Founders of Bao – the Ã¼ber-popular street-food-vendor-turned-permanent-Soho-restaurant – Wai Ting Chung, Shing Chung and Erchen Chang, opened a second site for their Taiwanese steamed buns today (7 July). The trio have taken over the former site of Boopshis in Fitzrovia.
Bao Fitzrovia will hopefully go some way towards calming the ravenous hoards queuing 100-deep outside the Lexington Street branch. There are the usual buns and snacks, alongside a few new sharing dishes, and (hallelujah) there will be more seating. There’s still no ressies (obvs) but Bao Fitzrovia boasts 47 seats (with another 10 planned for outside) compared with Soho’s 26.
The menu is split into four sections with a focus on fish and rice dishes as well as the signature BAOs, with rice sourced from Chi Shiang in Taiwan. As with the Soho restaurant, all dishes are ordered via a tick-style system.
Dishes include: A selection of ‘Xiao Chi’ or small bites such as ‘Beef cheek & tendon nuggets’, ‘Day boat caught mackerel with aged white soy’ and ‘Razor clam, tobiko & century egg’. There will also be a new addition to the signature BAO list, as Fitzrovia introduces the ‘Fried Fish BAO’; a homemade pillowy soft bun filled with lightly fried fish, turia sauce, green sauce & coriander. The extended menu at Fitzrovia also offers new sharing options like ‘Koji quail’, ‘Squid noodles in trotter sauce’ and ‘Lamb with sour green chilli dip’.
Joining these dishes is a greater selection of rice bowls: ‘Wagyu chuck, truffle & beef tea’ and ‘Sweet potato with pork & egg congee’. To finish? The new ‘Choc Horlicks ice cream stick’, available from late summer.
There are also six original cocktails, using galangal, peppered chestnut, sweet potato and beetroot bitters; alongside a concise selection of wine, sakes and whiskies, and the all-new BAO milkshakes, with flavours such as ‘Choc & toasted rice’ and ‘Condensed milk’.
Bao started life as a market stall at Hackney’s trendy Netil Market near London Fields and opened its first restaurant in 2015 with backing from the Sethi siblings (of Gymkhana fame). It’s Soho restaurant was the highest rated newcomer in last year’s Harden’s restaurant survey.