Before making my way down to Peckham on Tuesday the 8th of March for the Press Launch of Mr. Bao, I’d been told numerous stories about the horrors of Peckham. Thankfully none of my day job co-workers’ concerns were valid and I’m glad I didn’t listen to their stories or I’d have missed out on a marvellous Taiwanese feast. About an eight minute walk from Peckham Rye Station, Mr. Bao is this small Taiwanese restaurant specialising is share plates and Baos. Luckily tonight’s event allowed me to taste everything on the menu so I didn’t have to struggle with the dreaded ‘what do I chose and will I have food envy when I see other people’s food get delivered’ dilemma.
The share plate menu consists of Edamame, Sesame Spinach, Tender Stem Broccoli with Ponzu, Taiwanese Sausage, Soy Marinated Sirloin with Wasabi, Beef Soup, Gold Kimchi, Avocado and Tofu, Fried Chicken, Smacked Cucumber and Sweet Potato Chips. I didn’t try the Smacked Cucumber as I’m not a fan of cucumber but this was seriously the only item on the share section of the menu, I didn’t stuff my face with. The Taiwanese Sausage, Soy Marinated Sirloin with Wasabi, Sweet Potato Chips, Fried Chicken and Sesame Spinach were my favourites of the shared plates. Each dish was extremely flavoursome and impossible to resist asking for seconds and thirds. Fellow diners at my table appeared to be all in agreement that this food was amazing.
The Bao’s are the pride and joy at Mr. Bao and it wouldn’t be right to not try the bun named after the restaurant. With Slow Braised Flock and Herd Pork, Pickles (or minus pickles in my case), Peanut Powder and Coriander, this bun sounded mouth-watering. The first bite into the soft, pillow like bun filled with divine pork melted in my mouth and was scrumptious. I toughly enjoyed this and wished I’d had the appetite to try the Bao Diddley (Fried Free Range Chicken, Brined 24 hours, Wasabi Mayo, Kimchi and Coriander) but I was saving myself for the dessert.
The most amazing part of the menu had to be dessert! A Bao S’more! (Fried Bao, toasted Marshmallow and Dark Chocolate). I travelled through America in 2012 and had the pleasure of trying S’mores. Since then I haven’t found a S’more that lived up that first bite of Gooey Marshmallow and Chocolate in a biscuit sandwich! Mr. Bao has managed to top that first experience above and beyond. The use of a Fried Bao instead of a biscuit was an interesting twist to this typical American dessert and proves that a lot of things are better when they’re deep fried.
The feast at Mr. Bao was all washed down with Tea, Sake and their two signature cocktails (Imperial Concubine’s Smile and The Awaken Punch). The Awaken Punch, using Sake as its base alcohol was my favourite of these two cocktails as I found the Imperial Concubine’s Smile was too overpowered by the Lychee.
It was a lovely evening out and well worth the long journey from Northwest London to South East London. So if you live in Peckham or just want to experience Taiwanese cuisine, make the journey to Mr. Bao in Peckham as you won’t regret it. The restaurant is open for lunch/dinner Tuesdays to Friday and weekend brunch/dinner on Saturdays and Sundays.
Reporter: Tegan LeBon ¦ @Toogs1
293 Rye Ln
Phone:020 7635 0325