Dinner at Bao

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Rating: 8.5 / 10

Nearest Tube: Goodge Street (Northern Line)

Service Time: 15 minutes

Address: 31 Windmill Street, London, W1T 2JN

Website: http://baolondon.com

I’m always a little cynical if there’s a lot of hype about a place, especially when it claims to be as trendy as Bao. It’s usually the case that when you actually experience it for yourself, it doesn’t live up to your expectations. This certainly wasn’t the case with Bao. It delivered on all fronts, and is well worth a visit. Even though the vegetarian options on the menu aren’t extensive, it needn’t be a concern – the options which are available are top quality.

Those that make the journey to Bao, more often than not, are forced to queue to experience the culinary delights. We, however, got lucky by going to their Fitzrovia outlet, which is slightly less busy than the Soho restaurant and we arrived before 6.30pm on a Friday. We were seated immediately and presented with a food menu, which you fill out, indicating what you would like to eat. The server was friendly and knowledgable when quizzed on the offerings for vegetarians.

We started with one Daikon Bao each – a delicately spiced vegetable breadcrumbed pattie with a piece of raw radish, bathed in a spicy sauce served in a creamy soft milk dough bun. This was so good we ordered another. We then had the Cabbage Salad, Miso Aubergine with Soya Egg and finally a Garlic and Onion Cabbage. The latter was the least impressive of the dishes we ordered, but was by no means inedible or unimaginative. The Miso Aubergine on the other hand was a marvel and if we return we’ll be ordering two of these! We were reticent about the prospect of a single raw egg yolk arriving on the table, but that soon abated once we stirred it in to the rice that sits beneath the Miso Aubergine. The favours were complex, the presentation well-crafted and most importantly, moreish.

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To drink, we had their soya and guava drink with star anise which was refreshing and delicious. Next time round, we’ll try the peanut milk which also looked tempting.

Bill for 2 people:

2 x Guava Drink = £8.00
4 x Daikon Bao = £16.00
1 x Cabbage = £2.00
1 x Miso Aubergine = £6.00
1 x Cabbage Garlic and Onion thing = £4.00
Service charge @ 12.5% = £4.37

TOTAL BILL = c.£40.00