Harden's survey result
“A hole-in-the-wall type place, but some of the best buns in London!” – these “hipsterish”, if “haphazard” Taiwanese cafés in Soho, Fitzrovia, and now also Borough, have made a big name for their “sensationally tasty” steamed buns and other “inventive, delicious plates”: superb “homely food at very reasonable prices”. The new SE1 branch, opened in Spring 2019, has a grab-and-go delivery hatch and a karaoke room upstairs; and both here and in Fitzrovia you can book – at Soho you run the gauntlet of a big queue and it’s more “rushed”.
“Oriental steamed buns to die for” explain the “perpetual queue” at these “tiny”, “fast ’n’ furious” cafés in Soho and Fitzrovia, whose “reinvented Taiwanese street food” (“complex, apparently simple, always daring”) includes other intriguing dishes (“like beef cheek and tendon nuggets”), as well as “interesting Taiwanese teas”.
“Heaven in a bun”; “very special steamed bao, with great fillings”, plus other “incredible” street food dishes – “as good as in Taiwan” – all at “realistic prices” have made this Soho café (and its more recent Fitzrovia spin-off) one of the biggest hits of recent years. You can book in WC1 for the basement, but in Soho “you have to queue behind a bus-stop-type sign on the other side of the road” – “the bao are to die for… so you long as you didn’t die of the wait to get them…”
“Pillowy-soft” and “very more-ish” Taiwanese steamed buns – “sublime pockets of taste” filled with “fabulously spiced meats” – justify the ever-present queues for this Soho phenomenon. “They like you in and out quickly”, and “the tiny premises and jam-packed tables don’t encourage lingering”. (A second Fitzrovia branch opened in mid-2016 in the premises that were Boopshis.)
Sat L only
Last orders: 4 pm