Baozi, bau, humbow, nunu, bakpao, pow, pao, bao—call them what you will, but you cannot deny that they are everywhere. It’s the newest entrant in the Mumbai food scene—not even a year old—and this Asian food is already everywhere. While in technical terms, these fluffy, stuffed buns aren’t very different from a momo, dumpling, dim sum (again, call it what you may), but they are bigger and better in many ways. Baos are common in parts of China and Indonesia, and now Mumbai.
But, if you’re been living under a rock, and haven’t yet tried it out, you need to head to The Fatty Bao. One of the earliest places to feature baos on its menu—and in its name—this restaurant in Bandra sees a fan-following for its pork belly and green apple kimchi-stuffed char siu bao and the teriyaki glazed chicken bao. I lean a little more towards the chicken version for its Japanese influence i.e. the seven spice powder and the accompanying pickled cucumber. Yauatcha has been doing a version of the bao for some time now, with its charcoal lamb bun, a closed bao with BBQ-ed minced lamb in a leaf-shaped, sesame bun.
Then, there’s the Lower Parel & Juhu based Asian Gastro Pub – Mr Baozi, which is renowned, in just a few months of its opening, for its slow roasted chicken bao, the lamb bao and the confit mushroom and chilli oil bao. Plus, there’s also a scented baozi, which fuses vodka, cranberry and lemongrass, which is an all-new concoction.
For those of you crazy healthy ones, The Bao Haus Co incorporates quinoa too. This take-away joint, also in Colaba, prepares a pan-seared quinoa patty, tops it with fresh arugula, goat cheese salad and serve with beetroot chips. In fact, Social too has one of its own—the pulled tandoori chicken makhani bao served with a tart green apple chutney. Why, because it’s Social and because who can ever resist a butter chicken anything.
Seriously, what are you waiting for?
How to Get There:
The Fatty Bao
Where: Ground Floor, Summerville, Junction of 14th and 33rd Road, Linking Road, Bandra West
Contact: 022 33716006
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 7 PM to 1 AM
Cost: ₹2,000 for two people (VAT & service charges extra)
Where: Raheja Towers, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai
Contact: +91 9222222800
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 1 AM
Cost: ₹3,500 for two people (VAT & service charges extra)
Mr. Baozi – Pan Asian Gastro Pub
Where: Lower Parel | Juhu
Contact: Lower Parel – 022 24955766 | Juhu – 022 33956178
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 4 PM, 6:30 PM to 1 AM
Cost: ₹1,300 for two people
The Bao Haus Co
Where: 10, Om Moreshwar Sadan, 27 Rajwadkar Street, Colaba Market, Colaba, Mumbai (Delivery Only)
Contact: +91 9222264287
Timings: Mon Closed. Tue – Sun 12 Noon to 11 PM
Cost: ₹1,000 for two people (Cash only)
Where: Palladium, Todi Mill Lower Parel | Colaba | Goregoan West | Andheri West | Khar | BKC
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people