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.