The GOODS from Bao Bei
Vancouver, BC | We are looking for a full time garde manger to join our crew in the kitchen. Must be hard working, able to handle a fast paced, high volume environment and enjoy 90′s playlists. Please email resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or apply in person with resume between 2pm – 4pm at 163 Keefer Street. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
Meet Helen; dumpling making extraordinaire at Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie. We love Helen for her sweet smiles, dedication, and her special way of folding perfect little dumplings one after another. Not to mention her killer staff meals that remind us of mom.
Now, in addition to being hungry, we are a little bit in love.
As Scout recently reported, Bao Bei owner Tannis Ling and pop-up organiser Ken Tsui have joined with the Vancouver Chinatown Merchant’s Association (VCMA) to reinvent the 18 year tradition we know as the Chinatown Night Market. They’re now calling for vendor applications!
This year, the Chinatown Night Market is mixing it up – old and new, imports and originals, mainstream and handmade – in an effort to celebrate our love of art, culture, summertime and the ever-changing Chinatown neighbourhood.
If what you do jives with this atmosphere, a vendor stall might be for you!
The New Night Market’s performances, workshops and attractions will draw a wide, culturally diverse audience with a full season seeing over 100,000 unique visitors. There’s something here for families, friends, young and old; for those from within the Chinatown community and beyond. Ideally, the assortment of vendors we assemble will collectively have something to appeal to one and all.
The right fit of wares–be it pins, preserves, perfumes or paper–can be unique or not, charming or simply utilitarian but should be “easy on the pocketbook”. In all practicality, keep in mind that the Night Market is a walkabout street fair, so smaller, “carry-able” items or those with innovative, transportable packaging are ideal.
The 2013 Chinatown Night Market is currently offering stall rentals on a monthly basis, half or full season. If you would like more information please email: contact [at] vancouverchinatownnightmarket.com
Learn all you need to here. Spread the word.
Tannis Ling, owner of Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, and Ken Tsui, a well known pop-up organizer responsible for popular events like Black Lodge Diner, Eat Together and The Hawker Stand, have joined with the Vancouver Chinatown Merchant’s Association (VCMA) to reinvent the 18 year tradition we know as the Chinatown Night Market.
It’s no secret that the Night Market has struggled in recent years, but with the neighbourhood in the midst of an exciting renewal period and an influx of new businesses wanting to participate, the VCMA, Ling and Tsui see the summer of 2013 as the perfect opportunity to update it. They aim to harness Chinatown’s resurgent spirit while helping to preserve its cultural DNA. The goal is to create a dynamic cultural hub and social space that will appeal to all ages and all cultures.
In such an effort, collaboration is everything. Local design firm Glasfurd & Walker is working with Bao Bei to rebrand the Night Market, and the Street Food Vancouver Society is on board to help diversify and complement the range of food already offered by bringing in a selection of trucks to the market’s western border on Columbia Street. There will be an area for dining set up with picnic tables and chairs, and there’s a rumour going around of new restaurant patios opening for the occasion.
New programming will include outdoor Chinese movie screenings, ping-pong tournaments, cooking competitions, storytelling nights and mahjong lessons. Workshops available for kids could include kite making, calligraphy, circus arts, and more.
Of course, one of the integral aspects of revitalizing the night market is the incorporation of inspired and original vendors. To this end, Ling and Tsui are – starting today – looking for artisans, craftspeople, and food makers with excellent products and accessible price points.
They are making a call out to vendors for expressions of interest. To be clear, this is not a request for commitment. Just acquiring vendor interest will help them move forward and into the next stages of planning.
Booth rate rentals start at $42/night and comes with a 10′ x 10′ tent and 6′ table. Vendor rentals are available for a full season (32 nights), half season (16 nights) or a quarter season (8 nights).
If you are interested in becoming a vendor or a sponsor, please contact Tannis Ling or Ken Tsui at email@example.com.
