BAO Marylebone

Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of BAO Marylebone

Silver Award

BAO gained a cult following after it first opened in Soho in 2013, but with it’s combination of faultless small plates and unbeatable branding, it’s no wonder it stole a piece of Londoner’s hearts. BAO Marylebone marks the fifth site for the popular Taiwanese group, but this time it comes with one crucial difference - there are dumplings on the menu too.

As ever, the decor is fairly pared-back, continuing a minimalist theme that runs through all of the restaurants, but with the welcome addition of an outdoor terrace (a relief for BAO loving dog owners everywhere).

We kick off our meal with the smoked aubergine and fried bao, that look deceptively like chips, and serve as the perfect tool for scooping. The beef tendon nuggets and aged beef rump rice that follow each bring the typical, unfussy approach to dining, with no fancy plating, just ingredients allowed to shine.

The dumplings are all worth the anticipation that came with this new opening, but it’s the boiled cull yaw dumplings that are a real stand out for us. They’re served in a bowl with chilli oil, and manage to pack a punch with every bite. It’s not a trip to BAO without ordering one of the now-iconic pillowy buns, and it’s safe to say the classic with braised pork belly and peanut crumb never fails.

With dessert, there’s only one option available - a fried horlicks bao - and it’s everything you didn’t know you needed. The ice cream is reminiscent of a Malteser without the chocolate, whilst the fried bao has a unique flavour and texture, creating both a perfectly original and reassuringly familiar dish.

For wine, BAO Marylebone offers a limited selection, but it serves it’s purpose. A bottle wont set you back a small fortune like most other restaurants in the area, and it lends itself as a great pairing alongside the food here, which is a win in our eyes.

This is another success story for BAO, with the main challenge here being trying not to order the entire menu - although we stand completely judgement free if you do.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cool, Fun, Lively
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Special Features
Vegetarian options
Perfect for
Child friendly
Food Hygiene Rating


Famed for its pillow-soft gua bao and wide-spectrum Taiwanese food, BAO Marylebone is BAO’s fifth site, following the original Soho restaurant and subsequent sites in Shoreditch, King’s Cross and Borough. BAO Marylebone is nestled on Marylebone’s James Street, just a short walk from Bond Street and Selfridges.

Each BAO location pays homage to a different side of Taiwanese food and culture, and BAO Marylebone is no different - this is the group’s celebration of Taiwan’s dumpling houses, featuring a menu that goes heavy on dumplings, as well as quick cold dishes for diners in a hurry, and those famous bao buns. Dark timber panelling contrasts BAO’s recognisable white tiles,

BAO Marylebone is set over two floors and is the first of the group to be open for all-day dining. The interior is a mix of tables and counter dining, and diners can get a peek into the open kitchen to watch dumplings being handmade. There’s also an al fresco patio area where guests can enjoy a bit of fresh air.

The menu kicks off with cold dishes like soy-braised assorted vegetables, sesame Majiang noodles, and ox tongue with chilli oil, before diving into dumplings like boiled prawn dumplings with scrambled egg and kelp broth, pan-fried mushroom dumplings, and BAO’s much-loved boiled Cull Yaw dumplings with spicy chilli oil. Assorted small plates are also available, like the bone marrow, cured egg, Mi Gao rice with chestnut and glutinous rice, and beef tendon nugget with burnt chilli sauce. And don’t forget those ever-present gua bao, with fillings like daikon, braised pork and fried chicken.


What's on the menu at the restaurant?

This site features the group's iconic gua bao buns, as well as focusing on dumplings.

Helpful? 0

Do I need to book?

Booking is advised - you can book via the website.

Helpful? 0

BAO Marylebone is featured in


56 James Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 1HF

Opening Times

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


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1 Review 

Haren K

18 March 2024   - Verified Diner
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 5
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