Bao Down

Date Visited: April 4 2015
Address: 12 Powell St Vancouver, BC V6A1E7
Type of Restaurant: sandwiches/subs, fries, Asian, Fusion
Price Range: $
Ambiance (out of five)/Setting/Design/service: 4.5/5 – service was friendly, space was unique and edgy but a bit on the smaller side
Overall: 7/10
(1-4: will never come back, 5: pass (I’m okay with a tinier morsel), 6: acceptable, 7: okay, 8: good, 9: Wow! Please enlarge my morsel. 10: Perfection. I could eat a morsel of this every day!)
Will come back? Probably not (unless I want to try their pork belly bun)
Menu for the day – April 4 2015
What I ate:
Jaws (fish) – Coconut crusted Catfish, kimchi, tartar sauce, cabbage, Thai vinaigrette cilantro
  • 7/10
  • The fried fish was pretty good, crunchy and light batter with a well cooked fish but the fish itself lacked flavour and could have been a tad moister
  • It says kimchi on the menu but I didn’t taste any
  • I felt like this was really under sauced – it felt kind of dry against the bun
  • I wished there was more tartar sauce to really give it an extra punch
  • Overall on the bland side
The Flip side – sweet soy marinated pork shoulder, crispy garlic, pickled daikon and carrot
  • 6/10
  • This was a major disappointment
  • They didn’t have their pork belly option because they had sold out so we opted for this one
  • This part of the pork was way to chewy and hard to bite threw, I would have preferred if it was pulled pork since they were using pork shoulder
  • The meat was just really dry and unappealing
  • The soy marinate was sweet and savoury but tasted really similar to hoisin sauce which was disappointing
  • Could have been more pickled veggies on their to really give it more crunch and to really brighten up the dish
(All photos credits in this post go to S)
Kimchi Fries – pork belly chicharon, sweet soy crispy garlic, sprouts, garlic scape mayo
  • 7.5/10
  • The fried pork belly was a very nice touch to this dish, there were some fatter bits and some skinnier bits so it’s great if you’re sharing and your partner doesn’t like the fat bits
  • The fries were not as crunchy as I would have preferred, but there was a good amount of potatoy goodness there – would have been better if it was crisp on the outside and soft on the inside
  • As for the kimchi, I’m not sure if they make their own kimchi or not, but I think they could have used a more flavourful, older kimchi to really give it that tangy and spicy kick (since it is called kimchi fries)
  • I expected the kimchi and fries to be the highlight but I think the pork belly was the star because it added that fatness and crunchiness to it to
  • As a personal side note, there are quite a lot of raw bean sprouts in this dish so if you don’t like that this dish won’t be a winner for you
  • There were definitely more veggies than fries on this dish which is disappointing because in the end your left with tons of toppings and not enough fries to sop up the goodness
Things to Improve on: Balancing of the flavours and ratio of the dishes, sauces
Summary: I noticed that they used fried garlic in two out of the three dishes that I ate so beware of garlic breathe afterwards. So far the bao’s that I’ve tried have been nothing out of the ordinary. The flavours are overall okay but nothing that really pops to make me come back for more.
Bao Down on Urbanspoon

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