But whatever you do, if you find yourself in Soho, nip over to BAO.
You’ll have heard of it before, I’m sure.
A tiny little street food vendor who’s made it into bricks and mortar, and taken the city by storm.
A little place on Lexington, they serve up fluffy, steamed milk buns, stuffed with all sorts of goodies, along side Taiwanese street food.
With strict opening hours (Mo-Sat 12-3, 5.30-10) the trick is to try and arrive just before they open and avoid the monumental queue. Things have calmed down a lot in the last couple of months, so I thought it was finally safe to share!
You wait just across the road and a smiley waitress will bring you the betting slip of a menu.
Hedge your bets.
The place fills up quickly and buzzes with an excited, hungry energy.
No sooner does the restaurant fill up, than the queue outside doubles.
Suddenly there’s a line of businessmen, tourists, locals and Instagram addicts, tapping their toes and glaring at you through the glass.
We felt somewhat like goldfish in a doctor’s waiting room’s tank, and tried to suppress sniggers as we imagined the queue breaking into Hot Stuff.
Thankfully the food arrives thick and fast.
Aubergine with wonton crisp.
Quite nice, nibbly, not the star of the show.
Taiwanese fried chicken with fragrant hot sauce.
Really, really good.
Spicy, rich, cracking.
The scallop is my pick of the menu.
Cooked to perfection and swimming in the most delicious garlic, yellow bean sauce – which you’re encouraged to slurp from the shell.
Not that I needed much encouragement.
Pigs trotter nuggets.
Excellent, even for the squeamish – you’ll love them.
Surprisingly special. Swimming in a salty sauce and really rather exceptionally good, for a side.