"Sometimes in London you stumble across a gem..."Review Rating: Reviewed by Laurel
Sometimes in London you stumble across a gem of a restaurant that makes you wish it was your local. Tooting’s hotly anticipated new Daddy Bao is just that. From the team behind Peckham’s Mr Bao, the new restaurant opened in February, helping to feed London’s bao obsession one bun at a time. Serving signature pillowy bao buns, crunchy fried chicken and plenty of Taiwanese snacks, it’s already made its mark on this London foodie,
A Sunday evening visit at a reasonably early 6.30pm saw the Mitcham Road space packed, with hungry customers squeezed in at the bar and a comforting, vibrant buzz giving it the air of an old favourite, not a restaurant that had only been open for a few weeks. The menu is simple, but strong Half a dozen meat and veggie bao, a handful of daily specials and a list of classic sides, accompanied by a pretty legit cocktail list. We started off with guava martinis, a juicy taste of summer with the added bonus of lychee flavoured tapioca pearls at the bottom before moving on to the food.
The bao were, quite simply, sublime. Pillowy soft doesn’t cut it - it was like chowing down on a baked cloud. The Pork Belly Mr Bao was the overriding favourite; slow braised pork from Peckham butcher Flock & Herd, house pickles, a satisfying crunch from a sprinkling of roasted peanuts and a sprinkling of coriander, I admit I instantly regretted ordering anything else and wished I could replace the next two with two more of the same…
Nevertheless a beef brisket bao was next up, juicy and full of flavour with a spattering of spring onions and a decent kick from the wasabi slaw. We loved the pickled cucumber, both tart and sweet, and the sesame aubergine was absolutely amazing, with a tahini dressing and sprinkled with jewels of pomegranate. My friend commented the chicken bao was her least favourite, not for any particular reason other than that the pork one was so damn perfect.
For someone that eats out more than I eat in, Daddy Bao was undoubtedly one of my favourite meals of recent months. Everything about it was perfect. The vibe of the place is infectious; it has exactly the kind of local atmosphere that makes little London restaurants so great and with a menu that sticks to what they are good at, without fuss, it’s clear that this is just the beginning for the Bao family.
Laurel reviewed Daddy Bao on Tue 24 Apr 2018