BAO brings a taste of Taiwan to Kings Cross with its iconic steamed buns
The story of BAO begins in a car park in East London, where founders Erchen Chang, Wai Ting & Shing Tat Chung steamed buns at their market stall, steadily building a dedicated fan base and putting Taiwanese food on the London map. Seven years on, and several permanent restaurants later, BAO opens its latest concept in Kings Cross – Café Bao.
Café Bao is inspired by the kissatens, or ‘tea-houses’ of Japan, and by Taiwan’s oldest and most iconic restaurant Bolero, which opened in 1934 as a fashionable haunt for the glamorous and influential.
The all-day menu sees some brand-new dishes featuring the innovative twists BAO has become known for, as well their greatest hits, including the Classic Pork BAO. Western and Asian dishes sit alongside each other on the menu, with a Hamburger BAO, Lobster BAO and Fried Chicken XO Butter Kiev joining the more traditional fillings.
Desserts feature the curiously-named Lonely Pudding, a classic creme caramel flan, and BAOfiteroles, dressed with Horlicks ice cream and chocolate sauce.
The BAOs are handmade and steamed fresh each day in the bakery using milk and a tangzhou starter.
The Kings Cross venue also features the very first BAO Bakery Goods, offering handmade delights such as the Molten Chocolate & Salted Egg ‘Muffin’ BAO, the Salted Caramel BAO Cookie and the Pizza BAO, or a bespoke Bao made to order. Bakery goods can be enjoyed in the restaurant, or as a takeaway from the ‘to-go’ counter. The counter will also serve bubble tea and coffee.