This past weekend my boyfriend and I had a sixth month anniversary of our engagement – whoo us! And where did I take him to? Bao Bei, an amazing, though throughly packed restaurant in the east side of Vancouver in Chinatown.
I love places that combine something old with something new and Bao Bei does that exceptionally well. Their most popular dish is lamb sweetbread, which in essence is a type of sandwich made of thin, sesame coated bread. The filling is made out of roasted lamb and fresh cilantro – you have to try it! Top right in the image below:
Some of the other things that we ordered include spicy chicken – crispy fried chicken pieces that go really well with steamed rice. The omelette was a work of art with a creamy filling in the middle of thinly sliced onion. The shrimp and pork dumplings were, in my opinion not better than average except perhaps for the quality of the shrimp inside. Still good but not amazing or different in any way, just a good dumpling. As all of this food came out all together I am more or less describing it in a clockwise orientation from where I was sitting. What was finally brought to us was a tomato-based soup with lamb meatballs and large pieces of basil. The tomato was really fresh and light, perhaps prepared that night and the lamb was light but still flavourful. Along with these amazing dishes, I had an Okanagan Shiraz and my partner a Pina Colada. Man, was I jealous of that Pina Colada! It’s made fresh, non of that pre-made sugary mix, from real coconut cream blended with pineapple – who does that anymore?? Definitely try the Pina Colada, it’s not sweet just real fruit… and liquor of course! 😉
To finish all this off, the dessert was Chinese doughnuts and a poached pear on vanilla cream ice-cream and sesame crisp. The Chinese doughnuts are cute and small, a nice snack post-dinner served with icing sugar and plum jam. The poached pear was, and I’m not exaggerating, the best dessert I’ve had. I paired it with a rather dry sherry that really balanced the sweetness.
All in all, Bao Bei is a really good option if you would like to sample many dishes of fresh and quickly prepared food paired with good cocktails and/or wine. Take your date or someone you want to impress, just remember to put your name down on the list early in the night!