Bao buns are suddenly all the rage in London, but do they live up to the hype? Bam Boo have recently become the talk of the town for all foodies, so of course we needed to get our asses down there to try these fluffy Taiwanese buns for ourselves. We got the chance to try Bam Boo at their residency in O Bar, Covent Garden but unfortunately they have now bao’ed out of there. However, you can still catch them at Piccadilly Market on Tuesdays to munch on these pouches filled to the brim with sweet, sticky and crunchy goodies.
We were in the heart of Soho, which is London’s food hub so naturally our expectations were high. We rocked up to O Bar; tummies rumbling and ready for the magnificent meal we had in store. We walked upstairs and frolicked into the lounge area, where we then sat at a cute little table by the window that overlooked the buzzing streets of Soho. We skimmed through the menu and were drawn to the ‘Bamboozled’, which was literally made up of everything on the menu, so of course we HAD to order that – go big or go home, am I right?
Our food arrived in the largest bamboo steamer I have ever seen in my life (literally the size of the table) and was filled to the brim with little boxes and baskets of goodies. Don’t believe me? Check out the sick pic of it below:
We couldn’t wait to get our hands messy, so we dug in immediately (well after a mini photo sesh – all for your benefit of course). We decided to start with the appetisers and got stuck into the Chilli-Garlic Edamame and the finger licking Lotus Root Crisps with matcha salt. The Chilli-Garlic Edamame was spicy and tangy and we just couldn’t stop licking our fingers to soak up all of that succulent sauce. The crisps on the other hand were paper thin and oh-so crunchy and yummy. We then moved on to trying the sides, which were the Korean Glazed Hot Wings and the Salt and Ichimi Squid. The squid was SO tender (not in the slightest bit chewy) and paired perfectly with the paprika mayo. These were so good that we just kept on popping them into our mouths and before we knew it we had finished them and we were, well very upset.
We tried both of the Asian-styled salads, which were the Fresh Cucumber Salad and Bam Boo’s Famous Peanut, Lime and Ginger Slaw. The Fresh Cucumber Salad was fresh, zesty and incredibly light. The Peanut, Lime and Ginger slaw on the other hand was a tad heavier, but my god was it incredible – don’t believe me? Try it for yourselves then get back to me.
We then finally moved onto those baos everyones been talking about and I’ll tell ya, they most certainly do live up to the hype. Newsflash: BAO CHICKA BAO WOW they were banging! We wanted to try all the baos they had, and try them all we did. We started off with the Peanut and Hoi Sin Pulled Pork bao, which was insanely ridiculous; the meat was so tender, the sauce incredibly sweet and sticky and the peanuts added that extra oomph of crunch to the dish. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken bao was so crunchy and the spicy mayo added that necessary kick, which was used to pull everything together. Also, all you vegetarians out there won’t miss out here because the Miso Portobello Mushroom bao is equally as exceptional, if not better than the other options. All the bao buns were fluffy, soft and light, which really did make the difference between this place and others we’ve had in London (plus the fillings of course – ugh everything was spectacular I’m drooling just thinking about it).
From appetisers to sides and baos to salads, everything was absolutely impeccable. The flavour explosions were off the charts and we were doubtlessly mind-blown. Bam Boo is officially one of our new favourite spots in London and once you try it it’ll most likely be yours too.