One of the best things about working in Fitzrovia is the fact so many great restaurants are on my doorstep. I’ve reviewed the likes of Mac & Wild, Barnyard and Homeslice before and regularly enjoy lunches from Lantana, Cafe Metro and Salumeria Dino (the Bufala Mozzarella with parma ham on olive bread is THE best).
After the success of their Soho restaurant BAO opened it’s second restaurant in Fitzrovia back in 2016. You’ll be pleased to know that their Windmill St eatery takes reservations! And it’s only a 12 minute walk from the Soho branch so worth venturing to the other side of Oxford Street to avoid the queue.
BAO is known for its bao buns as well as a range of Taiwanese dishes. I’ve previously attempted to provide an explanation of an Asian-style bun in my review of Bone Daddies’ Flesh and Buns, but if you want a quick overview it’s basically a fluffy pillow like case which is filled with different ingredients. They are extremely popular in London at the moment and can be found at street food markets and most asian inspired restaurants across the city.
BAO’s Beef cheek & tendon nuggets are a delicious snack to get you started. Slow cooked overnight they simply melt in your mouth.
A plate of Duck hearts and chilli garlic are surprisingly delicious! They don’t taste particularly offaly, but rather more just like meaty little ducky chunks. Yum.
Another special dish on the menu is this Half spiced chilli chicken, kow choi, aged soy with chicken drippings and spring onion. Could this be the greatest chicken of all time? It could be. The roasted juicy chicken is marinated in BAO’s special yellow chilli sauce. The chicken juices that ooze out after roasting are then collected and whisked together with Taiwanese Aged White Soy. Served with wilted kow choi and salted spring onion bao to soak up all the juices.
Now onto the infamous baos! BAO Fitzrovia offers a lunch time special where you can nab yourself a miniature version of each bun made from the offcuts of the dough from BAO’s bakery. They only have a limited amount each week so get in early to enjoy these diddy delights.
Each set consists of the Classic, Confit, Cod Black, Beef Shortrib and the Daikon. These can be ordered in full sizes at both BAO restaurants. My favourite is the Classic Bao, stuffed with silken-ed slow braised pork belly, coriander, pickled lettuce and finished with the aforementioned peanut powder in a piping hot steamed pocket. Yes please.
ADDRESS: 31 Windmill St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 2JN
OPENING HOURS: 12–3pm, 5:30–10pm Monday – Friday, 12-10pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
CONTACT: 020 3011 1632