this Battersea restaurant boasting a tantalising dish of Danzai braised pork and prawn noodles topped with a cured egg yolk.

The drinks menu features a selection of creative cocktails, Taiwanese beer, sake, whisky and house wine, so there’s something for everyone. Or, for an alcohol-free evening, opt for one of the enticing BAO teas, available hot and cold.

BAO Battersea also offers karaoke in the ‘control room’, perfect for diners who fancy making an evening out of their visit. A minimum of six and a maximum of 14 guests can sing along to over 1,000 songs, from Asian hits to Western classics, which can be accompanied by one of the KTV food and drink packages. 


FAQs

Are there any vegan options?

Yes, there is a vegan menu.

Helpful? 0

Do I need to book?

Walk-ins are encouraged, but small groups can book on the BAO website.

Helpful? 0

Location

Level 1 Turbine Hall A, Battersea Power Station, Battersea, London, SW11 8DD
Website

Opening Times

All day
Mon 12:00-22:00
Tue 12:00-22:00
Wed 12:00-22:00
Thu 12:00-22:30
Fri 12:00-22:30
Sat 12:00-22:30
Sun 12:00-20:00

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