On 6 July, the team behind Bao – Shing Tat Chung, Erchen Chang and Wai Ting Chung – will open the doors to Bao Noodle Shop on Shoreditch's Redchurch Street in London.
The new concept, opening on the former Andina site, will take its cues from the beef noodle shops of Taiwan.
Fresh wheat noodles will be prepared daily with specialty flour imported from Taiwan. To start, the menu will offer three new buns: a panko shrimp croquette bao with sweet and sour sauce; an Iberico pork bao with garlic mayo, black garlic sauce and shredded cabbage; and a sweetcorn congee bao with spring onion tofu sauce and soy pickled chilli.
There will also be boiled cull yaw lamb dumplings, crispy tripe, eel and smacked cucumber, glazed pork chop with crispy egg and fried Ogleshield cheese rolls.
Two versions of beef noodle soup will be available: a classic Taipei-style broth (£12.50) with slow-braised beef cheek and beef shortrib, spiced beef butter and fermented greens; and a lighter Tainan-style broth (£11.80) with imported 400-day-aged white soy and thin slices of rare poached rump cap.
Both broths will be made with aged beef bones, fermented chilli bean paste and assorted spices, and guests will have the option of adding cured egg, crispy egg or spiced beef butter to their bowls. All beef will be sourced from Philip Warren Butchers in Cornwall and aged for a minimum of 40 days. Vegans will be catered for with a choice of dan dan tofu noodles or kelp soup noodle with aubergine.
Dessert will be two versions of baobing, a Taiwanese shaved ice dessert with fruit and cream, in either strawberry cheesecake or tiramisu flavour, as well as Bao's fried Horlicks ice-cream bao.
Cocktails will be influenced by the shaved ice drinks of Taipei, including a Midori whisky sour ice and a grape sake ice, and a Calpis Fizz, inspired by Calpico yogurt soda, as well as umeshu negronis. Soft drinks will include peanut milk and cold brew teas.
The interiors will draw influence from the tiled noodle shops of Taipei, with a white tiled bar, timber-clad walls and paper lampshades. Diners will be able to sit at the open kitchen while entertainment rooms downstairs will feature KTV – karaoke TV – available for groups to book. The soup bowls will be handcrafted by London-based ceramicist Owen Wall.
Founder and creative director Erchen Chang said: "Beef noodle is a national obsession in Taiwan with annual competitions taken very seriously over there, so we wanted to bring these comforting bowls to London and make them with the very best ingredients. I'm looking forward to introducing our new baobing desserts as well – they remind me of hot, humid days on the streets of Taipei."
The first permanent Bao restaurant opened in Soho in April 2015, following trading at Netil Market in Hackney. Rice Error by Bao, a delivery service inspired by the Taiwanese Bian Dan rice box, operates in various locations across London, and its digital supermarket Convni Store, inspired by 7-Eleven convenience stores, launched last year to deliver made-by-you meal kits and homewares across the UK.