Bao Noodle Shop
This is the new iteration of Bao, the noodle version. Something to try and lift me up in the days when the GBP plummets towards the earth. No comment on the economic leadership that is leading to a rather painful experience as I watch my savings devalue.
To try and get over such maudlin thoughts, I thought it would be a safe bet to try a new branch of a restaurant I had tried years ago and rather enjoyed. Bao – I hoped that their fluffy foods would lift me out of the hole I seemed to be in.
Slow cooked beef cheek & short rib noodle in a rich beef broth with spiced beef butter. This was very very rich and very very salty. First the good things, the noodles were firm yet spongy with delightful bounce. The beef cheek and short rib (singular for both) were soft and fulsome. The beef butter and the beef broth were unfortunately so thick, that I couldn’t really taste anything beyond overwhelming umami. Too much really is too much, just like recent tax cuts.
Taiwanese fried chicken(s). Fried chicken was average. I’m not sure what makes Taiwanese fried chicken different from generic fried chicken. Perhaps some sweet sauce put on top but nothing really that impressive.
Fried Ogleshield cheese rolls. These looked strange. They tasted like that too. Cheese wrapped in rice noodle sheets sprinkled with cheese, these sounded achingly hip but instead just came across very weird. Don’t try that again.
3 buns. The bottom left is confit pork. The pork was fatty fatty fatty. Almost like they had decided to trim off the pork and just include the fat. The bun was excellent though.
Fried chicken(s). The menu includes the “(s)”. I guess when you shred up the chicken, you don’t know if it is part of the same one or not, hence the need for the tentative plural in “(s)”. In any case, it was not really worth all that clever word play as it was rather ordinary and slightly boring.
Classic, shredded pork with peanuts on top. Sadly a bit dry. Bao was good though. Reminded me of a pillow. So definitely the bread sections of the restaurant are still firing on all cylinders. They are consistent on that, not so much on the filling though.
I remember my first visit to “Bao” in London. That was over 6 years ago and it was great then. Although it sadly seems to have become a victim of its own success. Buoyed by its own hubris, similar to the new Conservative leadership team in the UK, it is flying too close to the sun. Both better come down to more sensible attitudes before the wax on their feathers melt and they start an uncontrolled plummet to the hard cold ground below. If the UK was a boat, I might try and get off now.
A quiet eating 6/10.
Lunch (a noodle, a bao and a side dish) was about GBP30 per person excluding drinks and service.
1 Redchurch St,
London E2 7DJ