Black, White and Bao
Friday, 22 January 2016
Last week I pretended to be a fashion blogger.
As I live in London now, I thought this was a natural transition. (Not to be a full-time fashion blogger, don't worry. Just to take a little more care over one's appearance. I'm usually covered in flour and/or animal hair, y'see). Turns out it's not a natural transition. It takes a lot of work to perfect that effortless laugh into the camera (how does Hannah Gale do it...?) or that casual skip across the street (yup, The Londoner we're looking atchu). But I wanted to have a go. Bless Jack for being patient with me (and my static lens - at points he was limboing trying to get the perfect frame).
'Cause I have to say I was kinda proud. I think this outfit is a bit poppin', y'know. I love myself a roll neck, have wanted to road test my new zigzag skirt since I bought it earlier this month and always love werking my well-done-on-being-a-grownup Babour I bought myself once I finished my masters degree.
So I took photos. Well Jack took photos. I reclaimed my camera when we made our way to Bao, a Taiwanese restaurant in Soho famed for its fluffy buns of joy.
They have strict opening times (lunch 12-3, dinner 5.30-10), so we ended up queuing twice after turning up at 2.15. Queuing seems to be part of the mystique with Bao, so be prepared for a wait.
But we had some shopping to do anyway, and some fashion blogging of course... (sassy hair flick emoji).
But back to Bao! We finally got in. This was after being supplied with hot tea along with the other queuers waiting in the chilly air. The staff were genuinely lovely, pleased to see us back in the queue for dinner and happily popped us in the window seat at our request.
You're handed the betting slip style menu outside to peruse your options and then ordering is quick and efficient. They're busy, you're hungry, they've got it all going on.
We went for a little bit of everything, wanting to sample a range of the menu. Out first were the trotter nuggets. I'm a big fan of unpopular cuts of meat being used in cooking. I love them! Cooked low and slow for an amazing, rich flavour. These are good. Don't pass them up. Be inspired by resourceful cooking.
Next - the classic bao. It was good. Topped with peanuts the balance of sweet and salt was perfect. No less than I'd expected.
Next up was the Taiwanese Fried Chicken with hot sauce. Perfectly nice. Good to try the chicken, but nothing to blow your mind. I like my fried chicken Southern, personally.
Next - my favourite of the meat Baos. Lamb shoulder. Rich and messy it was perfectly unapologetic. A little fiery with chilly and delightful coupled with the fluffy bun.
Sweet potato chips whizzed out next with plum pickle ketchup. Another great side and ordered because we are the type of people who love chips.
But our joint favourite was a surprising one. The Daikon Bao. The vegetarian bao. The pickled radish is tangy and sharp, the patty thick and savoury and the bun wrapping it all together as delicious as ever. This was good. So good. And felt completely original, whereas the lamb and pork hadn't.
Let's have another picture of it shall we?
We finished up with Fried Horlicks Ice Cream, because what maniac wouldn't order that? It was delicious. And consequently we now have a tub of Horlicks in the cupboard. If you like malt, order this. In fact stop what you're doing and go and get in the queue now.
I'd recommend you go there if you get a chance. If not for a increasingly trendy picture of the queue, for the food. And for the passionate staff buzzing around you.