Restaurant of the Week: Cafe Bao

Words by
Charlotte McManus

17th November 2021

Available exclusively at the Kings Cross restaurant, fans of south-east Asian cuisine can start their weekend with the tempting new Taiwanese breakfast menu

The Bao bun brand has garnered something of a cult status since opening its first location in Soho six years ago. Positioned on Kings Cross' smart St Pancras Square development, Cafe Bao is the fourth and newest addition to the group. Inspired by the western-style cafés of Asia - such as Taiwanese boleros and the kissetens of Japan - the space features a sit-down restaurant as well as a bao bakery that can even cater to bespoke bao requests, leaving queues snaking out the door on a regular basis. 

What's more, unlike the other locations, Cafe Bao is also open all day - meaning breakfast is officially on the menu. Weekend diners can even start their day with a special Taiwanese-themed breakfast selection.

The staff recommend getting two or three dishes each, meaning you can sample a sizeable array of goodies with a breakfast partner in tow. We start with a plate of fluffy, chewy dan bing pancakes served with cheese and bacon, before tucking into the suitably stodgy cheese rarebit bao toast, which comes topped with an egg yolk. For something a little different, the baked ham hock congee pie features a ceramic pot of meaty rice porridge topped with a lid of puff pastry. Everything goes down very nicely with a glass or two of sweet Taiwianese milk tea. 

If you still have room, it would be remiss not to sample one or more of the fluffy buns available from the Bao Bakery Goods counter. Each is freshly made by hand on site using a traditional Tangzhong yeast bread starter. The selection changes regularly, but the salted egg custard sad face bao is a permanent fixture - and rightly so, it's delicious - as well as the sticky-sweet molten chocolate & cherry, and the fruit-shaped peach red bean & white chocolate. 

Cafe Bao's breakfast menu is available from 9:30am - 11am every weekend,