Woky Ko, one of the little worlds housed in a shipping container has a real charm: one of its real draws is that you cannot book, this is not a place to go to in order to impress your friends, save for a Sea Bass Tartare (£6.95) it’s a fairly simple hipster affair of Bao and Noodles.
It’s real strength is reflected in the offerings surrounding Wapping Wharf, you can make these at home, but I challenge you to make a Bao. We began with their Braised Pork, Hoisin Ketchup with Apple and Peanut Powder, a sticky peanut butter bomb of flavour that didn’t disappoint.
I’ve had Bao at the equally impressive Khao and Bao on Baldwin Street, so I’m not going to deconstruct one with anything other than my teeth. All you need to know is that I’ve had wet dreams about Bao. Dreams which Larkin Cen has made a reality at Woky Ko.
Spiced Apple Scallop and the Tartare may impress some, but give anyone a Bao and they’ll discover something that has yet to become a full blown foodie trend. The first chef to find a way to make them as popular as hipster hamburgers or import them tastefully into our supermarkets will be burned at the stake for practising magic. Larkin Cen; Please give me the recipe, I’ll dedicate my life to making it happen.
We also had the Crispy Duck Rice Noodle Salad (£7.95) and Braised Pork Chow Mein (£8.95) which were both rich in flavour, particularly after smothering it in Sriracha. Perhaps the simplicity of these dishes is something that would put off those who had designs to eat at Box E Bristol, but for a casual dinner, it’s certainly one of the best on the Wharf.
If you lived nearby, it’s a hipster lifeline: Washed down with a few Korean Beers or something Wilder at Wild Beer, you do leave feeling blessed in a city with many vibrant Asian offerings or faux Asian broth houses such as Cupp
Wapping Wharf is slowly building itself as an alternative to the usual Harbourside jaunt. As it develops, I look forward to seeing what else can go in Bao, given they serve up a Salted Caramel Ice Cream Bao (£4.25) which felt like a step too far, I’ve been thinking of new types…Sushi Bao? Ramen Bao? Bao Bao?
Honourable Bristol Mentions:
From the colourfully adorned ceiling, to the tribute to one of the locals at the bar, this place has a real 60’s Pub vibe, which is complimented by a regular line up of Jazz. Save for The Canteen, it’s hard to find good music on a Sunday lunchtime, usually places are filled with screaming children; so it’s good to visit somewhere for lonely people.
20th Century Woman has all the usual traits of an art film, framed around a family drama where the heroine is a chain smoking older mother, dealing with a ramshackle bunch of relatives who just haven’t found their way. It’s difficult to sum up what happens or the characters themselves without resorting to tired stereotypes about Hipsters, but from the Talking Heads soundtrack, to the club scenes, it has the same charm as Marmite; you’ll either love it or hate it.