Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few years, you'll probably have heard or seen the word Bao. The most common translation for this Chinese treat is 'treasure', which any Bao veteran will tell you is the perfect name for this deliciously soft and ample dough. Cooked with wet steam, Bao dough is moulded into plain buns. The result is a puffy, chewy, light roll, usually filled with duck or pork belly. As with many trendy traditional cuisines, fusion dining has been inspired by the Bao lifestyle. And not only that, radical new ways of serving Bao have come out into the light. Here's where to get the best Bao, right now!
1. Pho & Bun's Bao Burger
Pho & Bun are pros when it comes to experimenting with Vietnamese cuisine. Opening in 2015, they set out to revolutionise how London is serving Vietnamese street food. You can pop in for a light bite or a full three-course meal. They're especially proud of their Bao Burger. Filling the steamed bun with 28 days dry aged beef, red onion relish, house pickle and smokey mayonnaise. Try it once with their sweet potato chips and no other burger meal will ever suffice again.
2. Ping Pong's Duck Bao Buns
Ping Pong is the place to go for contemporary Chinese cuisine. Known for Dim Sum, cocktails and Tea, Ping Pong's menu reflects an excellent mix of traditional dishes and new ideas. Order more than one plate, as everything is designed to share, but make sure the duck bun is on the bill. A perfectly petite bao bun is filled with crispy duck and there are other veggie fillings like crispy aubergine available too!
3. Pho Street's Bao Buns
Pho Street's chefs have been cooking since they were children - helping out at their family's cafe in Hanoi. Creativity and passion shines through in the authentic Vietnamese dishes they continue to produce. All the Pho arrives with a Bao bun on the side, making it the perfect alternative to a lunchtime soup and roll. Their Bao buns are filled with all kinds of delicious flavours: BBQ Pork, Roast Duck and the popular Lemongrass chicken. Bao-tastic.
4. Noodle Street's Liu Sa Bao
Noodle Street's Liu Sa Bao with salted egg is an exciting and innovative addition to their regular Dim Sum menu. Dim Sum is a Chinese cuisine, served at lunchtime in steamer baskets. Drink green tea and order lots of different dishes to get the full experience. Bao dough is the perfect dough to make Dim Sum bites, as Noodle Street have discovered, creating soft, steamy parcels of deliciousness. If you love dumplings, gyoza and wontons, you'll find this Bao plate up inspirational.
Finding the best Bao near you doesn't have to be difficult, many of these eats are available to order at home. Why not get your Bao now, with Deliveroo?