The Rye Lane opening signals the first London venture for founders Frank Yeung and Nick Birkett.
The menu includes 24-hour slow-braised Pork Belly, Fresh Roasted Peanuts with sticky homemade Hoisin Sauce in a bao bun, as well as homemade Chive and Prawn Dumplings, Millionaire’s Bacon Ribs, and Bao S’Mores with Marshmallow and Honeycomb Ice Cream.
Drinks on sale at the restaurant include aged teas flown in from Taiwan and a variety of cocktails.
Inspiration for the interior of the restaurant comes from Asian coastal docks, with bashed copper and solid industrial steel furniture combining with the building’s original architectural features. The highlight of the design is a 75-year-old wall map of the Asian coastline.
Yeung and Birkett said: “We’ve loved bao buns since we first tasted them in the Far East. We chose Peckham because we believe in the spirit of the area. The Rye Lane site we have selected for Mr. Bao has been empty for over a year. The entire east side of Rye Lane needs love; many of the buildings are fire damaged and empty. Keep an eye out, we are going to breathe life into that area and you’re going to see significant change.
“We’re working hard to support local Peckham businesses. Our butcher, builder, timber supplier, glass supplier, sign makers, and artists are all from Peckham. That said, Chef John has been out in Taipei sourcing ingredients that are not available in Peckham.”