As many Vancouverites know, Chinatown in downtown Vancouver has been going through rapid changes. With new shops, restaurants and buildings in the area, Chinatown is slowly becoming a trendy place for many Vancouverites at night. New places such as Crackle Creme, Bao Bei and many other establishments have made their way to being hip and trendy spots to hang out and while many people are hating on this, I actually don’t quite mind it.
Before I went to Bao Bei, I had no idea how much Chinatown has changed, especially Keefer Street. The street is literally full of new restaurants and bars so it was easy to just eat dinner at one place then go next door and grab drinks.
Beef Tartare – Pemberton Beef Tenderloin, Preserved Mustard Root, Crispy Shallot, Quail Egg, Taro Chips, Ginger, Shallots, Burnt Scallion Oil and Watercress.
I don’t think I’ve ever loved taro chips so much. It wasn’t very crunchy nor were they soggy with just the right amount of flavouring.
The shallot and burnt scallion oil flavours were very strong in this dish and they went very well with the beef tenderloin.
Duck Salad – 5 Spice Smoked Duck Breast, Hannah Brook Farm Greens, Carrot Cardamom Purée, Apple, Charred Cipollini Onions.
A lovely combination of sweet and salty, the Duck Salad was probably one of my favourite dishes of the night. The crispy and sweet apple pieces complimented the savoury duck and the rich carrot cardamom puree.
Spicy Noodles – Flat Wheat Noodles, Chili Lamb Mince, Pork Fat, Sesame Sauce, Cucumber, Preserved Yellow Bean.
This was quite spicy but the broth was so rich and savoury. I couldn’t really taste anything besides the chili lamb mince and sesame sauce and sadly, I couldn’t drink it because it was a bit too oily from the pork fat. Not saying this was bad but it was quite intense.
The portion was really big compared to their other dishes so I would recommend sharing. Jacky and our friend loved this dish so give it a try!
Steelhead Trout – Crispy Kabocha Cumin Gnocchi, Rapini, Shiso Butter Clam Sauce
The steelhead trout was actually the most conventional dish that we ordered. The only thing that stood out were the crispy kaboca cumin gnocchi which tasted like potatoes with a doughy texture. I would recommend ordering something more interesting and creative instead of the trout.