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“Great Food, Quick Service”
Review of Bao

Bao
Ranked #1,449 of 122,548 Restaurants in Seoul
Price range: $7 - $13
Cuisines: Asian, Thai
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Delivery, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating
Neighborhood: Itaewon
Description: Suitable for all omnivorous, vegetarian, vegan, coeliac, and paleo diets. We provide fully customized stir-fry meals to suit any taste. Options include various noodles or rice; meats, seafood and tofu; five asian sauces; and a medley of vegetables. We also provide deep-fried appetizers and desserts, and a selection of beers, wines, and cocktails. An intimate setting in the heart of Seoul.
Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great Food, Quick Service”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

Been here a number of times, as I live in the neighborhood.

Food is always good, portion sizes are fair and prices aren't bad for Seoul.

I just wish they'd bring back lunch.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bob J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SyLorel, Owner at Bao, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
thanks for the kind words, bob!

we are hoping to bring back lunch when the office building across the street opens up. we're also hoping to build a full deck this spring, and have more live music as the weather gets warmer, so keep an eye out...

cheers!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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21 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    11
    5
    4
    1
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
Seoul, South Korea
1 review
“Lovely Place”
Reviewed December 25, 2013

I had a great evening at Bao. The place was very cozy, the staff was friendly, and I loved the Chicken Malay Flat rice, i had the icecream fire ball for dessert and it was great too. Would definitely comeback with my date. Lovely place

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Alberto J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seoul, South Korea
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Over hyped”
Reviewed December 19, 2013

My food was so-so, rather bland. Both in our party were disappointed. The potions were small and hardly any proteins in the noodles. We won't return again.

  • Visited August 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank SeoulWarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SyLorel, Owner at Bao, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
thanks for your feedback.

we regret that your experience with us was disappointing. while we feel our portion sizes are quite reasonable for the price, the word 'bland' is vexing. it could be an issue of palette; everyone's is different, and the modern diet's plethora of starchy, sugary, and processed foods can dull the tastebuds to the natural sweetness of whole foods.

whatever the case, if you are not satisfied with your dish, please tell your server, and we are more than happy to make adjustments to your satisfaction. we try not to over-sauce our dishes, as we can always add more, but can't take things out once they're in, and we like to let the natural flavours of caramelization and wok-searing shine through.

we understand if you choose not to return, but if you do reconsider, please let us know how we can improve your dish if you are not satisfied, and we will do our best. because our stir-fried meals are fully customizable, we are happy to make any adjustments necessary.

thanks again for your comments.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Not wowed.”
Reviewed September 14, 2013 via mobile

A small cafe with a simple menu and friendly enough service. My rice tasted of burnt wok and the large portion wasn't particularly generous.

Helpful?
Thank LJBabeB
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Ko Samui, Thailand
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“bland, over-priced....”
Reviewed September 13, 2013

This place is way overrated. I had -- as recommended by the waiter -- noodle with tofu stir-fry (Singapore-style) - a regular potion, which is half a plate. That wasn't enough, and it had a very small portion of veggies mixed in--perhaps 3oz. so I ordered some spring rolls. Those were small rolls of dough you might get in coach on an airline (if they served such things). Also had a 2 glasses of wine which was about 4oz for 6.50 each. bill total was 28,000 won. I left with a greasy oily taste in my mouth. The background music was other bands playing Pink Floyd covers. Avoid this place (Seriously).

Regarding pricing, this is what you pay at hipster places in New York, San Francisco, and London, and the food would better.

Location? well for people watching, some place in Itaewon (a 20 minute walk) would be much better.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ayahuasca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SyLorel, Owner at Bao, responded to this review, September 24, 2013
dear ayahuasca,

thank you for your review. we were surprised at the degree of dissatisfaction you expressed with our establishment, as we have always prided ourselves on our commitment to our customers. please allow us to address your main grievances...

'bland': you had the singapore/tofu/egg noodle. perhaps this was not the best recommendation for you, and you would have enjoyed the bolder spiciness of the thai, the robust peanut-coconut flavour of the malay, or the tangy kimchi in our korean sauce. we've found our customers often experiment with different combinations until they find the one that best suits them.

'overpriced': it was with great reluctance that we raised our prices slightly for the first time in our 2-year history this past spring. while we strive to provide affordable, healthy, fast-casual food to our clientele, our expenses (rent, food costs, staff, etc) have been steadily rising, leaving us little choice. however, a quick survey of our neighbors will show our food and drink prices to be slightly lower than the average. a regular portion meal with protein should come out to 10 oz of food which at 8,000 won would seem reasonable. our wines are measured and served at 5 oz, the standard.
if for some reason you did not get these amounts, the failure lies with us, but we can assure you it is not our intention to skimp on our customers. our spring rolls, while simple, can be quite satisfying with fresh coriander and sweet-chili sauce, and a value at 5,000 won.

'oily taste': we use only canola and soybean oil in our dishes, which are among the lightest in flavour. the oil is used sparingly at the beginning of the stir-fry dish, to prevent sticking, and to impart the savory mouth-taste that comes from partial combustion of oil at high temperatures, along with caramelization of the ingredients' natural sugars, and maillard reactions.

'pink floyd covers': the album you are referring to is 'dub side of the moon' by the easystar all-stars. a well-respected album, if not to everyone's taste.

'hipster place': puzzling conflation, but be assured we are not.

'people watching': even our people are less-watchable? perhaps because we are more of a residential neighbourhood, things have a more 'community' feel. you won't get the noise and excitement of itaewon here, but you'll have a much better chance to sit down and chat with some new people.

again, we regret your unsatisfactory experience.

regards,

bào
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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