Cheese and Biscuits: Bao, Fitzrovia

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I have a rule according to which I only write a restaurant in a group. Generally speaking, no matter how the second or third branch is accomplished, with so many similar dishes and, very often, both of the same staff is involved in all the sites, there is no not enough new material to cover. For example, all Patty & Bun are good; all Tonkotsu are good; all Wright Bros are good. All Hawksmoor and Goodman are good (man). But despite the bizarre variations in the menu, they are all good as they have a certain set of dishes that they can produce consistently and at a high level, which does not allow for a particularly interesting copy.

But sometimes the rules must be broken. Sometimes a restoration group is so profoundly different from anything that came before, so revolutionary in its approach to restoration that, if they opened a hundred or so branches serving exactly the same menu, I would still find enough of things to say about in a hundred new blog posts. This only happened twice during my stay in London. First of all, it was the Meatwagon / MeatEasy / MeatLiquor family tree, each step that, on the way to national domination, I covered with ecstatic burgers cakes because it was really important – an obsessive knowledge of what makes a good hamburger, with an irresistible Funky Dive-Bar aesthetic and bolshy attitude. MeatLiquor, even his detractors must recognize, have changed absolutely everything .

And now there is Bao. I'm not about to make big predictions about the influence of this pair of Taiwanese cool-as-a-cucumber snacks that will end up being; This is not my job, nor even, at this stage, is it important. But I can tell you that I feel the same things on the two branches of Bao as on MeatWagon, there is all that of the year, that it was acting an extremely talented group of people who have the means to do exactly what they want to do and have a meal. There is a totally wonderful and rewarding experience that if it is not, # 39; one of your favorite restaurants in London, you have not yet eaten, simple like that.

The joy of Bao is not just food – these things never are. The clean and modernist lines of the interiors of the two branches complete the exact and uncomplicated dishes served there, as the whole operation – certainly including smiling staff in their white and clean coats – resembles a kind of experimental art project. I am sure that things like "chicken chops with soy – cooked eggs" or "beef and beef nuggets" will still taste very well under a highway causeway, but in these zenic places they really shine.

There is not a single item on the Bao menu that you would not want to eat again and again until you get hurt, so choosing a lunch for one is pure torture. I would recommend going with at least one friend, so you can put the small mark in as many boxes to the menu as possible (the Bao control system is a small paper form and a pencil, which means you can follow what you have called "I ordered and – more importantly – add it over and over when you realize you have a good time." But most people probably start with the owner of Bao titled, shiny white rice flour rolls filled, alternatively, a sweetly sweet pork belly, a shortrib of beef, a umami-rich nougat cod and a daikon nugget with a bread head that makes just as good for the vegetarian option you might imagine.

In any other restaurant, I would describe "Cep broth, duck breast" as a "good order", except that these tips will not be useful to Bao when all will be brilliant. This is a surprisingly charming thing, a consume of salty and earthy mushrooms matched with a few slices of pink and gamey duck breast, and missing it would be a terrible crime.

Similarly, this salad of raw shrimp and potatoes, full of colors and textures amazing and seasoned with precision, each item presented at its absolute best. I'm not normally a fan of raw shrimp, so for me, I wanted to polish a second plate as soon as the first one had disappeared, it is a real success.

I can not imagine a situation when you do not want to order this dish of soybean pork loin with ginger and chives. Slices of pork beautifully soft and soft, soaked in a soft and silky dressing, it is so happy to eat that it is worth watching. Another must-order.

Of course, it goes without saying that you can not eat in Bao without trying the fried chicken, one of the few non-Bao items carried in the Soho menu. A generous chicken supreme in a glorious sparkling crust, it comes with a hard and remarkable egg yolk that acts as a kind of innovative soaking sauce. Whether it is a Taiwanese staple food which I was then unconscious or if it was entirely the idea of ​​Bao, c & # 39; is still a very special thing.

The pig "bak kwa" proved to be three geometrically accurate, compact, hardened pork squares, served with a fruity chili dip sauce. Now there may be people there – members of some religions perhaps, or insane at the end – who for whatever reason can not appreciate dried and salted pork squares , soaked in a chili sauce, but I'm certainly not one. And so, this dish is also inescapable.

Even beverages are within the reach of true invention and attention to detail at the limit of exhaustion. This pretty thing, the "Yakult float", do I think a mixture of yuzu topped with a yoghurt mousse ejected from one of those steaming whiskers (not I do not know what is called), and it looks like it's good as well as great tasting. So you absolutely have to order this too.

Do you really need more reasons to visit? What about "crisp cabbage," a fragile leaf of fried greens with a soft, silky cream sauce that explodes in the mouth with salt and vegetable flavor. Can you imagine a world in which you went to have a meal in Bao and did you order the crisp cabbage? Could you look your friends in the eyes afterwards? Could you learn to live with yourself? No, I was not thinking.

So. If everything is brilliant, as I said (what it is), then, how do you decide to order what? I do not have an easy answer to that, except to say that in the long run it will not be a problem because I can not see anyone who has just visited Bao once. It is a restaurant to worship and obsess. Its food, unique in this place and so completely different from elsewhere, is, without exaggeration, something that perfectly approaches in almost every aspect, from the quality of the ingredients to the refinement of the presentation. The service is always warm and attentive, and you enjoy all this in a dining room so beautiful if it was emptied of bars, stools and guests, it could be used as an art gallery.

In short, restaurants like these do not come very often. If I'm right (and I usually do not), it's just a matter of time before London comes back. It can be copied, parodied or ripped. Sometimes called Bun or Boa will open in Soho, serving slightly offset versions of the famous Bao dishes. There will be the inevitable game because people too important to queue (pro-tip: you can book down at Fitzrovia) reject it as a superb hipster facade and pretend that they prefer Wagamama. All these things can happen. But there will always be the original and the best, succeeding so well, being brilliant over and over again.

You may notice that some items on my first visit were counted – it was very nice, so I just left another big board in place. I think they deserve it, is not it? Reviews, Photos, Localization and Info – Zomato "src =" "style =" border: none

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