This is the the top of a marker that signifies the start of the queue (line) for a place called Bao. Even on a weekday around noon, I still had to wait in line. The figure doesn’t particularly thrilled to be eating that bao. He actually looks kind of miserable, almost as if some tourist standing right in front of him is holding a camera in one hand and a gun in the other. Thankfully though, his facial expression had no actual correlation to the taste of the bao. They were all terrific.
The setup was super cool and intuitive. You receive a small menu with a column at the end indicating how many of each thing you want. No worries about the waiter not hearing you correctly! (a few weeks before London my mom and I ordered two matcha lemonades in a cafe only to receive two sweet matcha lattes. I think I get so excited about ordering food that I forget to enunciate.)
Something that is not bao: aubergine with wonton crisps. While most people think foodies just have restaurants or particular dishes that they swoon over, we actually often have ingredients that we get particularly obsessed with. For my dining partner, this is currently eggplant, so we decided to order this before we saw anything else on the menu. Succulent isn’t usually a word I would use to describe a vegetable, but the way this was prepared and seasoned was absolutely phenomenal.
The other non bao item we ordered was this guinea fowl rice. We actually ate this last, and it really made me crave more food even though I had just eaten so much because it was so delicious.
Now, onto the bao! We tried four different varieties. This was the lamb bao, and while it photographed the best, it ended up being my least favorite. I would still give it like a B+/A- but I thought the meat could’ve had a little more flavor and the other ingredients, particularly the peppers, were really pulling extra weight.
This was the classic pork bao. Absolutely scrumptious and I could’ve eaten a dozen of these.
I actually did not remember what this one was at all (but I do remember enjoying it!) I thought it was another type of pork, but Yelp has informed me that this is actually daikon which is a type of radish. I don’t really remember ordering this one but like I was it was delicious so who cares!
Who would’ve thought, but the fried chicken bao ended up being my favorite. It was the only one to come in a sesame bun, which I actually preferred to the already amazing standard buns. Plus, a little bit of hot sauce added some heat and the chicken was perfectly juicy and crisp. One of my best bites of 2017.
(ALSO APPARENTLY THERE WAS AN ICE CREAM BAO THAT WE MISSED OUT ON. UGH.)
As if we already weren’t full enough, we somehow still wandered in to Crosstown Doughnuts for dessert. There was actually another American in the store who playfully argued with me that these doughnuts are better than Doughnut Vault. I still think DV doughnuts are the best in the world. The mandarin and coconut doughnut pictured above was solid, but not perfect. The mandarin filling was a little off, like it was made from fruit not in its peak of season. Still a huge, huge fan of Crosstown though!
We stopped in to a luxury chocolate retailer called Hotel Chocolat but only to browse. For next time, I’ve devised a game where one person picks five of the most insane truffle flavors and the other person is blindfolded and has to guess what they are.
Then, we went to Chinatown. The lanterns are the best.
More lanterns! This time, in Pop Brixton where I stopped for lunch a few days later.
I had a truffle and portobello mushroom pizza from Made of Dough. It was absolutely epic.
Then, a few friends and I went to The Chocolate Museum for a chocolate making workshop. While we were waiting for our table, we walked around the “museum” part of the store, which was a small, single room full of chocolate history and displays of molds and other weird things.
Lots of laughs were shared at the workshop and the process was enjoyable, but, unfortunately, the chocolate itself was really bad. It was waxy and tasted so much like a sweet balloon that it made me kind of sick. I try my best not to be a hater, but I wouldn’t recommend it at all. I wish I had a better way to end this post, but alas, c’est la vie!
Ta-ta for now,