While we haven’t actually visited ‘Enter the Bao’ yet, we chose this place because it’s an interesting concept in food. There has also been quite a bit of talk online about it and it’s gotten quite a few reviews already on YELP. All in all, ‘Enter the Bao’ has peaked our interest.
Let’s start at the very beginning. What is Bao?
About the Bao
According their website, the actual description of ‘Bao’ is as follows:
What’s a bao? Think of it as an “Asian slider,” but instead of a brioche bun or slider bun, we use a pillowy, white, warm bun called a “bao” to hold the contents. The bao itself is round, smooth, and soft. It’s steamed, not baked or fried. Baos are served warm and complement the flavors of its contents.
At “Enter The Bao,” our baos will make you go “WOW!”
Well those sound unique and delicious. Wait a minute..did we read that correctly? You’ll say ‘Wow’ about the bao? Alright folks, that’s sounded like a challenge and for those keeping score, that’s two challenges in two weeks. Our last blog segment about Legacy Hall featured ‘Unlawful Assembly” and they had a challenge as well.
Their challenge was that they could pair their beer with ANY of the food items at Legacy Hall. We would love for you to help us out here and if you go to Legacy Hall, put them to the test and tell us how it went by dropping us a line. The same things goes with the good people at ‘Enter the Bao’. Write us and let us know if you said ‘WOW at the Bao!”
Now that we know what a bao is, let’s find out a bit more about the menu.
Where “Enter the Bao” a full-service restaurant, and a server came to the table and handed you a menu with all of the dinner and lunch selections you would probably get a full size piece of paper with 5 choices on the front (Our Baos: Dim Sum 2.0, The K Pop, Seven Samurai and Buddha Bao (vegetarian).
This place is a minimalist’s dream!
The Story of Five Guy and A Food Truck That Never Came to Be
According to their website, in the ‘About Us’ section, the story of Enter the Bao goes lke this:
A long time ago, these five guys wanted to start a food truck. Then, they realized how much effort a food truck took to run, so they chose to operate a small, very event-specific catering company. That company did so well, it was super difficult for them to run catering alongside their day-jobs. So, after a long hiatus, an opportunity arose to open a food stall. Three of the guys liked the idea, one guy didn’t really care, and the other one is M.I.A. all the time. The guys thought really hard what to sell in their food stall. After long debates and tireless arguments, the guys settled on baos. Why baos? I don’t know; I was the guy who wanted to sell egg rolls. But, why not baos? Simple, delicious, and anything goes inside a bao. One word really sums it up: creativity. With a bao, our creations are endless!
Enough talk… Come by “Enter The Bao” at the Legacy Food Hall in Plano, and try all of our delicious creations!
The Reviews on Yelp.com
This one is from Pauline P. from Plano, Texas who gave it 4 stars on 12/21/17:
I came to “Enter the Bao” with the intention of trying everything on the menu. I ordered three of their baos (which is basically all of their baos EXCEPT the vegetarian one) and the K-Pop brisket fries. At $5 a bao, these babies are mad pricey. Rent at Legacy Food Hall must be steep because the famous BaoHaus in NYC sells their baos for at least $1 cheaper which is pretty significant considering the size of baos in general. Size is pretty standard, y’all – these type of baos are pretty much the same size every place you go that sells them… The food came out pretty fast, too, which is an obvious plus.
The Dim Sum 2.0 bao – the best of the three. It had the most flavor and was well-balanced – sweet but delicious. The pork belly had almost a “melt-in-your-mouth” texture. The pork belly was really delectable and marinated perfectly. Would recommend.
The K-Pop bao – this bao looked better than it tasted. The description sounds great but the execution was not my favorite. The beef kalbi was cooked well but the flavor was just off to me. I was not a fan of the gochujang sauce. The marriage of flavors from the gochujang sauce and caramelized onion with the braised beef kalbi was NOT working. Would not recommend.
Seven Samurai bao – the chicken sausage wasn’t great…neither was the hot mustard. Would not recommend.
K-Pop Brisket fries – these were bomb. The fries themselves were perfect. The kimchi aioli brought the fries to a whole new level. Loved the sauce. And the BRISKET on top was so tender and succulent.
Overall, I would recommend the K-Pop Brisket fries and the Dim Sum 2.0 bao…skip the rest of the menu.
Okay, so she gave it 4 out of 5 stars and it looks like one reasons may have been for the price. We looked the NYC ‘Enter the Bao’ Restaurant up and their prices are range from $.95-.$45 less expensive than here in Plano, so it looks like prices have risen since Pauline last visited.
The other thing we found interesting about this review is that the owners wrote back!
Here’s the response:
12/22/2017 Hi, Pauline! Thank you for visiting “Enter The Bao” at the glowing Legacy Hall in Plano! We truly appreciate the time and effort you took to review each of the baos you sampled and our extremely popular K-Pop brisket fries. I’m glad to read you enjoyed the Dim Sum 2.0 and the K-Pop brisket fries as many of our customers do. I’m sorry to read the K-Pop bao and Seven Samurai bao did not meet your expectations. I take customer feedback seriously, and I will do what I can to ensure the flavors of the K-Pop bao have the right marriage and complement each other and maybe a tweak or two on the house-made chicken sausage and mustard aioli for the Seven Samurai bao. Again, thank you for taking the time to review “Enter The Bao,” and I hope you’ll give our other baos a second-chance in the future!
EDIT: Almost forgot… thank you taking and posting pictures of the food your ordered! We love, love, LOVE it when customers share photos of what they’re eating!
This next review is from Christina, a K fries enthusiast from Frisco who gave it 5 stars on 12/19/17:
Take a bow Enter the Bao! The food was amazing. The K-pop brisket fries were the best. I have visited Legacy Food Hall 4 times since it opened. I have to get the K-pop fries every time. The furikake fries by themselves are crispy and flavorful, adding the brisket and sauce just simply isn’t fair! Had to make extra trips to the gym, but it was worth every bite!
We McCoys love it when business owners are in tuned to what patrons are saying about them, like the way Chef Roger Wang did . We also love that Pauline took time to write about her experience honestly and that she travels enough to be able tell us first-hand her experience from the New York restaurant! Keep traveling Paula! Life’s too short to stay still!
Christina has us wanting K fries for lunch!
You can read the rest of the reviews here.
Let’s Hear From You
Have you been to ‘Enter the Bao’ yet? Let us know what you thought of your experience there. We’re definitely going to make our way there as there has been a lot of buzz about this unique eatery and Christina K has us dying to try some K fries!
Do you own one of these wonderfully unique eateries in Legacy Food Hall? We’d love to talk with you, interview you and maybe even go live from your restaurant!
Remember, we have been excited about Legacy West since early in is inception and have been writing about throughout its development. We’re so excited about it and what it means to our beautiful Plano, that we’re even building a home there!
Now, once a week, we’re covering a different eatery in Legacy Hall and writing about it. You could say we’re discovering Legacy Hall ‘one bite at a time’.
Next week, we explore, Knife Burger.
Getting Around Legacy West
Below is our Live Legacy West Map to help you find your favorite spot in Legacy West.