Travel & Life Digest

Bao Fitzrovia

How do you like your buns?
I like mine soft and fluffy, preferably with a crunchy, juicy filling. 

Bao buns are our latest obsession, since we had the Korean version in New York. I've managed to find two places in London that do interesting versions too!

The first is Southam Street - a Ladbroke Grove super sleek joint that serves soft, white buns with super crunchy soft-cell grab and fried chicken. Martinis are spot on too, perfect spot for a grown-up dinner with the girls, chatting over the marble table tops!

The second place is Bao Fitzrovia - a Taiwanese, almost student-like joint, off the oh-so-trendy Charlotte street. You eat at the bar, you circle your order on the menu handouts and you tuck into gorgeous and unusual baos with gusto, like none of the other, thirty or so, dinners around the bar are watching!  

The drinks list is rather imaginative...

Grilled oyster with Sichuan oil
Classic bao - pork filling and crunchy peanut crumble 

The Baos:
Classic - sweet pork filling, bouncy white bao and crispy peanut!
Cod Blackened - this was the least photogenic, but my favourite of the night! Greyish bao and cod in black batter nonetheless! Soft, soft, soft, slight crunch from the fried batter and then smooth and melting cod. Yum-mey!
Beef and fermented egg - looked rich and velvety, I was told it was supreme!
The Daikon - a glorified winter radish, didn't try this one either but I was told it is boldly holding its' place alongside the pork, the cod and the beef!

The non-Baos:
Grilled Oyster with Sichuan Oil and Vinaigrette - I am not always a fan of cooked oysters, I find that there is beauty in their rawness and tiny sip of fresh salty brine, yet it's an oyster, if it's on the menu, I'll order it! This was beautifully balanced, not overcooked and elegantly presented.
Taiwanese fried chicken with soy cured egg - it looks happy! It tastes amazing! I'm always fascinated by cured eggs, I always eat them with equal measure of excitement and anxiety!  

The potions:
Imaginative doesn't even start to describe them!
Sweet potato and fermented pineapple...not in one go, but still. Sake and cherry vermouth. I'm coming back for that!
And a non-alcoholic version with Oreos...they don't call them 'dream drinks' for nothing!  

Black Cod Bao - don't be fooled, the picture doesn't do it justice, this was my favourite!
Fried Taiwanese Chicken and Soy fermented egg

The Daikon - or the glorification of a humble 'winter radish'! 

This is a great pop-in, eat, pop-out place - the food is on point, the service a bit erratic and the drinks are, well, dreamy.

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