We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fantastic! Must do!”
Review of Xiao Bao Biscuit

Xiao Bao Biscuit
Ranked #116 of 940 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Asian, Cambodian, Chinese
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed August 2, 2014

Xiao Bao biscuit. If you don't know where it is, find it! if you can't find it, ask someone!
Friends of ours recommended we give it a try. They dine here often and love it.
We drove by a couple of times until we realized the abandoned looking old garage is actually the restaurant! Very low key and unassuming from the outside. We parked out front (one of about 6 parking spots on property). We were a bit leery about XBB based on the exterior. DO NOT judge this book by its cover. The old "pump area" of the converted gas station was repurposed as outside dining area. There were some plantings that acted as a "wall" between the outside dining and the street traffic. We were greeted at the door and seated immediately (6:00pm on a Friday night). There were not a lot of customers (scary), but not to worry. we were waited on by "LATOYA". She was fantastic! Very knowledgable of the menu as well as the beverage menu. Very attentive without being overwhelming. Bartender "JOHN H." was also awesome. The entire staff worked in harmony with each other shuttling drinks, plates and taking time with each customer.
The interior decor was that of an abandoned warehouse that a couple "foodies" held a secret dinner in. Bar was very antique looking. It was a funky/cool look. Nothing fancy by any means...but it works! There were a mish-mash of barstool seats, they had some "tall-boy" tables and some low tables with bench seating. My wife and I were seated at a corner low table.
I guess i need to speak about the food...
We ordered off of the "share" menu...tapas.
We started with JIAO ZI-Chao Shou style pork wontons in a spicy chili sauce...fantastic, just the right amount of heat and the flavor was spot on.
Next came the SAMUN PHRAI- Herbal Thai sausage with roasted veggies in a yam, coconut, chili sauce with basil...i loved the heat of the spice, my wife found it a bit too hot for her. But we both loved it!
Then we had the OKONOMIYAKI- cabbage pancake. We ordered it with the "pork candy"...OMG, wonderful! So many flavors and textures going on in this simple yet complex offering.
We could not stop eating it was SO good.
So, we didn't stop! LOL we ordered the GONG BAO XIA- Head on local shrimp (Love the fact they are using local ingredients) stir fried with green beans, peanuts and toasted chili. The stir fry sauce was phenomenal. The whole dish again was amazing.
We were still craving more! Not that the "share" items were lacking portion wise, but that the food was just so fantastic. So we ordered another Okonomiyaki!!
**Some of the dishes had some good "heat" to them, however, when we ordered the Gong Bao Xia after the spicy dishes, it somehow put the "fire" out.
I love the spicy dishes...not the "burn your face off" type of spice, but heat with flavor!
We each had two beers. I had the Howling Wolf Hefeweisen which paired well with the meal.
My wife had the Summer Solstice. She said it was good, but a "lighter beer would have been better".
We opted to share an after dinner beverage. We chose the PASSPORT. Served "Manhattan style" with Ramazzotti Amaro, chocolate bitters and bourbon served with a twist of orange peel. Nice finish to a great meal.
As we were finishing up our dining experience, we noticed a lady going from table to table speaking with diners. Turns out, she was one of the owners (Duolan Li). She came to us as we were on our way out to check on our experience and we could not help but gush over what XBB puts out for an overall dining experience. Duolan informed us that her restaurant is owner/chef operated and tonights chef was owner "JOSH".
Not fancy high end snobby joint, but a very homey relaxed family atmosphere.
We cannot wait to bring our friends here.
Well done XBB and staff!
BTW, this is the longest winded review I have done, but every word was worth the praises of XBB.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank kpit70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (266)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

206 - 210 of 266 reviews

Reviewed July 8, 2014

This place is casual, but don't let it fool you. Some of the most creative and flavorful dishes you will find anywhere. The lunch menu is slightly trimmed down, with the dinner menu having a few more choices. Each dish is very unique with a great glen of asian spices. Not to be missed!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Paulam843
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2014

It's the food, the venue, the people, the owner. There were a few restaurants we kept hearing about in Charleston, and Xiao Bao was one of them. We hit it on the way out of town and I'm so glad we did. The spot, off the main path in a converted gas station, has so much character. It's cool, cozy and intimate. The locals next to us said we had to try the cabbage pancake, and they were so right. OH MY! We've never tasted anything like it. Truly extraordinary, and under $10? Really? The Mapo Mule cocktail was a delicious accompaniment. To boot, one of the owners, Joey Ryan, who we happened (unknowingly) to have sat next to at dinner the previous night, spent time at our table discussing the background of the restaurant. He was warm and engaging, and it was the perfect way to end our stay in Charleston!

Thank travelerdebjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2014

This is one of Charleston's newer restaurants that is getting a lot of good buzz these days, and after having lunch there, it is easy to see why. Xiao Bao Biscuit, first of all, is housed in a former gas station. Its decor is hip and the ambience is relaxed and casual. But the food is what makes this place truly special. I ordered the lemongrass ginger beer and it was delicious -- neither the ginger nor the lemongrass overpowering this delicious beverage. For my entree, I settled on the stir-fried noodle special of the day (cannot remember the name of this dish, sadly). It was so delicious that I think I cleaned my bowl a bit too quickly. The portions are perhaps on the small side compared to what you get in a typical Asian restaurant, but my portion, for me, was just right. (My husband, on the other hand, was wanting a bit more.) I left Xiao Bao with a smile on my face....wishing I had more days in Charleston so I could go back a few more times. It will definitely be one of those places I will always return to on my visits to Chucktown. (BTW -- be sure to check out the restroom to see the kitchy but delightful wall decor.)

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank journeysabound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2014

Such a unique meal!! I had flavors here that blew my palette away. The lemongrass ginger beer is light and subtle, a great non-alcoholic start to your meal. My friend and I shared 3 dishes, which was plenty to eat. The Som Tom green papaya salad is delectable, but startlingly spicy. Not for the faint of heart. My hands down favorite is the Okonomiyaki, a Japanese cabbage pancake. Sounds disgusting, but trust me,it tastes AMAZING. Get the pork candy on top of it and it will taste like a slice of soft, fluffy heaven. The wine list is a bit sparse, but there is a nice selection of local brews. My only complaint is the non-existent parking, so plan to arrive early because it may take you 15 minutes to find street parking a few blocks away. In a town of amazing restaurants, it is hard to stand out, but Xiao Bao Biscuit definitely shines!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Alex G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Xiao Bao Biscuit also viewed

Charleston, Coastal South Carolina
Charleston, Coastal South Carolina
 
Charleston, Coastal South Carolina
Charleston, Coastal South Carolina
 

Been to Xiao Bao Biscuit? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing