Mr Bao specialises in, you guessed it, bao (that’s those little steamed buns, Mum). It’s the creation of friends Frank Yeung and Nick Burkett and it’s a pretty cool spot with its exposed brick and simple interior. We visit for dinner before seeing La La Land at the Peckham Multiplex. At just a fiver it’s something I thoroughly recommend you doing.
The menu, much like Bao, is on a notepad where you mark down your order and it comes out when it’s ready. Smacked cucumber (£2.30) has a fiery kick and sesame spinach (£1.50) – raw – is light and fresh. Sweet potato chips (£2.70), drizzled with wasabi mayo, are every bit moreish.
Pork dumplings (£3.30) have that lovely cross between crunchy and gelatinous. The filling is herby with loads of pig flavour. Speaking of herby, chunks of Taiwanese sausage (£2.70) are just that. An intriguing flavour and unlike any sausage I’ve had before.
Bao wise; free range fried chicken (£4.50) come topped with more of that mayo providing a lip tingling heat. The chicken is soft while the buns are light and fluffy. Pork belly (£3.90), sprinkled with roasted peanuts, is our favourite, maybe because the meat is from the brilliant Flock & Heard butchers.
Battered prawns (£4.50) are fat and juicy with the crispy coating adding texture. The accompanying sauce is a little too bitter for me though. From the specials board, beef brisket bao (£4.30) is another cracking meat option. And just the right size too; not overfilled and overbearing.
If all that wasn’t fabulous enough, pudding (just one option) is a s’more – an American campfire treat of biscuit and melted marshmallow. We share but I would recommend one each for sure.
There’s a great atmosphere at Mr Bao. It’s packed filled with walk-ins and people who have had the foresight to book, making it feel like a real neighbourhood gem. It’s great value too. Mr Bao, you’re a rather marvellous man.
Would we go back? Yes.