After hearing about Little Bao Boy’s brunch offering of Panko Spam fritters bao buns a few days earlier, in conversation with Founder Jamie Ooi, they were on my mind the whole weekend. I couldn’t visit that Saturday as I was at the football, so Sunday was the only window of opportunity. I wasn’t prepared to wait another week!
North Brewery at Springwell has been on my list to visit for a while. It’s nestled on a small industrial estate just off Meanwood Road, about a mile north of the City Centre. We were the first customers to arrive a little after their 11am opening and headed straight for the Little Bao Boy’s black shipping container situated on the outside courtyard, right opposite the brewery entrance.
After some fun small talking chat with the two young men on service, we ordered our breakfast before heading into the main brewery. We ordered a couple of light North brewery Table beers (it was still morning after all), and sat down excitedly waiting for our food.
My Spam fritter Bao was incredible. The spam is first smothered in a gochujang batter. Gochujang is a Korean red pepper paste, something we cook with a lot at home as it has an amazingly unique, deep spiced flavour. The Spam is then coated in panko breadcrumbs, deep fried and served with a hash round (which is basically a hash brown). I opted for the Tonkotsu brown sauce – think HP sauce but a little spicier. The other option is a red sauce, which is Sriracha based, so again it has a kick to it.
The bao was pure filth in the best possible way! It was everything I needed: crunchy, spicy, zingy and well-seasoned. Thomas went for the vegan sausage bao. He tells me that it’s up there with the best vegan sausage options around. He mixed it up with the sauces, having red on one, and brown on the other. To round off our brunch and to ensure we sampled the full menu, we had a round of Tater Tots – think miniature potato croquettes and you’re pretty much there. We added their fiery house seasoning, which worked a treat, though you can have them without of course.
Putting breakfast items in bao buns works just as well as putting them in your more traditional breakfast bread item (a muffin for me being from Oldham, a breadcake for Thomas being from Hull… what do Leeds folk call it?). Editor note: Bread cake, Cath. We’re Yorkshire so we must be right!
Little Bao Boy are serving up their brunch menu every weekend 11am-3pm. Their main menu then kicks in from 3pm where you can have your fix of their staple baos, such as pulled pork, fried chicken, tofu and always veggie options such as salt & pepper aubergine or gochujang cauliflower. You will also find various loaded fries and noodle options.
As for the brewery down at Springwell, it is a lovely, large, airy open space, with lots of seating options. They show all the big sporting events and matches during the year, and also have lots of other events planned this spring including jazz brunch 5th March, pub quiz 26th March and a Taco weekend 6-9th April (Easter weekend). Follow them on social media for full details of events.
Leeds, LS7 2DF
Fri 5pm – 10pm
Sat: 11am – 10pm
Sun: 11am – 7pm