G/F, 66 Staunton Street, Central
Tel: 2194 0202
Grub: Asian fusion.
Vibe: This place screams hipster. House music blares out from behind the neon pink sign that hangs above the doorway, and the bar stools in the tiny space mean it’s more about being seen than being comfortable. The no-reservations policy is strictly enforced by the employees in their Little Bao-branded T-shirts, which are also available to buy, you know, if you want to look like you work at Little Bao or something.
Who to bring: Just a single friend, as if you try to bring a group you’ll be waiting all night – firstly because they won’t let you sit down until your entire party has arrived, and secondly because there are only about 20 seats in the whole restaurant. On top of this, the bar stool formation makes it difficult for a big party to sit together anyway.
What’s hot: The baos are, of course, the speciality here. The twist on these is that they look like little sliders, but the “bun” is the traditional steamed bread-like dough. The pork belly bao is the best of the bunch, served with leek and onion shisho salad, sesame dressing and hoisin ketchup, and really feels like the ultimate fusion between the classic American burger and Chinese flavours.
The truffle fries are unlike anything I’ve tried before. Covered with shiitake tempeh, truffle mayo and pickled daikon, the flavour combinations shouldn’t work (and as individual elements, they don’t), but when you take a bite with a little bit of each together on your fork, it tastes delicious.
What’s not: For what is essentially a slider, HK$78 feels rather steep. My friend and I had a slider each and truffle fries and we left still feeling peckish, so if you want to leave feeling satisfyingly full, prepare to spend a lot of money.
Cost: Baos cost HK$78. Sharing plates cost between HK$68 and HK$128. The dessert bao is HK$48. Drinks cost HK$38-HK$45.