If you’re put off by the queue at the original Bao in Soho, you’ll be glad to know that its second restaurant off Tottenham Court Road is bigger. It’s still always busy, but it doesn’t make you feel quite as packed in. There are big windows on the ground floor and plenty of seats surrounding the bar, so it’s perfect for a quick lunch or solo meal. There’s also a larger table downstairs, which is better in the evenings and for small group dinners. It’s even bookable.
Food-wise, the general formula’s the same, with baos (Taiwanese sandwiches on steamed buns) the headline act. The small plates, which are different from the ones at the other location, are actually the best things on the menu, and some of the tastiest things in London right now. The fried chicken chop and short rib rice bowl are always on our order and should be on yours, too.