The Bao: St. Marks, New York, NY
Ok so originally I wanted to go back and try the mother restaurant of Oh! Taisho which would be Yakitori Taisho. That’s the one that has the high reviews on yelp. However, the line on Saturday night was out the DOOR. So I figured I might as well make the best with an RSVP for 1 and decided to try The Bao. It had pretty good ratings on Yelp, and it’d be nice to see how it compared to Shanghai Joe’s which is my go-to for soup dumplings.
Things we tried:
- pork cutlet noodle soup
- crabmeat soup dumplings
I honestly prefer crab soup dumplings over anything else. Maybe it’s my fondness for seafood over meat, there’s just something about that flavor that makes it taste so good. As for the pork cutlet noodle soup, it was something I hadn’t had in awhile. As one of my staples of spending every Saturday of my childhood at the Taiwanese-Chinese Community Center in the A, it definitely has a little spot in my heart.
Pork Cutlet Noodle Soup
- clean tasting: the soup was definitely not as greasy as I’m used to
- good quantity for a light eater, actually too much if you get soup dumplings as well
- Nice proportion of pork to noodle
- not enough salted/pickled mustard greens: I feel like this ingredient is one of those things that you cannot have too much of in this dish.
- cutlet was not as tender: while the old lady back in Atlanta may have used massive amounts of tenderizer that can NOT be good for you, it’s so good to have the meat just rip easily in your mouth instead of having to chew it like a dog. I was already garnering a lot of attention eating by myself, and taking pictures…standing up. Last thing I wanted was to have everyone stare at me while I gnaw away at my meat.
Crabmeat Soup Dumplings
- good flavor
- was not broken when I got it
- more dry than Shanghai Joe’s: the skin was really sticky when I picked it up and I thought it may break.
- less than Shanghai Joe’s. I believe The Bao had 6 while Shanghai Joe’s had 8. WHAT.
- not enough ginger in the sauce. C’mon guys really? Don’t be stingy. I realize you’re in a more expensive neighborhood and your overhead not to mention rent may be double that of Chinatown, but you don’t upcharge the price AND the quantity.
All in all a summary:
- pork cutlet noodle soup: *** (3 stars)
- crabmeat soup dumplings: *** (3 stars) – neither here nor there truthfully.
Well there you have it. This was probably my first disappointing meal in New York city. If you wanted to check The Bao, you can find them below. Honestly, I do not recommend for large parties. For one, they don’t have a foyer or a decent waiting area. If it’s cold, put your name down and then get an estimated wait time. I still love Clinton Street Baking Company and their “we-will-text-you-use-our-ap-to-get-your-updated-wait-times” policy. Hands down the best idea ever.
13 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10003
Until next time, thank you for your readership!