Friday, July 24, 2015

Bao, 13th June

It happened. I queued for a food place. For almost an hour. It could only be Bao. But was it worth it?

Well, firstly I would like to say that queuing was never our intention. I knew it opened at 5:30 and we got there at almost 5:30 on the dot and were about to waltz in when we were directed to the people lining up on the other side of the street. We had actually thought we were the first to arrive and we were not the only ones who mistakenly tried to circumvent the queue because they didn't see it. I knew there weren't many spaces inside but it was hard to tell from the line how much of it would fit in one go so we joined. And slowly... very slowly... they started taking people in and filling the place. This whole process took around half an hour in itself until finally the final two people of the first sitting were lead in. Leaving Stephen and I first in line! Of course, we couldn't just leave then, not when we knew only two people had to leave for us to get inside.

So we waited another 30 minutes, fielding the curious questions of those passing by (people cannot help but wonder why a queue has formed for something) and feeling sheepish for saying it was for a restaurant. We were then beckoned across and scurried excitedly in. Bao has definitely been one of the hottest openings in recent months and my Instagram has been full of photos of their dishes. It didn't take long to decide what to order. We obviously had to have one of their famous bao - for me the chicken, for him the pork, and we both tried the lamb. He was desperate to try the blood cake, and I wanted the guinea fowl chi shiang rice. We also shared some trotter nuggets which I'm going to say right now were just too fabulous. Do not bother sharing these. Just get a whole plate for yourself. And we had some sweet potato chips for good measure.
Unsurprisingly, we were fans of the place. I'd already has BAO's baos from their street food stall/various street food markets and I knew they were good. The chicken one especially, in my opinion, was out of this world. 
The sweet potato fries were crunchy and came with a drizzling of sweet plum ketchup which was very nice. 

I did not partake of the blood cake but Stephen was not disappointed. We both enjoyed the glistening globule of egg yolk that accompanied the cake and the rice, mine I broke and mixed in, it coating thickly the items in the bowl with its egginess. The guinea fowl was quite fatty and made a nice change from darker chicken meat.
I really have nothing bad to say about the place. Would I risk a queue again? No - it was good food but not food worth over an hour's wait. However, if I *happened* to be walking by just before it opened and there was no one around, I'd "hang around" a bit to get the chance to try the rest of the menu.

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.