Taiwanese-inspired street food operation Bao is to open its first restaurant after winning the backing of Karam, Jyo and Sunaina Sethi.
The partners behind Bao, a six-seat bar and market stall in Netil Market in London, will open Bao restaurant at 53 Lexington Street in Soho in spring 2015.
The business was founded by Erchen Chang (24) and siblings Shing Tat (28) and Wai Ting Chung (29) and serves steamed milk buns using a recipe that has been developed over years by husband and wife Shing Tat, who is head chef, and Erchen.
The Bao will be hand-made every day at the restaurant, and include: ‘The Classic', braised pork, peanut powder, fermented greens and coriander; Lamb shoulder; and ‘Daikon', panko crumbed daikon radish, daikon pickle, hot sauce and coriander. Bao will range from £3.50 - £5 each.
The menu will also feature a series of snacks and several larger dishes including: tendon puffs; pig blood cake; lamb tongue fries with curry dip; battered sweet potato with plum pickle salt; Daikon tots with century egg; turkey rice, quails egg and pickle, using rice from the Chi Shiang region; and fried chicken marinated in soy milk, with their own hot sauce.
Bao will be designed by Shing Tat, working with Royffe Flynn Architects, and deploys a stripped back feeling with wooden cladding and paneling on the walls, ceiling fans and a ceramic tiled floor. A low, long bar will stretch half the length of the room.
Wai Ting will oversee the front of house and cocktail offering. This will include a short list of hot oolong and cold foam tea imported from Taiwan. There will be sake and whisky from Taiwan and Japan, including pear-infused shochu and Kavalan and Yamazaki whisky. The bao signature cocktails include: Shochu with plum shrub; peanut milk, barley shochu and honey, and there is a short beer list, including Taiwan beer.
"After years of travelling, recipe experimentation and cooking at Netil Market, we are thrilled to have secured our first restaurant in Soho," said Shing Tat.
"Shing and I grew up in our parents' Chinese restaurants, and we are looking forward to carving out our own traditions," added said Wai Ting,
"Taiwanese food is still little known here…to able to excite and intrigue our customers with dishes they have never tried before is what I love most about being a chef," added Erchen.
Karam, Jyo and Sunaina Sethi - the family behind Trishna, Bubbledogs, Kitchen Table, Gymkhana and Lyle's restaurants - took the decision to support the new restaurant venture after becoming customers of Bao on Netil Market.