Diners spill out onto the street at Bao’s latest outpost, Bao Mary, which serves up Taiwanese cuisine with a hit of nostalgia.
Located in Marylebone, the 46-seater dumpling shop makes the most of its limited space with shelf-like tables, rows of stools and a slide-back shopfront that makes way for outdoor seating.
The St James’ space was crafted by Bao London’s in-house design team, MATHs, who looked to embody the spirit of Taiwan’s bustling dumpling eateries with a clean, almost utilitarian West End twist. The team retained the restaurant’s existing wood-panelled interior, adding parquet flooring and the square, white tiles that are found in many of Bao’s other London restaurants.
Ceiling fans whir overhead, while cafe-style tables and tubular steel stools lend the whole space a laid-back feel, emphasised by the stacks of plates, a semi-open kitchen and the fridge packed with drinks – a reference to the self-serve fridges common in Taiwan.
Bao Mary’s menu is similarly relaxed, focused on quick-serve cold dishes, including ox tongue salad and smacked chilli cucumber, as well as bao and its signature Taiwanese dumplings, available as potstickers or boiled in soup. Among the top picks are cull yaw (mutton), boiled prawn, and tasty mushroom guo tie.