BAO, SOHO: Brace yourself for a pretty harsh review… Bao is undoubtedly one of the most featured cheap eats in London, splashed over all different magazines and top 10 lists but I honestly cannot understand the hype at all. To sum it up: it’s overpriced and mediocre at best with tiny portion sizes. We lined up for about 20 minutes to get in and ordered their 2 most recommended dishes to leave utterly disappointed with the taste, cost and time we spent. It wasn’t that anything tasted bad, but nothing tasted good. London has plenty of restaurants in Chinatown with more authentic taste and I don’t understand why this one is popular at all.
Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice – 6.0 GBP
The good fat: The rice was nicely textured and soft the way I prefer. It was interesting to try guinea fowl (not sure how it’s even considered Chinese) but at least it was tender. The runny egg and pickles were a nice touch.
The bad fat: The portion was tiny and there was nothing standout whatsoever. The guinea fowl slices on top were very small and the sauce was a very, very basic Chinese BBQ sauce that mixes in nicely with rice (tasty I suppose) which I would expect from a random Chinese takeout for double the portion and same price.
Classic Bao – 4.0 GBP
The good fat: The bun was soft and fluffy as expected and the pork inside was tender.
The bad fat: It wasn’t that the taste was bad but maybe since always having a high standard for Asian food, the overall bao was average at best. The flavours weren’t special it was a bit of pork and crumble put simplistically into the bao that didn’t really give a “wow” factor. The portion was also very small.
SHOULD YOU GET FAT HERE?
NO – Controversial opinion against one of the most popular restaurants in London – if you want a filling, Asian meal go elsewhere in Chinatown.