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How to get a table at Bao Soho

Tom Howells

It’s been open for a couple of years but – good God! – getting a table at Bao Soho is still a trial. Here are a few tips.

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Arrive early
You can’t book, and the restaurant is Lilliputian. Heading for lunch? Arrive at 11am. You’ll also have a much better chance of getting in quickly mid-afternoon. Primetime evening slots WILL mean a two-hour queue.

Take booze
There’s no newfangled ‘take a number and we’ll call you’ system here. You’re waiting on the street, like it or not. So you might as well take cans for the queue. Trampy? Yes. Time-killing godsend? Absolutely.

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Ditch your friends
Repeat: the restaurant is TINY. Go in a pair or – if you’re sensible – alone. You’ll be more likely to nab a window seat, and you can concentrate on the food rather than frivolous small talk.

Note: you can actually book at Bao Fitzrovia, which is just as good and only a 15-minute schlep up the road from the Soho branch. Minimum table size is four, and you’ll be in the basement, but this is the tactical foodie’s best way in.

Give up? Check our suggestions of tip-top spots nearby.


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