After 3 years of waiting, I finally made it to May Chow’s Little Bao in the Central Part of Hong Kong. I like to call her a modern pioneer of the culinary world, as she does all sorts of magical things by meshing together an American Diner style with a modern Asian cooking sensibilities. More on that later. There’s also heaps of fine dining technique in her drool-worthy cooking, with inspiration coming from her wandering of the world. The venue itself is teeny, an open kitchen affair that seats 20 or so people, with cha-chaan-teng-style tiling, pastel colours, stainless steel tops, and wooden stools for seating. I wrote about her food previously whilst she “popped up” in London in September 2015 and was smitten straight away.
One of the tattoo’d memories in my mind after eating at the London pop-up was how good brussel sprouts $88 were. They come with the sweet funk of fish sauce caramel, a good punch of chilli, peanuts for crunch and lime for lift, and fried shallots for teeth sticking sweetness. They’re genuinely gorgeous, and testament to how to make the humble sprout flourish.
The slow braised organic short rib pan fried dumpling $128, had all the lovely deep beefy flavours that any carnivore would be inspired by. The slaw and julienne spring onions gave the bite and the fresh lift. Have you had short rib in a pot sticker before? Nah me neither until now.
Truffle fries with shiitake tempeh (fermented Indonesian soy beans) with truffled mayo & pickled daikon $98, was a poutine with wow factor, it had everything your mouth could ever want. Simply delicious.
First up from the bao selection, we had Szechuan fried chicken $88, it came with a treacle-thick Chinese black vinegar glaze, Szechuan mayo and slaw. It was another stunning collection of flavours and textures that we inhaled.
Next up we had slow cooked pork belly bao, leek and shiso red onion salad, sesame dressing, hoisin ketchup $88. It was basically a curation of ingredients that whacks you on the palate with full intent.
The sweet endings came in the form of more bao, green tea ice cream with condensed milk, along with salt ice cream and caramel, slightly melting in from the hear fried sweet bao ($48) they were sandwiched in. They both made a disappearing act into our bellies.
When did I go? November 2016
The damage: $500ish per head with drinks (£45ish).
The good: Little Bao delivers fun, delectable, easy to eat, fascinating food that makes you want to go back for more. The collection of flavours can be easily called unique in my humble opinion and we didn’t have a single bad thing to eat. It’s the type of food that would taste good at 9pm or 3am!
The bad: Not that much to be fair, apart the lightless toilets!
Would I go again? Yes
Address: 66 Staunton St, Central, Hong Kong