Food: A bao-tiful affair in South Mumbai

The Bao Haus Co is a venture by Chef and Owner Siddharth Somaiya primarily serving Baos and Asian cuisine in South Mumbai. The delivery service of delicious gourmet cuisine starts on Wednesday

Close on the heels of a new restaurant in the western suburbs that's drawing rave reviews for its baos, SoBo's discerning foodies can rejoice too, as, starting tomorrow, they can indulge in baos that will be delivered to their doorstep, courtesy The Bao Haus Co.

We walked into their central kitchen, located in Colaba where six-seven employees were busy whipping up various Baos for us to sample. One of the members who had donned the chef's hat was owner Siddharth Somaiya. Having finished his culinary schooling from New York and working at restaurants in Manhattan. Somaiya returned to India to start his venture, inspired by New York's Baohaus. 

The Chocolate Bao
The Chocolate Bao

"We looked at our options in terms of boxed food in Mumbai, and realised it wasn't good-quality food. We were keen to change this," shares Somaiya. "In New York, we would visit Baohaus (small eatery serving street food) often as students. These places always had long queues. In Hong Kong too, the Bao is popular. So, we have added our own twist by experimenting with flavours from across the globe," he informs.

The Sous Vide Goat Bao
The Sous Vide Goat Bao

Bao and behold
The menu includes 17 dishes. We began our culinary adventure with the Watermelon Hibiscus Soda (Rs 80), which was a refreshing mix of watermelon, hibiscus tea and soda. The Prawn Crackers (Rs 180), unlike those available in the market, were mildly flavoured and crunchy. The Hickory Smoked Wings (Rs 250) was streets ahead than options served at most fast food outlets. Its slightly tangy flavour mixed with the in-house mayonnaise was perfectly balanced. The Nasi Goreng Arancini (Rs 200) is a vegetarian option that was stuffed with flavourful Asian sticky rice, peanut sauce and fried on the outside. This was different in a good way. The Sous Vide Goat Bao (Rs 350) won our heart. It came with pickled pair and a hot sauce. Bahn Mi (Rs 300) made of chicken pate, Char Siu Pork, pickled watermelon rind and jalapeno has an unusual flavour. Somaiya informed us that the watermelon is used in the Watermelon Hibiscus Soda and hence instead of wasting the rind it is added here to give an additional flavour.

The Prawn  Cracker with Sriracha hot sauce and Hickory Smoked  Wings
The Prawn Cracker with Sriracha hot sauce and Hickory Smoked  Wings. Pics/Tushar Satam

When we were almost ready to roll out of the door, the Chocolate Bao (Rs 300) was placed in front of us and we just couldn't resist it. Stuffed with Banana, marshmallow and hazelnut, this sweet bao is an interesting option. (You get two baos in each order). Vegetarians can try the Tofu Mushroom Bao (Rs 200) and the Lentil Flatbread (Rs 200) It's hot All their breads, sauces, fries and marshmallows are made in house, with the Sriracha (hot sauce) being their specialty. Do not miss this, as it is one of the highlights of a bao meal. "The key philosophy behind this is to have everything made and served fresh," informs Somaiya as we tuck into the juicy Belgian Pork Belly Burger (Rs 300). "We have a small menu because we make everything from scratch and have a two-day policy. If in two days the food is not utilised, it is disposed," he adds.

Also read: Popular takeaway and delivery eateries in Mumbai

Pack it all in
The packaging is designed such that the food isn't displaced within the container. The container for baos has sections where each bao is placed so that the contents don't get mixed inside the container. The insulated containers are made from 400 GFM EcoStar paper to ensure that the food remains hot. Each dish is served with a portion of hot sauce.

The Bao Haus Co has partnered with Grab for their deliveries and will be delivering in South Mumbai, from Colaba to Girgaum Chowpatty. "We don't wish to deliver beyond South Mumbai for the moment because we need to find another kitchen in a different suburb as only this approach can ensure the food stays hot and fresh," concludes Somaiya

Time: 12 pm to 3 pm and 5 pm to 11 pm
Call: 9222264287, 22043446 (Orders can also be placed on Zomato Foodpanda and Scootsy)
This was a preview and hence not anonymous.

What is a Bao?

The Bao is a type of steamed, filled, bun or bread-like item, which is a part of Chinese cuisine. There is a variety of vegetarian, non-vegetarian, savoury and sweet fillings that can be prepared for a Bao.

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