Fans of Little Bao Hong Kong’s oriental-style burgers, we are delighted to announce that Little Bao has officially opened in Bangkok, on the ground floor of the up-and-coming chill spot 72 Courtyard along Soi Thong Lor. It is also chef and owner May Chow’s first ever venture out of Hong Kong.
I had the privilege to attend their official opening party last night and took the chance to clear a few doubts with May. Firstly, I have been told that the menu is very much similar to that in Hong Kong (which cannot be a bad thing), and that they are not ready to localise (yet).
And of course, why Bangkok? May shared that she had offers to open in multiple cities, like major cities in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Manila etc., but none of them stuck out more than Bangkok, which is a city full of the kind of life and energy she personally adores. Whatever it is, we thank you May, for making this decision to nudge the already-exciting Bangkok food scene further upwards.
Now, to the food. Almost every dish is a playful combination of of different elements, but intrinsically Asian. I love the fact that no matter how creative the dishes looked, the Asian aspect will always jump out as the single outstanding character binding the whole dish together. Little Bao’s concept revolves around sharing, and I too, recommend that you order a couple of dishes from every section of the menu and enjoy them with your companions.
This Fried Cauliflower [220฿] with fish sauce caramel is a must-order. It successfully brought the potential of the humble cauliflower to another level. Remained crispy on the outside even after a long photo-taking session!
The Pulled Short-Rib Pan-fried Dumpling [290฿] is another surprising dish. Who can imagine some crispy pot stickers filled with slow-braised beef short rib? I guess only May can come up with ideas like these. Enjoyable, but I would prefer it to come with some sauce as it can feel a tad dry.
Now for the signature Little Bao, which is not too little. Pork Belly Bao [240฿] with shiso leek, sesame dressing and hoisin ketchup. To me it’s simply a very very good Kong Bak Bau, presented in the form of a hamburger. You will not be disappointed.
I have a thing for clams, so I had pretty high expectations for their Steamed Drunken Clams [320฿]. The clams were fresh and succulent, and wine sauce aromatic, but hidden under the hill of shells was actually a lump of potato puree! Clams and chinese wine with potato puree, go figure!
If you are visiting Little Bao in a group, then this Truffle Fries [290฿] will not go wrong. Pairing truffle mayonnaise with a shiitake mushroom tempeh and some salted vegetable (kiam chye) might sound peculiar, but by now, we have accepted that these weird combos actually work as long as they came out of May’s kitchen.
No one leaves Little Bao without munching at least 1 of their only 2 dessert offerings, which are both Deep-Fried Buns with Ice Cream sandwiched in between [120฿]. I personally love the salted caramel one, but the green tea variant is equally excellent.
It’s a testament to Little Bao that my companions and I struggled to name our favourite dishes. Everything we tried had their own distinct character. We simply enjoyed the vibe at Little Bao, washing down the eye-opening food with some of their signature cocktails.
So thank you once again May, for having me at your opening party, and even more so for choosing Bangkok as Little Bao’s first international venue. We are eternally grateful.