Monday, February 8, 2016

Could use a big plate at Bao Down

Bao Down Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Been a long time since I've been to Bao Down. Menu's changed a bit (and they opened another location near Olympic Village). Prices went up a bit for their fries but overall still really good value -- especially with their weekday special combos.

Bao are big, light, tender, almost fluffy. Two of them together is more bread and meat and interesting-ness than a comparably priced single gourmet burger at a restaurant, nowadays weighing in at $12+.

TIP: Get extra napkins right away.
TIP: Small square tables are really good only for one person if you've got a platter of 4-6 items. Get a bigger table!

Japayoki Fries ($6 small, $10 large) kennebec fries, seaweed, fried chicken, cheese sauce, jalapeno, bean sprouts, sweet soy, togarashi
  • Something tasty and coconutty in the yellow sauce (cheese sauce?).
  • Even a "small" order is heaped high with salad on top and has large white-meat bites of chicken that it's big enough to look like a light meal all on its own. (We're talking ping pong ball sized).
  • Chicken chunks fairly tender and definitely not dry.
  • Could have used a plate to toss everything together like a salad. As it is, when you gingerly eat the salad off the top, you're just left with some (still crispy) fries on the bottom, which are now boring. Get some house hot sauce from downstairs to help with the leftover fries.
Vevo ($6) tamari braised shitake, sprouts, kale, micro greens, beet, carrot, peanut sauce
  • OK tasting. I think it might be better if you strip the sprouts from the top so you can get more of the flavours of the other ingredients.
  • Sweeter beets would make this more interesting, as would maybe a clearer flavour of the shitake, which was quite good when I isolated one of them to taste.
  • Shrub of sprouts massed on top make this look maybe bigger than it was, and in anycase it was quite tricky to fold the bao.
2016-Feb-8 Bao of the Week - Snap Kick, One Punch ($8) lettuce, tomato, salt/pepper, chicken in hot sauce, blue cheese ranch, red onion, jalapenos, bacon
  • Tasty and you definitely get that blue cheese flavour, but maybe not so interesting for you to pay a special $8 for it when they have other tasty options for $2 less.
  • Not that spicy-hot. If you need more heat, try one of the sauces. Even the "mild" Red Eye Chili Sauce is pretty spicy-hot.
Monday Special ($10) Bao Chicka Bao, Small Kimchi Fries, and a can of pop
  • Great deal and pretty filling dinner for $10, since the "small" fries are really quite a large order.
Bao Beignets ($4)
  • Get these for FREE with a Yelp check-in.
  • Basically bite-sized donuts coated in something snowy and sugary.
  • Quantity is really decent -- a heap of maybe 2 cups worth.
  • Eat them quickly while they are still tender on the inside.
Kitchen a bit slow IF you are expecting fast-food McDonalds turnaround times. Each item has so many ingredients, so expect a wait. They don't bring it to your table, though, which means you do probably need to hover near the ordering counter because you may not hear your order number being called over the rather loud music.

Staff are friendly and helpful!

Our order (see below) was around $32 for two persons. We were full and had to take the kimchi fries and bao beignets to go.

2016-Feb-8 Bao Down - kimchi fries (ul), japayoki fries (um), vevo (ur), snap kick one punch (lr), bao beignets (lm), bao chicka bao (ll)

2016-Feb-8 Bao Down - main bao menu

2016-Feb-8 Bao Down - fries, special bao, and bowls

2016-Feb-8 Bao Down - housemade hot sauces

2016-Feb-8 Bao Down - weekly specials, new menu, add-ons

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