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Down by the Bei

JANUARY 29TH, 2010

Down by the Bei

Chinatown is changing. First, there was the Fortune Sound Club and now, a cool new brasserie called Bao Bei.

The name means “precious” in Chinese, and it's indeed a special spot. Warm and eclectically designed with cool vintage accents, like a wall of silver platters, it serves up well-balanced cocktails and top-notch traditional bites. We took a seat at the bar, and knew at once a woman was in charge (that would be former Chambar barkeep Tannis Ling) as soon as we saw the handy purse hooks. Double happiness was had with an order of pork potstickers ($6.50) and mantou ($9), a steamed bun stuffed with braised short rib, scallions, pickled cucumber, roasted peanuts and hoisin sauce.

As for what to drink, “The Best F@#*&$# Pina Colada You've Ever Had” ($12) is as fun to ask for as it is to sip.

Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie, 163 Keefer St., Vancouver, 604-688-0876, www.bao-bei.ca

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