The young couple’s dream of opening their own place was fast-tracked when they found the right space. “Bao Down is about bao, obviously. And respect for good food,” Graham says. “I have no training in Asian food: I just enjoy eating it. I wanted to cook food that I love.”
Diners are a mix of urban professionals and those after good food fast. Strangers squeeze in next to each other at bar stools under ball-shaped pendant lights. Tables suit groups better.
“We don’t want to make this a ridiculously expensive space,” Philippa says. “It should be for a quick drink and a bao at the bar. Or a longer dining experience with everything on the menu.”
We worked through most of the small menu. Tender pork belly slices in barbeque sauce, inside steamed bao buns. Delicious. Steamed celeriac fingers with charred bok choi, Brussels sprouts, edamame beans, and crisp shallots. Ditto.