Taiwanese noodle bar Bao opens in Shoreditch
- Credit: Ash James
Bao’s latest venture is inspired by Taiwanese beef noodle shops and the menu comes with a ‘guide’ on how to truly enjoy your noodle soup.
Taking over the space that was once Andina on Redchurch Street, Bao Shoreditch also boasts two downstairs karaoke rooms downstairs for those who want to bring their singing talents to the table for a fun night out.
All the noodles are made in-house with imported Taiwanese flour and there are various permutations with two main broth flavours. The Taipei style is a soup with a rich base of beef that’s been braised in soy sauce, and the Tainan style a lighter, clear broth with a consistency similar to consommé.
The Taipei-style broth comes with slow-braised beef cheek, short rib, and spiced beef butter, and the Tainan-style with a rare, 400 day-aged white soy and a cured egg that you can dip the beef into. All meat is from Philip Warren's butchers and matured for at least 40 days.
There are also vegan options - I tried the kelp soup noodle with tempura fried aubergine and dan dan tofu noodles - a perfectly balanced dish spiked with chili and Sichuan pepper.
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Portions are large and hearty and it's wonderfully satisfying to slurp the remaining goodness from the bowl. Bao also serve their signature steamed buns - choose from the classic, fried chicken, Iberico pork or daikon radish.
The accompaniments are also worth a mention, especially the Pao Tsai pickles and spinach with tofu sauce.
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Having little room for dessert, I tried the playful variation of a deep fried bao with a back-to-your-childhood Horlicks ice cream. With a texture similar to a doughnut, it wasn’t too sweet and paired well with the quick-melting ice cream.
You can hire the two KTV rooms in the downstairs bar for a private party. A fancy ‘call for service’ button summons drinks so the show can go on.. and on. Try Kavalan, an excellent Taiwanese whisky or there is sake, wine, local beer and cocktails.
With wonderfully polite staff and prompt service, it's a great spot to watch the passers-by on Shoreditch High Street from the large windows. If you’d like more privacy, some hidden tables at the back shelter under an impressive skylight.
Bao Shoreditch, 1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2. Open Tuesday to Friday, 5pm-11pm and 12pm to 11pm on Saturday and Sunday. Food, drinks and service around £30 a head. Booking ahead recommended. https://baolondon.com/restaurant/bao-noodle-shop/