Part of the JKS restaurant group and with multiple BAO restaurants all over London (also Borough, Soho, King’s Cross and London Fields), its Fitzrovia branch is the second of the BAO chain to open and can be found on the corner of Windmill Street serving its synonymous Taiwanese fluffy dumplings.
The restaurant is set over two floors and offers the same pared-back, café-style interiors found across all BAO sites. With clay walls and large windows to flood the place with plenty of light, it makes a bright and relaxed spot to stop by for lunch or dinner and gorge on bao buns until your heart’s content. Inside BAO Fitz there is a ‘U shaped’ wooden bar inspired by the Edward Hopper painting, Nighthawks, while during the summer months customers can perch on outdoor seating when the weather is warm.
Paper menus invite diners to tick their choices via a check-box ordering system. Discover xiao chi snacks (small plates), da chi middle plates (large plates) and, of course, is signature baos. Nibbles might include braised pork shin sushi and crispy noodle chips, while sharing dishes feature the likes of XO sweetcorn with ox heart, Taiwanese fried chicken with cured egg yolk and sacha razor clam and whelks noodle. Of course, the main event is those bao buns which includes the classic (braised pork, peanut powder, fermented greens, coriander), confit pork (aged pork belly, pork sauce, hot sauce, dried shallots) and black cod (battered cod, lemon mayo, hot sauce, NG sauce, sesame BAO).
Drinks revolve around a focused menu of wine and sake, which can be enjoyed around the counter ‘U’ bar, along with a selection of guest bar cocktails, dream drinks, beers and hot and cold teas. Look out for its signature peanut milk, which is made in-house with fresh vanilla, for a non-alcoholic option.