Deckards are at The Nottingham Street Food Club in the intu Victoria Centre this weekend selling their ‘Soft & Fluffy Steamed Buns’. I like a nice Bao so I was up for a gander into town to try some of them out.
On the Menu they had three different Bao Bun combinations listed, one with ‘Buttermilk Japanese Fried Chicken‘, one with ‘10 Hour Vietnamese Pulled Pork‘, and one with ‘Buttermilk Fried Halloumi‘. They were offering 1 bun for £3.50, 2 buns for £7, or 3 buns for £10. I was contemplating that perhaps there was something for everyone? But really I was thinking good! there are three things I wanted to try so I can take up the deal of Three Bao buns for £10 🙂
Good Morning Viet Ham
The First Bao that I tried was the “Good Morning Viet Ham” described on that menu board as “10 Hour Slow Cooked Vietnamese Pulled Pork, Cucumber, Pickled Daikon + Carrot, Coriander Hot Sauce, Mayo“. This was the bun that I had been most excited about trying as I do like the Vietnamese flavours, bit of lemongrass, bit of mint, perhaps a hint of spice and coriander? Well that is what I was looking for 🙂
There was a good amount of shredded meat in the bun, and it did have quite a decent fresh taste, it wasn’t quite as powerful a flavouring as I had expected, but perhaps I had let my mind get false pretences about the bite and it was supposed to be a more mellow and restrained. The main flavours came from the Coriander hot sauce which was fresh, light and spicy all at the same time. The Cucumber, Carrot and Pickled Daikon all added a nice cold crunch to finish off the bite on the palate. I liked it but it was not fave of the three on offer, which surprised me
The second Bao that I ate was the ‘Halloumi Bao’ described on the menu as “Buttermilk Fried Halloumi, Cucumber, Apricot Hot Sauce“. This bun was most certainly a big surprise as it turned out to be my favourite of the three. The deep fried buttermilk coated halloumi had a nice light and crunchy coating yet still had a soft silken interior. Flavour wise I don’t personally think that the halloumi itself offered a lot but it was a nice blank canvas for the crunchy fresh cucumber and that apricot hot sauce.
Oh boy, now don’t get me started on that hot sauce! Oh you did already 🙂 Now then this was the undoubted star of the bao and probably, for me anyway, the best taste in all three buns. It was jammy, thick, luscious, full of restrained fruitiness and a really good subtle level of spice heat. You could pair this with a lot of meats to make a great sandwich. Now I just need to purloin a bottle of this from somewhere 🙂
The last and final bao (for today) that I chowed down was the Hiyoko Bao which was officially described on the chalkboard menu as “Buttermilk Japanese Fried Chicken, House Slaw, Coriander Hot Sauce, Burnt Lemon Grass Yogurt, Dukkah (nuts) and Pickled Radish“
I was quite excited about this bun too, I really like a bit of crunchy tender and juicy fried chicken, and that was lucky because that was exactly what I got in this bao. the coriander hot sauce and the burnt lemon grass yogurt combined to provide quite a pungent and powerful mix of heat and flavour. I wasn’t sure if it was overpowering my taste buds or just shaking them around a bit to wake them up.
You really needed to take a bite of this bun to get a bit of everything to really enjoy it properly. The Pickled radish in the bottom of the bun is immense and counters out the heat of the sauce and the less familiar perhaps uncommon taste from the burnt lemongrass. My advice is to eat it like a hot dog, not a sandwich and it will all be fine 🙂
This was my first sample of the food by Deckards and It was interesting to see how they had mixed up the flavour combinations to set up their take on the humble Bao. I will be keen to see what else they have to offer. I have seen that they have in the past had other street-food items such as Burgers on the menu.
It looks as though they ae going to be having a bit of a residency at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham and there is a menu for that on their website that features more of these ‘Taiwanese Steamed Buns’. Might be worth checking out, and keep an eye on their social media to see where else they might pop up.
Check them out on their Facebook Page