I have to start this review with an apology, the past couple months have been extremely busy getting Basement sorted for the Summer months so I am sorry. But I’m back hitting Soho for the honest reviews for you all so when you have finished lurking Supreme and Palace you can find a place to eat that perhaps you wouldn’t go to of your own accord.
I return with a visit to Bao. Bao is on Lexington street, a street that I use to cut through from FP to get back to Piccadilly circus when I’m on my way home. There are always massive queues for this place all hours of the day so I had to see what this was all about.
A ‘Bao’, for those who do not know, is a steamed bun that can contain various different fillings but mostly pork. I was introduced to the term Bao through Eddie Huang, a once lawyer who ditched it all to open Baohaus in New York, a restaurant that only sells these steamed pork buns. Eddie has his own Vice show “Huangs World” in which he travels the world tasting all types of mad shit. I chose Bao as an homage to Eddie having just finished reading his second book. A Bao is not meant to be complex or anything other than a Chinese take on a sandwich. The bun is called Mantou which involved steaming the yeast rather than baking, giving it that mad fluffy texture. Due to the small nature of these Baos, they recommend you have at least 2-3.
I went for the classic, confit pork and fried chicken. I also done a Taiwanese Fried Chicken side and some sweet potato chips. Let me start with the fried chicken. This shit was crack, I could have happily sat and ate a bath full of that naughty fire. You have to get that first.
The Bao’s were alright, they weren’t amazing but they was alright. The classic was a soft pork with a sweet sauce and peanut dust (shout out Chabbuds). I didn’t really like this one. The confit pork was a more tender pork with a hot chili dressing and pickles which won out of the three I tried. The chicken was good but it had too much going on, if it was just chicken and a little sauce I would have loved it. Me and Milo went halves on the Pig Blood Cake which was black pudding and a yolk on top. I love black pudding but after 4 sakes I wasn’t feeling it.
Now I’m a bigger guy, I like comfort. I like space and I don’t like hot restaurants. We were squeezed around a primary school table and I was touching elbows with a female next to me. The staff are all rushing around getting food out to customers and it just felt like too much shit was happening to actually enjoy the food. Like I finished a plate and bang, the servers took it from my table. Now I respect that, the staff were fantastic but I just didn’t enjoy the vibe. Its almost as if as soon as you have sat down they want you gone. I didn’t really like that. I didn’t like how stuff is brought out at random. Maybe that was because we went just when they opened to avoid queues but, stuff was brought out just all random and I wanted certain foods before the other etc.
But I have to appreciate that this place is very hype and they are probably doing the best they have and who the fuck am I to comment on a restaurant that is clearly doing very well. The food for what it was, was extremely expensive. If you want to try a few things and Bao’s you’re looking at an easy 40 quid. I wouldn’t queue for that place, I would run in and grab a Bao if I fancied one but I wont be queueing like they do for Bao.
I am now adding a star rating system for each of the four factors below.
Food – ***
Price – ***** (Expensive)
Service – ***
Experience – **
I give this place an overall 6/10 solely because the waiter compared Tayler to Kobe Bryant.