Bao Bar is not like any kerb-side food outlet I’ve visited before. Its six-seater bar is more like an atmospheric timber-clad room than a food van. From this small but perfectly formed space, Bao serves unforgettable Tawainese xiao chi or small eats.

The highlight is the gua bao, steamed buns filled with pork belly, homemade pickles, peanut shavings and coriander from which they take their name. It’s all a far cry from the gnarly American burgers and pneumatic hot dogs that first caused a commotion on British kerb sides.

It takes obsessive love I’ve rarely witnessed to do this. The trio who make up Bao – Wai-Ting Chung, 29, her brother Shing Tat Chung, 27, and his girlfriend Er Chen Chang, 24 – have a hand in everything.

They built the intricately designed space themselves and make as many of the elements that make up their dishes as they can; from the gua bao dough to the cured meat, pickles and soya milk (yes, soya milk!) they use. They’ve been set up for only a year but, with such commitment, it’s not a surprise they’ve already won acclaim – and a loyal army of fans.

I last saw them taking the stage to win the street-food category at The Young British Foodie awards last September (see box, below). And that’s just one of many accolades they took home last year.

So how have they become the stars of the street-food scene so quickly? Ting and Shing grew up in Nottingham – their parents were born in Hong Kong – while Er is originally from Taiwan’s capital, Taipei City.

Monday 3 Mar 2014 6:00 am