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: