Bao Wow Wow
BAO haven’t been returning our emails recently. We wanted to tell them about a couple of events we thought they might be interested in — and nag them about updating their listing on the British Street Food app. Now we know why. The winners of the People’s Choice — and Best Main Dish — at the 2013 British Street Food Awards, are going legit. Which is why we had to muddle by without them at this year’s Awards. Too busy. Winning big at the BSFAs has always opened doors, and the founders of BAO are now getting ready to open their first restaurant at 53 Lexington Street in Soho, in Spring 2015. Behind the brand new Taiwanese inspired restaurant are Erchen Chang (24) and siblings Shing Tat (28) and Wai Ting Chung (29). The trio (who also won the prestigious Young British Foodies) will be supported by Karam, Jyo and Sunaina Sethi – the family behind Trishna, Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, Gymkhana and Lyle’s restaurants.
As they told Victoria Stewart in the Evening Standard, 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.