Khao & Bao, Bristol

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Panang chicken – my fave.

This is just a quick ode to one of my lunchtime staples – I was always loyal to the earlier incarnation of this tasty spot (Baowow), with it’s five quid lunches and much appreciated role in introducing me to the flavour sensation that are bao and bahn mi.

Baowow got a makeover and relaunched as Khao & Bao under the same management (the same talented folk who run ramen bar Sticks & Broth and Vietnamese snack joint Hanoi Coffee Co, both a mere hop skip and a jump away from K&B), and I was for a short time worried that some of my favourites from the menu would disappear.

Well the five quid lunch didn’t stick around for long, but this was made up for by the introduction of the khao dishes – basically bowls where you pick a meat or veg/tofu, pick a sauce and then pick a carb (noodles, rice) and then chow down. Bao are still on offer, as are noodle soups and some light snacks and salads.

My personally top picks are the Chairman Bao (pork belly, hoisin, pickled greens, crushed peanuts & coriander) and the Kimchie Bao (kimchie, beef brisket, siracha, spring onions and sesame seeds) or the Panang curry, which is rich, coconutty and slightly spicy – and comes served with rice/noodles and a pile of steamed kale – mmm mmm mmm.

There are only seats for around 15 people inside, but this place mainly does a roaring trade in takeaway lunches anyway, so you should be able to nab a seat.

They’ve recently introduced Poke to the menu, which I’m yet to try but sounds good (salmon or tuna sashimi marinated in soy, sesame oil and salt, served with brown rice and veg) as a nice healthier option.

Tasty, decent value food and it’s got me trying some new things too. Thanks, Khao & Bao!

Khao & Bao
53 Baldwin Street
Bristol BS1 1RA
www.khaobao.co.uk

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