As you know, at The Avenue, we stand for all things foodie – not only do we love cooking and teaching what we know but we also love seeking inspiration and eating lots of delicious (and sometimes not so delicious) food in the process of our learning.
Taking our taste buds on regular culinary journeys, whether at home, restaurants in London or markets in far-off countries, we have decided to join you on as many of our experiences as possible.
To start you off we are going to introduce you to the Bao Bar in Soho.
If you don’t know what Bao is then this is a good place to start – after our Street Food class at The Avenue of course – stay tuned for dates!
We have been obsessing over Boa buns and their pillows of awesomeness for a while – experimenting with different dough and fillings including Braised Soy Chicken, Slow Cooked Pork and Spiced Fried Chicken Breast accompanied by an abundance of sauces, fresh coriander and peanuts. We are pleased to announce and, of course you will be more than happy to hear, we have now found the perfect recipe(s) BUT we’ll have to save those for another time.
Bao Bar is a new and already very popular restaurant with a no reservation policy so, unless you have little shame and are a G at queue barging, we would recommend getting there early.
We arrived, at 11.55am after a meeting, for the opening time of 12pm and were pleased to see no queue outside until they pointed us in the direction of a short yet annoying queue of hungry customers standing across the street. Having joined our fellow bao lovers we had a short 10 minute wait where Diana, as usual, chatted up our neighbours.
When called to join the warmth of the little restaurant we were greeted by Jimmy – one of the friendly waiters.
We were explained the menu and, because most of it looked appealing, we selected almost everything. There are a range of dishes for sharing and some for individual consumption but as we are such a loving, sharing, just generally awesomely caring family we delighted in trying a morsel of each dish for the benefit of each others mouths happiness.
We asked for the food to come at a more leisurely pace so we got a couple of dishes at once, with perfect intervals in between.
Listed below are some of what we ate including those dishes great and not so great.
Taiwanese Fried Chicken, Hot Sauce – we loved the crunch of the fried chicken with the hit of the spicy sauce
Confit Pork Bao – great flavour especially the fried shallots
Trotter Nuggets – if you haven’t tried trotters before then this is a great introduction
The Eryngii Mushroom, Century Egg – didn’t look too appetising but great subtle flavour of the sauce against the meaty mushroom – was a hit with us
Classic Bao – good flavour but we would have preferred slightly chunkier peanuts rather than powder
Not A Fan:
Daikon Bao – felt a bit empty in both the literal sense and in flavour
Guinea Fowl Chi Shiang Rice – typical Korean dish, just not our flavours of choice
Alongside the food we tried a few drinks. Both the Ginger Tea and Peanut Milk were tasty but I feel the Koxinga cocktail was a bit on the stingy side and, although it did have a nice kick, it was in a thimble sized glass so as a result was finished in just a couple of sips.
The total of 11 dishes and 3 drinks came to a total of £70.31 with a 12.5% service charge included – not cheap for the size of dishes but we were left satisfied.
Would we recommend this place to you? Yes is the answer – if you like to share and try something new then we would say go and join the crowd and check it out. Saying that we aren’t sure if we would return again but this could be down to us rarely returning to the same places and instead like to check out somewhere new – unless of course we are completely blown away!