For BAO’s 6th venue they’re setting up shop in Shoreditch and have, for the first time, decided to let their fluffy, steamed buns bao-out of the spotlight.
Instead, what they’re putting on the table is a Taiwanese noodle shop. The kind that has a karaoke bar right below it.
It certainly looks the part, with lots of wood & white tile overlooked by sculpted paper lampshades, and a large skylight to help flood the place with sunshine. It’s a cleanly modern take on the midcentury look, and like their other venues, it hits the proverbial nail right on the proverbial head. The karaoke rooms downstairs feel a little more intimate, with flatscreens powered by the classic East Asian Karaoke-TV system.
For those who don’t know the ins-and-outs of traditional Taiwanese cuisine, beef noodle soup is something of a national dish. Even more so than bao. Here, it’ll come in two varieties: a classic Taipei-style broth with slow braised beef cheek and beef shortrib, spiced beef butter and fermented greens, which will hit the rich, hearty, and nourishing notes. Then there’s the lighter Tainan-style broth, made with imported 400 day-aged white soy and thin slices of rare poached rump cap “for diners who like to drink from the bowl”. The noodles for both will be made in-house each morning, using wheat from Taiwan itself to give them juuuust the right amount of bounce.
For those concerned about the bao bun situation, fear not: there will be a couple available as starters, including an Iberico pork number with black garlic sauce, and a panko shrimp croquette with sweet & sour. There’s going to be other stuff too, from crispy tripe, to eel & smacked cucumber, to fried Ogleshield cheese rolls. And for dessert? If you’ve never tried shaved ice, now’s your chance: there’ll be strawberry cheesecake & tiramisu versions to pick from.
Finally, the drinks. Taiwanese cocktails are the order of the day, with shaved ice making a surprise re-appearance in the form of a Midori Whisky Sour Ice, and a Grape Sake Ice, alongside some more cube-chilled numbers like the Umeshu Negroni or the Milk Tea Old Fashioned. And they’ve even lined up something called a Calpis Fizz, which they tell us is inspired by Calpico, “the Asian yoghurt soda”.
Yes, yoghurt soda.
NOTE: BAO Noodle Shop is set to open on 23rd June. We’ll be back then with the full scoop. In the meantime, you can find out more at their website right HERE.
BAO Noodle Shop | 1 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, E2 7DJ
Ever wondered what BAO would give you for breakfast? Wonder no more…