It was definitely going to be a comparison between both the Baos. That was why I had to think about which and why was it that I preferred one to the other. Was it the first because it set the precedence? Or was it the second because the second lived up to it? It was a bit of both. The style of food was very similar. I felt I enjoyed the first Bao because it gave a better insight to what they could do beyond baos. On the other hand, I also enjoyed the second Bao because of their unique combination of dishes and flavours. Having slept on the matter, I preferred my first Bao experience. But with the two outlets, where would be your first Bao experience?
And that was why Bao is good. Not only the food wow-ed but it kept different aspects of conversation going. Well done, and I hope to see what is coming next!
beef cheek and tendon nuggets £4.00 – just as I knew Bao would do a good deep fry, the nuggets were meaty, compact with meat and in a way I didn't mind if they were not as perfectly shaped. It was a good first dish to remind me of Bao.
crispy prawn heads £4.75 – growing up in an Asian family who chew and suck the juices of crustaceans, I did not find any speciality to this dish but I find that I can eat prawn heads without being judged!
fried chicken chop, hot sauce £6.00 – good, well seasoned fried chicken in a yolky hot sauce. It's really difficult to share the dish!
raw langoustine, dulse, aged soy, oyster leaf £5.00 – my favourite. The flesh was so juicy that I thought I tasted mango. Forget all the baos now, serve only this to me!
tomatoes, plum powder £2.75 – I was reluctant to order this dish because to be honest, it was just tomatoes. They probably use the best cherry tomatoes but it is still tomatoes, right? Pairing it with the plum powder, I find, was genius! The plum powder is so commonly used in Malaysia to dip with fruits and, tomatoes are fruits, right?
sanbei octopus £6.00 – good texture to the octopus and I enjoyed the sauce that it was marinated in.
beef shortrib, marrow, eryngii £6.75 – a slight let down compared to the rest of the dishes and to their original guinea fowl in the first Bao.
The baos were consistently good. The fluffiness of the buns, the taste of the filling and the presentation were maintained across all three of their outlets. Having their baos now, I thought that their buns were a little too fluffy. I would like my bread with more texture and not just to deflate when I take my bite.
classic bao (braised pork, ferment coriander and peanuts) £4.00
bao confit (pork belly, crispy shallots hot sauce) £4.50
bao lamb (shoulder, green sauce, soy pickled chilli) £5.00
bao cod (fried cod, ng sauce, hot sauce) £5.00 – it was a good bao. Black looking food is very appealing. Clever twist.
Average spend on food per person: £30.00 - £35.00