Bao has been one of the biggest success stories of recent years, going from street food to permanent sites with ease and commanding regular huge queues around the block. With two sites in central London plus their other restaurant Xu, they’ve gone south of the river for the third site, opening up Bao Borough right next to Borough Market. It’s been a while since we’ve eaten at any of the Bao restaurants so we were excited to go and check the new one out. Much like when you re-discover an old favourite album you haven’t listened to in a while, man did we forget how bloody good this place is.
First up the design is always spot on and here the team have done it again, with walls plastered in cool illustrated posters plus a private karaoke room, which is going to be a lot of fun we’re sure. We also love that they’ve transitioned away from the paper tick box ordering system and now have a laminated menu that you write your order on with a marker pen that easily wipes off, meaning the menus can be used over and over again.
The food is absolutely knockout; we ordered a big range of dishes and not one was a dud. We ordered each one of the baos including the fail-safe classic pork and beef short rib but two of our favourites of the night were the deep fried cheese bao topped with curry sauce, and the prawn shia song, a mini finger bun stuffed with prawn and a buttery sauce.
Other favourites came from the ‘Grill’ section of the menu, particularly the Xingjiang Miatake mushrooms, which came swimming in an almost drinkable cumin-laced rich sauce. We could have eaten a huge bowl of this stuff quite happily. The spiced beef butter scallops are also a must order as well as the aged beef slices which come on a bed of Taipei butter rice, which is almost creamy like risotto (almost).
Bao is not only as good as we remembered, it’s probably better. Now that the biggest queue in the area is for Padella you can quite happily leave the tourists to it and hop straight to Bao Borough instead.
13 Stoney St, London SE1 9AD