It’s amazing how soft, pillow-y baos _have become so popular in the land of _paos! I’d eaten baos abroad but when The Fatty Bao opened in Mumbai last year, it was the first time that I tried them in Mumbai. Since then, baos have become so popular and it’s really heartening to see the ‘Indian Chinese’ loyalists trading their order of Manchurian for a Bao stuffed with a range of flavours and textures! The amazing news for Bao lovers is that all of this week, till 14th Feb, The Fatty Bao is celebrating the #BaoWowFestival (if you follow me on social media, you know I speak emoji, but I like that we can speak hashtag too now) with 13 baos! Last week, I got a sneak-peek preview of these baos, which includes a few old favourites, but a whole lot of new stuff that you have just a few days to try out!
There are 8 non- vegetarian baos and 5 vegetarian ones. While I couldn’t make my way through all 13 baos (near impossible feat when you’re alone, right?) I’m going to run you through what I thought of the experience.
You’ve heard me wax eloquent about the Lamb Bao on social media already, but since it was a standout favourite for me, I’m gonna elaborate. This one’s heaven for meatlovers! It’s got meatballs, is slightly spicy and set-off really well by the pickled carrot. Wasabi Fish Bao has perfectly fried sea bass with Wasabi Sauce and pickled ginger. Though I expected the wasabi to have a bit more kick, I felt the flavours came together really well in this one.
Char Sui Bao.
I must say a word about the quality of pork available at The Fatty Bao- it’s half the battle won with the quality of it. This makes the Char Sui Bao, which has a generous addition of Green Apple kimchi and BBQ sauce, absolute pork-y, sticky-sweet heaven! Picking out an old favourite, the Teriyaki Glazed Chicken Bao has been a favourite from my first visit.
Now vegetarians, don’t be disappointed, I did try some of the 5 vegetarian options too. I was really excited to try the Cheesy Kimchi Potato Bao, but this is the one that disappointed me the most the entire evening- too greasy and the kimchi seemed a bit lost. Opt instead for the Fried Eggplant Bao– with its combination of miso-marinated eggplant, kimchi and Sriracha!
Even if you’re not looking to make plans for Valentine’s Day, I’d say this festival is worth making a reservation for at The Fatty Bao during the week. Yes, please reserve a table because you’d be surprised to see just how packed the restaurant gets even on a weeknight or during lunch. This isn’t surprising because The Fatty Bao isn’t just the ‘it’ place in town, but also serves the on-trend ‘it’ favourite of the moment- Baos! Oh, and while you’re at it, try the ‘Beach Blonde’ from their cocktails menu- a sure-shot hit!
P.S.- Prices range from Rs. 260 to Rs. 380 (taxes extra) for each portion which has 2 baos. This can seem little, but is surprisingly filling. Also, I was invited by the restaurant, but views here are my own.
The Fatty Bao, Mumbai – Summerville, Junction of 14th 33rd, Linking Road Bandra West, Mumbai- 400050. ForReservations call : 022-26005220.
The Fatty Bao, Delhi – Sangam Courtyard, R. K., Major Somnath Marg, Sector 9, R.K. Puram, New Delhi, Delhi 110022. For Reservations call : 011 2671 5270.