Move over Daddy Bao; the OG, Peckham’s Mr Bao, is back! Refitted during the lockdown, Mr Bao promises more of the Taiwanese and Hong Kong treats that they are known and loved for amidst an evocative, vibrant, pseudo-romantic experience.
Sultry interiors aside, Frank and his friendly team offer diners an impressive menu, which delivers on both the quality and quantity fronts whilst being excellent value for money. Heritage elements from Frank’s father’s street food stall persist, with authentic Taiwanese bao buns, flavoursome sauces and Daddy Bao’s very own Lychee ale available for purchase. Mr Bao is a wonderful fusion between the old and the new, putting fantastic food first and foremost taking centre stage. Vegans and non-vegans alike will be delighted by the quality and attention to detail put into the tapas-style dishes on offer.
All dishes are very reasonably priced, costing under £5 on the vegan menu. We sampled the moreish Crispy Ginger-braised Tofu Bao, with in-house golden kimchi and crispy fried onions – a taste sensation with soft, pillowy bao buns which melted in the mouth, contrasting against the crisp-fried filling. Star of the show was the Teriyaki Shiitake mushroom bao with a sweet and savoury soy glaze where East met West successfully with the pickled onion decor. The sharing sides were fresh and fabulous (spicy tenderstem broccoli, sesame spinach, ginger and garlic edamame) with special mention going to the legendary Sweet Potato Chips with vegan SriRacha May. No number of superlatives could do justice to these batter-coated fried batons of savoury cinnamon-tinted goodness and it’s spicy savoury sauce. It’s worth visiting Mr Bao for these alone, so come hungry and expect to order three portions!
Food aside, Mr Bao wins on the drinks front with Asahi on tap, a delicious Mango bellini, Parma Violet cocktails and a most impressive Japanese spirit and sake collection (pictured). I loved the yuzu and plum sake’s and will definitely be back for more. The friendly bartenders are more than happy to discuss and guide customers re: drinks to suit food ordered. A tasting/pairing menu is definitely in the making. Really looking forward to my next visit!
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