02 2017 Jan

Little Bao Lovin’

Hong KongTagged bao, chinese food, food, hong kong island, no reservations, soho

Thanks to Instagram I was drawn to Little Bao. At first it was for its desserts. These colorful bite sized ice cream sandwiches were all over my feed and people made them look so tempting. But once I looked further and did some reading, I had to check out their take on the gua bao, which looked more like a sandwich. But it still has that soft moist bun we all know and love. So this place warranted a visit.

You may get discouraged by the amount of people waiting to get in. Don’t be. It can move pretty fast. And if the wait is like an hour long, you can leave your number with the host and go get some drinks down the street. When seating comes available, they’ll call. In our case, they called us about thirty minutes earlier than they predicted. We still had more than half a beer left and needed to settle our bill before we could head over. I let them know it would be about five to ten minutes, and guess what, it was okay. They held our place until we arrived. Awesome!

Inside, it’s mainly counter seating. Don’t expect party sizes greater than four to be easy if at all possible. They don’t take reservations either. It’s first come first serve for seating and we got seated alongside the wall.

There are dishes for sharing which I do recommend doing. They explicitly state on the menu “no bao cutting” which is understandable. I’ll give you a bite, but no way am I sharing any more than that. =) You’ll know what I mean when you try them. And of course, you can always order more. Just make sure you leave room for dessert. We ordered a plate for sharing, a couple baos, and their lovely ice cream bao’s. The server timed everything well and made sure we were stuffed and done before handing us our bill. There was no rush, even with the hordes of people outside waiting to get a taste.

I should also add that I loved the vibe here. You can’t go wrong with old school hip hop setting the tone. And they were good smooth tracks that make me wonder if you can even call this a hipster hang out. I mean you got an old guy like me enjoying this place. Just sayin.

Little Bao

66 Staunton St
Central, Hong Kong
+852 2194 0202
little-bao.com

Verdict: This place is worth the wait. If not only for the food, but for its music.

Bao Preparations @Little Bao

It's an open prep station with the more hardcore cooking happening in the back. There's plenty of counter seating around for you to catch a glimpse of the masters at work. And if you're lucky, you'll get to see Asia's Best Female Chef of 2017 in action!

Beers @Little Bao

There was a small selection of unique beers here. I chose the lager while my friend tried the Belgian style white ale. Nice refreshing suds for our heavy meal.

Ox Impressions: 

Szechuan Fried Chicken @Little Bao

This was by far the best tasting bao of the two. Topped with house made coleslaw and swimming in a Szechuan mayo, the fried chicken remained crispy and full of flavor with its black vinegar glaze. And don't let the picture fool you, it's a hefty portion. Two of these and you may not have room to try anything else.

$78 HKD

Ox Impressions: 

Pork Belly Bao @Little Bao

Always the favorite, the pork belly was a solid bet. The pork was tender and juicy and melded with the leek and shiso red onion salad. There was also a hoisin ketchup that topped the pork belly, but the more noticeable sauce was the sesame dressing. This was a nice creative take on the classic flavors.

$78 HKD

Ox Impressions: 

Roasted Pork Cheek @Little Bao

Oh that cumin-spiced crust was amazing on this pork cheek. A bit of a kick in terms of flavor. Have it with the fennel and burnt apple puree to tone down the saltiness and experience the colorful range of flavors - tangy crispy fennel, salty chunks of pork, and the smooth earthiness of the puree.

$128 HKD

Ox Impressions: 

Green Tea Ice Cream Bao @Little Bao

Condensed milk poured over green tea ice cream in between this deep fried mantou is oh so good. As you bite through that lightly crunchy bun into the smooth cold ice cream, you'll be wondering where this stuff has been all your life. For me though, green tea wasn't my favorite flavor.

$38 HKD

Ox Impressions: 

Salt Ice Cream Bao @Little Bao

Now this, this was my favorite flavor combination. Salty ice cream with caramel drizzled on top. Oh this was divine. Line these babies up during the week and I'll be here everyday to pick one up. You must try this.

$38 HKD

Ox Impressions: 

Stickers @Little Bao

At the end of our meal they gave us a couple stickers to take home. It's not as flashy as their neon logo of the same design. But hey, why not put this on my laptop to let other foodies in the know that I've been to the beloved Little Bao.

The OxPosted January 2, 2017 By the hungry ox


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