Review: Bao + Bar, Moscow
17 November, 2016
Review: Bao + Bar, Moscow
This autumn, Bao + Bar opened on Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya Street in Moscow. Serving up what it describes on its Facebook page as “Asian street food”, I had to give it a try, and so last month a classmate of mine joined me for a bite to eat. Now, some Asian food is still finding its feet in the Russian capital. Sushi is everywhere (and is even a staple in many pizza restaurants which never ceases to baffle me), and noodle bars are slowly staking their claim in yet another world capital. But restaurants serving Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisine are the ones you still have to search for, especially if you want something a bit less à la russe and a bit more authentic, whilst still being on budget. Don’t even get me started on Indian food and the lack thereof in Russia (but I have of course located a few curry houses that I will be visiting soon!).
Bao + Bar seemed to be fun, interesting, and very much in the vein of modern pan-Asian eateries in London and other western capitals: it turned out to be all of these things. Created by the founders of Beer Happens, a trendy Moscow gastropub that would nestle quite happily amongst the bars and craft breweries of Shoreditch, Bao + Bar serves a small but adequate menu, consisting of Taiwanese steamed bao and Japanese ramen. The bao – steamed circles of dough folded around a filling consisting normally of meat and a garnish – are small but filling, packing a punch of flavour whilst also being relatively kind to your purse if you want to pick a few to try. We had some classic barbeque pork, as well as another that had the most amazing peanut sauce. The ramen, although not being the best I’ve ever had (though any Londoner is spoilt for choice so I’ve got a definite bias), was delicious. The eggs on top were perfect, the noodles soft, the portion sizeable (though maybe it could have done with a few more slices of meat) and the soup was just what I needed on a cold autumn day.
Now, useless restaurant reviewer that I am, I forgot to take a photo of possibly the most crucial part of the meal… dessert. There were two sweet baos on the menu when we dined at Bao + Bar: one with salted caramel ice cream, and the other with matcha ice cream. Needless to say, both were delicious – sweet as heck but so soft, with the cold ice cream oozing between the warm dough…
I think it is therefore safe to say I would recommend Bao + Bar. For those of you that are connoisseurs in the worlds of bao and ramen, perhaps prepare to see them presented a little differently. But if you like tasty food and also like an interesting bar menu (I myself don’t really drink so forewent the Bar part of the restaurant’s name), beautiful interior decoration and friendly staff, then head over soon or check out their Facebook page for more information.
Bao + Bar is located at 32c1 Sadovaya-Kudrinskaya (Садовая-Кудринская 32с1), Metro Mayakovskaya (Маяковская)
Ellie, currently studying Russian at Liden & Denz Moscow