Little Bao has been opened for some time now and has never left Hong Kong ‘s dining scene since. From Island East Markets, where Little Bao’s owner and chef, May Chow started serving innovative bao with a twist to today’s location on Staunton Street by PMQ, Little Bao has won the belly of many.
The space looks like a busy American dinner with the humongous baby face pink neon light hanging on the outside wall, the seriously tiny and opened kitchen facing the 15 squeezed guests sitting at the bar or at the little counter right behind.
Having been to Little Bao several times since the opening, I came to realize that people come for two reasons: the infamous baos and the deep fried green tea ice cream bao. I must say that they are great but the sharing plates are also pretty good.
Now lets talk about the food. I usually go for the truffle fries and or the short rib dumpling that are both really nice but this time I want to try out something different.
I set my eyes on the lamb tartare. In 35 years, I never had one. Probably, the idea of eating raw lamb was not something really reassuring but this was good. The Iberico lamb mixed with a fermented beancurd mayo and takana and smartly served with tofu chips giving the required crunchiness to the dish.
As main, I had to go for one of the Baos, the house specialty. Basically, a bao is the Chinese version of the hamburger bun but instead of being toasted it is steamed. Sadly, no specials that day. I went for the pork belly bao made of slow cooked pork belly topped with a leek & shiso red onion salad with sesame dressing and hoisin ketchup. I enjoyed the combination of the various ingredients but found the dish slightly too sweet.
After eating the pork bao in a few bites, dessert time was calling and I had to go for the deep fried bao with a green tea ice cream with condensed milk filling. Basically two options here, either you finish your dessert in two bites or you wait till it fully melts. The combination of flavors was nice and interesting but I felt that the bao was overcooked.
Overall the food is seriously good and innovative besides a few downs. I will keep going there. My biggest concern is about the time you have to wait to get a table. I see Little Bao as one of these selfish restaurants where you go by your self or with a friend and if you are unlucky you will not be seating at the kitchen bar but rather a the boring side counter missing the show.
66 Staunton Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 2755 8099 | www.littlebao.com