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Banh Bao Brothers

Restaurants, Vietnamese Waterloo
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(43user reviews)
Banh Bao Brothers

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A Vietnamese street food restaurant in Waterloo.

If there were ever a restaurant with its eyes on the Insta potential of its decor, it’s this Vietnamese eatery. Set in one of the railway arches in Waterloo’s graffiti-slathered Leake St tunnel, you step in past a neon sign of Asian script. Two ten-foot-tall fake cherry blossom trees brush their plastic fronds against towering brick walls. Sheets of metal are broken up with projections of a verdant green bamboo forest. On my midweek visit, two hipster-ish pals sat tilting their beanie-clad heads upwards to gaze at shimmering pink foliage projected onto the ceiling and announced ‘This. Is. SO. Cool.’

The menu’s a mix of small bites and large dishes, which most diners were blending into a multi-course meal. The titular baos they serve are closed Cantonese style buns rather than the Taiwanese sandwich-style hirata bun beloved of Yum Bun and Bao customers. But an OG pork bun was somewhat underseasoned. A rack of pork ribs melted tenderly from the bone, but was pointlessly served with a bowl of sauce identical to the glaze – as though the chef had cooked extra and hated to see it wasted. And grilled aubergine, though punchily flavoured with red chilli, fish sauce and peanuts, was undercooked to the point of toughness in parts. A perfectly nice place to eat, but the food simply isn’t the forte. You go so you can point your phone up at the fake plastic trees and get that perfect pic for the ‘Gram.


Address: 20 Leake Street, Unit 6
Banh Bao Brothers
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £85.
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Users say (43)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:35
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:1
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A really great concept loved all the Vietnamese tapas we had. The staff was really nice and the whole place gave off a good vibe. 

A cool new place doing a Vietnamese taps style and great cocktails. Surprising and quite daring, not been to any Vietnamese spots dishing up these kind of dishes or even looking like this place. Had some interesting and definitely tasty betel beef and cheese spring rolls that stuck out. Best Asian food I have tried in a While. Will come back for sure.

Thoroughly enjoyed each of the dishes we had - Chicken wings and mini broths were outstanding, The Vietnamese pudding that looked like a creme Brule was superb. There were details even down to the teacups that we loved. We will definitely come back.

Really instagrammable place, literally 2 massive trees inside! food was really delicious and our server was very funny and added nice banter to our night. 

We ordered a ton of the small bites and it felt like we were having Vietnamese style dim sum! All were tasty and generously sized. 

We were really impressed with this restaurant, its beautiful but also has a ruggedness about it that matches the urban location.  Food and service were flawless. We ended up ordering more food which actually was too much in the end but loved it all.

Our waiter was really charming and funny, I think he may have been an owner. Thanks for a great night.

A lovely restaurant with great food. The place has an interesting venue decor, literally had some big trees inside which actually when pretty well against the bricks. Got to try the bao burger thing, really tasty.

We were so happy we stumbled across this venue It’s such a wonderful setting.Had a great lunch and really enjoyed my stir-fried chow chow.  The food was wonderful, service was friendly and was quick as well. Would definitely go back to this place. Try next time without the kids

What a fabulous find. It looked closed from the outside, but someone came up to us when we looked through so we came in. wow! What an Interesting “concept. They had a large small plates menu which was like tapas style but Vietnamese and all quite large actually.

They also had combos for lunch which were pretty good value. We ended up ordering a bit too much as were full.

Was a bit quiet inside for lunch but its probably because it is still a hidden gem.

Finding a cool and excellent place to eat in London is never easy. Too pretentious, too expensive, etc… This evening we’ve found a hidden gem with banh bao. We would like to tell everyone how delicious the food is and how friendly the staff are. On the other hand we would also like this restaurant to be our best kept food secret so that it can keep it’s high standard quality ... Recommended: Rays special sticky wings !

Came in a large group and we all throughly enjoyed ourselves. Really interesting dishes all scrumptious and helpful staff.

Is not what we expected going to a Vietnamese restaurant but is my new go to when i have an asian food craving :P 

I visiting the tunnel for the art and came here. The place is very cool inside, I really liked the Monkey King art. The food was very nice and delicious. not had wings like these, my favourite now, i recommend

This place is a pretty cool Vietnamese restaurant. The decor is really nice, the food was delicious and inexpensive.

If you like Asian food this place is perfect. They also have a good selection of cocktails the jade dragon one is perfect for anyone who wants to up their instaram game

Was a cool place, a little bit quiet but was a Tuesday evening so can't complain. If you use Instagram this is perfect for you, sat in a brick archway with 2 large sakura trees inside. 

The food tasted great, i would have liked it if it came with a plate of herbs with my noodles though which normally comes at other places so i didn't request it. 

The starters were not what you normally get at a Vietnamese restaurant but i would come back for these alone. 

