“Bao Down” Opens On Powell Street In Gastown, Generates Line-Up Immediately


Bao Down opened at 12 Powell Street in Gastown this afternoon and nearly stopped traffic. The tiny new eatery specializes in delicious bao buns. To test drive their kitchen systems, they launched with only three types today (fish, chicken, vegetarian). They appeared to be taking the onslaught well. Here’s our brief from when we broke the news of its coming last month:

Brothers-in-law Matthew Adolfo and Greg Edwards have joined forces and taken over the short-lived Lily Mae’s space at 12 Powell Street on the eastern edge of Maple Tree Square in Gastown.

Together, they’re building a new eatery that will focus squarely on steamed bao bun sandwiches. They’re going to be doing five or six different types, among them a fried chicken bao, a braised and crispy pork belly bao, a coconut crusted catfish bao with sriracha crema, and a vegan bao. We can also expect some killer sides, like crispy garlic kimchi fries.

The licensed 25 seater is going to be called Bao Down. Get it?

Adolfo and Edwards are lifers with tons of experience between them. Adolfo has the trade in his family (he co-owned/operated one of the Sukho Thai locations in Toronto), while Edwards spent 8 years working in the kitchen for Umberto Menghi and is currently the executive chef at Chewie’s in Coal Harbour.

I expect they’ll do extremely well with this straightforward, easy to execute concept, especially on the take-out front. They took possession on Monday and are aiming for a quick turnaround with opening day set for mid-March.

When you go (and you must), be sure to aim squarely for the awesomely named Bao Chicka Bao Bao. It’s loaded with crispy lemongrass garlic chicken, scallions and pickled carrots with the bun given a liberal of garlic scape mayo. So flavourful! Take a look:

  • IMG_4960
  • IMG_4920
  • IMG_4139
  • IMG_4944
  • IMG_4952
  • IMG_4926
  • IMG_4923
  • IMG_4948
  • IMG_4925
  • IMG_4934
  • IMG_4141
  • IMG_4145
  • IMG_4932


There are 5 comments

  1. Powell St is not in Gastown. Where is the writer from? Gastown is north of Hastings.

  2. Oh boy, Mr. Irvine. Powell Street is north of Hastings. This particular address is right on Maple Tree Square (ie. the heart of Gastown). Perhaps you’re thinking of Pender?

    PS. For the record, I was born in Vancouver. 😉

‘The Flamingo Room’ Opens Doors on Commercial Drive This Week!

The new Miami-inspired bar and soon-to-be "go-to" spot for live entertainment is easily one of the more unique and exciting bars in the local pipeline right now.

Dovetail Restaurant Brings California Vibes to Yaletown

The 3,800 sqft 110-seat concept marks the first collaboration between Colin Denton and Ejner Christiansen. We took a look inside the restaurant at 1079 Mainland Street location late last week…

‘Bar Haifa’ Slated to Open Doors in Downtown Vancouver This Month

Toronto’s beloved Middle Eastern eatery, The Haifa Room is finally branching out to the West Coast.

Andrea Gail Opens at 1867 Powell Street in East Van

Andrea Gail, or 'The Gail,' is a new laid-back, 'come-for-a-shot-of-infused vodka, a can of beer, and some tasty snacks' kind of place that requires no forethought and no fancy outfits. Just roll up and grab a seat.