Meo Opens in Vancouver Chinatown

Meo Restaurant in Vancouver Chinatown showcases food and cocktail

VANCOUVER — The team behind Vancouver Chinatown’s award-winning restaurants Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie and one-Michelin-star Kissa Tanto is gearing up to open its new cocktail and snack-bar concept called Meo. Located below Kissa Tanto, Meo will feature 70 seats inside a dimly lit dining room, anchored by the glow of a vintage jukebox. Designed by Ste Marie Studio, the space features soft plush fabrics, drapery and carpet.

“Meo is the second piece of the puzzle to our tri-level building, where each experience is unique and complements each other — Kissa Tanto for supper upstairs, Meo for great drinks and snacks downstairs, and a third yet to come,” says co-owner Tannis Ling, who operates Bao Bei, Kissa Tanto and Meo together with chefs Joël Watanabe and Alain Chow.

Heading the cocktail program is accomplished bar manager Denis Bykov, who most recently worked at Dubai’s renowned Sucre, where he mixed drinks alongside one of the world’s top bartenders, Tato Giovannoni.

At launch, Meo will present a menu featuring eight re-imagined classic cocktails and eight signature cocktails, including the Golden Devine, with Blue Agave Altos Tequila, summer peach, cacao nib, ginseng cordial, Cocchi Americano vermouth and a peach cacao yogurt crisp, and the nitro-charged Espresso Carrotini with Beefeater Blood Orange gin, carrot reduction, citrus peel-infused cold brew and carrot dust.

“We want to break a stereotype that all fruits are sweet and all vegetables are savoury,” says Bykov. “Our cocktails will demonstrate how unexpected something can taste on your palate when different approaches are applied to both sweet and savoury organics. While we utilize modern techniques to extract and enhance flavours, our menu remains approachable and fun. Equal emphasis and care will be taken towards our non-alcoholic program as well.”

In addition to cocktails, Meo will also have an eclectic 12-bottle sparkling-wine list including local pét-nats, Lambrusco and Champagne, as well as cans of Gold Medal Taiwan Beer.

The food menu, developed by Watanabe with chef de cuisine Macià Bagur, will feature casual small plates full of diverse, punchy flavours. While the menu is still going through its testing stage, guests can expect options such as pounded-to-order Som Tum (green papaya salad), Trinidadian doubles and Tostadas of the day.

“Our utmost desire is for Meo to function as the neighbourhood hangout and to build a regular clientele enticed by the comfortable room and excellent food and drinks at varied price points,” says Ling. “We hope nights at Meo will encourage the improvisation and spontaneity from pre-pandemic days, where guests can dine and drink as they please, order as the night progresses, invite friends to join, leave and come back, linger all night or pass by for a quick visit.”

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