Will be back, maybe could put the volume up a bit, will try a busier evening next time see how it is. 

Dope venue with some sick cocktails. The area is a very cool spot with loads of graffiti.

I didn't feel like it was authenticly Vietnamese but that's why I really liked this place. They are trying to keep things fresh and I like what they doing with the food and mostly enjoyed the small plates. 

Was a bit empty when we went but the vibe was still good. 

Food was delicious and really good value. Really cool location and the decor is super cool. The staff were friendly and served us fast and efficiently. 100% recommend! 

I liked the music playlist to think was Japanese though.

A wonderful night at a beautiful venue with great food. The staff were very nice and made my friends birthday a perfect night. 

Prices were pretty decent, will be back to try more

We came on Saturday when it was very busy without a booking and luckily the staff managed to squeeze us in. 

The food was a bit slow coming out but the waiter that served us was really friendly so time flew past and we filled it with some really nice cocktails.

The food wasn't what we expected but It was still really good and I would return to try more of the dishes they have to offer. The Bao's were as good as they say but it would be good if there were more options available. 

I was in town and needed to find a place to eat before getting on a train at Waterloo station and realised this restaurant I been meaning to go to was nearby so I went for it. 

I should have come sooner, the food was great and really good value and the place looked smashing. I was on my own so just had the spicy noodles and the pork spring rolls and both were on point. 

Service was pretty swift but needed to ask a couple of times for a spoon but other than that was fine. 

Will be back with the wife and will most certainly try some of those mad looking cocktails and bao. 

We came for a birthday of 10 and the staff were very accommodating and made our night extra special. A few people on our table had some dietary requirements and they had prepared some recommendations in advance which was a nice.

The food was delicious and would definitely come back to try more. The cocktails were also tasty and the manager even put together a special concoction on our request.

Been here like 3 times now and the food is consistently good. The design of restaurant is pretty interesting too.

I'd say there is sometimes a bit of a wait but food is worth it. Last time we also had drinks and the Jade dragon drink is really something special and recommends you try.

The restaurant itself is something to check out, a very unique space that fits nicely in the tunnel. We were initially taking pictures in front but ended up eating inside.

The staff were super friendly and helped us with choosing a good selection of food which was a gluten-free pork noodle for me, the veggie bao for my niece and veg croquettes to share. The food was delicious but felt we should have ordered 1 more dish.

I saw this place a couple times as I walked through the tunnel but even though it looked very cool I hesitated to enter as it looks a bit expensive with a arty high end vibe. 

One of the staff caught me off guard as I was checking it out again and got me to look at the menu. I was pleasantly surprised to see the prices weren't too high so went in for Lunch.

I ended up getting the Veggie stir fried chow chow and I really enjoyed it. I also got an OG bao to takeaway and that was really tasty too. 

I have booked to come in next week with my friend for dinner and really excited, hopefully wont disappoint :)

This has been all over my timelines and a lot of my friends talking about it on instagram so since i was in town I thought id give it a try!

I am Vietnamese and was a bit sceptical when I walked in and didn’t see any Vietnamese people on the floor.

Once I took a single bite out of the OG bao I was sold and can tell you I was hoping it was as good as my Grandmas Banh bao, but I dare say its better!

We also had the Veggie croquettes which I still want more of, the spring rolls were as perfect as they could be and the spicy beef noodles was one of the best I've had. One thing though is I would have preferred to have the veggies to add to the soup on the side.

The place itself is pretty special, the decor isn't anything you'd find at a Vietnamese restaurant and is situated in a cool tunnel filled with constantly changing graffiti.

An overall great experience and will be back to try more next time I am down!

We had stumbled upon this restaurant while we visited the graffiti tunnel and there was a wonderful transition as we entered the restaurant which kept part of the artistic vibe from outside but taming it enough inside the restaurant so the atmosphere wasn't too overbearing.

The food was delicious, we had the vegetarian tasting menu and it was a good balanced range of dishes at a decent price with a drink each. The food was more than enough to fill us up. My favorite dish was probably the purple broth with looked cool ( literally purple) and tasted very nice. Felt some dishes could have come a bit quicker but staff were attentive enough so it was fine.

The staff were very friendly but our waitress had to go back and forth when we had questions about the food but this was not an issue. I think they have only recently opened so I'm sure the staff will get better over time

I was here last month and It was good, I thought it was slightly pricey but what got me back was the wings.

I came this time with some friends for beers and wings but we ended up trying a few different things. 

Firstly the guys have dropped their prices which was nice and kept the quality so we tried more dishes and I pretty much enjoyed every dish. It was also good they had a draft this time around which meant we drank more.

We had to ask a few times for the menu but then again they let us come in when it was busy without a booking but after that service was pretty swift.

They should also sort out the wifi because there is no reception inside.

