Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Been years since I ate at Bao Bei. Last time we were a large group at a family table in the back. This time there were just two of us doing a Monday evening walk-in right when they opened. And that's probably the best way if you can manage it because the lineup started around 5:15 pm and they were basically full shortly after the restaurant opened for the evening at 5:30 pm (accepts no reservations except for their family table).

Having grown up on Chinese food at home myself, my take on Bao Bei is that it serves the familiar foods you had at home, but magically made more interesting and tasty. It makes other Chinese restaurants look like lazy home-style. It's like everything had a something-extra something-special treatment.

Portions are small for price, so if you want any chance of actually walking out of there full at $25+ per person (that's not including drinks), get the fried rice.

bean curd skin ($5.50) king oyster mushroom, chili ginger vinaigrette
  • Looks pricey for a portion that fits into an egg, but that vinaigrette makes it tasty. More like an appetite whetting nibble.
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - bean curd skin

beef tartare ($18) Cache Creek flat iron steak, preserved mustard root, crispy shallot,
ginger, quail egg, watercress, burnt scallion oil, taro chips
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - beef tartare

mantou ($10) steamed bun, coconut curry braised beef, fukujinzuke pickles, cilantro,
crispy garlic & crushed peanut
  • Two smallish buns but not skimpy on stuffing.
  • More interesting that just stewed beef in a bun. Interesting flavours but something about it came out bland-ish. Might need to eat this slowly and mindfully to get the full flavour experience.
  • Price is OK and actually comparable to the more casual fast-food-ish Bao Down.
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - mantou

2017-May-15 Bao Bei - mantou

kick ass house fried rice ($17) marinated red prawns, clam & jamón sofrito, crispy ginger, black bean, pimenton, fennel, red pepper
  • Packed with stuff and the fattest prawns I've seen in Chinese-style fried rice anywhere.
2017-May-15 Bao Bei - kick ass fried rice

2017-May-15 Bao Bei - kick ass fried rice

Overall, tasty food but pretty pricey as dinners go. Even the rice is pricey but at least it's fully loaded.

2017-May-15 Bao Bei

2017-May-15 Bao Bei

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Churros at La Churreria

La Churreria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato For $2.25 you can get a straight stick of churro, and for a buck more you can get a scoop of ice cream to go with it.
Sounds expensive, and when the portion comes it looks expensive too, but people will pay $5 for a single scoop of ice cream, so it's hard to discuss price when the dessert market is spendy.

I got the "plain" churro, which is coated in sugar and somewhere in there is cinnamon. It tastes okay and as churros go, it's completely fine just like this.
And seriously, what do you want? It's a dough of flour, water, and salt deep fried till crispy. You're paying for the novelty, plus a premium for being in a neighbourhood where it's hard to find and maybe a bit of a walk to the nearest churro competitor.

2017-May-10 La Churreria - plain churros

2017-May-10 La Churreria - plain churros

2017-May-10 La Churreria - plain churros

2017-May-10 La Churreria

2017-May-10 La Churreria

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Holy Crab

The Holy Crab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato Where once there was a 7-11 on Robson is now The Holy Crab, a seafood boil sort of place.
The basics is this: You order seafood. They boil it. You extract the meat (and there's a TV televising the various way to efficiently get meat out of crustaceans), dip it in sauce, and eat it.
If you're not sure what sauce to get, they can bring out a flight of samplers. Get this!

To me, crab is crab. So I looked at the menu and ordered other stuff instead. Yeah, I even got the chicken. Really.

Seafood Chowder ($4.50)
  • Miscellaneous bits of stuff in it. Still came across as slightly on the watery side of a chowder, and definitely not chunky with stuff.
  • A bit bland. If you have the flight of sauce samplers, you can try putting a bit of your favourite sauce into it and stirring it up.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - seafood chowder and deep fried wings

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - chowder

Seafood Bisque ($6.50)
  • There's actually stuff in this! Looks like similar stuff as the chowder.
  • Tastes ok.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - seafood bisque

Fried Bread ($2)
  • Two small buns. Price is atrocious unless you are somehow wow'ed by the novelty of it.
  • Came hot. Too hot to handle, really.
  • You can get something similar in some dim sum places (like Dinesty).
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - bisque and fried bread

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - fried bread

Sweet Potato Fries ($6)

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - yam fries

Deep Fried Chicken Wings ($6.50) comes coated in a sweet BBQ sauce
  • Probably by the pound but we got 5 wings, a mix of wings and drumsticks.
  • Came fresh, meat was moist. Nicely fried chicken but don't expect crispy skin, especially not after they've been tossed in BBQ sauce.
  • At over $1 per wing... You want wings by the pound, go to a wing place.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - fried chicken wings (comes with BBQ sauce)

Calamari ($7.50)
  • Thick rings, thin batter. Came piping hot.
  • Definitely use the sauce as it's bland otherwise. If you got the flight of sauce samplers for the seafood boil, maybe experiment with those.
2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - calamari

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - calamari

Overall, for Snacks and Sides, expect somewhat pricey portions and passable taste.

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - flight of sauce samples

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - dungeness crab

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - prawns

2017-May-10 The Holy Crab - crawfish