Kent Restaurant of the Year 2022 Highly Commended Award: The Bao Baron
The Bao Baron is a pan-Asian street food restaurant inspired by seasonal Kentish produce.
Specialising in bao and ramen, we also offer frequently-changing small plates, specials and weekday set menu. Everything including our buns and noodles is prepared in-house and served fresh to order. By following the seasons and utilising local suppliers, we are able to provide a frequently-changing menu that celebrates both the variety of Asian cuisines and the versatility of Kentish produce.
The Bao Baron was a project born out of the first lockdown of 2020.
Chef Greig Hughes and partner Daisy Wootton assembled the venture as a way to make ends meet during a difficult and unpredictable time. Intended as a one-off pop-up on the Harbour Arm, tickets sold out and the event proved popular enough to consider doing it again, and then it never really stopped.
Setting up in a tiny kitchen tucked away on the harbour corridor, bao were selling out within the hour every Saturday during the summer.
As the colder months approached, we found a residency in a taproom on Tontine Street and shifted into a table service experience. Three weeks in and a second national lockdown hit.
The Bao Baron switched gears again into a click-and-collect takeaway service, proving so popular that weekend time slots were often fully booked by midweek.
Come summer, we jumped at the opportunity at rejoining the Harbour Arm, taking up a vendor's hut at the East Yard. Here we really found our following and experienced amazing feedback and support from the Folkestone community, selling out week after week. Again, as the colder months approached, with a
year of successful trading behind us, we took the jump into a brick-and mortar establishment and took root in Guildhall Street as a fully-fledged restaurant in December 2021.
Despite a number of economic hurdles presenting themselves due to the ongoing pandemic, business has continued to grow. The feedback and support of
our community and other local businesses has been overwhelming and the backbone to our success.
Accessibility is at the heart of what we do. We’re proud to offer a diverse and considered range of vegan and gluten-free food alongside free-range, high-welfare
meat options. We offer a weekday set menu for a lunchtime value offering and a children’s menu that we hope offers them something a little different. It’s been an incredible couple of years and we’re excited to keep evolving with the years to come, finding new ways to push the Bao Baron menu on to the next level.