Following the success of BAO the 6 seat bar and market stall on Netil Market, the BAO team (winners of YBF’s in 2013, along with the ‘People’s Choice’ and ‘Best Main Dish’ prizes at the British Street Food Awards) will open their first restaurant, which will also be called BAO, at 53 Lexington Street in Soho, on 7th April, 2015.
The three owners behind the brand new Taiwanese inspired restaurant are Erchen Chang (24) and siblings Shing Tat (28) and Wai Ting Chung (29). They will be supported by Karam, Jyo and Sunaina Sethi – the family behind Trishna, Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, Gymkhana and Lyle’s restaurants.
Shing, Wai Ting and Erchen have travelled extensively across Taiwan, China and Asia over the years – cooking and eating together. Along with their travels, BAO also takes inspiration from the Xiao Chi, or ‘small eats’ restaurants in Erchen’s hometown of Taipei, and other cities.
The trio’s signature Bao (steamed milk buns) will take pride of place on the menu, created by husband and wife Head Chef team Shing Tat and Erchen, who have spent years developing their secret recipe. The Bao will be hand made every day at the restaurant, and include; ‘The Classic’, braised pork, peanut powder, fermented greens and coriander; Lamb shoulder; and ‘Daikon’, panko crumbed daikon radish, daikon pickle, hot sauce and coriander. Bao will range from £3.50 – £5 each.
On the tick-style menu will also be a series of snacks and several larger dishes which will feature; Tendon puffs; Pig blood cake; Lamb tongue fries with curry dip; Battered sweet potato with plum pickle salt; Daikon tots with century egg; Turkey rice, quails egg and pickle, using rice from the Chi Shiang region; and Fried chicken marinated in soy milk, with their own hot sauce. Small glasses of peanut milk, a perfect match to their food, will accompany dishes, and to finish there will be Deep fried bao ice cream sandwich and Ice cream wrap with peanut brittle and coriander. A selection BAO, snacks and desserts will be available to take away, collected from the counter. Prices will range from £3.50 – £7.50.
BAO has been designed by Shing Tat, working with Royffe Flynn Architects, and deploys a stripped back feeling with wooden cladding and paneling on the walls, ceiling fans and a ceramic tiled floor. A low, long bar will stretch half the length of the room, with Ercol stools. Shelving will store house-made pickles and preserves such as mustard greens and Taiwanese Golden Kimchi, and there will be handmade, natural clay pottery in greys and taupe. At each place setting there will be chopsticks, and a jar of their own secret recipe hot sauce, all overhung by flat enamel pendant lights.
Wai Ting will oversee the front of house and cocktail offering. This will include a short list of hot Oolong and cold Foam tea imported from Taiwan, such as Baozhong Oolong and Oriental Beauty. There will be Sake and Whisky from Taiwan and Japan, including pear infused Shochu and Kavalan and Yamazaki Whisky. The Bao signature cocktails detail as; Shochu with plum shrub; Peanut milk, Barley Shochu and honey, and there is a short beer list, including Taiwan beer.
As with most London restaurants at the moment, BAO won’t be taking reservations, so get in line now…
Monday – Friday, lunch and dinner, 12 noon – 3.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Saturday, open all day, 12 noon – 10.30pm