Bao Bei

Came here with a friend on a Friday evening at 6. It was pretty busy but we didn’t have to wait for bar seats. However, we decided to wait about 10 minutes for a table.

As recommended by our server, we decided to get a bunch of things to share among the two of us.

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Crispy tofu, garlic sweet soy, fresh water chestnut ($6)

Quite a small appetizer. The tofu was fresh out of the fryer and was nice a crispy on the outside. I thought it went very well with the sweet soy sauce.

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Pork & prawn wontons, spicy mala dressing ($9)

Again, not that big of a dish, but I liked the flavours. It was actually quite spicy and I would recommend it only if you can handle spice. The filling of the wonton was juicy and the sauce had some XO flavouring to it. The wrapper was good but part of it (the folded part at the end) was thicker giving it a gummy-like texture. The size was just perfect for one bite.

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Sockeye salmon ($23) – pan seared, fresh heirloom tomato & lemon basil relish, white soy, seaweed, pickled zucchini

Really nothing special here for the salmon. The skin wasn’t that crispy and the salmon flesh itself wasn’t that soft. It wasn’t overcooked but it was getting there; the flesh gave a squeaky feeling between my teeth as I bit into it.

My favourite part of the dish were the tomatoes; I just couldn’t get enough of them. They were soft and well seasoned in the lemon basil relish, and the zucchini ribbons were cooked perfectly and still had some bite to them. Again, the salmon itself wasn’t anything special.

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Cold noodles ($18) – red braised pork cheek & jowl, spinach noodles, cucumer, mint, scallions, dashi oil, sesame garlic chili dressing – $18

I liked this dish as well. The noodles and mint were refreshing, especially after the spicy wontons, even though I don’t really like mint. The noodles were well seasoned and the pork was really soft and fatty.

I thought there was too much cucumber in the dish though, and eating fatty pork cold is a bit unappetizing but overall I still liked it.

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Panna cotta ($7) – thai tea panna cotta with raspberry (?) coulis

This definitely did not have the texture of a panna cotta. It was more like the creme in a creme brulee, with the coulis serving as the “brulee” layer on top. In retrospect, I should have taken a picture of the creme part.

The taste of the thai tea definitely came out and it paired well with the coulis. The cream on top didn’t serve any purpose other than an aesthetic one, and even then I don’t think it did a good job, but that’s a small detail I suppose.

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Ice cream ($6) – various ice cream, I didn’t try enough to have an opinion

Overall, I was pleased with the food here. Although some dishes seemed small for the price, overall I think the meal was worth it at $40 per person after tips and tax. I would definitely come back if I am ever in the mood for modern/Pacific Northwestern Chinese food.

Food: 4.1/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 4.1/5
Would return: yes

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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