Restaurant Buzz: Bao Down

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12 Powell St.

Foodies are kowtowing to Vancouver’s new Asian street food concept, Bao Down, where diners nosh on steamed buns, stuffed with ingredients such as coconut-crusted Ocean Wise Vietnamese catfish or Tamari-braised shiitake mushrooms, against a ninja-themed backdrop mural by local artist Tim Barnard. Owner Matt Adolfo and chef Greg Edwards, along with their team, sell up to 500 sandwiches daily at the self-designed 25-seat restaurant, including the signature Bao Chicka Bao Bao, topped with fried lemongrass- and garlic-marinated free-range Fraser Valley chicken breast and crispy garlic ($6) complemented by housemade double-fried Kennebec Kimchi Fries slathered with sweet soy, crispy garlic and topped with pork belly ($8). The concept, which opened in April, has already proven to be buzzworthy: a second unit is in the works in Vancouver, and an expanded menu will include dessert-themed baos and Asian-style tapas.

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