Andrew Morrison is the editor-in-chief of Scout and BC’s Senior Judge at the Canadian Culinary Championships. He contributes regularly to a wide range of publications, radio programs, and TV shows on local food, culture and travel. He live and works in the vibrant Strathcona neighbourhood, where he also collects inexpensive things and enjoys birds, skateboards, whisky, shoes, many songs, and the smell of wood fires.
“Tete de Lion” | Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie | 163 Keefer St. | $11.50 | www.bao-bei.ca
Mmm, who doesn’t love new menu items at Bao Bei? This one – dubbed the Tete de Lion – sees a hot chicken broth surrounding and soaking into a fist-sized pork meatball underneath a thick and buttery puff pastry cap. And thus, winter was defeated. Let’s hope it stays. #noms
The GOODS from Bao Bei
Vancouver, BC | Bao Bei is looking for a passionate, creative, outgoing individual with at least 2 years bartending experience who has a good working knowledge of cocktail making, wine and beer. Must be able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment and be able to make drinks efficiently while maintaining quality. We are very much a restaurant based on teamwork and would like the successful candidate to be able to facilitate the smooth running of the restaurant in all aspects. Email resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off in person between 3:30pm and 5:30pm. Learn more about Bao Bei after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Bao Bei
Vancouver, BC | Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie is looking for a full-time server assistant to work in our busy, fast paced restaurant. Applicants do not necessarily have to have restaurant experience but must be hard working, fast thinking, able to multitask and possessing a positive attitude. If you would like to join our family please drop off your resume in person anytime between 3:30pm – 5:30pm. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
The GOODS from Bao Bei
Vancouver, BC | We are seeking the right person to manage the very busy door at Bao Bei. Due to our no reservations policy, the host/hostess job entails more then just seating tables. We require someone who can run the door list efficiently by managing the comings and goings of people and delivering appropriate wait times. He/she will have to acquire a keen understanding of the flow of the room in order to facilitate several smooth turnovers. This person should have a strong sense of organization, patience, be able to perform any tasks required of them and maintain a professional but friendly manner with the customers. If you think you got what it takes, bring it on Tuesday, April 24th or Thursday, April 26th, with your resume between 2pm and 4pm. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
by Claire Lassam | I’m still a little new to dim sum. It was introduced to me about five years ago when I started dating a man whose father was born in Hong Kong. Before then, I didn’t know that I wanted soy sauce at 9am and that barbequed meats and green tea would make me so happy so early in the day. It’s undeniably, irreversibly true. I’m completely converted to Chinese brunch now. I love dim sum.
While I love steamed gai ling with oyster sauce and nearly every kind of dumpling I’ve ever tried (I even liked chicken feet more then I thought I would, though I tried it just to be one of the cool kids), what I love most of all are the steam buns. Just a simple package of dough with a healthy scoop of BBQ pork (my personal favourite) steamed until the dough is soft but not sticky and the pork wants to ooze out by way of the X that marks the spot on top. They should be savoury, deeply flavoured with char, and that magical marinade they put on barbequed pork in Chinatown, something that usually involves soy, Chinese cooking wine, hoisin, and a myriad of spices that no butcher I’ve ever asked has revealed to me.
Which is a long way of saying that I really enjoyed researching for this article. A lot. I feel like I started researching years ago. I’ve had the steam buns at sit-down restaurants, which mean they’re steamed to order and usually piping hot and fresh, and I’ve had them “to go”, where they’ve had to sit for a while. I’ve also had them for dinner, and once I even tried to make them at home, a la Momofuku. They’re hit or miss, depending on where you go.
