Photo Visit – Bao Bei – April 2013

16 Apr

163 Keefer Street
Vancouver, BC
V6A 1X3

T: 604 688 0876

Brief Description: A funky, Chinatown-based restaurant offering non-traditional Chinese fare in tapas style. Bao Bei appeals to those who aren’t necessarily looking for an authentic Chinese experience but more of a modern, up-market version of that experience. Prices are between $4 (for small “schnacks”) but most are around the $14 mark.

It has been some time since I was last at Bao Bei but after tonight’s dinner I am wondering why I had left it so long. The flavours were popping tonight, the serving sizes were spot on, and the price (without drinks) was an affordable $43. One of my previous complaints about Bao Bei was the cost of their simple fried rice dish. At $17 a bowl I had a hard time justifying it, even though it was delicious. Well, I’m happy to report that the price (and size) of the fried rice has come down to a reasonable $12. This makes me much happier as the decrease aligns it with the cost of most of the other menu items (understandably, lamb and salmon are slightly more expensive).

Truffled Pork Dumplings – $7.50

Shao Bing – $12

Mantou – $9Seasonal Fried Rice – $12

The shao bing was well-rounded with a lot of flavour from the cumin lamb, punctuated with pickled onions and the fiery heat of the salted chillies. The seasonal fried rice sounded unusual (with iceberg lettuce and prosciutto) but the end result was actually very good but made even better by the addition of the chilli oil condiment available. The truffled pork dumplings were warming, with a light splash (more like an aroma) of truffle oil, and the mantou buns were soft, and spongey with just the right amount of pork belly (cubes rather than a big slab).

For a Tuesday night, the restaurant was steady and they still aren’t taking reservations in advance so either show up on a weeknight or plan for a bit of wait. Thankfully, there are now a few bars in the area where you can whet your appetite before waiting for a table to become free (I recommend The Keefer or The Union).


8 Responses to “Photo Visit – Bao Bei – April 2013”

  1. foodundercontrol April 16, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

    That shot of the dumplings is beautiful!

    • greedyguts April 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      Thank you. I’m still recovering the nasty burn they gave me! Note to self: always cool dumplings before shoving in mouth.

  2. Janine April 17, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    Awesome, always wanted to try this place. Thanks for the review !

    • greedyguts April 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

      You are welcome. Let me know how it is.

      • Janine April 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

        I actually ended up trying this place on Friday. Loved it – had such a great experience and will definitely go back. Thanks again for the detailed review !

      • greedyguts April 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

        I’m glad you tried it! What did you order?

  3. Janine April 24, 2013 at 6:01 am #

    We tried the truffle dumplings, shao bing, mantou, beef tataki, and sticky rice cakes. Everything was very good but the beef tataki really stood out.

    • greedyguts April 25, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      Good to know. I’ll try the beef tataki next time I’m in.

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