Bao's Rice Error and Cocktail Rescue Test Drive

roomRice, bao AND cocktails (plus lots more).

What can you tell us about Rice Error and Cocktail Rescue?

If we were to oversimplify - it's BAO in delivery form. But rather than shift to trying to just deliver as close to the restaurant experience as possible, they've taken the time to step back and create something brand new. Certain elements of the restaurants are there, but the lead items are now a collection of rice dishes that travel particularly well. But don't worry - bao buns do make an appearance. 

That's not all though. In Hackney, they've also launched Cocktail Rescue - delivering some of the very best BAO cocktails locally. 

Where are they delivering from?

At the time of writing, the Fitzrovia and London Bridge BAOs were delivering Rice Error - with Hackney due any day now. We hear they may be coming to King's Cross too - but that's not imminent.  

And are all delivering the same menu?

Many of the dishes are the same - but there are the occasional tiny differences (Fitzrovia has Prawn Egg Fried Rice - Borough changes this to Prawn Kimchi Fried Rice). 

So what about these rice dishes then?

Each rice dish comes in a bespoke box - starting with a layer of Chi Shang Rice with the main ingredients layered on top of that. Each box is crammed right to the top - and would be a meal in itself. The box is finished off by a wrapping in the pixellated Rice Error branding (you can see that in the background of the sweet potato fries pic below). It all looks very cool. 

Some of the options are Cha Shao Pork Belly and the aforementioned prawn dishes - but here's what we had: 

roomGrilled 40 Day Aged Beef Denver, Black Pepper Sauce, Greens, Soy Boiled Egg, Chi Shang Rice (£13.75). one of those looks as good as it tastes dishes. That soft soy boiled egg is a nice addition too. 

roomChilli Chicken - Roasted Quarter Yellow Chicken, Aged White Soy Chicken dripping, Chi Shang Rice (£12.50) - a nice spike heat and the chicken dripping is amazing. 

roomEgg Omelette, Mapo Tofu, Chi Shang Rice (£9.75). On reflection this isn't the best pic of this dish. Peel back that omelette and you'll see the mapo tofu mix. This vegetarian option easily matched the quality of the meat options and we'd highly recommend it on its own. 

roomSweet Potato Fries (& Pickled Plum Ketchup on the side - £4.50). These travelled very well - retaining the crispiness. 

And you mentioned something about baos? 

Absolutely - they've concentrated on the two baos that will travel best - and there's a touch of the DIY about it. Here's how that works:

roomThis is the fried chicken bao meal (£16.50) - you get the chicken, four bao buns (fresh that day from Fitzrovia) and instructions on how to warm up the bao (just 5 mins in a steamer, or 15 seconds in a microwave).

roomAnd here's how ours came out. We're not going the threaten the experts at Bao with our plating skills, but it was a damned fine bao. 

There's a vegetarian version of the above Bao Meal too - that's made of Daikon Tots & a four piece Gua BAO box, Garlic Mayo, Plum Ketchup, Pickled Daikon (£13.50).  

Anything else worth mentioning?

You can get the Taiwanese Fried Chicken on its own if you don't fancy baos (but really, you should have the bao meal) and other extras include the XO Corn on the Cob (£3.75). Extra kimchi and a soy-boiled egg are available on the side. 

How about dessert?

You'll definitely need to leave room for dessert:

roomThe mini Classic Pineapple Cake (£2.50) which comes sealed in its bespoke Rice Error packet (so you can keep this for later if you fancy). It really is very good, but the star of the show is...

roomThe Horlicks ice cream (£4.50). Just magnificent in all its maltiness. Don't think you'll be able to share this - get one each. Honestly, maybe buy a few so you have put a couple in the freezer for later. Milk Tea and peanut versions are available too. 

And then there are the cocktails...

Yes indeed. Only available from Hackney to start with - these are freshly batched cocktails that you finish up at home. Each bagged batch makes up five cocktails. Here's what we had:

roomFirst off there's the Umeshu Negroni - this you'll just pour over rice.It's Roku Gin, Plum Sake, Campari (£22 for five servings)

Bao HiThe Bao Hi - Toki Whisky, Salted Citrus Cordial, Peach Bitters (£22 for five servings). You really should go to the effort of recreating their iced lemon tower (overlay the lemons, wrap in clingfilm and freeze). Honestly, we'll be using this little trick in all our drinks from now on. Excellent cocktail.

Overall thoughts?

Once the lockdown hit, BAO  took stock and took their time in devising a new delivery-friendly operation. Taking their time has definitely paid off - Rice Error is very much like BAO  launching a brand new restaurant (with the BAO design and attention to detail evident throughout). The dishes work very well in a delivery setting and there are still some of the old classics to choose from. They're only just starting out, and we expect Rice Error to get even better from here (particularly as Cocktail Rescue gets rolled out). 

London restaurants are operating under huge pressure and restrictions at the moment - but BAO is showing that you can embrace that by creating a new delivery service that is genuinely unique to them. And they've backed that up with an excellent drinks service. Next time you reach for the phone to book a delivery - this should be at the top of your list. 


More about Rice Error and Cocktail Rescue

Where are they delivering from? Borough, Fitzrovia, Hackney (Cocktail Rescue is Hackney only)

How to order: Order on Deliveroo from Borough or Fitzrovia (and coming to Hackney on 28 May 2020)

Find out moreVisit their website or follow them on Instagram @riceerror.

Hot Dinners received the delivery courtesy of Rice Error. Prices are correct at the time of writing.


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