Rupert Hohwieler 02/05/23
BAO Mary | The BAO team turn to dumplings
Say hello to Mary, the latest member of the BAO family.
You’ll find her in Marylebone – hence the name – where she sits sandwiched between Selfridges around one corner, and her cousin Hoppers Marylebone around another (which is run by the same restaurant group – the excellent JKS).
So what does she bring to the table? In a word, dumplings. Yes, it looks like the BAO team have been playing the long game, using their cloud-like steamed buns as a gateway delicacy to slowly but surely get us all hooked on Taiwanese cuisine. And with each new restaurant, they’ve gradually introduced more of the country’s other core precepts, like noodle soups, steak & egg sizzlers, and karaoke. And now, it’s the turn of Taiwan’s dumplings.
The space they’re cooking them up in a fairly sizeable space, set across two floors – downstairs for big groups and views into the kitchen, upstairs for small tables – with an aesthetic in line with the other BAO joints; clean and casual with a hint of nostalgia, done via soft lighting, dark wood panelling and whirring overhead fans. There are also some seats outside, so you can watch the comings-and-goings on James Street while you slurp.
Speaking of, let’s talk about the menu. For the dumplings, they’ve mixed potstickers (fried in a pan) and boiled variations, with flavors including boiled cull yaw (a mutton filling, with the meat sourced from Matt Chatfield’s The Cornwall Project); boiled prawn; scrambled egg, kelp, and broth; and mushroom guo tie (another way of saying pan-fried) served with a black garlic dip.Although dumplings are top of the bill, they don’t stand alone here… They have support in cold dishes like Lu Wei (aka soy-sauce braised veggies); Majiang noodles (aka sesame paste noodles); and ox tongue in chili oil. Other street food staples such as Taiwanese fried chicken chop and beef tendon nuggets feature on the menu too, as do those famous bao buns.
And to drink? You’ll find the usual mix of creative cocktails, sakes, wines, beers, and milk foam tea.
Just no Bloody Mary…
NOTE: BAO Mary is open now. You can book a table HERE.
BAO Mary | 56 James St, London W1U 1HF
Want to meet the neighbours? Check out the best restaurants in Marylebone
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56 James Street, Marylebone, W1U 1HF
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