Ever since Bao opened their first restaurant in Soho I’ve been dying to try this place out, but time and time again I was put off by the enormous queue snaking around the corner or across the road. Don’t get me wrong this was clearly a good sign but not so good after working all day and all you want is some good food. The other problem is that in Soho there is always somewhere else to try with equally great reviews. When the Fitzrovia branch opened a few months ago I was delighted to read that it was twice the size of the Soho restaurant and deciding to head there on a Monday was surely a safe option. Hallelujah it worked!
Seated around the bar upstairs I tucked straight into the Confit Bao – Pork belly, crispy shallots, hot sauce. The hot sauce is most definitely hot make no mistake about that but the crispy almost sweet shallots counter balanced the heat, as did the rice bao Bun itself. With two thick pieces of succulent and tender pork belly it’s no wonder this is recommended in a number of reviews.
Next up I ordered the Lamb Shoulder Bao – Lamb shoulder, green sauce, soy pickled chilli. As this was delivered to our table the smell hit me instantly and it tasted just as good. The lamb shoulder was shredded tender meat packed full of flavour. The green sauce wasn’t too dissimilar to pesto with basil and mint coming through and the pickled chilli gave a little punch of flavour, perfect for this cold and dreary time of year.
We shared the Fried chicken chop, hot sauce and egg yolk as well as a Beef short rib rice bowl. The short rib was tender and smokey with sticky rice and marrow whilst the chicken was perfectly crisp and seasoned on the outside with fleshy moist chicken meat on the inner. The combination of hot sauce and yolk was something new and something I’m not 100% sold on if I’m honest.
The menu boasts an array of delicious sounding and looking cocktails which I’m sure to tuck into next time.
Bao Fitzrovia, 31 Windmill Street, London W1T 2JN
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Photo credit @ldn_lau