BAO Borough

Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of BAO Borough

Bronze Award

The ever-popular Bao (which already has sites in Fitzrovia and Soho) now has a third location right by Borough Market. It has branched out in its food offering as well as its location; instead of just bao buns, guests are able to enjoy various dishes from the grill, as well as late-night noodle plates with a bunch of accompaniments. What's more, there will also be a hatch at the front of the restaurant serving grab-and-go dishes to take away later on in the year.

But everyone is really here for the signature buns, with two recommended per person alongside two-to-three sides, ticked off on the laminated menu cards and brought out as and when they are ready by efficient, informal staff.

Stand-outs include Taiwanese fried chicken served with hot sauce - crunchy, fiery and finger-lickingly indulgent - and the spiced butter scallops, a touch of luxury in an otherwise casual meal. The signature buns didn’t disappoint either, and although the classic bao (braised pork with peanut powder) is a solid winner, it’s nothing compared to the chicken nugget bao, which comes complete with hot sauce and Sichuan mayo. 

Our only draw-back? The cocktails didn't impress; stick instead to the sake or grab a couple of Bao Oolong Lagers - just the thing to get your vocal cords lubricated ahead of belting out a power ballad in the 12-seater karaoke room in the restaurant’s basement (also to open later in the year). True to Asia's late-night bars, the room is decorated in monochrome tiles and multi-coloured disco lights.

With bookings only available for groups of five or more, queueing is still likely, but with diners seated elbow-rubbingly close to one another, you can't say they don't find room for as many customers as possible, though despite the close quarters, the mirrored walls, skylight and open kitchen mean it doesn't feel too cramped. And with prices kept refreshingly low, your wallet will be (nearly) as happy as your belly when you leave.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Under £30
Eat at Home
Takeaway service
Cool, Fun, Lively, Unique
Food Occasions
All day dining, Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Counter dining, Vegan options, Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates


Bao buns have become increasingly popular over the years, with steamed dumpling connoisseurs BAO leading the charge. The Taiwanese chain has multiple sites across London, including restaurants in Fitzrovia, Soho, King’s Cross and the original BAO Bar over in London Fields, with its site in Borough the third BAO to open up shop. This particular restaurant specialises in grill items and Hi-Balls and is inspired by the late-night grill bars in Asia.   

The diner-style interiors are simple and offer both table and counter dining, with red stools and wooden tables creating an informal feel. To order, customers must tick their choice of dish via a check box system on the menu. To start, you might like to try glazed tofu with Taiwanese pickle or Yu Shiang boiled eggs. While more substantial starters include grilled ox heart skewer and 40-day aged beef and taipei butter rice. There are, of course, plenty of its signature bao buns to tuck into including the classic (braised pork, peanut powder, fermented greens, coriander), fried chicken (sesame bao, Taiwanese fried chicken, sichuan mayo, coriander, hot sauce, and kimchi), beef shortrib (beef shortrib, egg emulsion, fermented cucumber, crispy shallots) and curry cheese (fried cheese, curry sauce, sichuan oil, fermented chilli).  

The drinks list, meanwhile, features a host of Hi-Ball cocktails inspired by the fruit stands in Taiwan. One named Bao-Hi combines Toki whisky, salted glass pitcher citrus cordial, bitters and soda, while Woo-Hi mixes sake, barley shochu, cherry cordial and soda. Discover Taiwanese twists on classic cocktails, too, as well as sake, beer and wine. Non-alcoholic options are by no means an afterthought. It makes its own peanut milk in house, or you can grab a seasonal soda, hot and cold teas and their signature Bubble Tea made with Taiwanese brown sugar boba and milk foam.   

Can't stop? BAO Borough has a hatch where you can grab its BAOs and Ice Cream BAO to go. 


Can you book a table at BAO Borough?

Yes, you can book a table via the website

Helpful? 0


13 Stoney Street, London Bridge, London, SE1 9AD

020 3967 5407 020 3967 5407


Opening Times

Mon Closed
Tue 12:00-15:00
Wed 12:00-15:00
Thu 12:00-15:00
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
Mon Closed
Tue 17:00-22:00
Wed 17:00-22:00
Thu 17:00-22:00
Fri Closed
Sat Closed
Sun Closed
All day
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-22:30
Sat 12:00-22:30
Sun 12:00-21:00


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2 Reviews 

Sam C

26 July 2019  
Food is exceptional, really strong drinks list. Servers are very friendly and there's such a buzzy atmosphere. I love the karaoke room too - so fun and amazing design. Value is good esp if at lunch.

Louise T

29 March 2019  
The best Bao's in the UK. Perfect, fluffy, delicious and perfectly portioned fillings with a decadent dessert Bao to finish off!
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Order takeaway from BAO Borough by calling 020 3967 5407.

Sorry, you cannot spend SquareMeal vouchers here yet.

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