JAPANESE food is one of my favourites, so when an already popular Hereford business opened a new restaurant, I was keen to give it a try.

The Hereford Times team was kindly invited to Bao to the Broth on its launch night on October 26, and four of us went along to try the food.

Just off St Owen Street, the restaurant is striking with a black and red exterior. I met my colleagues Charlotte Moreau, Paul Rogers, and Joshua Dyer outside, and we welcomed in and seated at our table in the window.

Hereford Times: Charlotte Moreau, Bridie Adams, Joshua Dyer and Paul Rogers sat in Bao to the BrothCharlotte Moreau, Bridie Adams, Joshua Dyer and Paul Rogers sat in Bao to the Broth (Image: Bao to the Broth)

Three of us had a refreshing San Pellegrino and Paul had a Kirin Ichiban beer, while we read the food menu and enjoyed the decor and atmosphere of the new restaurant.

Paul and I both went for chicken katsu donburi and a bao bun on the side, with Paul getting the pork bun and me opting for the veggie one. 

Charlotte and Joshua, meanwhile, ordered two different pork ramen dishes, with sides of cauliflower wings and gyoza.

We were treated to complimentary food for the launch event, but usually, the main courses cost £12, and the sides are £6, which is slightly cheaper than the nearby Japanese chain Wagamama.

Hereford Times: Charlotte Moreau, Bridie Adams, Paul Rogers and Joshua Dyer in Bao to the BrothCharlotte Moreau, Bridie Adams, Paul Rogers and Joshua Dyer in Bao to the Broth (Image: Bao to the Broth)

When the food arrived, we were taken aback by how well it was presented and the large size of the portions. We admired our dinner and took a few pictures before tucking in. 


Paul and I both enjoyed our katsu and bao buns and found the meat to be tender with a good flavour. Paul was blown away by his pork bao bun, while I also enjoyed the aubergine one.

Hereford Times: Aubergine bao bunAubergine bao bun (Image: Bridie Adams)

We both struggled to finish the large portions of rice and pickled cabbage that accompanied the chicken and katsu sauce, but that didn't stop us from clearing our plates.

Hereford Times: Chicken katsu donburiChicken katsu donburi (Image: Paul Rogers)

Joshua, who used to work in a Japanese restaurant and knows a thing or two about the cuisine, said that he was very impressed. His gyoza made for a good starter, but the pork tonkotsu ramen was the star of the show for him. 

Hereford Times: Vegetable gyozaVegetable gyoza (Image: Joshua Dyer)

"The pork itself was of exceptional quality," he said. "I'd say it was pretty much perfect."

He said the crispy bacon bits in the broth were an interesting Western touch that went well with the traditional Japanese mushrooms and chives.

Hereford Times: Pork tonkotsu ramenPork tonkotsu ramen (Image: Joshua Dyer)

Charlotte was perhaps the most enthusiastic of us all, and said that this may be her new favourite restaurant in Hereford.

"I was happy to see that Bao to the Broth had miso ramen loaded with pork, chilli, sweetcorn, pickled ginger and a soy egg," she told me. "There was depth from the broth and miso, and the toppings were fantastic."

Hereford Times: Spicy miso ramenSpicy miso ramen (Image: Charlotte Moreau)

She also enjoyed the cauliflower wings, which came with a chilli paste for dipping. 

"It was not overly spicy, but had a fantastic crunch," she said.

Hereford Times: Cauliflower wingsCauliflower wings (Image: Charlotte Moreau)

It also must be said that the service at the restaurant is impeccable, with very friendly staff who will chat and make recommendations from the menu as well as checking in regularly.

Hereford Times: The staff at Bao to the Broth were all very friendlyThe staff at Bao to the Broth were all very friendly (Image: Joshua Dyer)

We left Bao to the Broth feeling very full, but satisfied, after out Japanese feast.