Reviewed by Darryl Ryznar
Harrods, one of the world’s most renowned luxury department stores, is home to a number of restaurants, from macarons to a full grill. Having often visited Harrods on trips to London as a child, I had wandered past (read: drooled over) the food on offer, however I had never actually eaten in any of the restaurants, so when the opportunity arose to eat at one of Harrods’ newest establishments, authentic Asian street food restaurant Bao Kitchen, I jumped at the chance.
Situated on Harrods fourth floor, tucked away amongst the jewellery, Fashion Lab and children’s items, Bao Kitchen’s chic modern, minimalist appearance was very appealing, with a square bar sat in the centre of the restaurant, offering an array of cocktails, wine and even the highly fashionable Bubble Tea, and lower slick black tables surrounding.
Once seated in the far corner of the restaurant, as our tummies started to rumble, we began to study the extensive menu without really knowing what to expect – and wow, it did not disappoint!
The kitchen offers a huge range of Asian street food delights including Dim Sum, Bao, small plates, grilled dishes, noodles and rice bowls. We didn’t know where to begin! We eventually settled on a meat platter which contained three different types of meat – pork char siu, pork belly and roasted duck – the egg noodle with ginger garlic soya sauce and of course, its namesake, lobster bao. We then asked our server for some recommendations and I’m really glad we did – he recommended the Shanghai pork siu long bao Dim Sum and Wasabi prawns – but more on that later!
The meat platter was incredibly tasty – despite only having 3 meats on the plate, each one was more delicious than the next. The pork belly was in perfect, bitesize chunks with a crispy coating, while the sweet and savoury char sui pork belly melted in our mouths, then the roasted duck was a mixture of textures and tastes that were absolutely fantastic! We accompanied the meat platter with 2 soft, pillowy Bao buns allowing us to create our own Bao, which of course we mixed and matched our meats with – absolutely stunning.
The lobster Bao was accompanied by tangy Szechuan mayo and a small Asian vegetable medley, and was as light as it was scrumptious. Meanwhile, the noodles may have been but a side dish but definitely the underdog of our personal choices – I don’t know what they made them with our how they were made by my word were they yummy!
When our two recommended dishes arrived, we couldn’t have been happier. The Dim Sum dumplings were amazing and came were paired with a mouth-wateringly tangy Chinese vinegar dip – when popped in the mouth, they have surprising soupy element which was both warm and comforting.
The stand out dish, and something I’m still dreaming about, was the Wasabi prawns. They arrived on a bed of crispy glass noodles, and were tossed in wasabi tobiko kewpie mayo, and decorated with small leaves. The sweetness of the prawn was counterbalanced by the mildly spicy wasabi mayo – a lush combination, and most definitely the food highlight of our evening.
We washed down our meal with a delectable bottle of Gavi di Gavi wine, which complimented the food perfectly.
The staff and servers were knowledgeable and attentive – I must make a special mention to our waitress Toop, who was absolutely lovely.
All in all, it was a fabulous experience, in a fabulous setting, so whether you need a break from shopping in Harrods’ halls, or you just happen to find yourself in West London, this restaurant comes highly recommended.
For more information, to view menus or to make a booking visit baokitchen.co.uk or call 020 7225 5951.
Bao Kitchen, Harrods (Fourth Floor), 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7XL | 020 7225 5951