It’s one pm on a Saturday afternoon and we are seated on a lime green couch in the central kitchen of The Bao Haus Co, watching chef and owner Siddharth Somaiya juggle three different phones. While on one phone he explains vegetarian options to a customer (the tofu and mushroom bao), on another he explains what a bao is, describing it as similar to a pita pocket stuffed with a range of fillings. Simultaneously, he’s monitoring his kitchen while fielding what seem to be ten orders every minute.
At the outset, we’re somewhat surprised that The Bao Haus Co is in such demand; after all, it only opened a week ago and wouldn’t have gathered a loyal customer base just yet. Then we catch ourselves and realise that customers are seeing The Bao Haus Co as an answer to something that we as South Bombay dwellers can empathise with; food delivery ennui. For a long time we’ve had to be satisfied with the regular Chinese delivery that would reach us only once the noodles were too cold or the wontons were horribly soggy.
The Bao Haus Co, then is a refreshing change for many South Bombay residents, not just in terms of the new, exciting baos it sends out, but also the quality of food that the customers can be sure of receiving. Somaiya explains that quality and freshness of ingredients is a major motivating factor, having realised that many delivery services in the area sacrifice somewhat on quality when delivering. Subsequently, The Bao Haus Co delivers only from Colaba up to Chowpatty, so that they can be sure that the baos stay warm and fresh.
As we sip on a tangy kaffir and ginger soda and look at the extensive range of cookery books in his office, Somaiya confides that his love for baos comes from his student days in New York, spent eating from the similarly named ‘Baohaus’. Delving into the history behind the name, he tells us that it comes from the German ‘Bauhaus’ movement, which marked a change in traditional architecture. In keeping with the modern and novel theme, Somaiya has chosen to experiment with the bao stuffings and to use a variety of ingredients and techniques.
Tasting The Talk
As we came to understand the concepts behind The Bao Haus Co, we got more and more excited about chowing down some fat baos. We started, however, with tasting the Hickory Smoked Chicken Wings. While The Bao Haus Co’s chief focus is the baos, the wings showed us that this focus does not lead to compromises on the taste of other items on the menu; they were juicy and coated with a wonderfully rich and sticky sauce and subtle hickory flavour. Served with a side of garlicky yogurt, they were the perfect warm- up to the rest of our meal.
Sous Vide Goat Bao
We then moved on to the Sous Vide Goat Bao, which shows a careful attention to technique – goat meat is cooked in airtight bags in a water bath – that gives the goat a soft yielding texture. Mixed with pickled pears and an in-house sriracha sauce (all sauces at The Bao Haus Co are made fresh), the bao was a delicious balance between sweet and spice.
Coconut Shrimp Bao
Coming up next was the Coconut Shrimp Bao, which was our favourite dish, made up of tender shrimps, glazed with tamarind sauce and topped with a creamy spoonful of spicy mayonnaise.
Belgian Pork Belly Burger
We broke up the bao parade with the Belgian pork belly burger, for which Somaiya tells us pork is imported from Belgium. One bite into the brioche bread and our taste buds were treated to the taste and texture of an intensely moist, juicy patty that crumbled on our tongues, along with a healthy amount of sriracha flavoured cheddar cheese; a unique way to infuse Asian flavours into a burger.
Finally, a near black pair of baos was set down in front of us. No, it’s not some spin on the black burger fad; it’s a dessert bao, otherwise known as the chocolate bao! The chocolate flavoured bao is wrapped around a serving of fresh bananas and topped with gooey marshmallows and crunchy walnuts; a dessert win if we ever did see one.
In fact, the whole meal was a win – indulge us while we delve into some bao puns at this point; “Baos for the win” and “(Chocolate) Bao is the new black” and “The Bao is Back.”
Now we’ve got that off our chests, we can tell you in simpler terms that you must order a couple of baos from The Bao Haus Co. Let’s leave you with some quick facts; you can order from The Bao Haus Co on Zomato, FoodPanda, or through their phone numbers (check out the info box below). Baos come in pairs of two, with one portion being enough to satisfy one person. They are moderately priced, (considering the fact that baos are considered specialty items), with one serving of baos costing between Rs.200- Rs.350. As always, don’t take our word for it; try out The Bao Haus Co yourself and we’re quite sure you’ll agree with us. Happy eating!
[schema type=”organization” orgtype=”Organization” name=”The Bao House Co ” description=”Delicious, freshly made baos delivered straight to your home! ” street=”10, Om Moreshwar Sadan, 27 Rajwadkar Street, Colaba Market, Colaba” pobox=”0″ city=”Mumbai” state=”Maharashtra” postalcode=”0″ country=”IN” phone=”+91 9222264287″ ]