If we had to mention one significant food trend in 2015, then the year would definitely need to be called the “year of the bao”. From fancy restaurants that specialise in these Cantonese-style steamed buns with all kinds of delightful fillings, to a tiny shop on Church Street entirely dedicated to this delish street snack, the bao is here to rule the trending charts even in 2016. So without much ado, we present to you the bao in all kinds of avatars available in the city: traditional, Indianised and even sweet ones served up as dessert. Take a bao, we say.

LBB’s Loving

Fatty Bao

Readers’ Vote


Church Street Social And Whitefield Social

church street social bangalore vada pao bao

Source: Church Street Social

At Social, the bao gets a Middle Eastern twist and gets baked just like a pita bread. These pita baos come stuffed with everything from vada {like a Bombay Vada Pao} complete with garlic chutney mayo and chilli chutney; corn falafal served with hummus and pickles; chicken and jalapeño; arabic style lamb patties and even pulled tandoori chicken with makhani gravy and green apple chutney.

Shang Palace

For the vegetarians, there’s a lovely fried shiitake mushroom and onion bao which really, even meat eaters will appreciate. The chicken one is in a ginger vinegar sauce for a slightly pungent flavour, but all of these versions are trumped by the authentic Cantonese Char Sui Pork Bao – needless to say, the best meat for the dish!

Fatty Bao

resturants the fatty bao bangalore

Source: The Fatty Bao

All kinds of wonderful things go into the Fatty’s pillowy baos: from fried fish and beef Bulgogi to miso-marinated fried eggplant and roast duck. But the piece de resistance is, of course, their Char Siu Bao. Slices of barbecued pork belly {complete with quivering fat}, barbecue sauce, topped with green apple kimchi, scallions and drizzled with sesame oil. Sounds like a dream? It tastes like one too.


Unlike the usually open-plan baos at most places, Yauatcha does closed ones with versions such as Chicken Char Sui, Pork Char Sui, and Shanghai Seu Long Bun with Chicken. The baos come with slightly sweetened chicken or pork and plenty of caramelised onions and black pepper. Best to mop up with hot and spicy chilli sambal with.

The Lantern Restaurant & Bar

food bao dim sum lantern the ritz carlton bangalore

Source: Lantern at The Ritz Carlton

Part of the dim sum menu at pan-Asian restaurant The Lantern, the non vegetarian version comes with succulent barbecue pork and barbecue sauce {Char Siu bao} and for vegetarians, there is bok choy and vegetables stuffed in these traditional Cantonese-style sweet buns.


kylies the bao shp bangalore church street

Source: Kylie’s, The Bao Shop

We have already mentioned plenty of times that we are fans of Kylie’s. What’s not to like about an entire shop dedicated to baos. Giving street cred to the bao {as it should be} are the folks behind Kylie’s, who dish out everything from Teriyaki Chicken {served with spicy chipotle mayo, picked cucumber and toasted sesame seeds} which is a bit sweet to  Tempura Tofu {with shredded scallion, pickled ginger and chilli hot sauce}. The Goan chorizo version here is our favourite as is the Char Siu Bao, charred pork belly with Hoisin glaze, with mixed apple, scallion and sesame seeds, and with a generous braise {all those pork juices} drizzle. Kylie’s also does dessert baos with bananas, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.


bao bangalore sing kong

Source: MumbaiMag

Inspired by the steamed buns made by Momofuku {a group of restaurants owned by chef David Chang} restaurant in New York, Singkong presents steamed open buns with relish stuffings such as Pan Roast Black Pepper Chicken, Honey Hunan Roasted Pork, Stir Fried Sesame Beef, and Soya Wheat Black Pepper. All the baos ares served with pickled cucumber, Hoisin Sauce and spring onion. Yum!

The Open Box

There is only one bao offering at the Open Box, but we’d recommend it simply because it comes stuffed to the gills with Kolkata-style Tengda Chilli Chicken or Chilli Fish. Tangra {we still figuring out why it’s spelled this way}, is Kolkata and India’s only legit Chinatown and is know for its signature Indianised version of the chilli chicken. Spicy, deep fried and suitably greasy, this one is packed with flavour.

Featured image via: Kylie’s, The Bao Shop