I was recommended by a friend about this place and actually it was a kind of a warning recommendation. She told me that I might be disappointed cuz I'm Vietnamese, but tbh, I loved it! The menu is not what I expected it to be, it's interesting that they also have dishes that are not normally available in vietnamese restaurants in London like grilled okra with tofu dip, spicey beef noodle soup, purple pork broth. I tried the banh bao which is what they're famous for and it's surprisingly good, it's different from the banh baos I've had, and I went with the Canh Khoai (purple pork broth) which is my fav soup when I was a child), eaten with rice, hoo it's just delicious and brings back a lot of memories. I now get why a lot of people don't think it's authentic vietnamese, it's because they don't really know much about vietnamese cuisine other than Pho, spring rolls and banh mi. I also love how they combine the old and the modern together in both foods and atmosphere. You've got a new supporter guys!

Even though the place is new to the area but wow I'm totally impressed. This might be not the best Vietnamese restaurant I've tried, but definitely the one offering the most interesting Vietnamese flavors, you can easily see how much care they put on all the dishes. 9/10 and I'm sure be back!

After reading a piece on the secret London page I had been raving about how good this restaurant appeared and how much I was keen to try the food. Following this my friend decided to organise a trip to London (as neither of us live in London) and encouraged me to book a table as this would be one of the main focuses of our trip. Unfortunately we had to cancel our original booking as we were delayed, but instead visited later in the day.

On first impressions we were very impressed, the location and decor were really cool and the first member of staff to greet us was very welcoming. Following this though unfortunately I have nothing more positive to add. The next person to serve us, well, if I was to say he was disinterested that would be an understatement. My friend is a pescatarian, and when looking at the menu I assured him that your restaurant catered for him. This was soon to become a challenge when we came to order, and the precident would be set from the point of ordering our drinks. We were told several of the drinks we would like to order were out of stock, then when it came to the food nearly all of the options available to my friend were also out of stock. My friend was then left with only one option, and when he asked what exactly was in the dish, the member of staff looked at him in disgust that he had dared to ask. The member of staff was clearly unable to answer the question so resorted to, what I can only describe as being rudley dismissive, where he began sighing at us and talking under his breath. When my friend asked again what exactly was in the dish the member of staff became impatient and began to raise his voice saying he would try to find out.

At this point my friend could see that I was becoming upset due to my level of disappointment, and the embarrassment about how we were being treated, so suggest we leave, which we did.

At no point was there an apology from the staff that we were leaving, in fact they appeared appreciative. To say this was not what I expected after reading the article would be an understatement

Following my trip I decided to offer the restaurant a chance to try and change this awful first impression and emailed them directly. The response I got, although quick, was disappointing, they offered a discount if I was to give them another chance. I do not feel that this was a proportionate considering that I had already stated we did not live in London and the level of poor service we received. I emailed the restaurant back reiterating the above, but received no response.

The whole experience has been extremely disappointing, especially as I am sure this restaurant is capable of much better.

Service is slow and requires prompting for everything. We booked our table in advance with a note to let them know that one of us is vegan as online the menu says that everything marked with a V is vegan although the jackfruit salad has fish sauce in it(!?). I emailed them a week before to let them know the mistake with the jackfruit salad a week before but I received no reply. The menus were the same as online with a random V on various dishes clearly stating that they are vegan. I asked the manager that night (and possibly the owner) about the V on the menu - he had no concept of what vegan was and so went to check with the chef. This seems mad for a new, modern and fairly trendy restaurant aimed primarily at young people. If you’re in the food business you need to understand dietary requirements. The manager read me a list of vegan items confirmed by the kitchen, basic things like the vegetable noodle soup and vegetable spring rolls weren’t vegan. I ordered a ‘vegan’ purple veggie broth and reiterated when ordering that I wanted it vegan when the waiter asked for allergies. Whilst eating, the flavour seemed like beef or fish broth, on my second mouthful I find a large pork ball in my soup. Bearing in mind I‘d notified the restaurant I was vegan before booking, the menu said the incorrect items were vegan, I’d told the manager face to face I was vegan, the chef knew I was vegan and the waiter who took our order had been told twice I was vegan, I still ended up with meat in my food! The restaurant didn’t seem to grasp how outrageous this was - the manager took the pork ball away and expected me to finish the dish! He then offered me a fresh one but by this point I had no faith in their kitchen staff whatsoever. Imagine if this had been in relation to an allergy, someone could have been seriously ill as a result of their shambolic, misguided menu and kitchen. I tried to explain how horrible this was to feed a vegan meat in a dish but the man was not receptive at all and offered me the soup for free which I felt wasn’t good enough. At this point the entire meal was ruined. The man has no concept of customer service let alone creating a menu and so we offered to pay for the drinks only and leave. On leaving and handing over the money for the drinks the manager refused and demanded more money - at this point it got very awkward so we left. As an aside, they also serve plastic straws with their cocktail menu....get with the times Banh Bao Brothers! You’re new to the market but so far behind. If you’re a meat eater with no allergies you’ll get a lovely meal here with slow service. But anyone with an allergy, food intolerance or specific dietary requirements should avoid this place - the manager and kitchen can not be trusted - they are going to get someone in serious trouble with the way they handle and label food.

