We all know the phrase “You get what you give”.
Which explains Peckham’s continuing respect for Taiwanese bun house Mr Bao…
Positioned on Rye Lane – the slightly more orderly end, near Pedler and next to Voodoo Rays – it’s a bitty, always busy kind of place, serving up Bao buns by the dozen.
Alongside a selection of alternative small plates – smacked cucumber, golden kimchi, and more – you can feast on thickly stuffed baos filled with everything from beer marinated prawns (with pickled mooli and spiced spring onion) to ginger braised tofu (with house kimchi and crispy onions). Our favourite has to be the pork belly, topped with house pickles, roasted peanuts, and a sprinkle of coriander for a little extra pizazz.
When you arrive you’ll be seated either at one of the handful of tables, or along one of two counters – peeking into the part-open kitchen, or out the glass shop front, in prime position for surveying passing crowds. There’s also a couple of alfresco options for warmer, or more desperate days. Here you’ll be given a a strip of bright yellow menu, and a pencil, with which you can mark down your choices, and/or make origami, or write love notes to the chefs.
You don’t need telling that Bao buns can be filling, which makes a decent tipple an all the more necessary accompaniment. Fortunately Mr Bao get full marks on this front too. There’s a couple of cocktails including a Plum Wine Negroni with gin, Campari, Takkara plumb wine, and chocolate bitters; as well as some Taiwanese beers, and a decent list of sakes.
On weekends they offer a bottomless brunch with a whole new menu of breakfast-focused dishes (Bao Bennedict with slow-braised pork, wilted spinach, free range egg, and hollandaise), as well as either bottomless White Night In Taipei of white rum, passionfruit jam, and lychee; or Bloody ‘Hell’ Mary of sparkling sake, vodka, fresh tomato juice, wasabi, and sriracha…
Expect to leave fully sauced.
NOTE: Mr Bao is open Tuesday – Sunday. For exact opening times, or to book in, visit their website here.
What’s Pedler you say? Read all about it here.