There is a three letter word that you really should be in the know about. It's a delectable little word, making a sizable impact in and around the Hackney area. A word coined by its three patrons to sum up what they do best, Bao. Which means buns, not the butty kind nor ones sticky with icing. But theirs are sweetly tinged clouds, split just so revealing their favoured filling of unctuous pork belly with home preserved mustard greens and peanut shavings.

Photo: baolondon.com/gallery.php
The menu is made up of dishes that are small yet perfectly formed, each milk bun is made from scratch, the bacon is home cured and even the soya milk for the chicken dredge is made in the Bao kitchen. The gua bao pork bun is naturally the signature dish with its own custom made clay holder to boot. Fried options easily win over the crowd in the form of soya milk fried chicken and more unusually daikon and cured bacon croquettes, which are delightfully sweet and savoury. Vegetarians, do not fear they have catered for you also, the pomelo salad with citrus nuggets, shredded carrot and red onion laced with fried wonton and vermicelli noodles is a highlight on its own. Other dishes like the tofu bao, "smacked" cucumbers and potato salad are rotated in and out of the menu too.

The food the trio conjure up from the fryer,giant bamboo steamer and slow cooker are in their blood, recipes and concoctions from their far eastern origins. Despite the unpredictability of our nations weather al fresco eating by way of the street continues to pull in the crowds. Original East-enders before our time were snacking on jellied eels and pies from street stalls, in Taiwan night markets xiao chi stalls litter the streets, each one specializing in their own substantial snack . Bao has hand picked a selection of authentic little bites to bring to a new throng of curious eaters, currently pitching up within local cafes and pubs but a more permanent outdoor spot firmly set in their horizons.

With two successful dining events under their belt the third is sure to be the same. Next Bao stop is tomorrow night at The Dalston Victoria, the menu will be made up again with ten or so dishes, specials have previously included pig's ear terrine, razor clams and confit garlic and some deserts chucked in for good measure like red bean crumble cake. So even if you have been before you will still be able to sample some new flavours or because of the tapas sized portions just fill up on a dozen of what you already know and love. Mark my words Bao is going to be big.

Home cured bacon and daikon croquettes
Pomelo Salad
Smacked Cucumbers
Heavy duty bamboo steamer 
Black sesame ice cream and peanut shaving, mildly sweet and delicately creamy
An East meets West desert, red bean crumble and cream.
Congee with hundred year egg, topped with tongue and pig crackling.

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