What I learned on this particular mission was that I really want steam buns at night, preferably with a cocktail. Until recently, my love of them was either a morning thing, a break-from-work-to-grab-a-steam-bun thing, or an I’m-super-hungover-and-nothing-will-cure-it-but-a-steam-bun thing. If anyone could convince me of it being a drinking-a-Manhattan-and-eating-a-steam bun thing, it would be the talented Joel Watanabe, chef at Bao Bei. His are rolled differently, with the flap of dough steamed and then filled more like a taco, which allows it to taste slow-cooked from the pork but also fresh from the welcome addition of sprouts, preserved turnips and sugared peanuts. The dough is flawless, too: soft but not sticky, and more flavourful than most. On the menu, they’re known as mantou, the word for steambun in the Shanxi province of northern China. They are exceptional. You can imagine as much just by looking at the photo above.
But if you’re looking for a bun with your dim sum, your best bet is Jade Dynasty, an unobtrusive little spot on East Pender with all around delicious dim sum (the fried taro balls with duck would rank high on my favourites list). The steam buns are delicious, too. The dough is soft and filled with a heap of meat, all held together in a sauce that’s a deep red from the charred skin of the pork.
It’s leaps and bounds superior to the other buns I ate on this mission; better than Garden Villa, where they tasted processed, and the ones at Kam Wai, which had been steaming for so long that the dough stuck to my teeth and I had to go to the washroom to get it off. Jade’s were better than Floata’s, too, although theirs’ were nicely seasoned and had big chunks of pork. Sun Fresh had a good pork-dough ratio, which is to say it nearly burst with pork, but it was also covered in a thick, gravy-like sauce thickened with so much cornstarch that you could taste it. And much to my disappointment, Maxim’s and Streamland couldn’t give me a fresh steam bun. I had to buy them in packs of 8, and they were all of the exact same type. Streamland said they’d steam mine for me a la minute, but then they went ahead and actually used a microwave. It tasted every bit as processed as it was, with small pieces of pork and far too much dough. It was chewy instead of meltingly tender, as they should be when made to order.
The only place that didn’t make theirs’ to order but was still worth it was New Town. I’ve long been a shopper here because you can grab just one to go at a moment’s notice, which is sometimes necessary in my life. Also, their dough is a little firmer. It holds up, and though not quite as hot as the super fresh ones, they give way when you bite in, revealing mouthfuls of well-seasoned, properly portioned BBQ pork.
So perhaps this mission left me with too many options (I did try to narrow it down by only going to places in Chinatown rather than extending the hunt to Richmond). I might grab a bun from New Town on my way to work and take them from Jade Dynasty during dim sum hours, but for the best steam bun in town, I’ll take mine as a mantou with a drink at Bao Bei.
Claire Lassam is a baker, blogger, and freelance writer based in East Van. She has been cooking and baking her way through the city for nearly five years, working in restaurants ranging from Cioppino’s to Meat & Bread. She currently toils at Beta 5 Chocolates and runs the baking blog Just Something Pretty.
by The Editors | As most Scout readers are likely already aware, the Eastside Culture Crawl (November 18, 19, 20) is a free, three day art crawl that covers the area bounded by Main Street and Victoria Drive north of First Avenue. Over 300 artists are participating, and it’s going to be freakin’ awesome. But where to eat and drink before, during and after your Crawl? Being the thoughtful folks that we are, we’ve lined up a list of key stops within (and just without) Crawl grounds: Read more
Bao Bei barman (and all around awesome guy) Ben Henthorne is on his way to a refugee camp in Bethlehem shortly to help build a library with Karama, a non-profit organisation that provides free education to women and children living on the West Bank (the Arabic name means “Dignity”). The Chinatown restaurant on Keefer St. is hosting a silent auction fundraiser and send-off this Sunday, October 2nd (details after the jump), and we hope to see you there. Read more
The GOODS from Bao Bei
Vancouver, BC | Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie is looking for full time, hard working server’s assistants and servers in a fast paced environment. Must be efficient, organized, have a positive personality and a mature outlook. If you’re interested, please drop off your resumes at 163 Keefer St.any time after 3pm. Learn more about the restaurant after the jump… Read more
Eggplant softened with soy, garlic and ginger | $4 | Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie | 163 Keefer St.