This place is fantastic! It smells amazing as soon as you walk in the door and the food totally lives up to the hype. The summer rolls were so fresh and delicious, perfect in this hot weather. Keen to go back and try the pho in the winter. This is a great oasis in the middle of London, quiet and cool in the Leak st tunnels, great atmosphere and the staff were fantastic! So friendly and chatty, we had a great time. Highly recommend. 

These guys were brilliant.

We could see they were under staffed but they put a lot of effort to give everyone a great service which we got.

We saw this online from a video from

Secret london so couldnt wait to get here.

I loved the concept and the everything about the restaurant.

We had the taster menu and it was amazing, maybe even too much food. The value was also good, for 65 we had 2 house mixers , and 7 course meal. This came with , their delicious OG bao , lotus root crisps, chicken wings I already want again, summer rolls, pork and courgette broth, Claypot salmon and Grilled aubergine.

We also Tried some cocktails whcih were great and the jade dragon kiss was amazing.

I give these guys a lot of credit as they are trying something new and genuine and for someone who has been to a lot of places in Vietnam i can tell you the flavours are authentic.

Good luck guys you will be seeing me again soon!

I got so excited when I knew there was a new Vietnamese restaurant opened in London, and I was so satisfied with everything Banh Bao Brothers has to offer. Go and try their OG Bao, it's bomb! and don't forget to order a signature Jade Dragon Kiss cocktail! Will be back and try out some more dishes on their menu!

If you're craving for some delicious and authentic asian/vienamese foods combined with western vibes, then BB Brothers is a perfect fusion you've been looking for. I'm absolutely impressed with the atmosphere and the decoration when I first came, tbh I didn't expect too much about the foods but then I was completely blown away. Not to mention the drink, they make the best cocktails ever! Go there and try yourself, you won't be disappointed!

If you are a cool dude wanting to be seen, this is the place to be! Its got a great back drop and its picture worthy with street art surrounding you. The food itself is good but is small portions. It's pricey too but every now and then they have an offer. We went when they were offering you to roll a dice. You could win a soft drink, cocktail or a starter. A bit of a gimmick but enjoyable. 

This is a relatively new place but its grounded and I will definitely return if I want a vietnamese fix with a twist :) 

The chicken sharer is delish! 

The food was delicious, the staff were very helpful, and the whole place had a great vibe (excellent playlist!) Will definitely be going back very soon! Excited to see how the place develops over the next few months.

This is not only my new favourite Vietnamese restaurant but also my favourite spot in London! I can see the potential of it being even better and after speaking to one of the owners i am pretty excited to see how it looks in a month and what new food will be available. The food I had already is delicious, the space looks pretty unique and cool and the staff were all very friendly and gave off a very homely vibe whilst providing a high-end service, Keep it up, guys! 

I came here the other day.. A new spot in london and I just had to know if it was going to be my new number one spot. Sadly it won't be. A tried and array of cocktails that night (all under £10) and Found that unless they were made by one specific bartender they came underwhelming and bland... Which ideally isn't great as that guy may not be working every day I wish to visit!!

The food was also sadly overpriced for the quality and flavours produced. The only thing I ate which was delicious were the chicken wings!! My goodness how did they do it!! Such flavour and balance Im still in awe.. A shame they couldn't execute that level of finesse into the other dishes :(

I dont think I would go back frankly but if I happened to walk by and saw that same bartender I would 100% want him to make me another drink.

First time here a few days ago. Great food and vibe. Awesome customer service. I’ll be back 👍

I thoroughly enjoyed myself, vibe was perfect. Loved the space and the food was delish. It was kinda cool to go out for vietnamese and try something other than pho!

Will be back, i want to try one of those interesting looking cocktails.

Great vibe as soon as you step into the restaurant - very cool setup with a great music playlist. I was part of a group of 12 and service was perfect - very attentive without being overbearing and genuinely friendly. Cocktails were awesome, the Jade Dragon Kiss is just wow! Obviously the star of the show is the food here...the OG bao is a game changer (not the same as the open Taiwanese style bao you see everywhere these days), also not to be missed are the chicken wings and grilled okra. I’m not a vegetarian but I went for a vegetarian noodle soup and it was SO SO tasty, the best bit was the ‘fried donut’ pieces that it came with to dunk into the soup....DELICIOUS!! I will definitely be coming back to try everything on the menu.

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