Review of Baby Bao at The Pond
I love a Sunday spent wittering away in a pub with my mates getting accidentally half cut. Even better if there’s food to eat too! The trouble is, all too often pub food is the straight out the freezer and into the fryer sort. This one is a goodun though…
Some time ago I discovered a new and rather brilliant pub to eat at in Brighton, but what with life being rather busy of late I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write a full review of it.
Since things are only going to get busier I’m just going to get straight to the point and tell you that you need to check out Baby Bao at The Pond.
Baby Bao was born at Street Diner, just around the corner, and it still pops up there on Fridays. And a year ago it moved in and made a permanent home in The Pond’s kitchen. The offering is simple but brilliant. Soft squidgy Taiwanese steamed buns filled with lots of delicious fillings.
It’s not all about the bao though – there’s a long list of small plates to work through too. From Korean fried chicken wings and Kimchi pancakes (both £5) to Spicy mac & cheese and vegan fries (both £4.25), there’s something for all to tuck into and enjoy. On Monday’s there’s a completely meat-free menu, allowing Baby Bao to show off its plant-based offering and welcome the vegan the community.
Now there’s no chance I’ll ever be vegan but I’ll admit I do adore the vegan fries they serve up here. Drenched in sauces, spices and nuts – including the ‘undetectably vegan’ mayonnaise, these chips are in the BeFries league (read about those guys here). Just don’t even think of sharing these – you’re going to need a whole portion all to yourself.
On Sundays Baby Bao offers a meat or vegan Bo Saam (sharing plate) with pic n mix fillings. The meat option comes with beef, chicken and pork belly (£14 for one / £28 for two people) and the vegan one, with Bulgogi mushroom, cauliflower tempura and tofu. It’s worth noting that the vegan option is half the price for 2 people (£12 for one/£14 for two) so if you’re strapped for cash it’s a tasty, cheaper option!
The free-range Pork Bao (£5) needs to be tried too – the bun itself is light, puffy and packed full with thick slices of cucumber, chopped spring onion, and ground peanuts and a generous drizzle of thick hoisin sauce. It’s just the sort of comfort food you’ll start to crave when the cold chilly weather comes back.
The charred aubergine (£4), topped with red chillies and sesame seeds is a safe bet too but I was less into the salt n pepper squid (£6) which was a little on the rubbery side.
If you have a sweet tooth it’s worth saving room the dessert baos too. The Donut Bao (£4) comes with either black sesame ice cream with condensed milk or, peanut butter ice cream and jam. I can vouch for the latter as particularly scrumptious.
Lastly, if you’re not sure where this little spot is, just look out for the gorgeous pond green pub with the huge painted mural by See Creatures and you can’t miss it!
Rating: Must Go | Worth A Try | Give it a Miss
Price: £9.25pp (for a bao and chips – no drinks)
If you haven’t eaten Baby Bao at The Pond yet, you’re missing a trick. It’s not quite a budget eat, owing to the fact that you’re going to find it difficult to order just one or two dishes, but it’s without a doubt a must-go.
Baby Bao at The Pond
49 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AQ
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