A food blogger’s heart sinks a little when her camera battery runs out after the first click at a new restaurant. I thus had to turn to the trusty Iphone 5 for this one. Introducing Little Bao – a super popular little joint that has sent HK-ers crazy. Errybody wants some of that bao. Click through for more…
JYSL and I headed over to Little Bao after a big day of eating. This is why it’s good that Little Bao is located up a very steep hill – if you choose to arrive to Sheung Wan via MTR, you will walk up this hill and by the end of it, you’ll feel like you’ve thoroughly deserved all the baos. But also be sure to arrive early – they don’t take bookings, there’s only bar seating, and it’s very, very popular.
We had to wait around 40 minutes for our turn – a wait that was made less painful by the fact that they have fold up stools with the Little Bao face/logo on them for you to sit on! Once inside it was pretty clear that we had to go for the “Mac & Cheese” – Steamed rice rolls, mentaiko cheese sauce (HK$108). Thorough Instagram research had suggested this to be a unique and very tasty dish. Unique it definitely was; I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything like it before. It’s kinda like Chinese mac ‘n’ cheese, but also not very much like mac ‘n’ cheese at all. You’ll have to find out for yourself and let me know what you think.
While we had the Mac & Cheese to share, we each chose a bao for ourselves as well. For those unfamiliar with the ‘bao’ concept – I guess it’s the generic term for dumplings, but to me it refers in particular to the white bread/dough typically found in dishes like Char siu bao. This bread has been elegantly turned into a burger bun format and voila – you have yourself a new age bao.
My bao of choice was the Pork Belly Bao – Slow-braised pork belly, leek & shiso red onion salad, sesame dressing, hoisin ketchup (HK$78). It was super tasty – definitely a go-to when you come here. Juicy and saucy, but not too much so that everything becomes messy to eat. I also had a Pomegranate hibiscus iced tea (HK$48). I don’t drink alcohol so I usually just stick with water, but this iced tea was exotic enough to entice me – really refreshing and yum, just great to try a different version of iced tea!
JYSL’s bao of choice was the special for the night: Spicy Fried Chicken Bao – garlic black bean mayo, scallion coleslaw (HK$78). This proved far more difficult to eat – it was over 10cm in height, and the fried chicken didn’t lend itself to being squished very well. Probably need to deconstruct this one to eat it, which is a bit unfortunate. JYSL says that each individual ingredient component was great (a tick for the spicy mayo and the pickles), but put together it was all a bit much. Too many flavour to cope with!
Overall, this bao concept is a great thing. There were a few things we were unsatisfied about – the size of the baos for one thing. I think I could’ve eaten two, but I guess that’s where you get side dishes to supplement. It’s also quite pricy, works out to be over AU$10 for what is essentially a small burger without fries. I’d definitely come back for the novelty factor, but it’d be great if they made it more affordable.
66 Staunton Street