Colaba lies in the deep south of Mumbai. The former poster boy area of the entire city, the last decade and a half have made it lose it's sheen. It has lost out to the hot and happening Bandra and Lower Parel areas. Sky high rents can do that to and area, along with fact that the public with disposable income seem to be moving slowly northward.
It's in exactly this area that an enterprising young chef Siddarth Somaiya has decided to open up his own food delivery service. Named The Bao Haus Co in homage to a joint the chef used to frequent in his NYC days.
The service is primarily designed as a Delivery Service, however a lot of the reviews I'm reading about the place talk about going there and eating the food on the invitation of the PR firm. I'm sorry but a delivery service is judged by very different parameters and this isn't something which should have been encouraged. In a delivery service the food sits cooked till it reaches the customer and might have changed considerably till the customer eats it.
It's exactly at this hurdle that Bao Haus Co just doesn't manage to nail. Especially in terms of its starters. In an effort to sample as many veg items from the menu, which seems to treat its vegetarian clientele as far away cousins, we ordered the Nasi Goreng Arancini balls, the Lentil Bread and the Tofu and Mushroom Bao.
The Nasi Goreng Arancini fell completely flat with no real discernable flavour. They were accompanied by a finger licking good peanut sauce though. Have the two together and you have some hope of salvaging the dish.
The Flatbread had turned completely chewy and rubbery, using it as a tool exercise ones jaw can't be ruled out. The lentil paste topping the bread held some promise however with the base ruining the dish completely.
Their signature dish however the Bao, in our case the Tofu and Mushroom Bao stood up much better through the delivery process with the bun remaining soft and the tofu not turning too chewy. Paired with a dark soy like flavor from the minced mushroom stuffing it seemed to work. However without another vegetarian option to satiate our selves we were left disappointed.
Overall The Bao House Co isn't a house I would call back at any time soon. Not at least till they figure out how to drastically improve their vegetarian menu options and figure out starters which stand up better to travelling to the customer.
Bambaiya Veggie reviews anonymously and paid for this meal.