Londoners tend to queue for a lot of things, B A O is one of those things that’s worth waiting for. This little restaurant in Soho serves a range of Taiwanese dishes that don’t disappoint.
Before moving to London, I was much less adventurous when it came to trying food from other cultures. I would have never dared tried Taiwanese cuisine (I know – crazy, right?). London has made my mind (and stomach) so much more open minded to trying food from all over the world and so far, food from the Chinese-regions have become some of my favourites.
I met up with my friend and fellow foodie, Ayushi from The Foodie Diaries to try out the well-reputed little restaurant on Lexington Street. We were led inside a light and airy room and sat right next to the window, which made for some amusing entertainment as passerbys stopped and stared in awe of the deliciousness that is B A O.
We quickly decided to order a little something of everything, starting with the Milk Foam Tea – milk infused with tea for 24 hours and sweetened up before serving. It was ice cold and refreshing, I surprisingly really enjoyed it.
All of our dishes were quickly brought out, in no particular order and each one was a great surprise.
The Sweet Potato Chips with Plum Pickle Ketchup were laid on the table, followed by the the Eryngii Mushroom with Century Egg. The chips were fried in tempura with a tangy sweet sauce. I’m a huge sweet potato fan, and these were definitely on parr. The Eryngii Mushroom with Century Egg was drenched delectably with soy sauce along with a jellied egg filling that completed the dish. Next time we go back, I definitely want to try the Scallop with Yellow Bean Garlic – it looks fantastic.
The real stars of the show were of course, the buns – the soft, fluffy, pillowy, milk steamed buns, filled with braised pork, sprinkled with peanut powder and just the right size, leaving no excuse not to try them all. (I will be back). The Confit Pork BAO (bun) was made with confit pork belly, pork sauce, hot sauce and dried shallots – the perfect combination of sweet, salty, tangy and delicious. Pork is one of my favourite meats and anything confit is a winner in my eyes- and a winner it was. I could have definitely eaten three more – it was a cracking good bun.
Ayushi ordered the Crumbed Daikon BAO, the vegetarian option and one of their best sellers – it looked like the bomb and tasted like it too. Made with Panko Crumbed Daikon, Daikon Pickle, Hot Sauce and Coriander.
We couldn’t leave without ordering the Fried Horlicks Ice Cream BAO for a little sweet dessert. Smooth, malty ice cream sandwiched between what tasted like a brioche/donut combination. Definitely a top notch way to end the meal.
The service was brilliant and I really appreciated how the servers ran through the thought behind each dish with us and made sure we were well taken care of. All of the dishes we tried were phenomenal and the prices were phenomenal too – you could easily try everything on the menu for £80. I will definitely be back to have dinner and try all of the other highlights on the menu. B A O, you have won me over!
53 Lexington Street
Monday – Saturday: 12-3pm // 5:30-10pm