Bao Down is located in Gastown and they specialize in steamed bun (bao) sandwiches. Just imagine an asian taco. I came here with BusanGirl to catch up since we haven’t seen each other in a little while. Bao Down has been on my to-eat list for a while, so I thought it was a great time to take a visit.
The space was quite nice with infused water too! We ended up eating outside since it was a nice day.
Two Worlds Collide Steamed Bao ($6) has star anise and ginger braised pork belly, chicharon and crispy pork belly with hoi sin glaze, carrots, daikon, scallions and Korean spicy sauce.
The bun came out barely warm. I thought that it was weird that it wasn’t hot. The ingredients that make up this bao is fusion as you wouldn’t normally have chicharon and Korean spicy sauce remotely close to each other. The flavour was ok, but because the bao wasn’t hot, it made eating the whole eating process unpleasurable.
Bao Chicka Bao Bao Steamed Bao ($6) has fried lemongrass and garlic marinated free range chicken breast, crispy garlic, palm sugar and fish sauce glaze, fresh cilantro, garlic scape mayo, pickled carrots and scallions. This bao was slightly warmer than the previous one, but still not hot enough to fully enjoy.
Since they did use chicken breast, the meat was dry so it reminded me of a chicken strip in a bao.
Kimchi Fries (Small – $5) has housemade double fried kennebec potato fries, crispy pork belly, sweet soy, crispy garlic, bean sprouts, garlic scape mayo and scallions. This is so loaded! I can’t even imagine what the large size looks like.
The fries were very crisp and super enjoyable since its double fried. It keeps its crispyness for a long time. There are big pieces of pork belly too.
Grilled Cheese and Kimchi Sandwich ($10) Smoked applewood cheddar, kimchi and miso mayo. This missed the mark of what a grilled cheese should look and taste like. There was barely any cheese in it. We mostly tasted the kimchi and a bit of the mayo. In a sense, you could call this a kimchi sandwich.
Seafood Chowder was their soup of the day. It has a good amount of seafood inside and had a delicious creamy taste, but it was also not very hot.
I’m usually not that picky, but a majority of the food wasn’t very hot when it came out. I know I didn’t take a long time taking pictures as I’m usually pretty quick.
Overall, interesting concept and unique menu items, but the taste fell flat a bit and most items we not warm enough. The only item I really liked was the Kimchi fries.
We Rate Bao Down:
12 Powell Street, Vancouver