I’ve not met a food type that isn’t better between two slices of bread. Chicken: obviously. Beef and mustard: without question. Roast potatoes? Yep, preferably with leftover gravy. I’ve been known to sandwich peas when there’s only too few fishfingers for a reasonable hangover cure (always salad cream with fishfingers, of course). While our eighteenth century eponymous Earl of Sandwich may have sent his name around the world so everyone can enjoy wrapping stuff in leavened bread, the Chinese have been similarly filling bao – steamed buns – for a couple of thousand years prior so I feel they somewhat beat him to it.
Which brings me to Tiger Bites Pig, a small unassuming bao restaurant that opened a couple of months ago on Stephenson Street in a unit previously housing ’40 23 Mediterranean’. In this bar stools venue they’re steaming their buns six days a week and filling them with flavours delicious and fresh. Carnivore, veggie, or vegan there’s something for each of you, and despite its high craftmanship it’s a relatively cheap dinner – a drink and a couple of Bao (£4.50 – £5.50) will cost you less than £15, or a delicious looking rice bowl will cost you just £8.
Are you familiar with bao? They’re kinda fluffy cloud-like steamed round flat dumplings which are every-so-slightly sweet. At Tiger Bites Pig you’ll find them folded and stuffed with a range of fillings. We ate two bao each and a side of spicy kimchi which amounted to a generous lunch. My personal favourite was the braised beef shin with cured gelatinous egg yolk which offered heady umami punch with the rich beef shin.
We also loved the white cut chicken bao, with ginger and spring onion, sichuan chilli oil, and the most amazing crispy sesame chicken skin crisp. On our return trip our veggie friend enjoyed the Salt & Pepper Tofu bao, and we tried the delicious smoky duck breast bao. All delicious!
Give this super independent a go for lunch or dinner soon.