brasserie bao bei
I haven’t seen the Lord of the Ring trilogy in Chinese, but I imagine Gollum is going on and on about ‘my Bao Bei’ in the Chinese version. ‘Precious’ is what Bao Bei means in Chinese, often used in the context of jewelry. With this in mind, it’s no surprise to find a restaurant that goes by this name in Vancouver’s Chinatown. An upscale Chinese brasserie that opened just before the 2010 Winter Olympics. A gem that worked its way up to the culinary top of Vancouver: Bao Bei.
To eat at Bao Bei is either arriving somewhere between 5:30 and 6:00 PM or have a drink or two in the bar area before being seated. The restaurant does not accept reservations and lines can be long. No worries though, cause having a drink here isn’t a real punishment. Staff is friendly and relaxed as is the interior design of the brasserie.
Once seated, the party starts with studying the menu. It feels like opening presents and holding promising dishes in your hand after unwrapping the gifts. The small plates you find on the menu are meant to be shared and are influenced by Taiwanese, Shanghai and Sichuan province cuisine.
A party of two, ordering some Steamed prawn & chive and Truffled pork dumplings, followed by Housemade Taiwanese Sausage, Octopus Salad and Mala Tendons braised beef tendons with apple pearls will set you back about 80 Canadian, including a coupe of Yanjing beers. The restaurant also features a nice selection of local and international wines.
With only 50 seats placed in a modern and stylish decor, Bao Bei is an intimate brasserie with food definitely worth waiting for in case you arrive while all seats have been taken.
163 Keefer Street
Open: Tuesday to Sunday 5.30pm – midnight.
T: 604 688 0876