Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
163 Keefer Street
Owned by Tannis Ling, former bar manager at Chambar, a Belgian restaurant/bar in Yaletown that serves small plates of ostrich for $18 and other items including a single bread roll with butter for $3.
The lease was signed in 2005, and it opened in February 2010.
Boa Bei means “precious”. The example given on the website for use of this word is: “Dude, this new car is my Boa Bei”.
Bao Bei is a modern 'Taiwanese/ Shanghai joint' that seats 50. Given its popularity, you might have to mingle at the bar at the front before getting a table.
Menu items include:
One free range egg - $2,
Side of steamed rice - $2
Stir fried squid - $ 13
Clams - $17.50
In a Vancouver Food Review the writer referred to it as, “The pied piper of Chinatown, leading a flock of hipsters into Chinatown” -Vancouver Sun Review.
A review of this place in the West Ender included the statement: “it's like a scene from Tintin: the Blue Lotus”. This statement illustrates how these new gentrifying establishments Disneyfy Chinatown, turning the community and neighborhood into nothing more than a cartoon version of what stood here before.
A fashion designer executive from Toronto commented on Boa Bei: “I've never seen such a good looking crowd in Vancouver.”
The website for Bao Bei includes Chinese audio translation for a few key phrases including, “you are very pretty”, “where's the dance party?”, “I'm not drunk yet” and “I like this place”.
While the prices are not overly excessive, the pungent culture of cocktail drinking yuppy and hipster types sends a strong message to the residents who live and have lived in this neighborhood for a long time: 'You're not welcome here, take advantage of Kent's Kitchen while you can still afford to exist in this hood'.