[Hong Kong] Bao Bei - Born in Hong Kong Lounge
Bao Bei is a "Born in Hong Kong" lounge paying homage to the city's roots by featuring food and drinks with both local and Western influences. From the creators of Bao Wow, I initially thought that this new lounge would be just baos with drinks but the food menu turned out to be a lot more extensive than I thought it would be. Located on the basement level on Wyndham Street, the lounge was beautifully decorated with elements of Chinese culture like the bamboo steamers and artsy portraits of Asian ladies on the walls.
The first drink I tried was the Typhoon No. 10 ($158) with Tanqueray to.10, osmanthus honey, orange juice, lemon juice, egg white and osmanthus jelly cakes on the side. It even came with a blown out paper umbrella to remind us of our love-hate relationships with typhoons - love because it gets us out of work and hate because of the wet mess! The drink was sweet and easy to drink while the osmanthus jelly cakes were a nice complement.
Cheers to our youth with our favorite childhood drinks spiked - Yakult Shot ($78) with soju and yakult and Childhood Memory ($108) with spiced rum, Bailey’s and vitasoy malt. Unfortunately I couldn't taste much alcohol in my Yakult shot so I'm not sure they are worth the premium over the originals.
To go with our drinks, we had a feast of its Asian and Western inspired dishes which are basically all small plates and meant for sharing. Some of my favorites were the Chicken Lollipops ($98) with chicken wings and Sichuan sauce and the Korean Bulgolgi Lettuce Wrap ($128) with prime beef short ribs, kimchi, beansprout, shichimi and romaine.
The Kobe Pork Belly Bao ($88) with sous-vide Kobe pork belly, portobello and apricot salsa was good but I thought the price was a bit steep for one bao.
Since I love Mapo Tofu, I was hoping that the Mapo Tofu Fries ($88) with fries, minced pork, tofu, chili and spring onion would work but sadly I didn't really taste the Mapo Tofu and the flavors just didn't mesh together for me here.
Shrimp Roe Cigar ($138) with shrimp, shrimp roe and Thai chili sauce.
The Bao Bites Trio ($128) with Wagyu beef with XO sauce, miso cod fillet, and quail with Sichuan chili sauce arrived in cute little baskets. The creations were certainly interesting but it would have been better if the size was a little bigger so I can truly taste the ingredients.
Verdict - while prices can be a bit high for the portion, I like the idea of a Hong Kong inspired lounge which is nicely executed here and I think that the cozy environment makes Bao Bei a great place to hang out with close friends in LKF where you can reminisce on your childhood with spiked Yakult and Vitasoy!
B1/F, 75-77 Wyndham St., CentralTel: +852 2801 7779
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