Tigers – the largest species of cat in the world, fantastic beasts.
Pigs – the most pig-like species of cat in the world, delicious beasts.
Now: imagine a tiger’s mouth made of dough. STAY WITH ME. Imagine inside that doughy, cat gob is a piece of pork.
Congratulations, you’ve just imagined a tiger biting a pig. It all becomes clear. Don’t blame me, blame the Taiwanese.
There, I’ve explained the name of Birmingham’s new bao joint (Birmingham’s baoby perhaps) for you, you’re welcome.
Bao in Birmingham
A while back another bao place opened and sadly it wasn’t very good, and it made me cry. It made me cry because the bun was yellow, thin and a bit hard. They should be bright white, pillowy and make me hard.
I bloody love bao, so much so I did a bao cooking class, then went to a Chinese supermarket – bought all the stuff to make it, and promptly put all the stuff in a kitchen cupboard where it’s lived ever since.
The good news is that I don’t have to worry about making it now, as finally there is somewhere in Birmingham doing it right.
I ordered one of each bao on offer: pork, beef, duck and chicken – crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
The first out were the: chicken / ginger & spring onion / chilli oil / crispy chicken skin and the pork belly / pickled greens / coriander / peanuts. Both were excellent and gave me the exact kind of bao I like: sweetness of the bun, good meat, something crunchy and a spice or pickle to contrast with the sweetness.
The smoked duck breast / spinach / xo sauce and braised beef shin / shiitake mushrooms / cured egg yolk were also both delicious – but only dropped a point for a lack of crunch (I’m well aware this might just be me). A shoutout for the cured egg yolk which gave the beef one an incredible richness.
Delighted that I’d found somewhere doing great bao, I ordered another pint of Asahi and another pork bao before heading for the absolute fuckery of the trains at nearby New Street.
You’ll find Tiger Bites Pig at 34 Stephenson Street, B2 4BH.