What was your inspiration to start Taiwanese restaurant Mr Bao?
Dad is from Hong Kong so I grew up with these amazing flavours. From travelling around Asia I couldn’t resist the Gua Bao. I got screwed over at my last company so this was a second chance that I’m grateful for.
Why did you pick Peckham for the location?
I live here, and love it. amazing customers and other operators.
Tell us about your other restaurant ‘Daddy Bao’ and the inspiration behind it?
Dad (already mentioned him so you’re probably getting the gist) was a great inspiration to me when I was young. He retired from his restaurant last year so I decided to open Daddy Bao in his honour.
We have become a particular fan of your low-alcohol Saki. Tell us more about this choice of liquor on the menu and how do you manage to source it in Britain?
Thank you! My personal favourite is the Yuzu Sake, which is a Junmai Ginjo sake, left with Yuzu fruit (a kind of Asian lemony orange) for 6 or so months. Perfect to start or finish any meal.
I believe you also have a Bottomless Brunch Menu In Peckham. What does it entail?
Yes, we love bottomless brunch, it’s a great vibe in the restaurant. So we have our usual menu (bao buns and sharing plates) and we also have some fun twists on brunch – think Full Taiwanese Breakfast with Taiwanese sausage, or Bao Benedict with free range pork on wilted spinach and bao, topped off with egg and house pickles.
Who’s bankrolling you?
We’re fully private, no shareholders, no debt. That’s why we open slowly. I had a bad experience with our last company so wanted to take it easy this time and enjoy the ride.
We came across your wedding pictures with fellow foodie and the owner of Spanish restaurant Miss Tapas. Was it a match made in food heaven?
Yes Blanca is everything to me. We met in a restaurant (of course). We’re husband and wife, business partners, best friends. Most of the good decisions I make are because she helped me. Miss Tapas is a passion project, she (and the team) cares so much about every detail, it’s a lovely restaurant.
What do you think is on the horizon for food industry in the next 5 years?
It’s an interesting time, for sure. I think there will be more casualties as wages and cost fo product continue to increase. But there are new models for the restaurant business which are working, and people will find a way.
What’s been your biggest mistake so far?
Opening a dud site in Soho in 2011.