I am not going to lie, the power of social media has got me yet again. This time my boyfriend and I purposely made a trip down to Gastown to visit Bao Down which is located on Powell Street. This place can get super busy throughout the day and I am glad that we went a bit early for lunch to avoid the crowds. If you like Western style sandwiches or burgers, you might like their take on Asian style buns which I thought was a stellar idea!
Everything on their menu sounded so delicious and I just wanted to order everything. However, I know my stomach can only handle so much food!
The friendly staff was kind enough to give us some suggestions. But there was one item on the menu that I desperately wanted to try. If you know me personally, I love eating fries and so I had my eyes on the Kimchi Fries ($8). It came with very tender flavoured pork belly pieces, bean sprouts, kimchi, chicharon, and garlic scapes. To top it up, mayo was drizzled over. This was a creative combination of ingredients used. The crispy fries absorbed the kimchi flavouring, giving a slight kick to them. This massive box of fries was finished by yours truly and it is very well worth trying.
Next came the Fried Chicken Sandwich ($10) which was pretty big. It contained a fried chicken patty glazed with fish sauce and some sliced carrots and daikon which were sandwiched between bread. Generally speaking, everything was good about this sandwich. The fried chicken patty was succulent and tender in composition. However, the overall taste of this sandwich was beyond salty for me.
The last two items that we ordered were there famous baos. The Bao Chicka Bao Bao ($6) contained a piece of fried lemon grass chicken with cilantros, scallions, garlic scapes, and shredded carrots and daikons covered in mayo. The lemon grass chicken had that sweet lemon grass flavouring which I loved. The bao that keeps all the ingredients in tact was chewy and shaped somewhat like a taco, making it easy to hold to eat.
The Jaws Bao ($5) was my favourite out of the two just because I have a stronger preference for seafood over meat. This bao contained coconut crusted catfish, kimchi, cabbage, and cilantro covered with tartar sauce and thai vinaigrette. The catfish had incredible flavour and tenderness to it. I really enjoyed the combination of ingredients used as they complemented each other very well.
I know my photos do not do the food justice in terms of how amazing this place really is. I assure you that this place will excite your palate once you see the actual dishes in front of you.